Imagine this scene.
You enter your regular office pantry and see three unknown faces sitting silently hunched over their phones on a circular table. Something moves on your right and you look behind the open door - and see the lead protagonist from The Ring step out.
You step back in surprise (fear?) and she looks up at you.
You realise it is a normal (unknown) girl walking hunched over her phone with her hair hanging from one side of her head in an uninterrupted black sheet. *shudder*
That being the latest (5min old) update of my life in office.
On another exciting front I have discovered the country with the smallest population. Virtually discovered it. As in someone else discovered it and now I have discovered it for myself (and you, reader), and also, I 'discovered' it on the net. Thus Virtually. Cool eh?
So any guesses as to which place it is? Its the Pitcairn Islands. 47 sq Km big. And, guess what? 48 residents. Total man-power? 15 able-bodied men. Read up more details here. Suffice to say they have a Mayor and are under the Brit rule essentially. They do handicraft and farming for a living and use radio waves to communicate when they cant catch hold of their satellite phones.
The whole island population can be seen on this wikipedia photograph. And if you want to know their names and genealogy, go right here.Including a status on who is on the island and who is away.
What I am interested in however, is what is it like? What is it like to be born in a place so small, see only so many people (and a few tourists once in a while) and live your life there? Granted, some of them must be going to big cities to make their fortune, but many do stay back (as can be seen).
Almost like a village, this place is not in constant communication with other parts of the world. The boats travel infrequently and are longboats, not anything particularly technologically progressive. There is no TV except satellite TV.
There is, however, deforestation (imagine!). Is there a school? What about hospitals? Who is the doctor? And who is their religious leader?
What kind of amenities are present there? When tourists come, how do they live?
Yet, still, I would love to know the outlook of life of people born here. How do they feel with their first visit to "mainland"? Do they even want to move out? Do they feel isolated, having being born in such an environment, or is city life claustrophobic for them?
In short, I guess Im wondering what it is like to be a Pitcairn Islander. but thats just too cliched a question to answer my wonder and questions.
When I go to small tourist towns, I have often found myself wondering what my life would have been like were I born there, instead of where I was born - in a bustling metropolis of India. In fact, were that true, even then I would probably be not what I am today. Spending more than half a decade in one city itself is unimaginable to me, forget a life-time (almost).
In that scenario, suppose you were born in say, small town Trivandrum (my latest trip). Where the traffic came to a halt in a major crossing because the fire brigade was clearing a small oil spill.You see tourists every season, but thats different from being one. What would drive you, if at all? Would you live the same life your grandparents lived? Live and die in one town, in (probably) the same, or slightly different profession. How many of the successful people there would take up a profession and leave the city? How big a heartache that would cause to their extended family.
The 'progress' and 'sync with international worlds' is something totally different there. Its tangible (they may well speak French/ German, having spoken to the tourists) but its not real - would they go to France/ Germany? They may watch TV, but would they feel the part of one of the roles shown there?
That, is the "masses", the population that really makes up a country. Am I sorry I'm not one of the masses? Or am I glad? Neither. I'm plain curious - because that life is so very different from mine. Because in that life the smallest accomplishment may well be a very big deed - what I don't count as something new/ sensational/ courageous, can be the decision of a lifetime for many people. What would it be like to be one of those people? Perhaps frustrating for a me, but would I ever be "me" if I were them?
Imagine this scene.