” So read up about Hryvnia and Berkut, Ma, by the time I am back,” she calls, on her way out. She waves Irodov at me. The fat text book, I mean.
It must have been almost twelve years since I browsed seriously through international issues. As an aware reader, I knew generally about the world and its happenings. But the new challenge was serious. The kiddo had an assignment and she wanted to discuss about Ukraine- the crisis, the currency depreciation, the riot police.
In two hours time, I found myself staring at the deep socio-political-economic polarization challenges that the nation was facing. The similarities and differences with Greek economic crisis loomed large. The Crimean annexation, the role of NATO, the international debt obligation, terms like economic hair cut/write off, sanctions, creditor associations, Tatar minorities, Black sea fleet, cease fire agreement et al started making sense. The deep links that every economic issue has with military alliances and political realities of power balance came into forefront.
I also felt a sense of Deja Vu. This story has happened before. The story is happening now and will continue in future- across the world.I could have changed the name of the nation and the places and the allies and the saga would remain the same. A child in Africa, needing help for doing an assignment on the crisis of Afghanistan, would have a mother staring aghast at the same history of military alliances, socio political milieus, minorities and trust issues, strategic liabilities, economic policies and a country struggling for stability.World over, the human story remains the same. The players, the interests, the struggles, the fights, the bloodshed..it is like script being rehashed again and again by new directors and new actors. The victims being always the simple citizens who only want peace and a safe future for their children.
My daughter returns, and switches on Dr.Who. The “Master” is hell bound to be in power. The most powerful drug in the world. And he marches to a tune of drum beats in his head. Actually , he is a very scared little boy within.
” The joy of travelling the universe, the privilege of seeing it- is that not ownership enough?” asks David Tennant.
The Master blinks for a second. Then the power crazy nature reasserts itself.
As the Time Lords start their plans, the episode closes.
I sigh deeply. There is a strange serendipity in all these events.
” Do you want to discuss the topic now?” I ask.
” No. I have homework. Maybe tomorrow?” she says.
I think of a country, far away. For a mother living there, and a child, it is not an issue to be discussed tomorrow. Will the child be at peace to do her homework and watch Dr.Who? Extending the metaphor- in how many countries, were children, especially daughters, free to study to their heart’s content?
I pray in gratitude. The simple joy of a normal day. It is a gift denied to many , many souls across our earth.