The few people on the heavily protected seaface in front of the Taj Samudra in Colombo are having a lot of fun. The clouds that have gathered in large numbers help shield them from the relentless sun. The temperature is a warm 26, and it is humid.
As I watch out to the sea from the sealed window of my sea-facing room, I wonder at its vast expanse. These same waters are a silent witness to fun and frolic in Pattaya, the hustle and bustle of commerce in Mumbai, the scorching sun at Mahabalipuram, possibly nocturnal nefarious activity in Karachi, and a city that has finally discovered peace and happiness here in Colombo. If these waters had a mind of their own, I wonder what they would think of the human race!
Whatever they think of us, it is amazing that they keep coming back, wave after wave, as if it to tell us they are always with us. Unfortunately, though, the coastline always breaks the waves down, and they have to retreat defeated, bereft of all the strength that propelled them to the shore in the first place.
As I shift my sight closer to the hotel along Galle Face Centre Road, I notice something very interesting. The stiff breeze that is coming in from the sea helps the Sri Lankan flag fly high and proud above the Road. Right below the flag, I notice a bunch of crows flapping their wings desperately to fly towards the sea, but making no progress – all the wing flapping just helping them stay put in one place as if there is an invisible hand that does not let them cross the border. The crows try beating the breeze for some time, and then quietly give up and fly back inland. Some other crows then take up the effort.
So, that’s two visuals in one frame of how the force of Nature can resist sustained campaigns to overcome them.
My sight shifts within the room to the television, and I see and hear the NDTV anchor follow the Anna Hazare story on the 11th day of his fast. She talks of the thousands of people that have gathered at the Ramlila Grounds in Delhi to show support to Anna Hazare. She talks to some of them, and they are emphatic about their support to him and his movement to root out corruption. While public opinion is divided on whether the passing of one Bill can root out corruption, my mind goes back to the waves and the crows.
Like the waves and the crows, will people get back to their routine after the fast is broken? Will these people sit smugly in their homes, feeling proud of their involvement in this movement? Will that not embolden the corrupt, some of whom have managed to reach Parliament and are hence ruling our country, and shaping our destiny?
It is a scary thought indeed!