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How many flags of the world can you spot on this Adidas shirt? Pakistan features more than once.

One week in China has made me sad. It is upsetting me boundlessly that a country so big and so populated and that acquired freedom a year after we did should have progressed so rapidly and so independently. And so much. Compared to us.

As a people I feel we are the same: there are so many similarities, good and bad. But the two glaring differences are that a) the governance here is admirable whereas we are a  gravity defying state of free fall and b) there is an eagerness to work hard and progress here in China. Back home that capacity has been unfortunately overwritten by years of bad leadership and the consequent urgency to keep the life cycle running, by hook or by crook. Values, morals, ethics and yes, even things as trivial as personal hygiene have been compromised in the process.

Man is a savage beast, Freud, Conrad, Golding and all those writers echoing similar thoughts were right. And without law, order or administration I see us also slipping from a civilized state to complete mayhem, better associated with savages or as R R Martin would put it, wildlings. We are those wildlings, or maybe we’re turning even worse. Are we the white walkers? Dead, and looking for more destruction?

But I am a hopeless optimist and I also believe in the wisdom of poets. This Paradise will be re-gained. I believe civilization can and will be returned to the land of the pure. Till then, I find joy in the smallest things; in the fact that the new Adidas t-shirt, displaying an attractive mosaic of all countries of the world, features the Pakistani flag too. I feel a moment of joy in China, as I see the white and green amidst colours of the world. But I wish there was more for us to be proud of.

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