A Moment of Hope
It was raining, a slow steady drizzle that was beginning to pick up as Anna went and stood by the open window. It was unexpected, the rain, on New Year’s Eve. But she didn’t mind. She loved the rain, and the warm chill as it fell on her face. As the cuckoo clock in her office announced 5pm, she saw the people teeming out on to the street. Unlike the rain, it was something that never changed – the routine.
As she looked, the people began to jostle for space. It wasn’t like there wasn’t space for all to move, but everyone wanted more.
“Everyone’s in a hurry, there’s no time to wait anymore, dear,” she remembered her grandmother telling her the last time she visited.
Today, she silently agreed. Outside, a young man pushed his way past an old lady, knocking her walking stick down. He didn’t stop to help her, and saw him muttering a sorry, with a hurried wave. On the opposite pavement, a few moments later, an old woman did the same, almost sending a pram spinning onto the road. She saw the old woman mutter a curse at the young mother who had hurried to pull the pram back near her.
“It’s a pity to see such carelessness. Not a shred of kindness going around these days,” she told out loud, though only the emptiness of the room answered her.
Sitting with her back to the window to let the cool breeze tickle her neck, she picked up the newspaper. Not remotely interested in politics, she flipped to the next page.
“New Year’s revelers won’t be affected by this unseasonal rain, that’s for sure,” she chuckled, seeing the pictures of Commercial Street and Brigade Road being readied for the big moment. She remembered too well the bomb blast that shook the city a couple of days before. It had increased the security there, but she wondered about the incident, why it was needed at all.
On the third page, there was crime news. It was never empty, that page. It felt like there was a murder, or a rape, or a robbery somewhere or the other. And it reported them with photos and the victim’s name and such. Wasn’t it bad enough that there was a victim without it being given so much publicity, and sometimes, so much blame?
She had heard that 2015 was the year of light; though it was about the science, more than the philosophy.
“Well, let there be light,” she said, closing the newspaper. She didn’t need more of sadness on New Year’s Eve at least.
She welcomed the New Year with a kiss, blowing one to the picture of her boyfriend who was abroad, and giving two pecks on the cheeks of her parents. Emotional as they were, a tear came in their eyes when she did.
Every day, she looked at the newspaper, hoping for change. But expectedly, there was none. The people still jostled, and the third page still showed the crimes. She was losing hope that something positive would happen anytime soon.
It was by chance that she stumbled on an initiative in Facebook called 1000 Voices for Compassion.
“They’ll be lucky if they get 10 voices, let alone a thousand,” she said, shaking her head.
1000 voices coming together on one day to call for, and write about compassion. It didn’t seem possible to her, not at that moment.
She closed the page and went about her day’s routine. Out of curiosity, she opened the page again at the end of the day. To her surprise, the group had already gone past a hundred. She was a blogger, not that her blog was known or anything. So she asked to join the group too. Within five seconds, her request was accepted. And she could see the preparations for the big day.
People would share quotes, books, even posts on compassion. A month passed, the number in the group went past the 1000 mark. It set the stage. On 20th February, the posts began to flow. Over the weekend, more people joined in.
It didn’t quite reach a thousand, but Anna was impressed. On a moment’s notice, people from the world over had joined to make a noise, share their voices for a good cause. And it had got the attention of the world too, even if partially.
It was a moment to look up and say, “Yes, there is hope.”
And Anna dearly hoped that more people would say it, just as she was saying it that day.
(© 11th March 2015)