Time to let Wild Boars roam freely
If nature was mother, the cave the womb, the divers the midwives, then the 12 boys and their football coach have experienced a rebirth -- the strangest rebirth because, held captive inside the wet catacomb for 18 days, they were reborn after escaping death by the skin of their teeth.
How close they were to each other, twinned by circumstances, science, or miracle: how close life and death were, the first chance and the final one, joy and grief, survival and tragedy, a happy ending and a horror conclusion. The world celebrates the former but let's be mindful of the latter. We saved 13 and lost one -- ex-Navy Seal Saman Gunan, so untimely, so painful -- and as we salute the bravery, nerve, selflessness, expertise and professionalism of all involved, let's not forget how close the whole thing was. How thin the line that distinguishes light and darkness is.
There are other thin lines that the cave story has made visible. For instance, the line that divides statelessness from citizenship, as three ethnic boys in the group and Coach Ekkapol Chantawong know well -- the line that exists only in the bureaucratic labyrinth and over which they've learned to cross all their lives. Or the line between the known and the unknown: We want to know every detail about the incident, trivial or essential, either to learn valuable lessons or to simply satisfy our melodramatic curiosity fed by prime-time news.
Bangkok Post columnist
Kong Rithdee is a Bangkok Post columnist. He has written about films for 18 years with the Bangkok Post and other publications, and is one of the most prominent writers on cinema in the region.