Though my lab days were done, I was yet to bid bye to them officially. It was very heartwarming to see them all struggle to talk to me beyond the language barrier, for one last time. I hadn’t talked to many of them for the very same reason, but it felt like a lot of unsaid words were communicated. One of the labmates went out of his way and came out for a warm goodbye hug. It seemed to be one of the most genuine moments I shared with all of them – in the university – in Japan. Posing for a couple of photos, making memories, I stepped out of the lab with my completion certificate. The stay in Japan is now officially complete and fulfilled. Bidding bye to the professor, I left the floor I would possibly never return to. It is was pretty emotional for me. How do you say bye to people whom you are pretty sure you would never again meet? You always part ways, and say you hope to meet again.
At the end of the day, there was a brief session with the Japanese students who were travelling to Symbiosis as part of the exchange programme. We were to interact and prep them for their impending foreign trip. They had a lot of questions, at the end of our presentation about India and Symbiosis, and we did our best to make them feel comfortable. Towards the end, one of them asked what is ‘yes’ and what is ‘no’ in India. He was referring to the nodding sideways and nodding up and down practice of us Indians, instead of saying yes or no. Funnily enough, we the group of 7 Indians had different understandings of nodding!