"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Into The Night


India is booming.

Despite her many challenges, with an economic growth rate of more than eight per cent and a population of over one billion, there is a palpable sense of dynamism here.  Walking down the streets, what strikes me is the sheer force and vibrancy of life. Something I don’t feel in Europe.

There is a mood of optimism, that the balance of power is shifting.

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.”

But for some here, this change heralds sadness; endings.

I have just finished reading a fascinating account of how societies can wither and die in Edna Fernandes excellent “The Last Jews of Kerala”.

Last weekend, in the New York Times, Mian Ridge wrote a moving article on the passing of Anglo-Indian culture.

The Syrian Christian community,  a powerful force in Kerala society for almost 2,000 years, are taking the demographic path to obscurity. The same fate awaits the Parsi population of Mumbai.

These declines and disappearances are nothing new. They must have occurred countless times as civilizations arose then retreated. But for those who see their affluence, influence and identity slowly fade, it is a difficult and painful transition.

Their choice; one that most eventually face: bitterness or quiet acceptance.



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