“Is that a Chinese letter?”, I am often asked about our logo. Indeed, it is a Chinese letter that is used to write the Japanese word Yasumi, which means “to pause your work or activity and relax physically and mentally”*. The letter has two components: The first stands for a person the second represents a tree, indicating “a shady place where people stop to rest”**.
We had some guests from Ahmedabad last Diwali. They work 12 hours a day, frequently 7 days a week. Twice every year, they go on a holiday with their families – and this year they travelled in Kumaon, staying with us for 2 nights. It perhaps is the reality of our times, even if the physical work hours may be shorter for some. Work has become pervasive, leaving us little time and space to unwind. The need for Yasumi has never been stronger.
When guests choose to stay with us, they place a huge responsibility on us to give them an environment that helps them “relax physically and mentally”. For us this is more than contractual, it is a moral obligation. The genesis of Binsar Forest Retreat and everything we do here is aimed at fulfilling this obligation. Our guests’ Yasumi is a motif that drives all our actions.
* Nihongo Day by Day, Minako Okamoto
** A guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, Kenneth G. Henshall