Will it be never?
Posted on August 10th, 2019

Laksiri Warnakula

He was clad in the national dress, an immaculate white that contrasted well with somewhat dark and enclosed surroundings. He was stocky, yet lean enough. He was not tall, yet not short either.

He was standing on the podium addressing a distinguished gathering of foreign and local dignitaries. With confidence and composure, he was speaking to his audience through an interpreter in his mother tongue. Little those listeners knew that if he chose to, he could with equal eloquence have given the speech in English too. Yet he was proud of his heritage, language, his country. He was not a man, who had given himself and sheepishly surrendered to an inferiority complex of any kind.

He stood erect, shook hands with that firm grip, which conveyed to the other that he was sincere yet firm in conviction of what he believed was fair and right. He without words could convey to all around him, that behind those smiling, charming eyes and frequent nodding lay a mind belonging to an iron man, a no-nonsense man, a man of action, yet someone, who always opted for fair play.

He never travelled in half-a-mile long motorcades with armed escorts dressed in camouflaged fatigues on vehicles with lights flashing and horns blaring.  Neither did he allow his ministers to do that. They, only a two dozen with impeccable credentials, whose thinking often resonated in perfect harmony with that of their leader, didn’t want it anyway.

He never treated his land of birth as his own. He wouldn’t sell it to the aliens in bits and pieces and wouldn’t lease parts and patches of that pristine soil to them in the name of ‘development’, which he always maintained as nothing but grand theft.

His kith and kin hardly got any mention anywhere, let alone in our more-than-curious media. They were just ordinary citizens not above or below the average, minding their own business.

He knew his limitations. He sought advice, when he felt the need from his team of honest, capable men and women of knowledge and moral standing. And he never felt small about it.

His aversion to self-aggrandizement was more than obvious. He never sought cheap popularity. He didn’t want to see pictures of him and his ministers displayed in government offices. He was a man, who could instantly recognise slavish obedience, servility and undue veneration, the signature qualities of greedy, incapable, incompetent, spineless yes-men/women, whom he despised intensely. He respected the opinions of the others, listened to them carefully before arriving at a solution.

And he didn’t fear the strikes and the unions. He always resorted to solution through discussion and negotiation. Yet when their actions and demands became unreasonable and unacceptable and were going to affect the greater good of the nation, he acted firmly, swiftly with corrective action without an iota of fear.

He faced his opposition with courage, emboldened by conviction and fact. And he was not afraid of criticism and was unshakable in what he believed was right.

Above all he was not a fake. He was an honest man, who was not power-hungry and he did not seek power for powers’ sake. He loved his country. And then he was still much more.

Then I woke up. The other day I started to read a book after my lunch. It was about an extraordinary man. Then came the snooze. And almost a similar figure to the man in the book took the centre stage of my mind while, I was basking in the comfort of my little siesta. Probably because of the story about the man that I was reading in the book was playing at the back of my mind. 

I kept thinking, now both my mind and eyes wide awake. When are we going to see a man/woman at the helm of our motherland, who could be like the one that I saw in my snooze or someone, who could at least come close, to that figure?

Will it be never?

Laksiri Warnakula

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