Of fundraising and the navy…

…It’s been very very heartening to see the way people have pitched in for the Tsunami relief – monetarily, in kind, and in their onsite support (to borrow a phrase I am particularly familiar with).

Michael Schumacher is not my favourite sportsperson, but just read on the BBC site that he’s donated 10 million dollars. That’s quite a bit, even for him. I hope people will continue to show the same degree of involvement once the fire-fighting is over, and the equally serious business of rebuiliding livelihoods starts. In that sense, Vivek Oberoi’s gesture of adopting a village is a very nice idea. If more people come forward to do things like that, and provided they are serious about it, much good can be done. Just as importantly, I hope the right kind of help reaches the right people in the coming months.

Sometimes calamities can make things better than they were earlier. There have been other disasters, but somehow, I feel that the way we deal with this one after it has gone past the front pages will show us if we are capable of nation building. This is the sort of event (and as importantly the timing of it) that has the potential of being what Malcolm Gladwell would call the “Tipping Point” – in this case, the tipping point for a nation’s consciousness, priorities and sense of perspective. But for that to happen, the media has to sense that too. We will have to wait and watch. And I am an optimist, even if my writings at times seem cynical.

Vizag is a nice place. The Indian Navy’s campus is nice too. Clean. Serene. If our roads were maintained as well, if we cleared our litter and garbage the same way…

Forks and spoons don’t clang on plates in the officers mess. Not a sound, in fact. A would be naval officer, but right now just a boy learning self-discipline, sat facing me at the lunch table and ate in such silence and with such polish that I felt like a country bumpkin with lousy table manners. There is something to learn everywhere.


Posted on January 5, 2005, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hey how did u get to the officers mess?

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