Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Times change, yet time stands still
Barack Obama has just taken over as the 44th President of the United States, and somehow I feel compelled to record it in my blog. The waiting is finally over. Today is a momentous day as Obama rides on the hope and trust of millions not only in the US but also in the rest of the world. There is no quick fix to the problems that plague the world, but in Obama, people see more than just promise and hope – there is the confidence that the man will get things to become better soon. A stirring speech once again – you do not expect anything less form him nowadays – and the special gesture of escorting the Bushes to the waiting helicopter, all this and more will become part of Obama lore and legend.
In spite of the hope that Obama brings, for many in the world, including in India, life will continue as before. There will be marriages to perform, children to be sent to school, parents to be looked after, health care costs to be met, loans to be repaid… the list will go on and on.
Which brings me back to our visit to Wayanad. In many places where we went, it was as if people were in a time warp. Nature ruled. We saw huts and shanties with people living in them, deep inside the forest. Perhaps no electricity in many of them, forget the fear of elephants.
Sometimes, in nature’s cradle, even the coming of people like Obama does not make any difference. Time simple stands still. An example is the waterfalls at the Sentinel Rock (also called Soochippara) we visited. There was hardly a soul, except a group of schoolchildren, the forest range officer and a few of us. Indeed, the way to the waterfall was difficult to navigate and the older in our group had to view it from afar. Have a look. And don’t miss out on the brave one who went all the way to get hit by the sprays.