My Grand-daughter! born in August…
Archive for November, 2006
She towered over me with an earnest look in her eyes, as I sat in the crowded 380 bus from Thamesmead. From time to time, she’d hurl a quick glance my way, hold it for a few seconds, and then retreat. Shifting her weight from one leg and now to the other and pushing the golden strands of hair that clustered around her delicate face, she’d once again give me another fleeting look. She looked out of place – as if she did not belong to that part of the society where commuting on crowded, steamed and stench-ridden buses was a daily ritual. She was very elegant too – a willowy woman of the refined class she seemed and acted like it was her first time on buses (probably her car broke down). She had a face that glistened like early morning dew and a delicate yet pungent fragrance that wafted through the bus, easing the mists of suffocation with its sweet scent.
I interpreted her quick glances and restlessness as an attempt to persuade me to vacate my seat for her, but I didn’t. I would have done though, had she been fragile and old but she was only in her late 30s or early 40s. Was I wrong?
Though I was brought up in a country where a man never sits whilst a woman, or a girl for that matter, is standing, and where vacating your seat for any woman, young or old is obligatory and a prerequisite for good manners, yet I didn’t. I wanted to, but did not and I don’t know why! is it due to to-day’s time and age? There was a time even here in England when men possessed gentlemanly manners! But that era is long gone and the chivalrous Englishman has departed, insolence filling his void!
Lets see if the power of the Blogs and circulation can change something and bring to justice the assailant of our American friend Jackie Danicki. “If you’re in London, Jackie Danicki could use your help with a photo identification”….
I have witnessed some roughness whilst on London Transport on several occassions, though I was lucky enough not to be involved!
I have been tagged by Angel Eyes a very long time ago to list six weird things about myself! (yes, she considers me weird and i am gonig to prove it to her)
But to be honest I don’t exactly know what things to write here or what sorts of character traits constitute to weirdness in me. Things you consider “weird” might be very ordinary for me whereas things you would consider very ordinary might sound very bizarre to me. There are hundreds of things I could list, but take a peek at the modest few:
1 – Not a single soul actually “knows” me personally entirely – I hate getting attached to people and have this constant need to keep my relations always at an arm’s length, never letting them get to know who I really I am. i don’t “feel” as though i can be attached to anyone, its pathetic!
2 – I love being on my own at most times and would be infuriated if people disturb my meditative mood. That’s why I visit the Thames riverbank most times and watch the world go by. I know, I Think a lot!
3 – I strive to make things as minimalist as I could – I never take anything seriously unless it is really worthy of taking it so.
4 – I have several personalities – too many to mention – and often utilise whichever best suits the situation.
5 – It would take a lot of strain to make me angry – I am the calmest person I know and often think thoroughly of the consequences of any actions I take. In fact I can’t even remember being very angry for a very long time.
6 – Last but not least – Yes! I eat everything with a banana – I even made a soup out of banana and potatoes once when there was nothing else to cook in the house! It was delicious I must admit.
I hope that satisfies you Angel! and trust me there are a lot more to mention. As for tagging other people, almost all the active bloggers have been tagged!
I think have become very boring lately. With work and studies taking up most of my time my social life has dwindled, and my circle of friends died out except fro the very loyal Three whom i’ve lived with for years. I no longer find any special pleasure in idle conversations and social gatherings that bear no fruit and loathe the idea of meeting new people. Meeting a new person is like moving to a new house; everything is scenic and delightful for the first few weeks and the unfamiliar gleam and beauty attract your eye but after that, everything becomes so mundane and ordinary – so uninspiring and unattractive. You strive to preserve everything in its pristine condition for a few weeks, that’s until everything falls apart and gradually descending into mediocrity, melting into your mind as commonplace, then you would want to move to a new house again!
I remember being beaten black and blue and humiliated in front of visitors or passer-by’s. At time’s I’d wished the ground beneath my feet would swallow me instead of having to put up with such extreme forms of punishment, and at times I thought it better to be beaten senseless so it ends at once rather than having to endure a humiliating scolding whose scars would last a lifetime.
Somali parents, though adroit at many things, are not very skilful when it comes to disciplining their children, then they wonder why their children are violent and behave in shameful ways. Good behaviour stems from good relationships and good role models, doesn’t it?
A child learns everything there is learn from his home – if he is shouted at at home, he would shout at others, if he is constantly being beaten, he would lose self-confidence and become hostile, if he is respected, he learns to respect others, if complimented, he learns to praise others, and so on. Yet with regards to behaviour we teach our children so little and expect so much from them. You’re more likely to achieve compliance by respecting the child and listening to his needs, instead of shouting at him. It is also important to remember that the tonalities of your speech and your behaviour all have a direct bearing on the actions of a child later on in life.
Children should be taught to have an inner voice – some of us call it conscious – so that they can police themselves instead of us having to punish them repeatedly for mistakes they would repeat. They need to be taught the consequences of making good choices and bad choices – cause and effect but with wisdom and tolerance! If you punish them they would only avoid what they are being punished for because they know you are going to punish them, not because they think it is wrong. Also our brains do not work on negative commands. If I were to tell you “do NOT think about an Orange” you probably would have thought about it long before I finished saying it. How we behave as adults towards our children is going to influence how they behave towards others!
Despite commanding them to be silent, the silent murmur could still be heard from the back of the classroom, as I stand in for a teacher. I start to direct the children to open up the page in their textbooks, but they sit starring at me, then suddenly en masse, they break in laughter – to which I joined in too for I was unable to silence them! We were celebrating Children In Need Appeal at the school in order to raise some money for the thousands of children that desperately need it. Majority of the children came to school dressed in their home clothes, with Pudsey snugly under their arms, and all the teachers were in narrow school strip-ties and skirts and pony-tails (for the female teachers), hence the shrieks of laughter from the children. They for once appreciated the change in uniform and laughed as much as their tiny lungs could at our expense – all for a worthy cause though!
Taking it a bit too far eh! Still, If anyone hasn’t watched Tony Jaa’s films i recommend them!
p.s Sorry folks, this stupid clip won’t work and i am not a Techie…
Translating from English to Somali and vice versa is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things in the language. One English word could be described in several ways and often very long sentences would translate into one word of English. Despite that though, and of course English being a very beautiful language itself, I still hold that Somali language is by far richer, more expressive and more descriptive. And i believe this all stems from the fact that oratory and poetry is a national passion!
With Somali students being the largest Ethnic Minority at the school, I was asked to translate a letter sent out to the parents into Somali language to make it easier for their understanding, and after a week of pondering over it I produced this below, though I still think there are many things that I could have changed to enhance the meaning…
We are planning our Christmas events. These will be the KS1 nativity, KS2 Christmas Carol Service and our parties. If you would like your child to join us in full or part please state below.
If for religious reasons you do not wish your child to take part, please fill the slip below, stating your reasons.
I would like/not like my child to take part in the Christmas events.
My religious reasons for withdrawing my child are:
Ku: Waalidiinta Waxaanu qabanqaabinaynaa xafladeheeni Christmaska. Kuwanoo ah KS1 Nativity iyo KS2 Christmas Carol Service iyo xafladeheena kale. Hadii aad ka raali tahay caruurtaadu inay ka qayb qaadato xafladahan ama qayb ka mid ah, fadlan ku buuxi magacyadooda meesha banana ee hoose.
Hadii aadan raali ka ahayn caruurtaadu inay ka qayb qaadato xafladaha diiniyan awgeed, fadlan taana hoos ku buuxi adigoo cadaynaya sabataada.
Waan ka raali ahay/kama raali ahi caruurtaydu inay ka qayb qaadato xafladaha Christmaska.
Sababahayga diiniyeed ee ay caruurtaydu uga qayb qaadan Karin xafladaha waa:
The parents would probably be rather surprised when they get this letter soon.
Do other people’s conversations absorb you at times or is it just me? There’s something about the conversations other people, usually commuters, have on the phone that make you want to listen to the other side of the story. I always am intrigued by what the person on the other side is saying, especially when am sitting close to the person on the phone, for their conversation lures me. On my way to work this morning a pretty young girl, about 19 I’d say, sat facing me at the large back seat in the lower deck of the bus. She was playing with her large ear hoops and the piercing on her nose when her phone rang.
“Took me for a fucking prick again didn’t ya?” she greeted the caller
A few seconds passed and I wondered what the conversation was about
“No, you told me you woz gonna call me between 10 and 11, and I waited all night for you. I didn’t even ‘ave propa sleep, so don’t gimme that bullshit” she shouted
I assume at this point the other person must have apologised or something
“No you’re not sorry, how can you be when you fucking stood me up you prick”
“I called you from the phonebox and told you to call me back, you didn’t even bovver calling back did ya, coz you was wiv your boys innit”
“You went to sleep? What wivin 2 minutes?”
“you’re a prick”
A long silence ensued, and I think he started relating a long-winded tale, which she somehow believed for she stopped shouting at him. A few more words and he had her on a leash and she was heard saying “I love you” in a very low voice.
Or at times, a couple would be sitting behind and i could hear the woman engaged in a long conversation with the man about each other’s day and life. Usually their conversations are about one another and are not as intruiging but something caught my attention:
“Do you think I am beautiful?”
“Of course you are darling, you’re beautiful”
Then she was silent. That was it. At that point i asked myself whether women needed re-assurance everytime with regards to their beauty. Do they need to be told that they are beautiful every once in a while?
Conversations such as this one are a daily occurance and shorten the journey tremendously. Thanks to them i guess!
So Nick Griffin is acquitted of inciting racial hatred! Great! The leader of the far-right BNP, who was secretly filmed in 2004 attacking Muslims, was acquitted of inciting racial hatred yesterday by the court. Wasn’t it only the day before when Rahman was charged with the same offence for carrying a placard that said “Behead those who insult Islam” and Griffin who said that Muslims were turning Britain into a “Multi-racial hell-hole” is freed. Are the laws that govern inciting racial hatred so fluid or is it blatant prejudice? I just can’t understand it.
Imagine seeing that sign (above) on the doors of shops and recruitment agencies today!
These days most young black youths are enticed by the life of luxury, women, and self-indulgence – a life marked by trivialities and an intellectual cul-de-sac where they try to imitate the lives of the gangster rappers who accentuate a life of folly and short-lived fun. Being black has become synonymous with crime, drugs, poverty, idiocy and anything that constitutes an illegal act. Why is it so?
Maybe it is because they don’t really value the sacrifices their forefather made in order for them to be here and be treated like humans. Maybe they need to be reminded of the days when their forefather were picked, like merchandise, from their countries and sold into slavery, the days when they were labelled “heathens” and it was considered a badge of elitism for anyone in the possession of a fine black slave – the darker the slave the better as it contrasts the whiteness of the owner! Or the days when upon escaping, they lived in abject poverty and were the finder’s keepers! In order to go forward and succeed in life, one must have the intelligence with which to look backwards from time to time and rediscover his roots, history and the price paid by his people for him to be where he is today. They are very rich in terms of opportunities, yet they waste it! What a Pity!
Glances are the heavy artillery of flirt. Everything can be conveyed in one look, but that look cannot be quoted word for word”
I read this quote from a book and I think it was translated from Ovid, The Art of Love, though am not too sure. but this quote strikes true in all cases.
The eyes of a person have a certain power over us – power that cannot neither be assessed nor controlled. They are magnetic and have the capability of pulling whomever they lay upon into their vast realm. When you look at someone in the eyes, for those very few seconds that you seem to be starring them directly in the pupil, a whole lot of things are expressed and multitude emotions conveyed – fear, fury, passion, confusion, admiration, bewilderment etc and all this without uttering a single word! That moment of eye contact, though you might be very far away from the person, bring them closer to you physically!
Several times it happened to me that I’d be walking down the street and taking a stroll at the park near me, as I usually do, and my eyes wander about in all directions without rhyme or reason, until, like a magnet, a pair of eyes pull me and for a few seconds protrude deeper into me. For these few seconds our eyes are interlocked, uniform and in harmony – both sets of eyes studying the other, prying into them. Then the beautiful woman whose eyes made mine her captive would pass by me, and as she does so, I can still feel her eyes starring at me from the corner, gently pleading with my eyes to have a last peek.
After a few paces, I’d suddenly, on an impulse and probably out of curiosity, look back to find that she too, is doing the same, again our eyes are interlocked for a few more seconds as if this happened by mere co-incidence. Then we’d both retreat feelings as though we both caught one another red-handed in an illegal act of voyeurism. Its as if the eyes are pulling me back for one, just one last glance!
Jim left the house and sauntered along the road with one aim – to get as far away as possible from his aunt. His breath came in heavy pants of cold air, which came out his nostrils as smoke. His head spiralled out of control with lingering doubts and uncertainties. But amid the cold and confusion, a reassuring thought in the back of his head spelled out the words “freedom”. On the other hand, a twinge of fear lay adamant among the newly found freedom and managed to threaten him persistently.
By noon, Jim had covered about ten miles of land and with a few more ended up in the historical parts of Greenwich. Walking past the university and the central market, he headed straight for the Thames River. It was late afternoon, and whatever was left of the sun had started to plummet down the horizon leaving behind trails of magnificent colours. The sky looked like an artist’s flamboyant display of watercolours. The setting sun had left behind its imprints – a layer of orange formed an undercoat for a spellbinding image with several other layers of clouds ranging from dark grey to lighter shades of red dancing across the sky majestically. Standing at the banks of the Thames, Jim gazed at the horizon with admiration and his worries had started to lessen. He watched as an aeroplane swam effortlessly through the clouds, disappearing in the thicker, darker grey clouds one moment, then reappearing in the lighter shades, leaving behind a blazing trail of bright orange.
The serene water reflected the bright conspicuous clouds and enclosed him in a cloak of tranquillity. There wasn’t a tide or any disturbance, but a gentle breeze caressed the surface of the water giving it a ripple effect. He stood there until the last few rays of the sun had plunged deeper and deeper into the horizon and darkness stealthily enveloped him. Even the people striding along the promenade have retreated to the warmth of their home and the burning logs of fire. With this thought and the darkness, the tense fear returned as he sat on the flight of steps by the Cutty Sark. It was in that moment that he realised his lonesomeness and his needs. Suddenly, on an impulse, he conjured up images of his small but cosy attic. At least there, he had a roof over his head, despite the never-ending agony he suffered at the hand of his only relation.
Distraught with self-pity, his throat thickened with anger. He wanted to do something, scream, shout or even break something, but he resisted the urge and unzipped a backpack that he brought along with him. He took out a towel, spread it in a dark corner of a passage by the Thames, and curled up on it. With a few sheets covering him, he hugged his knees and placed his hands between them. He shivered a little and clutched his teeth to keep from clicking.
He had cleared his mind and entered another realm when distant noises caught his attention. It was late at night and unlikely for anyone to be around at such times. The noises came closer and closer until he could clearly hear them. He made out three distinct voices coupled by a few others.
“Should we jack ‘im?” said one of them in a hoarse voice.
“Nah, allow it man. Its cold less go!” said another in a lively voice. Jim took it that he was younger than the other.
A few others interrupted by talking at once, arguing whether to rob Jim’s only possession or to go about their way.
“Fuck it; we made our money tonight, less go” Said a slightly older person in a stern voice. At this point, the loud voices diminished to a murmur and they walked away, their steps fading with the distance. Night after night, Jim heard them walk past him, shouting, arguing and fighting. One night, as Jim sat on his towel ready to sleep at his usual time, the group came by. They had come earlier than usual and Jim was sure he would be hassled.
They approached him striding confidently, wearing multiple sweaters, one on top of the other and hoods obscuring their faces.
“oi, wha’ u doin’ here?” enquired the first of the bunch who came close to him.
Jim didn’t answer, but looked up at him to see his face.
Soon the others joined him and intently stared at him, as if unable to understand his sleeping rough.
“How old are you?” came a voice from his left.
Jim immediately recognized it as the stern voice that he heard a few nights before. He strained to see in the dark, his eyes blurred as he looked at the direction the voice came from.
“Thirteen” he softly replied
“Fuck! And what da fuck are you doin’ here?” screamed the one at the front, standing at the brim of Jim’s towel-marked territory. They started muttering all together.
“Shut the fuck up” said the guy with the stern voice and there was silence all at once. Jim understood it that he was the one in charge. With his finger, he beckoned them to move away, which they did immediately and he kneeled down beside Jim. Taking his hood off to reveal his dark face, he talked calmly to him upon which Jim revealed his reasons for being where he was. The guy introduced himself to as James and offered to give Jim a place to stay.
“You won somewhere ta stay?” He said.
Jim dreaded the company of these nocturnal wanderers and whatever they were up to, but for a warm place to stay he was inclined to follow them. Besides, he didn’t find the calm tone of James, and his self-possessed disposition objectionable. He packed his bag, stood up firmly, broadened his shoulders and, along with the group, disappeared into darkness.
There was complete silence among the group as they walked, and none dared question James as to why he had brought Jim along, even though some seemed to pity him with their welcoming glance. One of them even offered to carry Jim’s rucksack for him while another patted him on the shoulder compassionately. Jim wondered what he had got himself into and their dubious fondness towards him accompanied by their over eagerness made him a little suspicious. They led him through a maze of streets, many twists and turns, dark alleys and abandoned garages, and then finally into a dimly lit street. They marched with one single pace and Jim was finding it hard to keep up. Observing his surroundings, just in case anything happens, he noticed a signboard – “Steephill Road”. The name in fact described the street, which was somewhat steep and the houses descended down the hill. Further down, at the bottom of the street was a block of shabby flats. They boys made their way straight into one of the blocks. Graffiti was painted on every reachable wall of the flat. Some were names, some insults and on a corner, in enormous writing, was the word “Peckham”. It was then that Jim realised that he was in Peckham. He made a mental note of that and went in the flat, up a series of stairs that reeked of urine and vomit, through some claustrophobic corridors, then into a wooden door at the end. Jim memorized the house number, 56, and went in.
Contrary to the condition of the flat on the outside, the inside of their rooms was immaculate, and, with expensive furnishing. They went into a spacious living room, where an extraordinarily large Plasma Screen Television was mounted on the wall adjacent to a portrait of a pleasant-faced black man with dreadlocks. Beneath it, an ornamental desk accommodated a bulky Hi-Fi system and some trophies. They reclined on a set of huge brown leather sofas that took up the majority of the room. Positioned in the middle of the wooden floor room, was a square glass-table that sat on a costly rug. Jim started to feel the warmness of the house and had relaxed a little when he noticed the boys huddled up by a shiny silver chest at a corner. On opening it they waited for James to empty the contents which he promptly did. He took out four large bags of money, bundles of twenty-pound notes, and laid them on the glass table. He put his hand in the chest once again and with it came back another three bags of what looked like powder and another bag of dried, crushed leaves. Jim was perplexed, his mind started to invent all sorts of justifications to make sense of what he had just seen. At that very instant, Jim clearly figured out what he had got himself into, and the prospect, of which getting out of, is very improbable.
…To be Continued