Monday, November 28, 2005

Coming soon to your telly... and my office's window

WTO's ministerial conference in being hosted in Hong Kong a few weeks hence (from 13-18 december). And my office is right opposite the protest grounds in Wan Chai.

But I've already had a sneak preview yesterday during a bus journey, as we passed the ferry terminal: a contingent from Thailand, marching silently with banners, was conspicuous in its members' fancy costumes. Some were in their native dresses, and some dressed up as farmers etc, to showcase their cause. They reminded me of the World Social Forum (mumbai 2004) that I had been to (and wrote about here) - where people from all over the world were airing their voices, and at the same time wearing, flaunting their local, personal attire and lifestyle with pride. It was a celebration of the indegenous, of diversity.

Of course, what HK is waiting for with bated breath is different. Some people, voiced in newspapers and even at my office, are worried that the coming "South Korean farmers" will be bringing their hot blood and violent dispositions to Hong Kong. Some bosses, around our business area though (sigh) not at my office, are handing out holidays in that week in worried anticipation.

On my part, however, there is no anxiety. At least, not yet. Maybe because I have never really witnessed violence, and do not expect it to take place outside my window. And also because I have a soft corner for protests.

I, for example, wish that I had been a teenager in the 60s. A flower child with heavy eyelids, hippy garb, lily in hair... and hope. Thinking, even believing, that I was a part of a generation that could, and would end all poverty, all cruelty, all war. That we were going to change the world. That we were saving the world.

If only I could feel that.

How heady that would be, how potent. So much better that the dull knowledge, the awareness, that like it or not, I am stuck in a world that holds too many horrors for too many people. And that I cannot make a difference, expect perhaps at some miniscule level. perhaps.

"What you do may be a drop in the ocean, but a drop that would be missed were it not there," said Mother Teresa (as I recall from memory).

But what if we are not drops adding up to an ocean? That instead we are just making up a small puddle in a street that is too dirty and too long for us to ever clean? And am I failing to add even to that puddle?

1 comment:

Madhukar said...

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