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Please allow me to comment on the recently concluded 1st Test Match between India and the West Indies, at Bourda, Georgetown,11-15 April, 2002.
For one fleeting if unguarded moment it was a pleasure to be Guyanese. The walls of Bourda seemingly protected us from the chaos and anguish of our collective lives. The turbulence and confusion of our post colonial history were temporarily set aside if not forgotten.
You had to be there to feel the energy and hear the single irrepressible voice in which it was expressed. Three young men stood up and showed us what could be done when we cooperated. It is not a coincidence that one is African and two are East Indians. Indeed, that is precisely the point to be noted. The picture of
Chanderpaul and Hooper in spontaneous, almost delirious, embrace in the middle of the pitch after Hooper's century was only part of the story of that glorious moment.
The regret, and this is a big one, is that it did not and will not spill over the walls of Bourda into the wider society and into our daily lives. We will, sadly, remain trapped, for the foreseeable future, in the miasma of our ethnic insecurities.
But I cannot and will not end on such a sour note. The example of those three young men is far too important and resonant to be drowned in such pessimism. It is, in fact, an example of what is repeated many times over, everyday, in our schools, in our communities, in our places of work where East Indians and Africans meet - a daily reminder of an elusive possibility. Let us then, if only vicariously, bask in the glory of that instance and at the delight that it was the achievement of three Guyanese young men - a singular moment of a collective wish.
Rishee S. Thakur