By Cosmo Hamilton
Nothing screams Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays like smiling faces of all races, bustling crowds, shopping joyously expending positive energy and retroactive pay all along the way in Water Street and Regent Street and at the malls and everywhere enjoying the fare, if only for a day or a week, and taking a peek into the new year with hope for good health and happiness and peace and security and prosperity.
And one cannot escape the bright-eyed, bushy tailed excited kids prancing in the steamy air, without a care full of joy wishing for that favorite toy, looking for a mythical rotund Santa, listening for his throaty mantra – Ho! Ho! Ho! As he makes their dream come true, stuffing their stocking with an ipad or an iphone, or a laptop, or even a plasma TV.
Oh! How times have changed. Time was when we would wish for a make believe pistol with a socket and gun belt and caps that exploded and smelt like sulphur as we pulled the trigger, or a top that spun and lit up as you pulled the string, or a police car that ran and sounded a siren after it was wound, or a flaming red fire truck complete with a ladder and helmeted firefighters in toe. All of this as the smell of linoleum and fresh paint and furniture polish wafted through the air. And the whirring sound of the sewing machine into the night, seam-stressing yards of material for drapery and complementary window treatment.
But the more things change the more things stay the same. The festive season is the very same- full of cheer spiced up with ginger beer, and falernum and dark rum; with neighborly exchange of black cake and sweets and meats – pepperpot and garlic pork. All the while we’re lending lusty voices to the timeless lyrics of Christmas carols, jamming to the beats of caiso and soca and parang and masquerade; prancing and dancing like no one is watching and there is not a care as we peer into the promise of the new year with aspirations a plenty.
And after the spirited rendition of ‘auld lang syne’ as the night turns to dawn, and the old year turns to new, and the party hats and noisemakers are strewn about lifeless and forlorn, we are left with reality and resolutions. We would resolve to lose weight and adapt a new regime of exercise. We would consistently eat a better diet. We would stop smoking and drink alcohol only moderately or not at all. And most importantly we usually resolve to be better human beings.
For the world around us in year 2013 as in each succeeding year it seems like wishes are moderate and mundane yet difficult to achieve. We always wish for peace and a less polarized society, and unity, and economic growth and prosperity, and transparent and responsive governance for all of the people. As homo sapiens we must demand of ourselves respect for each other. In this society we must return to a high regard for human life. We must work assiduously at the eradication of domestic violence and drugs and crime.
And in the coming days as 2013 comes into clear view, from the West Indies Cricket Board and all of the local cricket authorities, the proud people of this nation must demand a return of international cricket to the national stadium and other venues in Guyana. Having borne witness to the pain and deprivation that have been visited upon the people of Guyana for so long, the power players must pursue their own New Year’s resolution … to return international cricket to Guyana.