September 18, 2019

"Ganbatte" factor matters

 “Ganbatte”- a Japanese word which caught my attention ever since I enrolled in Nagoya university- translates to beavering away with indefatigable stamina in any testing circumstances or endeavours. My guesswork is it might be one of the extensively articulated lexical expressions in Japan. In my close to 3 years stay, I have had fair share of it- mostly coming from my professors. And on my numerous nerve-wracking discussions with them, however heated the discussion may become, the session would always terminate with soothing reinforcement “Ganbatte”. Not even friends- both locals and internationals- spared spewing out the catchphrase, at times to create a mockery out of it and other times to muster up the valour.
Once it was spelled out, and as was their wont, I had found in my Japanese friends they take on it damn seriously, not minding even if the hell broke loose. Such was its power- mighty and punchy. I dreaded to hear it at times because of the expectations that came along attached to it. Indeed, days and days of endurance training had preceded in trying to embrace the catchphrase gracefully.
Sectioning ovaries on one of the Sundays'. Of course not human ovary.
So, eventually the ripple effect was up. There had not been any outlet to get away.  Then I realised- it was one thing to have heard someone say it and quite another to have borne its impact. Even now, as I translate my experiences into words, it sends a chill down my spine- not to mention the cortisols in blood- musing over all the struggles that had to come tandem with the “Ganbatte” factor. But the chill down my spine exacerbated by the elevating levels of cortisols was worth the effort, as substantiated by the bang that panned-out at the end.
As I try to gather and piece together my Nihon memoirs, it hits me hard that what on earth has moulded the Japanese to be one of the resilient and grit laden Homo sapiens. This confusion had me soaked in bewildering thoughts several times even as I was sleeping under their sky.
Now with my grappling professional and personal life everyday- I let my head do the simple breakdown. One thing keeps bobbing up recurrently. It is the mental muscle power, what I label as “Ganbatte” factor. Mental muscle power, because that’s the site first in the hierarchy regulating all the other bodily functions and others follow suit. So to say, it must also complement and come along with its other closer traits -if not higher- that will unquestionably change, or decide, the game piecemeal.  
Over time, as I grew too comfortable with “Ganbatte” factor, it didn’t even surprise to see one of my professors come directly to lab straight from the airport with all his travel gears and check on us. It appeared nothing of a big deal sort to hear of my elderly Japanese friend working madly beyond human hours and trespassing into ghost hours. It had only deepened my appreciations though it antagonises our approach of middle path.
Today, I often pause and pose a question- must I keep this “Ganbatte” factor going? No sooner would I ask, then a rejuvenated voice within sparks up a loud shoutout- “Ganbatte” factor matters.   


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