Top Ten Essay from Purrfect Essay Competition
by Nay Ye' Lin
9/11/2020, 11:30 P.M.
Echoes of a victorious celebration rang boisterous through the streets. The people have spoken loud and clear nationwide, as streaks of red filled the roads, the buildings, and the thunderous air. Here I lay, dear diary, beneath the shelter of my blanket, shrouded from what has become a cold and stormy November night. Yet, it is far from being an ordinary night, but a historic one, for the reason that a victor that we believe will lead us headstrong into the future has been declared, by the people of the nation. One can only wonder curiously of what lies ahead, but what do I know yet, I’m just a kid telling his thoughts and observations to a diary on a sleepless night.
Signing off for the night, I shut my diary and placed it on the nightstand near me. It didn’t take long after to feel myself slowly snoozing off into what I had hoped to be a good night’s sleep … until “TEEE!”, the loudest sound of a celebratory car horn blazing through my street jolted me awake and had me hitting my leg against the nightstand. As I muttered a low curse and knelt to pick up my diary on the floor, something was odd. It wasn’t my diary in my hand. It was a different book. Scribbled across the cover were the numbers – 2, 0, 2, and 5 and nothing else. As with odd things, I had to be curious to open it up and the next thing I remembered after a blinding light scorching my eyes was me standing with my head feeling fuzzy at the Sule bus stop. I was no longer in my pajamas but in my general outdoor fit. The papers at a nearby newsstand caught my eyes. On the papers, the date read 19/9/2025.
The front page featured a full spread cover of the words “Record-breaking number of people engage Yangon annual World Cleanup Day” and I saw what it meant as hordes of people, both young and old, in matching uniforms went along Sule Pagoda road on a cloudy day, most youth clutching on trash bags and clamps while elders in the front line held promising slogans in the air. They read praises as well as calls for collaboration in the city clean up. If I had not been surprised by what had transpired to me in the last few minutes from my bed to this place, the sight and energy of the people in front of me surprised me because I had never seen this number of elders truly taking part and actions in what used to be a social cause brought up by youth in my time. It made me take a look around to make sure if I was really in Yangon. Flabbergasted, I asked myself “Is it really happening? Are we really on the path of an impactful social change? What is the government like in this age I’m in and is this the result of their increased support in such social causes?” This happened to be one of what I had envisioned for our country – not only a greater sense of environmental awareness promoted by our government but also by the people themselves taking serious action for a cleaner, greener, and litter-less environment.
What does a street café look like from five years in the future? Well, not much has changed except for the tea I ordered being a little too sweet for my taste. In the background, Sai Htee Saing’s “Thabarwa Yae Yinthway Nge” plays softly from a nearby speaker as I sat to flip through the newspaper I picked from the stand. “What else could be happening right now in Myanmar?”, I wondered in excitement. A piece under the title “The Sun will Shine at Last” reads –
“Gone with the wind were the sound of the shells. Let it be heard… let it be heard that the sun shines once again upon the land where the children play. One hand shook the other as the arms were withdrawn and each and everyone had trodden back home where they belong.”
Under that was a cartoon drawing of the sun shining through storm clouds on what seemed to be the state of Rakhine.
There I thought in my mind, I used to think and say out words like “Our country doesn’t have this yet…” or “We’re not as developed as those other nations”, but with time and right at this moment, I believe in us. We the youth with the potential. We who eat the rice grown on this country’s soil have an obligation towards the following generation to at least leave a better state of a country for them as they will have the same duty for the following generations as well. It doesn’t matter what race you belong to, whether you attend a state school or a private one, or whatever gender you identify as. As with all good things, it never comes easy. There will be challenges…challenges to bring everyone on board. It is the beauty of our nation to be blessed with people of different ethnicities and we have to respect that what makes us such a diverse people with numerous cultural backgrounds is what makes us unique. It will be a challenge for us and our leaders to help realize this and unite people. Nevertheless, I hope and believe we have become increasingly open-minded and empathizing at this time because we need it more than ever if we are to cease being underdogs and become an exemplary nation that we want the world to see.
As fuzzily as I had arrived, I was gone. I found myself on the floor of my bedroom with a bump on my head and a nightstand on my back. Laid on the floor flipped open was my diary at a blank page ready for me to paint a picture of the coming years. The date reads 10/11/2020.
Hi, I'm Nay Ye' Lin and here's a little bit about me to get to know me better. I am a recent graduate of ILBC Yangon and am currently a content writer and analyst at Tun Yat Limited. I am an avid fan of The Office, which also happens to be my comfort show. Other than that, I love playing basketball and anything that's thrilling and adventurous. Music I'm currently into: The Bleachers, The Lumineers, Elvis's Blue Suede Shoes and Htoo Eain Thin. My passion is to seek positive experiences of all sorts and to contribute to solving the environmental crisis.