Thursday, 1 January 2009

A note to begin a year

And thus, quite appropriately the year ended with a postcard from a friend who had had the honour of walking with hope, even though only for a brief moment. It was all we got and sometimes that is enough.

So, while most planned parties, debating the choice of wine or venue, life as always had the impertinence of interrupting with bad news. For what do we know of Israelis except that a handful dreadlocked ones can be seen ever so often in the remote reaches of Goa, Manali or Jaisalmer. And the Palestinians are even more obscure. Yes, we have read Joe Sacco and some of us have even ventured as far as Edward Said but how does that change anything? The fireworks will light up the skies, nevertheless.

It could be five sisters killed while sleeping maybe even dreaming about the new year in Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan. Or in another time and age in Russia or Germany or Poland or Cambodia or Somalia. Oh! Just pick any country anywhere in the world, does it even matter? Ghosts aren’t too fastidious about nationality they only treasure their proclivity for haunting the conscience. Sometimes it’s all that the living are willing to concede to enable them to rest in peace.

In the midst of all the noise and the smoke we received the postcard. A simple note from some insignificant spot on the globe where crime is unheard of, the roads have no red lights and a people measure their gross national happiness. So that hope can live and maybe even look ahead to another year.

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