desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world', so
said Carl Rogers long before laptops were discovered. With
slight editing, given our electronic deportment, perhaps he
would have said the same today in view of our substandard
reading of floods and subsequent human sufferings, pathetic
and perennial. Never a lesson learnt.
Lindbergh would appear upside-down with his wonderment that
'we talk least about the things we think about most', because
floods are a recurring phenomenon that we talk about most
perhaps because we think about it the least.
three crore inundated people today lament promises that political
candidates make before every elections, that dams would be
built and dredging would deepen waterways. But alas! Despite
institutional assurances to the voters and warnings to the
traders, price of essentials has continued to rise with the
waters. While lack of communication is cited as the cause
by unscrupulous traders, these goods were stocked in the market
months before the floods. Therefore, more alas!
there are countless handshakes and embraces that an aspiring
elected rep of the people has to go through. It's tiring for
the voter who has to see the same scene come every election.
Apparently the vote-seeker, in pumping hands, tries to articulate
his love for the electorate. But Cathy Morancy's definition
of love seems contextual: 'Love is not measured by how many
times you touch each other but by how many times you reach
the people of the flooded villages and towns search for some
of the vote-seekers with the hurricane, there are relief workers
of all shades (elected, government and private citizens, associations,
clubs, and universities) who make sincere efforts, despite
individual limitations and impossible logistics, to reach
out to the teeming millions. In every case collection of funds
is easier than distribution.
the enormous natural calamity that has once again befallen
this country, 'the important thing is this: To be able at
any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become';
quote-unquote Charles du Bois. Let us think forward, fast
forward. Five hundred deaths have been reported in dailies,
but even that figure is questionable because of the remoteness
and inaccessibility of affected areas, and the magnitude of
the catastrophe. But as always there is the human zeal for
survival, for rebuilding. Are we strong enough as a nation
to parry the crisis? Do we have a plan in place at mahalla,
town, city and national level? Charles Darwin has taken upon
himself to make us ponder: 'It is not the strongest of the
species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one
most responsive to change'.
can be positive or negative. We may not always get what we
were promised, but it is vital that we respond positively
to both. We have to believe in ourselves. Seventy years ago
in "Political Power" Charles Marriam said: 'The
future belongs to those who fuse intelligence with faith,
and who with courage and determination grope their way forward
from chance to choice, from blind adaptation to creative evolution'.
delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can
do, said Charles Dudley Warner, is to 'own a bit of ground,
to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds and watch their renewal
this critical state, we have to begin to feel affection for
the future that we are destined to build. We have to create
our future, as opposed to construct. 'The whole difference
between construction and creation is exactly this: that a
thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed;
but a thing created is loved before it exists.' That was Charles
you are wondering what has become of me, firing salvo after
salvo of 'buli', but that is what I have been watching on
television, hearing on the radio and reading in newspapers.
Seriously though, 'Reach out to the flood affected
people. Do your bit. Every bit helps'. That was me.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004