Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Japan - Hiroshima

Hiroshima shook me up. The peace memorial museum has this big picture of a pocket watch which shows the time of the bomb drop and these words  -

A dragonfly flitted in front of me
and stopped on a fence.
I stood up, took my cap in my hands,
and was about to catch the dragonfly

And you are standing right in front of it, reading these lines. I remember there was a hum in my ears drowning out thoughts and people around me. I spent about an hour there. An hour that felt like an eternity. An hour after which I had goosebumps in the sun. An hour after which I had to run to catch a breath. Photos after photos of such magnitude of tragedy that your life would seem royal. There was a stone wall kept on display which had the imprint of a man who was burned in the bombing. Heart rending stories about kids who never saw another day. Burnt clothes, burnt hair and memoirs of people who survived. Barely. This was my birthday eve. There was no party. No music. Just one single realization. That I must count my blessings. Every single day. That I must live without a complain or a regret. They say travel teaches you many life's lessons in the simplest of ways. This was one of those days.