I have to leave now

15 08 2010

“Old Mother” Life whispered “you have worn me out, I ebb too slowly now through your veins to be of any use”. He looked aside wistfully “but you have borne me many times over…such is your making. The Creator created through you. Look at the children and their children and still others you will never know. All from your womb”. Life sighed, thoughtful.
“Age weighs heavily with you now, look at how possessively he grabs at your hands… draws a glazed veil over your eyes”.
“I’ve watched you Mother, witnessed your countless sacrifices as you shared me with so many others, ignoring that this day would come”.
“Remember” he said, presenting thrilling, glittering memories “remember…how you could make a lazy breeze race through your hair and the roughness of your fathers cheek against your own? Remember when your laughter was music and you proudly wore a shawl of hope and a blinding crown of dreams?”. “Do you remember the taste of love?” Life turned away and the Old Mother thought he might leave her forever with that memory. “Your lips and eyes carried her promise, while I bangled your arms…became evident in your womb, flowing through you in blood and milk and tears and all the while you thought your heart could contain no more. Yes, I showed you some of pain and loss and suffering too but this is written before time. It is the way it must be, will always be”. He trailed his fingers over her in a hopeless, thudding ache.
“This vessel of yours cannot contain me any longer. Listen to how I rattle against its hollowness looking for escape. Death will escort you now, though no matter how gentle he tries to be, he has never known his own strength – he takes you to meet eternity. And may it be well with you, Honoured Mother”.





Marriage-why cant we be friends

12 08 2010

He’s confused, she’s confused. He’s non-committal, she’s right. She’s crazy, he’s a low-down-dirty…you get the picture. And with attitudes like these who can blame us for not finding Mr or Mrs. Ever after. Of course I do know that there are those of you out there who never ‘intend’ (like its up to you) on getting married, and to you I say…what the heck are you doing reading this post? For the rest of you, this is how its done.

Respect, ladies. Respect yourself enough to know his world does not revolve around you, invest in yourself (in other words get a life), do things you enjoy and make sure you’re a whole person before you get married. Respect your husband (don’t burn those bra’s just yet); as a fellow Muslim, human being and as the person who’s been tasked with clothing and feeding you. Don’t do things to antagonise him- I trust you’re older than 13 and can understand what I mean. Men generally behave the way you say they do.

Boys, your turn. Respect your wife. Brother, she’s courting stretch marks for you and that’s saying something. Respect her as a fellow muslim, human being and the person who has been tasked with trying to read your mind. Respect her enough to know she has a mind, opinion and talent of her own, she is not ‘back-office support’ to your broadway show.

All together now. Remember, the both of ya’s, that you are on the same team moving as a couple towards the same goal, and that is seeing each other grow in richness of personality, knowledge, comfort. Have a genuine intention for this person to have the best that both worlds have to offer. Play nice, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘would you like/prefer…’ Instead of ‘Whaa tchu wan?!’.
Share tasks, watch and help the other wash out the fridge or change the cars oil. It’ll encourage appreciation at the very least.

Fight people, for goodness sake fight! Its better in all its fiery, acid-spitting glory than ego-breaking silent cold wars. Scream about how unfair it is, rant about how everything SHOULD favour you, but don’t EVER threaten. Especially not with the ‘T’ word.

Please bonk. I know couples who have gone a year without nookie. Couple’S. A YEAR. What the heck is that about? Did the wedding ring clamp your libido spring? Nothing breaks a person in a relationship like being rejected in any way. They WILL make you feel the shards of that brokeness.

Hang out together. It doesn’t have to be formal. Sit in the parking lot at the M1 Oasis, eat allsorts and listen to a new CD. You don’t ‘have’ to talk, honestly the world will not come to an end.

I suppose there’s a lot more I could teach you young ‘uns, but easy does it.

There’s one thing I would really like you to remember from all this and that is courtesy. If you can’t be genuinely polite, well-mannered and respectful to your partner, you’re sinking faster than the Titanic with Gods finger on it.





feeding my soul

25 07 2010

Yes, it happens in the kitchen. A peaceful symphony of spices at different temperatures to bring out the many nuances of their personalities; garlic ground fresh with salt, sometimes with a bit of chilli, and all my foremothers know I’ve earned my place in this most sacred of domains. Vinegar soaking into the sinews of red meat and I’ve practiced a sunnah and handed down a tradition to my daughters. Oh don’t I think I’m grand, don’t I know it and don’t I prove it when I feed others and soothe a gnawing pain and satisfy a craving, both mine and theirs. Tomatoes grated into red, gloopy loveliness. Onions sliced finely as a measure of my expertise. ‘Zanjabeel’ peeled into slivers of warm aroma. They all whisper a melody of ages, of healing. Of comfort. Because what I make with my hands is all the more dear, the passion seeps through my fingers and the muted rosaries I utter mingle seamlessly with the sizzling pot. Flavoured steam winds its way through my hair and the fabric of my clothes becoming eternally a part of who I am and all I will do. Something out of nothing. A tale out of longing. Whhole dhana surrenders itself to all consuming heat and mustard seeds jump around uncomfortably finally clinging for all they’re worth to marshmallow-soft potatoes. A magic spell woven out of what comes miraculously from the earth. I cook beauty…peace…mystery and, therefore I must be by extension, beautiful, peaceful and mysterious at heart. A thought that makes me giggle and smile, a thought that brings happiness to my kitchen. Its just God and me in here and for once I listen and follow each instruction to the best of my flawed abililty. And when its all done I open the lid impatiently; an expectant mother, a proud architect, a nervous choirmaster. I hope; a taste that will tell a thousand tales.





empty cot

14 07 2010

You had your fathers eyes
And now, six years down the line
My heart still clenches that extra bit more
When I watch him sleep.

I’ve watched you grow
Through other children your age
And I’ve pined the first night of every single Ramadhaan to hold you once more.

Ten months pregnant and nobody listened when I said you were ready to be born
And it was three days of beautifully excrutiating pain and a few minutes before they cut you out
When I felt you die.

You didn’t cry and the doctor ran out with you in his arms
And back home they were told to prepare for a janazah salaah after taraweeh.
The nurse said we all worship in our own ways.

I only cried six weeks later when the milk you were supposed to be drinking wouldn’t stop flowing.

I miss you still, Mohammed Mikaeel.





wipe that frown off your face

24 06 2010

Stop doing that; pulling at the threads of lifes loose ends and then wondering why everything always falls apart.





the beginning

30 03 2010

It is said that sleep is the sister of death. That when we sleep, our souls are taken up to the Creator, that some are returned and others are kept back.





here I am

11 03 2010

When the student is ready, the teacher will come