Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Imperialists and dreamers

Rory Stewart is of middle height, lanky frame, with slightly long hair, and the last time I saw him, he wore jeans, a white shirt and a long black coat. Rory Stewart is a 30 something former British diplomat, who, not too long ago, held the position of Deputy Governor of a region of southern Iraq. (.. trying my best to ignore the 'neo-colonization' blinker flashing across the mind...) He is also the author of a book based on his solo trek around Asia, including through the conflict-ridden Afghanistan. Rory Stewart is also a glib talker, as glib diplomats go. I heard him speak at a panel discussion about a year ago. And it was not difficult to visulaise him in the role of the young governor/diplomat, imperialist overtones notwithstanding. He speaks the way I wish I could, as do most young people who dreamed while growing up, of being revolutionaries-authors-Presidents-adventurers-archealogists-pirates, all rolled into one. He articulates scenarios with oh so impassioned words but with an expressionless face, - cliched diplomacy at its best. And, Rory Stewart, now an ex-diplomat, is currently working in Afghanistan, on restoring/ preserving old Kabul architecture. To sum it in a sentence, Rory Stewart is the modern-day real-life version of the fabled adventurers mentioned in many an adventure book. And, one of many examples why 'too busy with life to follow that dream' seems like such a feeble excuse.

Here is the link to a recent article about the architecture preservation work he is doing, and an older and more general one on his various stints.

The picture is taken from The Telegraph article linked above.

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