Around the Indian Republic day -2015, we tallied some notes.
Every organization has to have a finance manager, to tally the accounts.
On talking to some close accountant friends of Libya, one comes to know of the difficulties of accountability not accounts.
“Look at his profession (a welder-maintenance person)” one insider told me while talking the disappearance of an Indian in Sirte region.
This Republic day –as our ambassador came in from Djerba to hoist the Indian flag, make the customary address from the President and mingle with the Indian community, it was a very different feel from the last year’s celebration. That time, we had the Indian community school choir, some poetry and songs.
Now most families have left.
The insider is very sure that the welder will return after a few days.
He is probably helping them in some civil works.
Once the work is over, they will send him back. I hope this is true.
Kernan, he said, we worship at different altars, but our belief is the same
Last Republic day, we had gone to Corinthia, reached early, sat in the side and seen the guests coming. Mr.Suresh-the old timer in the embassy-whose accent of Hindi (outer Delhi) reminds one of route number 578 of Delhi- the route from Safdarjung to Najafgarh, was seen greeting and directing the guests.
“We even had some members of the GNC coming. So we got late,” one senior in the embassy had said.
We had summarized the story-Grace-by James Joyce- sifting through the different types of Christians, the concept of retreat, and the way a drunken fall was used by different persons, representing different forces in society, for their own ends. The Tripoli Reading Group has helped me keep a reading journal, which interrogates different layers.
“Mr.Kernan came of Protestant stock and, though he had converted to the Catholic faith at the time of his marriage, he had not been in the pale of the Church for twenty years. He was fond, moreover, of giving side-thrusts at Catholicism.”
One day after the Indian Republic day was observed by the expatriates in Tripoli,
there wasn’t much grace left at the Corinthia.
Every faith has its nuances. The common working people are definitely bracing themselves for another round, each becoming more vicious than the previous.
“The bakeries are not working optimally.
Electricity cuts affect their work.”
Now as we re-read the story Grace, the meaning of Republic and what it means,
there are many altars and different beliefs.
MEMORIES OF THE COMMUNITY
Many fond memories came alive. Some veterans left for India this year in the evacuation, helped by the embassy staff. Despite all the talk about working people, internationalist viewpoints, when it comes to helping immigrant workers, they have to turn to their embassies.
One veteran-an Anatomy teacher, who gifted some books to our reading group had given this sage advice.
“Have a friend with whom you can discuss things. Life can be very lonely in a foreign country.”
See blog- Reflections on our Republic day-2014
With another evacuation, the many discussions I had with a fellow professional remain a fond memory.
As I did another interview with him, (he was also member of our laughter club) , I asked him what he thinks of the situation here.
He said-paraphrasing Abu Shafshoofa-
“Don’t say you understand situation here. No one understands the situation here,”
“Now they are serving baklavas instead of Gulab Jamun for Republic day,” one old timer remarked. This is sense of the changing times, but the food culture was well represented by the Samosas.
People talk in hushed manner about the missing Coptics. Less news about that now.
We hear professionals withdrawing from Sebha region.
The people in the know (or at least pretending to be) say – Worse is still to come.
I know some Libyan accountants closely. The worlds of medicine and business make us interact closely.
“Doctor, the balance sheet has to tally in the end,” one of them said.
“The difficulty we are facing is about accountability to whom, not the accounts.”
From these Arab accountants, I learnt how to keep records, as after all the niceties and board meetings are over, they will definitely look into the records, the balance sheet.
They quietly keep the records, as they know some day, there will be a tally.
As the Indian community met, we exchanged notes from persons of different professions and got a broader feel of the situation. We had a re-look at the grace of togetherness while appreciating the difficult circumstances.