Monday, 13 June 2016

Questing...

Image Credits: https://www.pinterest.com/alexis_loriot/peintures-modernes/
All of our life is a quest. A search for us to find; people with whom's thinking we can find a common ground.

No, not the search for sameness. Sameness frankly, is boring

No, not the search for polarity. Absolute polarity verges on dangerous.

Just a quest, a search for the ones; with whom's amalgamation of sameness and polarity we can find a common ground.

Questing, searching. Seeking, finding...
And so, we trust and loose.
And sometimes, we trust and gain.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

This Life Is A Pot of Soup


This life is a pot of soup. And I've never seen soup made with just water. For various dishes, there are core ingredients. For various dishes, there are additions. For centuries to come, what constitutes the core ingredients of one dish will be contentious. For decades to come, what constitutes the perfect additives will be debated.

Say I wish to cook risotto, it follows that my core ingredient will be rice, yeah? So here comes Kira Westwick, Masterchef Australia 2014 contestant, who decides to ‘re-invent’ risotto and make her dish with quinoa not rice. In an elimination round. In spite of the judges apprehension over her place in the competition because of the decision. Still, Kira insisted on making quinoa her core ingredient while retaining the original preparation techniques. End result? Of the 3 contestants who were up for elimination, Kira’s dish was ‘judged’ the best. Whether she won or not is immaterial. What’s impressive is Kira’s conviction in challenging “accepted truth” and her ability cook in a way that was true to her.


So what am I saying? Same thing I've always believed. Individual variations and twists will always exist. If I say my pot of soup is tasty. You may taste and say its ‘just there’. Does it make my pot of soup less tasty to me? It doesn’t. If you say your pot of soup is tasty, and I taste and agree its the best I’ve ever had, I'll gleefully request the recipe and attempt to recreate. Until that time comes though, it would be highly unfair to compel me to forever eat from your pot of soup. It just won’t work. How about I enjoy my pot of soup, while you take a bowl and enjoy yours. As we eat from our individual pots of soup, we could even enjoy a great conversation over a glass of wine, no?


Image credit: NewYorkTimes.com
Take motherhood for instance. Let’s say we all agree that presence of a child is the core ingredient. Yeah? That's great. Now if your recipe calls for those children to be biological while my recipe says the child could adopted, formally or informally. If that’s what delights your taste buds,  let's enjoy our various pots of soup. You will never agree that you are less a ‘real mother’ because your core ingredient is biological. I won’t ever agree that I am less of a ‘real mother’ because my core ingredient is adopted. It’s fine. We can delight in the tastes of our individual pots of soup and move on.


Take relationships for instance. Let’s say we all agree that the basic core ingredient is love. Your recipe may call for an addition of two consenting people to the love equation.  Mine may say number doesn’t count for much. Your grandma’s recipe may say the dish is only authentic when additions to it are a man and a woman. My grandma’s recipe may say that gender doesn’t count much in determining the final taste. You could say it is only proof of your dish’s authenticity is a written contract; I could say my recipe calls only for a trust agreement between both parties. While your recipe may call for the additives to live together, mine could say the additives love their personal space so the ingredients work well irrespective of geographical proximity. If the core ingredients of mine are trust, respect and communication, you may agree but say it is sweetest when an additive of exclusivity is thrown in. That’s fine. Exclusivity may sweet your belle while it runs our belles. Add your additive to yours, we'll do without the additive in ours. In no scenario can I mandate everyone to eat from my pot because it’s the sweetest. If mine is sweet to me and yours is sweet to you, let's both enjoy our individual pots of soup and move on. If one day I come across another person's pot that’s tastier, I'll inquire for the recipe.


Take careers. If we both agree that the core ingredient for fulfillment in this is the presence of work, that's great. If you say other ingredients to add to make your soup sweet include stable hours, regimented pay, and recognition for work done, I'm glad your pot of soup is delicious to you. The essentials for mine may be freelance, flexible hours, and enough cash to cater form day to day expenses. If I’m genuinely happy with the quality of my soup, that’s also fine. Now, we both are happy with our pots of soup. Will you however force feed me with your soup, while you wash mine down the drain? Let's enjoy and move on.

These situations are mere constructs but I could go on and on. My guess is that we get the picture, so let me refrain from flogging the point.


And so in conclusion, if my pot of soup of my pot of soup is tasty to you, feel free to share out of it. If you feel I'm missing out on the real goodness that constitutes your pot of soup. Feel free to share your recipe. I may try yours out and realize yours really does taste better. I may also try yours out but find my taste buds agree better with mine. Alternatively, I could decide not to try yours out because I'm perfectly content with mine. Until that day where the decision is made, or not, nothing stops us from enjoying our individual pots of soup, while we have a great conversation over a glass of wine.

P.S: I could say life is a pot of soup, another could say it's actually a pot of beans. Someone else may say soup and beans could actually mean the same thing. It's fine. As long it is enjoyable to us, and your eating yours is not harming me.   Let's all enjoy our pots of 'x' and move along. No?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Striving Towards X...


What exactly is satisfaction? And from what well does it spring? Is true satisfaction really attainable. Or is it like happiness, that elusive high you chase and gain, only to lose and chase again? What is true satisfaction? Can it like a retirement, be planned towards? Or is this an onion-like philosophical question which leads towards a path of multiple question complexity?
Is it being happy with what you have? If so, at what point do we distinguish satisfaction from complacency? And really, what is complacency and why is it given such a negative tint. If complacency is going with the flow and accepting things as they are, then with what justification do we accuse someone who refuses to strive? Who is "satisfied” with things as they are? I ask honestly.
Is it doing what you love? The “starving artist” personae is perhaps the most clich├ęd description that dangles as a question in my head. Is a hungry artist satisfied? Why do governments keep losing social workers to the more commercially fulfilling private sectors? Or am I asking too simplistic a question? Can I be satisfied with what I do yet unsatisfied with what I get? Or satisfied with what I get yet unsatisfied in what I do? Does a balance exist?


Is a part of it found in financial security? If so, how then  does our chase for this arm of satisfaction famously imprison us? Why then do we become murderers-in-waiting at the slight sense of another who we sense may threaten our position? And if some form of satisfaction may be gained from financial security, at what point can we say we are truly secure? Is there a numerical value to it?

It seems that our push for people to be more, aim for more, aspire to more, sings out -  strive, strive, strive! I ask, “to what end?” And I ask this with the utmost honesty, as I really do not know. Perhaps, this will sail down to join the long list of questions whose answers will never be known. Perhaps I will stumble upon the answer as the numbers tumble upon my age.

The Buddhist philosophy tries explain a source of satisfaction as rejecting the lure of ownership. Realizing nothing as truly yours. While on one hand, I think they have this locked down, on the other hand, I think about Tibet's relentless strive towards independence and wonder. And so, while I like its theory, I question its practicality. Is satisfaction truly attainable? Or are we doomed to keep striving? Striving towards x.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Why Are The Elderly Lagos Cab Drivers (I’ve Encountered) So Angry?



Disclaimer: This piece is totally my observed and lived experience. I do not aim to generalize, so when I say “they”, I’m simply referring to the majority of the ones I’ve encountered.  I have driven with the mid-aged and the elderly and the difference in attitude is blindingly clear. Please feel free to share your conflicting or similar experiences.

Img: nairaland.com   4th May '14



In the past 4 months, I ridden in Lagos cabs enough times to recognize that perceived safety and security considerations aside, I would much rather enter a cab driven by a young or middle aged man, than I would, that of an elderly man.

Why? You may ask? It's simple. A large majority of the elderly ones I’ve encountered just seem so angry! And I really hope someone could tell me why. This anger I'm talking about is not just a mere scowl on the face. No. I'm talking about passive-aggressive anger, active-aggressive anger (if there's anything as such) condescending anger, angry at nature anger, angry at other people anger, angry at clients anger. Perhaps, submerged in this murky, slimy, rancid well of anger, there lies somewhere, an angry-at-self anger. Perhaps.

Mostly, I attempt to understand it. Sometimes, I rationalize to understand it. Other times, I ask to understand it. Eventually, I find myself abandoning my quest to understand it. Yet I remain curious. If you're still in doubt, let me describe to you, this anger that I am talking about:


Case 1: They seem mad at you

The initial contact, what ought to be an exchange of pleasantries, is anything but pleasant. An “ekaaro sir”, is immediately met with a grunt or a ‘kaaro’ with a scowl on the face. Fare bargaining is a whole ‘nother ball game. A difficult process on its own is made even more difficult with an attitude that seems to say ‘how dare you this girl challenge the price that I’m calling for you? Take it or leave it’ Then, there are times when mid-way into the bargaining, they just go silent and act as though they can’t hear you. How frigging rude!

Now you get in and the car radio is turned up so loud, you can’t hear yourself think. If a call comes in and you dare to take excuse to turn the music down a bit, you are sure to be shot a ‘dirty look’ loool. And you can bet that as soon as that call is over, you will definitely be re-assaulted with the same radio turned up to the same volume or even louder. (humming, ray-dee-o lagosi, tiwa n tiwa ni-tee-tee!)

If you happened to have made a prior arrangement with them, to be picked up at a particular time and they are late in arriving, (to be fair though, those occasions have been rare) you are certain to be greeted with an excuse, NEVER an apology. Perhaps there is the notion that apologies must only flow one direction – from juniors to seniors.


Case 2: They seem mad at other road users

To the female car driver who has the misfortune of being young and driving a fairly nice car, you’ll do well to steer clear. Please don’t cross their path or drive as aggressively as they do lest you run the risk of being labeled an oniranu, omo buruku, ashewo. Then, there are the personal drivers who cruise in their ‘big’ cars and dare to challenge these dear taxi drivers. They are not exempt from this anger. Try to battle it out with them on the road and you are bound to have words, angrily spat to the effect of “I pity you. With your oga’s car that you are using to shakara all about. Driver lasan laasan. Scratch my car and I will use your eyes to see mabo”. For people who they consider to be married women, they can tolerate their perceived silliness after all “it is your husband who put car seat under your bum bum that I blame” Even commercial bus drivers are not exempt. There is this air of superiority that can be felt when they hurl obscenities at the bus drivers as though to say “after all, I am a step up from your level”.

This anger runs deep. This anger is vicious. This anger is real.


Case 3: They seem mad at life.

The only thing I’m going to say about this is, Pray, tell me who wishes to spend an hour long journey listening to complaints and frustration at whatever news of the day that’s blaring from the car radio? Day to day living is frantic enough. The least one can expect is some silence and sanity on the journey to the next hustle. Polite conversation is one thing. However when a journey is turned into a laborious half lamentation, half therapy session, well, that is something entirely different.



So, I threw this question open to my friends and got some really interesting responses. A big majority of them felt the question was hilarious and lol-ed through it all. To all my fellow lol-ers, I lol and smh together back at you. One major theme stood out though, from the answers of those who responded. Many seemed to think this anger springs from the fact that many years ago, a number of them did not think they would be driving cabs in their old age.

To this, my response is: fair point, well made. My question though, is, should we automatically be accepting of whatever comes our way when someone who has a disappointment or regrets acts it out on one? Understanding, yes. But accepting on a consistent basis? I don’t know, really. And this is not just with regards to cranky cab drivers, but speaking generally. I believe each and every single one of us has our disappointment and regrets. What many do, is suck it up and move on. Does the coming of age equate a growth of bitterness? Or it is when the finality of life dawns? Basic two-way respect is the least gesture that should be offered and expected of any relationship be it work, family or personal. I speak honestly when I say that it is not in any way, my intention to trivialize the pains, trials or tribulations of any person. Pain is real. Disappointment is real. Ultimately though, attitude is always a choice.



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

If We Begin This Journey...


An ode to a beautiful new start.

If We Begin This Journey...


If we begin this journey,
On the road to destination x
And commit to ourselves to commit
Aching to give our best


If we begin this journey,
Saying we'll stand the test
And despite the tides and turnings
Stay on course nonetheless


If we begin this journey,
With our fears and toils and tears
Who knows where we'll be turning
We'll see what happens next


If we begin this journey,
Knowing it's up or out
And like champions, we come in
With no inkling of doubt


If we begin this journey,
And watch the ranks grow thin
And see responsibilities a-piling
Yet surmount them for the win,


Then we'll look upon this journey,
And with a smile so broad
We'll take stock of wins and losses
And move on to journeys yet untrod

Friday, 28 June 2013

What Do You Do For Fun?

"When the questioner seeks to be impressed and the questioned seeks to be approved, how then do we both get to know who we really are?"- Doyin

28th June 2013 07:00am Img:roy-lichtenstein-ohhh-alright-1964

I have often wondered why we need  to  be seen as 'doing' to have a good, fun day, and why we find it hard  to accept  simply 'being' as having a good day. From the various interactions I've had, I realize that the way a person reacts when being told by the other party, how their day was, speaks volumes; about the questioner, their preconceived impressions and expectations, and also, what can be expected from further interaction with them, down the line.


I have also wondered why we constantly need to qualify for others, what they should term as enjoyable or interesting. In many instances, I see that it really is about us trying to  make the other person's reality all about us. (I hope that makes sense)  And so, right from the moment we begin interacting, we instantly program ourselves to judge rather than understand, sometimes unintentionally. 


A common instance this is found, is when people ask us how we spend our days/time. For most normal people who live normal lives, the honest answers most likely would be what they do in the normal bump and grind of life. Wake, eat, study, work, sleep, internet, nap, game, facebook, music, read, chat, movies.... *insert other activities* Why then is it that these honest answers are almost instantly met with expressions such as "boring!" "haba, don't you have a life?" "so is this what you do everyday?".... or variants of these responses from the questioners?


While it is easy to react with seething anger and lash out at how presumptuous or judgmental the questioner is being, for me, I realize that it is futile, trying to convince the questioner about the 'goodness' of my day and how my day suits me just fine. The bigger questions to be asked then are:  "why bother asking when you expect the answers given to mirror what YOU do for fun?" or alternatively, "How about you answer the question yourself, and input what you want to hear?"


Perhaps its our false assumptions or expectations that other people have mega-exciting lives. Perhaps, we are so enthralled when we meet others, that we imagine that their lives are radically different from ours. We expect a lot from them and  then, feel thoroughly let down to realize their lives are pretty much 'normal'. If we were honestly, honestly to ponder about it though, shouldn't we be suspect of the 'normal' person who answers that he/she went skydiving and bungee jumping on Monday, clubbed with A-list celebs on Tuesday, hosted a champagne themed house party on Wednesday, dined at a Michelin starred restaurant on Thursday, travelled three cites between Friday and Saturday, and then gives variants of this exotic lifestyle every single time they are asked.


Sure, they would elicit adulation and wide-eyed 'wows!' from the questioners.  In many cases, if we answer in a similar fashion, awe at the 'exciting' lives we are presumed to lead.  Really though, to what extent do we want to or have to polish our stories to elicit approval? To receive affirmation? Besides, why exactly, should we constantly feel the urge to prove ourselves to people who in the grand scheme of things,  play no parts in our lives, save for the brief, fleeting minutes that we meet?


Methinks there is a temptation to mask who we truly are, and present a false version of ourselves because we are aware that even basic human interactions and the most basic of questions are judged from the get go.
The expectations and judgements we place on others breed dishonesty and lies. Little wonder after the initial dance around and acceptance because a person's replies fit into our reality, when we get to know them better we become hugely disappointed. Eventually, it does both parties no favours. When the questioner seeks to be impressed and the questioned seeks to be approved, how then do we both get to know who we really are?


So, how about we accept the other party's simply 'being' as a valid answer to the question "how do you spend your day?" How about that?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Mind Tricks

In this piece, I try to capture ways we knock ourselves dead in our minds before we even begin. We all share these fears and imagine the worst of situations we are about to be faced with, be it social gatherings, interviews, speeches, relationships, etc. We plan and play out our doom in our heads. What's amazing though, is most times, these fears never materialize and we end up surprising ourselves positively. The saddest part is when we let these conjured up demons keep us from taking that one crucial step forward. Enjoy.

20th Feb '13 3:05am    Img: migraineartwork.com



I boo myself, I trip and fall
I bite my tongue, I can't stand tall
With game faces on, they all walk out
Then give my speech, an ovation bout.

Promised one to one, now two to one
Table for two now its for one
A shouting match, a bash, a smash
Then step in to see, oh perfect match.

I ramble on, questioners gone
Research, rehearse to then blab on
Ignorant, unenlightened, I know I seem
Then mailbox pings, acceptance in.

I stand and stare, my glass in hand
Unwanted, unaccepted, not in their band
Return an awkward smile, not sent my way
Then 5 years on, pals made still stay.

I slash my veins and kick my head
And lay down nails to prick me dead
Then get down to doing only to find
Alas, the demons were all in my mind.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Water!!! Wash It Off Me!

This piece is a bit tricky to explain.

I have always wanted to express my thoughts on water. It is for me, fascinating, cleansing and symbolic on so many levels. This is what I aim to explore. The various ways we turn to water for succor. Be it on health, religion, shame, relaxation, freedom or relief grounds.


Make whatever meaning you want of it. Interpret it your own way. Adapt it to your situation. However you decide to analyze this piece, don't fail to enjoy it! 


Img:costcoach.com      24th Nov 2012 3:50am

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The grime of a hard day's work
The proof of my sweat and toil
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The sweat of the forbidden one
Further evidence of my loss of fabled innocence
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The oils and grease that pass through me
That make me dull and big and slow
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The screams of the little being piercing through
And blood that will be spilt again
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The coloured mud on my painted face
That masks hurts and fears and pains and tears
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
The steam from my burning head
With thoughts and dreams and hopes and fears
Water, water, wash it off me.

Wash it off me, wash it off me
My impurities and earthly lusts
Break me down and make me whole
Water, water, wash it off me.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Of Boundaries, Stones and Bridges

Based on events of Thursday, 4th October 2012.

On Boundaries...
Img: haacked.com

a limiting... line (dictionary.com)

Life is full of routine, exploring further is hard work. And so, when we take the same route to work everyday, really, of what use is seeking out alternate routes? When we always succeed by doing things a certain way, somehow, the quest to seek other ways of doing things more efficiently dies in us. In turn, we build invisible boundaries around ourselves, our aspirations, our dreams, our patterns. We fail to challenge. We'll rather not dream BIG. We fail to stretch. We constrict ourselves.

Other times, our boundaries are visible. We encounter a wall and then turn around. Not peeping over the wall to get a peek of what's on the other side. Our bosses stonewall our suggestions and rather than push a bit harder for conversation, we avoid. I by no means intend to sound sanctimonious. Pushing through boundaries does indeed require extra effort. And it is hard for ALL of us to make a conscious effort to do it. But what if we at least try? What if we seek new paths? What if we talk to that seemingly "cold" person? Maybe, we would fail and be let down.... Or maybe we would succeed and be delighted beyond bounds... Definitely, we would have tried, and we would have learnt.


On Stones...

Img: blueeskimo.com
Stepping stones, they call them. Intended to raise our feet above the surface of water or mud while walking. (thefreedictionary.com)

Very apt, I'll say as we all indeed go through quite murky circumstances.  Now I think... How often have I made use of all the resources intended to guide me through life, education, love, finances? Do I wade through the murk when I could be better aided by these stepping stones and come out on the other side smelling of roses? Or do I ignore the stones and being headstrong, decide to chart my own way through, praying to come out on the other side successful? Am I even aware of the presence of these stones?

And when I do get on these stones, slip and fall, do I curse the stone and vow never ever to get on it again? Or do I posture myself better and get a firmer grip? A wealth of knowledge abounds. From researching, from discussing with other people, from meditating, from doing. How often and how well do I use my stepping stones?


On Bridges...

a connecting... route...between two adjacent elements (dictionary.com)
Img: brianmicklethwait.com

What bridges have I crossed to get to where I am? Have they been shaky or sturdy? What have I left behind? What have I walked towards? Have I walked alone? Have others been of help along the way? Have I scurried along the bridge fearfully? Did I appreciate my surroundings and circumstances as I walked? 
   
Would I make use of these bridges again? Do I never want to see what I left behind? Has my journey been so so rough that I now wish to reconstruct this bridge for others? With every progress we make, every success we celebrate, we cross a bridge.









Tuesday, 31 July 2012

What Is a Peacock Without Its Feathers?

"I feel for the peacock. Upon all its pride, they have cut it all off. I can't imagine a peacock without its feathers"

Those were the words of my younger sister as I was dusting the peacock feathers in a vase in my room.

And it got me thinking. What is a peacock without its feathers? A crippled dog is still a loveable pet. A blind cow can still churn out milk. An old lion is still king of the jungle. A beak-less chicken can still produce eggs. But what is a peacock without its feathers?

There is danger in ONE. Being defined by one thing. Plowing our whole being into just one aspect of life and neglecting the rest. What is a 'spinster' without marriage? What is a wife without her husband? What is a mother without her children? What is a career-oriented person without that job? What is a sports person with failing health? What is a socialite with a battered reputation?

How many aspects of being can we sum our lives up in? Or are we truly lost when our one part is gone?

I couldn't help but wonder - can we still define ourselves when one important aspect of our life is cut off?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Breaking Free!

Who needs another one, who runs you down and makes you feel never good enough?

Who needs another one, who hurts your soul by their incessant coming and going?

Who needs to hold on, to the hurts and pains and regrets of dreams dashed?

Who needs to hold on, to the bags of hurt gifted us by those we once cared deeply about?

Who needs to be, bogged and haunted down by the memories of times past?

Who needs to feel, forever guilty for no just cause and happenings that couldn't be helped?

Shaking free from unpleasant memories, stepping lightly forward. Cutting ties from those who batter our being so badly, reaching out to embrace true love. Getting up, when we stumble and fall, keeping faith when all hope is lost. Re-prioritizing our definition of what is dear, unburdening our hearts and embracing life as it comes.

Who needs to be blinded by hurt, when life's true blessings unfold before our eyes daily?

Friday, 18 May 2012

A Peek Into Life's O.R.

:-) I'm back!!!! Been watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy of late. Maybe in my next life, I will become a surgeon. Happy reflecting, y'all!

A PEEK INTO LIFE'S O.R.
Everyday is a surgery. Every surgery is a gamble. Between life and death, hurting and healing.  It starts with an incision. An opening of the body to hurt. Towards the greater good of healing. And to heal, we must hurt.  For we must taste the knife to live the life.

Every time we challenge ourselves. We create an incision. And a surgical process begins. We have opened ourselves up to be, to learn, to accomplish, to hurt. And we ferociously attack the tumours called obstacles. Even when they threaten to bleed out our blood, we dare them. And when they throw our hearts into v-fib, we jump-start it with a higher power defib. And when all’s tried and done, we bear the scars of success.

Or we immediately close up the incisions and vow to attack the tumours another day. With better knowledge. With more sophisticated equipment. With a renewed zeal. After more comprehensive tests have been carried out. With more, With better, With newer... And when all’s been spoken and promised, we bear the scars of disappointment resulting from untried ventures. Never having known. For the lucky ones. Others are doomed and consumed by the tumour.


Everytime we choose to love. And open our hearts to tender feelings. We create an incision. And a surgical process begins. We have opened ourselves to experience happiness, friendship, companionship, hurt, betrayal, hatred. And we ferociously fight for our bodies to absorb and retain this feeling. And so when we are punctured, we heal fast. When we don’t possess the right instruments, we improvise. When we are totally uprooted, nerve ending and all, we regenerate. And when all compromises have been made, upheld with numerous plasters, surgical pins and casts, we heave a sigh of relief. For at last, we have fought for a steady and sure supply of the feeling.

Or after various rejections and complications the surgery presents, we slowly wean our bodies off the feeling. Or we try to try again but remember the pain of complications and we dismiss the thought. Or we forcefully implant it at all cost but our bodies violently reject it and shut down completely. Or we never even try at all; after all the success rate is below 40%. And when all’s been tried and tested, we either smile with the thought of knowing we tried, live with the pains from the complications, or are dead from the disastrous rejection.


Everytime we wake. And open our eyes to a brand new day. We create an incision. And a surgical process begins. We have opened ourselves to living or being. A battle for self actualization. And so, we promise ourselves to rise up to our fullest potential. To pack moments of bliss into every single hour. To fight for our sustenance and perhaps live something over for the kids. And even when the maze of veins and arteries do not seem to make sense, we forge on. Hoping and detangling as we go along. And when the day dusks to an end. We proudly bear the scars because through it all, we made it to the end.

Or after various pushes and shoves, we move from OR to ICU. And even when discharged we land back in OR because we breathed the frigid, unkind air outside which hurt our lungs. And our scars become abscesses. And as the mornings turn to noons, we are still being tended to. And as the noons turn to dusks, we panic, as we still are being helped along. And as the dusks introduce the moons, our abscesses become festering sores. Surgeries to be continued. Further consultation needed. Our scars become gaping wide holes. Longing to be filled with some sort of meaning.  


Everyday is a surgery. Every surgery, a gamble. We are the surgeons. Processes undertaken during the surgery, a determinant of the outcome. Some outcomes delayed, with complications that present themselves over time. Some others, great windows of opportunity for the diagnosis of hitherto hidden ailments. As with all surgeries, a better quality of life is the aim. 

Heart dead, brain dead, full recovery mode. You decide. 

Pic: Getty Images 16th May 2012 00:27am

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Musings: The Road Mirrors Life

The road fascinates me. No one can claim ownership of it, yet everybody present on it owns a piece of it. At least for that moment in time. The road is a theater. The ultimate Broadway for the the exhibition of character in its rawest form.The road fascinates me. Because through the lenses of the road, I view the mini society.


I see the naked pedestrian who is the slum dog. She is vulnerable to every sort of hurt. Unprotected, unshielded, she does not have the wheels to run. No metal encasement to provide armour. Just her one or two or no miserable feet. And a sharp tongue against which to fight off the road bullies, those bloody bastards who had just the slightest of fortunes to be able to afford wheels. And so, when it rains, it is she who nature blesses with a bath. She has no encasement, with which she can mock nature. She has no wheels with which can run from nature. If she's lucky, she shields her head with her umbrella, while nature mockingly beats at her from underneath. When the road is busy, she is chased off by the wheeled monster. After all, her road-land ownership is minute compared to that of the two wheeled owners. And when she dares to run her tongue too much, the wheel owners tauntingly move to run over her legs, brushing her into the gutter. The pedestrian on the road is but a bloody civilian. The pedestrian is the hungry unemployed. The pedestrian is the student kicked out because he cannot afford the fees. The pedestrian is the disillusioned orphan. The pedestrian has the saddest fate of all. The pedestrian is the slumdog.And when two pedestrians collide, they hurt none but themselves.


The two-wheel owners are are step higher. All road occupants must know that. Those little devils who never fail to rub their little power into the face of all. "I am a two-wheel owner, yet I'm far privileged than you miserable trekking bastard" he seems to say. He is right though, after all he can lay claim a higher mileage on the road.  And though the privileged four wheeled miscreants may wish to oppress him with their shiny armour, he will make a mess of their ride and flee on his own two wheeled pride. "Catch me if you can." The two-wheel owner is for the most part, drunk on his 1-step advantage on the totem pole. The two-wheel owner is bitter at the multi-step advantage of the four-wheel owner. The two-wheel owner has no regard for the pedestrian and constantly aims to spite the four wheeled owner.  The two wheeled owner is filled with a poisoning pride. Yet the two wheeled owner nurses a bitter regret.And so, when it rains, the two wheeled owner can flee faster. The two wheeled owner is that young chap, just admitted into a D grade University while his peers write JAMB for the 5th time. The two-wheel owner is that government worker on a 20k monthly salary who acts as a "self pronounced liaison" to his boss. The two-wheel owner is that bitter housewife with a "supermarket" opened for her by her husband. The two-wheel owner constantly, aggressively fights for recognition on his own share of the road. And when two two wheelers collide, they are but a nuisance; hurting themselves and holding up the road for a few seconds.


The four-wheel owners are a lot more difficult to analyze. Their personalities are as conflicting as the sizes and types of the four wheeled monstrosities they are encased in. Perhaps, because they are a great number with varying models, they exhibit varying characteristics. While some four-wheel owners bully the miserable pedestrian off the road, others remain permissive to them of some space. Some block out the two-wheel owners and condemn the pedestrians to remain at a standstill as they whiz past. Other four-wheel owners are considerate of the pedestrians and two-wheel owners. Or could it be they chose to ignore their antics out of pity? The four-wheel owners are secure but not safe. While in a "safe" encasement, they are still at the mercy of the two-wheel owners and the pedestrians who can destroy their shiny encasement in the blink of an eye. The four-wheel owners watch cautiously for changing pulses on the road. And so, when it rains, the four wheeled owner huddles up in his encasement. And can afford to splash a little dirt on the disillusioned pedestrian as he stands by helplessly, hoping for a more compassionate four-wheel owner to drive by. And offer him a little taste of his four wheeled luxury.  The four wheeled owners is that middle class employee. The four wheeled owner is that youth corper with 5 months to go on his service calender. The four wheel owner is that specially appointed government commisioner. The four-wheel owner is secure but not safe. And when two four wheelers collide, the road is brought to a mini standstill while alternative routes are sought.


The 16-wheel owner is King. Ignore him at your peril. He has no care for bloody you. You who three of which will never equal one of him. You who seven of you would still be but a speck near to him. And so. Dare him and you spill your blood as a sacrificial offering. When the 16-wheel owner appears, you must make way. Bloody pedestrian, you must huddle at a safe side of the road. Two-wheeler, you know better than to race with him. Four-wheeled cages, must tread with caution near him and watch carefully, as he moves across the bumpy road - to avoid being flattened out like scrap metal. Disobey at your own peril. And so, when it rains, the 16-wheel owner has not a care in the world. He heaves past the pedestrian, the two wheel owner, the four wheel owner, leaving in its wake a messy "re-bath" of them all. He towers above them all, untouched. The 16-wheel owner can lay claim to the whole stretch of road if he so wishes. The 16-wheel owner is that company CEO. The 16-wheel owner is the madam of that pepper-soup joint. The 16-wheel owner is that high ranking government official. The 16-wheel owner is that student who's father is the highest donor and golf buddy to the VC. The 16-wheel owner is king. And when two 16 wheelers collide, they take down the pedestrian, the two-wheel owner, the four-wheel owner, and the impact reverberates on roads kilometers away.


The road is a fascinating place. Make whatever meaning of it you wish. Tarred, muddy or sandy. Autobahn style or crater filled. The road mirrors life.


23rd March 2012 11.00pm Pic: Getty Images