Monday, June 29, 2009

Nostalgic....

I went down memory lane,when I used to go out in the company of my granny (paternal)..and I wish I could have those moments back!
Old age can be strange especially if you used to know what the elderly was like in her youth.God bless my granny!I remember how my cousins used to tease me of not getting along with her because we're supposedly 'look-alikes'...How interesting!Well,some other family members did say so too.
Her memory just flashed through my mind few minutes ago and I remember saying I wish I could talk to her,some days back.Her thoughts' been on my mind lately and I pray she still hangs-in-there till 'whenever' we're able to go home.I would have phoned to speak with her if only she would comprehend and know who was'calling'.I remember one of her funny songs.Heaven knows where she got the lyrics from,but it used to amaze everyone.We used to find it more amusing actually.And looking back now,to think that that same very energetic,workaholic,disciplinarian,business-minded and caring woman,is as helpless as a child?The process is simply phenomenal!My granny's a nonagenarian,and only heaven knows if I would live that long.Am sure she had no idea she was going to live till this age.She just lived her life day,one day at a time.And it's just intrguing how she has survived four decades without her husband.I do reflect on her unequalled and unparalleled virtues.She is a very principled lady- I took after her in a little way!But her standards are unmatched by my own generation.She is indeed an incredible personality.The most fascinating thing about her is her intelligence and the calibre of offsprings she produced.I didn't plan on making a tribute to her because I've ended up doing that now as it appears.But she's a remarkable woman and I do ask myself,'what would she have become,was she educated'?
She has a very warm smile,too meticulous and very organised.And she's really beautiful with a very lovely complexion,even in old age.It's funny how much attention she pays to her looks even at this age.And now,when I"ve learnt that she can't even differentiate between my her son and visitors,I just sank and couldn't get the picture of my childhood,in her company off my mind.I mean,I practically had to walk fast to keep up the pace when going out with her.She doen't like sluggishness and wouldn't tolerate it.For someone who's cleanliness was just impeccable,to now be carried to the bathroom,cleaned after,and sometimes even get a soclding like that of a child,is just touching.She was very vibrant and always ready to go.Very independent and hardworking.I've still got a childhood memory of her scolding and spanking my older cousins.Despite her high-handedness,she loved her grandchildren deeply and would bring an item for every single grandchild once a year,when she was around for the festive seasons.I remember how we used to look forward to that,back in the days.If only technology had been so kind to us back then,I'd have recorded some of the moments we shared with her.It'd be fun to relish over that.Well,what can I say?It is only natural that she grows old and we should just be grateful we've still got her around.I was quite naughty and sometimes impatuent with her at some point.Recalling that now,I wish I were more tolerant and understanding.It wasn't her doing...she was just completing the circle!And there were times I just wanted to be in her company..I remind myself she might not be with us much longer.So,it'd be best to enjoy it while it lasts.Well,she's still here(I mean'there').Unfortunately am not home to see how much she's changed in the last couple of years.
Even if and when I eventually decide to make a tribute to her,I might just come here to copy this piece!
This is to growing old gracefully-A tribute to my granny!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The finer things in life!

I know I cannot ,and am not supposed to always see life through other people's spectacles.But something flashed my mind to issues one cannot ignore,in a society such as where I live.Here is a place where you would rather sit and be bored than listen to news.The reason's not farfetched-gory,ghastly,hijjacking,murder,suicide,rape,abuse,molestation,corruption and labour unrest make popular headlines than not.When I first arrived here,I found the contents very unsettling because,even though am not coming from'Saint Island',I couldn't compare the two.One was far ahead than the other.The latter would be my homecountry.We are tagged as one of the most corrupt nations alive,my people are said to be the top ranked in Computer fraud...!One would have thought such talent would be put to better use,like being an inventor for instance ( I wish).Nonetheless,the palpable situation in my beloved country has not subjected the impoverished to suicide,on a scale in comparison to SA.

So,in my meditative moods,I do ponder and wonder why the finer things in life get the least attention.This isn't a question one would usually get answers to for the already stated fact.I have been richly educated being abroad and I see myself putting this wealth of knowledge to use,if am financially endowed in my lifetime.I thought of an abstract issue like 'Mental Health'.I know this isn't a famous hobby for people my age and generation.But I honestly don't join the wagon,so would follow my own path,my own way.What struck me was the fact that,I come from a developing nation with high level of poverty and a declining illiteracy (thank God for that)!A common petty trader and corner shop owner would strive and sacrifice his or her last penny,to get his or child (or children as the case may be) educated.This isn't gainsaying,I see it happen all the time.This is not a yardstick for the rate of the citizenry's well being unfortunately.The emphasis and value my people place on education is such that,they would starve and go hungry to go to school,even be indebted.A stack illiterate mother would go all the way to ensure her child does not go the way of the forefathers -mostly farmers and petty traders,usually half or uneducated.It has become indeniably evident that,education liberates the intellectual mind.People who wish to live better lives,put education first.And so,even though I do not have the statistics,I am aware there is a mass number of graduands from the Medical school,evry single year.Year in,year out,they keep producing medical practitioners,who either remain miserable in this non-financially rewarding profession,or miserable and desperate,all combined together.

My concern isn't even whether thery're 'half-baked' or'incompetent'.I am more concerned about their reason for studying medicine in the first instance.Another peculiarity of my people is their obssession with status.This is a societal plaque because,people do not usually like to be 'the odd one out'.I have seen cases where parents would force their child into a'pressumed' high profile profession.People want to be called and addressed as'the father or mother of Doctor' so and so,than their own nomenclature.It's just silly,but people do it anyway.So,my worry is,how come none of those'certified' practitioners took note of the ignorance and neglect of'mental health'?All these famous pandemics have overshadowed little but important aspect of living synonymous with everyone.I know I used to wonder why we have so many'crazy people' (mistaken for destitutes) on our streets.I mean,as kids,we would be walking to school and dread meeting some lunatic on the way.Some were more tolerant and just wanted to tease and be teased.And there were the violent and angry ones,who would grab traders' goods from the stands and run away with it.They may even add salt to injury by being very abusive and overtly annoying.But what would the victim be called if he or she goes chasing a mad person?Another mad man or woman,simple!

Another case is that of the 'underworlds'!They are the neccessary ills of a society because,in their own misfortune,they have given perspective for some thoughtful and retrospective ,minds(I'd like to believe am amongst those). They make them appreciate the finer things in life and not take 'people'-not things,for granted!I believe the society should pay more attention to values like the old saying,'be your brother (or sister)'s keeper.I know this theory might not work in a society like my country home because,a reporter of a crime is usually the'perpetrator'.You call the police to rescue your neighbour who's under a robbery attack,and you're handcuffed as the mind behind the crime.How more ridiculous can the law enforcement (or is it dis-enforcement) get?Except of course,there's been a turn around since I left home.I stand to be corrected.That would be wishing for a miracle.But since miracles do happen,it's not a wishful thinking then!

A very recent personal experience got me very deep in thought and reminded me why I used to wonder as a child,the reason there were crazy people all over our communities.I shouldn't fail to mention the fact that my people are also quite fettish.So,the answers I would get for this question range from,being cursed to karma!Yes,the law of reciprocity is said to befall the wicked.They are said to be paying for their evil acts and machinations-something like a 'backfire' or 'boomerang' if you may.And since that seem fairly reasonable,I wouldn't argue.The most popular of these unfounded mythical beliefs' that,some people cannot stand being second to the best,so they'd rather eliminate their countender."Elimination" does not necessarily have to be'death',to be mentally challenged is as good as dead!

But this is my theory,something I have concluded on because of my personal experience and what I have picked from the societies I've found myself.When the people we know have problems,we do not always think of the simplest and inexpensive support we can give.I emphasise always because I know this for a fact,my people are very compassionate and accomodating.This doesn't mean there aren't a few exceptions.Everyone's not out to get you!We stand by each other in trials,but we then expect the bereaved to carry on with life ASAP!What people usually do is turn to religious activities and become fanatics,at some level.It is their readily accessible consolation.I do not think majority of the enlightened population even reckon with medical conditions like'Bi-polar,Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,Post natal depression and the list goes on.Their ignorance or negligence of the condition does not eliminate its existence.We internalise so much it gets to a point of no return.Children may become aggressive and rebellious because their strict father never gives them the listening ear they need when troubled.The trait is genetic,so it becomes a vicious circle.We often don't bother what an unstable emotion does to the mind.Someone would have turned up mad and end up in the home for the mentally challenged before we realise they had unresolved emotional baggage.

The worst of this scenario of course is what is evident here in SA,suicide!I have tried to go into the minds of these victims.I think,it's more of negligence than ignorance.We act like'it doesn't really matter','you're depressed,so what?You'll snap out of it'.These are the attitudes that leaves some of these people into thinking nothing of their lives,the hopelessness and the betrayal they feel.The unworthiness they feel that 'no one cares'.The disappointment and rejection becomes unbearable and they just take the easy way out.Faith is an abstract subject and not everyone's endowed with the comprehension that tere's a Supreme Being overseeing our affairs.Those of us who are fortunate to have chosen that path should be their torch to walk through those very dark moments.To rekindle their hopes and be their medium to the Overall giver of peace and happiness-our Creator.

I have been feeling very low of late,and not been able to reach out made it almost unbearable.In my depressive moments,I made out time to be a shoulder to lean on for another friend.I even rejoiced with another for finding her better half.She had no idea what was on my plate.And somehow,I feel better for doing that.I feel better putting a smile on another worried face than lament about my personal problems.It's good to know that,even though we feel down smetimes,the people we care about still get a chance at happiness.I tried reaching out to an old friend,but was 'technically' ignored.I got the message and withdrew.And when I least expected it,I got a call from thousands of miles away,and my distant friend put a smile on my face.I had to express my gratitude,so I told her she made my day!I had not been able to access the Internet for a little while.And today when I did,I saw another friend online and we chatted.It was my second blessing.I was able to let out some emotions.......and it left me better than I was.Now this doesn't happen often for known reasons.So here I am,hoping that,even though am miles away from my beloved families and friends,they know that I hold them very dearly to my heart and will always be here for them when they need a listening ear.I've always done that,and do not plan on stopping now.Am sure they know,am just reiterating it for re-assurance!Thank you to the few friends and my dear cousin who showed they care.I am grateful!

Adieu MJ...!!!

To say that I've got a lot on my plate at the moment,would be understating the reality.But,it didn't stop me from having a quiet mournful sobs on the death of MJ.I don't need to read the'fans' or'media's review to find the words that would adequately describe how I feel.It's kind of weird though.I mean,I am one of those who would never underestimate the power of the human mind.I know within me that I've always loved Micheal Jackson as a person and a Music icon,but I didn't realise I would be this affected.I think the most vivid feeling was that of "shock" and disbelief.I mean,I'm not even an acclaimed music fan,but there's just something about Micheal that has to be felt,not just written.I consider him an 'enigma'.The world couldn't just get enough of him.I have journalled that in my diary eaelier this morning.I had to listen to the radio from my phone for confirmation.I was searching for something concrete to hold on to.But like his life,I didn't need anything concrete to believe he was truly gone.
Death is a natural thing and completes the circle of life,whether someone dies of a heart failure or just didn't wake up from sleep,death is death and that's all there is to it.Babies die,scholars die,queens die,Kings and princesses die,humanitarians die and even Godly people pass away to the great beyond.Besides the fact that Micheal was a legendary pop artist,I saw him more as aphilantropist and a kind-hearted person.And in my own view,no amount of scandal or sourt cases,not even an allegation of molestation can take what I held in my heart about him away-ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!He came,he saw,but he didn't conquer!And he's gone now after five solid decades of his melodramatic existence.Whether critiques like it or not,Micheal left an indelible imprint in the hearts of many,will continue to be remembered for his popularity,his unequalled voice and unique dance steps.which is still unrivalled.Many have tried to emulate and immitate him.He was a model for some younger pop artists,and adored by many.Some even took this to the extreme,he was their 'idol',a demi-god.
I wasn't born before the death of Elvis Presley,but my generation has been pretty much around to appreciate the ingenuity of Micheal Jackson.I remember as a kid,keeping his photocards from a particular bubble gum.I didn't even chew gum back then(still don't),but would save my last penny to get one of those.I would pick after people that bought the gum and kept it for a long time.I used to look at it and compared his old afro look ( which I preferred) with the new curly haired and pointed nose'white' MJ.I must have had about six of those photo cards at some point.I mean,it was like my'little secret' and it was all'within' me.
I remember I once wrote in a profile when asked who I would like to meet..."I wrote Micheal Jackson.And where I had to give the reason for this 'wish' I wrote"to know who he really is,(was) for real".
I had always been curious to know him as an individual,as a 'person' and not just as a pop legend or the controversial figure every media wants to have a piece of.I took special interest in following any news about him.I admit I usually don't go all out to get this news,they were afterall not in his best interest.And sometimes,I felt the media just loved the attention any news on Micheal grants their piece.I never thought I would be this touched by his death.I had no idea he was schedulled to perform in London and had been rehearsing for the past couple of months.It would have gladdened my heart if he had lived long enough to do that.But when the time comes,when the Creator says your time is up,ain't nothing's gonna stop it.
I remember when I first heard he had reverted to Islam,I didn't take the news with any seriousness,but brushed it off as one of those gimmicks media adopt when they're no longer popular or have run out of news.Besides,it wasn't the first time something weird and bizzarre would be written about Micheal...That was my thought at the time.But this morning,I listened to the news and heard that his families,or the brother in particular said on his death that,'they pray Allah accepts him".Now that,I couldn't shake off!The next thing that came to my mind was,"I wish someone had made him pronounce the shahaddah(bearing witness that none deserves worship,but God).It means,he was actually a Muslim till death.Whether he was practising Islam till the end or not,I have taken consolation in him dying a 'Muslim'.And it means I can actually continue to pray for the repose of his soul.
I always felt like I knew him,one-on-one.Like I understood him and saw him differently from the way the world 'knew' and thought of him.I saw him more than a pop legend or an entertainer.I saw him as a lost soul yearning for acceptance and guidance.I saw him as someone who,was on the search for 'inner peace'.It's rather unfortunate that,he lived his life under a constant scrutiny of the law.From the his innocent childhood of'Afro',to his youth age of allegations and stability issues,to the nose job and a complete personality overhaul,I've always loved Micheal all the way.I know millions of people all over the globe feel this way about him,and the critiques too are there to give us a different perspective to the life and times of this incredible and phenomenal personality.
I think my way of remembering Micheal will be different from the memories of his Billie Jean debut album,or the red and black leather jacket,or his famous one glove and the unmatched "moonlight dance" because,I usually 'relate' with his music.Especially the unpopular ones like,'Have you seen my childhood'?,"Heal the World"......and "Gone too soon' a dedication to his young friend who died of cancer.There was a message about his music that was ignored.He was reaching out to the world,he was a needy man who was a better giver.He would reach out to the emotionally down trodden and give them a message of hope.I think the world wasn't really ready for his large-heartedness and would rather spend a whole decade writing about his law suits and unending charges.Why couldn't they just see for once,the goodness in this rare being.He was a messiah of pop music,he revolutioned pop and gave it a whole new outlook.The old,the youth and young at heart could relate with his music.He was an all-rounder,even though pop isn't a genre of music that cuts across all age group.There was no denying it,Micheal Jackson was a force you couldn't help but be fascinated with.He had a way of affecting people with his music,albeit his questionable persoanlity and unending charges.One thing I wished for though was that,he would outlive these allegations,revive his glory from the days of Jackson five and be reckoned with for the goodness he had to offer the world.I mean,his ranch was opened to kids who never thought they'd live to enjoy such luxuries in their lifetime.He did touch many children's lives.Even people who have made more billions than him didn't build a private' disney world' for children,but he did it even though he was infamous for it.But the world couldn't care less,or should I say his critiques would rather have a fill of his trials and bankruptcy than commend his humanitarian gestures.He had a very bizzarre passion and his ideas of'fathering' wasn't really famous like his music,but he was more than that and I just wish he could be seen and remembered for that goodness as well.
I can't believe I just sat here and wrote all these about Micheal,I don't even talk about him,or rather,didn't talk about him this much in his lifetime.I guess I preferred to 'feel' than talk about him.He had too much publicity afterall.And I know that somewhere out there,there may be a handful of people who feel this way about Micheal Jackson,wacko jacko,king of pop,legend of his time,a genius in his own rights,a misunderstood figure.His memory lives on in the minds of people who liked him for who he was,and admired him for the way he touched people with his music.
For me,his memory will forever linger on,unspoken or not.And I can only end this piece on the note that,he is a different person in the eyes of the Creator and that all that happened in this world does not determine where he will spend the Hereafter.Humans have judged him,but he's in the presence of the Judge of all judges now.That is the paramount!
Adieu MJ....!!!From God we came and from Him we shall return!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My heart's wandering!

It's been almost two weeks since my last post.It wasn't deliberate and I wish that wasn't the case because it's put me under pressure of wanting to keep up before the month ends.Anyway,am glad am back now.And i actually felt a lot better today because I got a few messages from my old friends and my dear cousin.I have been internalising so much I had to shed a few of my burdens.I'm quite aware there're times one feels like the world's coming to an end.You feel like the world's problems are on your shoulders.But it gets better because tough times don't last.At least,that's what you keep telling yourself and hanging on to the tiny rope called 'hope'.
As usual,I've been doing a lot of thinking lately..I think it's high time I rephrased that...I should just say it'when am not thinking' since thinking's the routine.
I suddenly remembered my phone's got an FM radio because of the'ladies'night out' I was privileged to attend last Monday.At first,I didn't think I would be attending because of the situation.Hubby was away and I wasn't in good shape.Still,I knew I could and would drag myself there and manage a laugh or two,if there was a way.A three-star holiday inn hosted us to the evening.I was 'odd' as always, being the only attendant with her 'entourage'.I had to go with my entire household,otherwise I wouldn't have been able to attend.I left earlier than most of the ladies,but I had a terrific evening,just being able to interact with intelligent minds.It was first of it's kind and I look forward to another in the future.So,the guest speaker was a radio presenter amongst other port folios.And she got me thinking of what I want to specialize in as a Communication science student.I think my flair and love for writing completely shadowed my other skill (if talking is considered as one).Well,not just talking,but coherence and fluency.I could do that,I just don't know why it took me this long to realize that.I should have known being a good debater back in high school meant,I could develop on that as well.I would love to do broadcasting,that I know.I had only restricted myself to presenting on a T.V and never really considered the radio.Anyway,the future's yet to come, and there's still room for choices.God spare my life!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Behind this machine....

It's pretty bewildering what technology has done to humanity.Am seated on my plastic chair, behind this machine,unwell but able to transcend my thoughts beyond shores even my eyes are yet to see.Even though my thoughts can be read,or better,felt;it doesn't suffice to say everything we read online is as alright as it seems at the other end.My present situation reminds me what I usually think when I read an update about a newborn online.Being a mother myself,I need no magic ball to tell me what that's all about.Between changing diapers,feeding,doing laundry(manually or machine wash),sleepless nights and even having no time for yourself,I ask myself where the new mothers get the time to even announce the arrival of their bundles of joy.But they do,just like am doing now.Twenty-four hours ago,I was crawled up in bed,moaning in pain and wishing it could just disappear and I could feel like my energetic self again.I feel better now,but am not healed just yet.Despite my state of health,I am here now typing out my ordeal.
Hubby's away on a short trip and I wished I could just call him back yesterday.Two nights ago were the longest I've had in a while,,,(sleep deprivation's almost normal for me).It wouldn't have made much difference if I wasn't turning around the bed in agony.I even tried calling hubby by 3.a.m...How illogical one can be at times.I mean,he's not a physician,that I know.And he's thousands of miles away,so why call him?I guess I just wanted some empathy from the closest person to me who's also my companion.The reality of being in a foreign land hit me like a rock again,yesterday.I mean,I was almost tempted to call for help.And need I mention at this juncture that,whoever said women are'superb' because they multi-task is definately not being exergerative.Not that I had to be in a very tight situation to admit that though.It just made me appreciate myself better as a woman,a mother,wife,student and the rest of the portfolios I hold.Here I was,unable to even move or speak audibly.But I had to get the kids ready for school,give them breakfast,bathe them,brush the little one's teeth and get them dressed for school.All these I had to do,dragging myself and practically walking like a hunched oldie.But I had to do it and did it all the same.I even managed to drag myself to the office despite hubby's insistence that I stayed home.A decision I regretted after a few hours of being away from home.I was just looking forward to seeing the doctor;today.I had taken care of the most important part and asked that God heals me..afterall,the dcotors say'they care,God heals'.

Which brings me to what my day was like.I almost missed my appointment because of miscommunication.Since God is still on my side,I called ahead to confirm and was able to make it.I've often had to listen to some people,as a matter of fact,women are said to be pros at gossip.If being feminine makes me defendant of that accusation and see it as 'unfounded',I would be insincere and biased in my judgement.I am amazed I didn't take it 'personal' when the receptionist assumed the gentleman sitting next to me and also waiitng to see a Doctor,who is a complete stranger was'my boyfriend'.This was supposedly an"assumption" because she probably was busy watching every seated patient under her microscopic eyes,to notice who's getting along with who.What did I say about"assumptions","presumptions".insinuations" and the rest of the synonyms,getting some sorry butts into trouble?I later remembered what could have happened if I was quick to anger or simply a snob?To think that wasn't enough,this nosey-poker garnered the courage to ask me this question,confrontational style.Then I realised she "assumed" we were together when she wrongly asked him to to fill"my form" rather than call me....How more stupid could a receptionist get?In a Medical institution where people don't go for picnics or clubbing,meeting a stranger within few minutes,having harmless conversations about'why' you had to be in a health facility,who compelled you to come and how cliched it is to say"fine thank you" returning a greeting,when you're actually"not fine".How does that sound like a pick-up line for unintending companions,both married and clearly not emotionally attracted to each other?I ran these thoughts through my head not while still there,but after I had already left.I even thought to myself that,I probably shouldn't have been all nice and accepting of her unfounded and very silly insinuations.It was an insult and intrusive too.I know she could land into trouble if I had to report her to the authorities for not minding her job but other people's business.Then I realised it would be a waste of my time and breathe.I reminded her what I'd written on my form"married".Recalling the scenario now makes me irritated,but why on earth should I be suprised?After being in this country for a couple of years and a little over,I have come to realise'moral' is not their choice word.A morally decadent society such as theirs where women are more possessive and obsessive of their partners because of insecurities?What would one expect? I mean,these people have got no 'shame' and don't care a hoot who's whatever is gored.Enough about some busy-body..something tells me she's going to get her match in someone else for defamation of character...or even worse.
So,am glad I feel better this night and hope tomorrow'd be better.I even took time to write my'dying wish' yesterday in-between the crunches and groans like a woman in labour.But it was far short of what I'd have loved to really consider as my 'dying wish note' because I was only able to write for my husband and my two kids.My families include my friends.The friends that have helped me through some difficult times in the past and to whom I'd forever be grateful,may be even indebted in a way.And it crossed my mind that some people didn't have to be as sick as I was to just give up the ghost.And I at one point told myself that'this is it'..this is how it happens after someone passes away and you hear comments like,"oh! I saw her this morning,and she seemed alright'."She mentioned that she wasn't feeling well,but I never thought it was something that serious".....and the condolences comes rushing in.And I remember saying to my husband on the phone,"what if I die before you get back"?That might sound rather uncanny or emotionless..but am the one saying it,accepting possibility,but unwilling to die of course.I was only reminding myself these things happen.We read and hear about it all the time.These are normal people like everyone else who don't see it coming.Two hundred and twenty-eight people just lost their lives in a plane crash..they didn't see it coming.That could have been anyone..my husband's flying too.The relations are coming to terms with reality,that they may not see their loved ones again.None of them went on that plane to die.So,why deny the inevitable?Only God knows the hour.I might just have to finish that note and include the rest of the people I want to express my gratitude to.God help us!
Signing off.....!!!