Sixteen years ago today, 30th September 2003, we started our new journey in India.
Our Korean Air departed Narita International Airport, Tokyo at around noon on the day before, 29th September 2003. It was bound for Sahar International Airport (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport) via Incheon, Seoul, and arrived Mumbai at almost midnight.
We booked one-way tickets from Japan for the first and last time in our life. I still feel it was as if yesterday of bidding a very emotional farewell to my dear mother and grandmother came to see us off at Narita. I was merely in my early 20s and had nothing but a little saving from the small jobs we had in Sagamihara-city Kanagawa for the past about two years. I didn't know when I would come back to my country again, and where my life would take me to.
When we arrived Sahar, my father-in-law and my late brother-in-law were waiting for us to help us move to their home. Their open, gentle, and generous acceptance of me as a new family member was all the beginning of my beautiful life in India. I am forever grateful.
After 16 years, yesterday we booked a first air ticket to Japan for my sister-in-law (of course, a return ticket!) recently migrated to Pune from a small town in Maharashtra. We want to show her my homeland, also the destination where my niece-in-law, i.e. her elder daughter, is in the hope of getting a career opportunity soon. My niece-in-law also visited Japan with us in 2016, and since then, she is studying the Japanese language after being inspired by the hospitality industry in the country. I hope this journey, scheduled to happen in the next Spring, will also bring my sister-in-law some change of perspective in her life.
While I am not a millionaire nor even economically successful person, I never imagined if I could start paying it to forward whatever the gifts and fortunes I had received from the second home country of my life this early.
Life is so powerful and interesting that nobody knows where it takes you. I shall fasten my seatbelt and keep faith in myself.
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