Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blubbering Idiot

I’ve seen a lot of things in my life and the one thing I always say is don’t ever, EVER under-estimate people, because you never know what they may be capable of. And I truly believe that.

I’ve seen the blogosphere turn very nasty lately. First it began with OH and then with Killa but more recently with MJ. Anonymous bloggers seem to reign supreme and they think that they can run their mouths off as they wish, talking absolute rubbish because well, they are “anonymous”.

I’ve been a victim too. There I was, minding my own business, giving my 2 cents here and there. In the meantime, some Fucknut who doesn’t even have the beads to post under a decent pseudonym, decides to involve me in one of his fights with another blogger -because of some or other misconception he has. The fucking coward then decided to post subsequent comments under my name, involving me in this juvenile matter. The amusing part is that I hadn’t even been online in the hours that he was conversing with himself under my name…MJ and BB-Aisha can attest to that since I had to go and hone my culinary skills in the kitchen.

I cannot understand what drives some people. Shear boredom perhaps or a serious lack of intellect…maybe they need hobbies and lives. And I really can’t understand how such ignorance manages to “blom” amongst intellectual and gifted writers. Its like a disease really, it festers in the cracks until it’s unleashed upon the world. For me, blogging is a place where I can express myself therapeutically, a place where I can engage in intellectually stimulating discourse, conversations and debates. It’s like brain food.

For others, it’s akin to the crapper. They don’t even have the courage and fortitude to say what they want to say and be honest about who they are at the same time. I find it ironic that most of the comments posted anonymously are negative. They have to come anonymously, or under moronic and derogatory pseudonyms because they are cowards.

And this need to create controversy and online “fights”…seriously…like get a life. I have no qualms about engaging in thought provoking debates where I can learn a thing or two. But I’m not here to walk all over people to boost my own fragile ego.

Back to under-estimating people. If this asshole only knew that I worked for Private Investigators for almost 3 years, in Industrial Espionage. That I worked with Interpol, the FBI, the Scorpions. That I use to track criminals for a living. That all it takes is a single phone call and that it wouldn’t matter in which part of the world he was, they will find him…they always do…and his life would become hell at my request.

But there’s no point in wasting so much energy on a Fucknut. He’s just not worth the effort of dialing that number.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Great Expectations

I was telling BB-Aisha that they just come to me…I don’t know how or why. I don’t know how I attract them or how do they know they should speak to me since I’m hardly the poster woman and would definitely be the most unlikely candidate if given a chance… but they do, they always come to me. Not that I’m complaining. But I'm getting ahead of myself...let me rewind a little…

The day itself was a hectic one. I’m on a tight schedule these days and I don’t have time to worry about the finer details of my wardrobe and hair. So being the hypocrite that I sometimes am, I donned a Kurta and a headscarf…that way I didn’t have to look for something comfortable to wear, and I didn’t have to do my long, sometimes annoying hair either.

I left work early to go to the dealer and have my tyres replaced with new ones and was standing in the lot completely idle…watching as they worked. I soon got thirsty and decided to step inside to get some water. Now for those who have ever wondered where the white people in South Africa have gone to, go and step into this “office”. This is where all the billing, phone calls and appointments are made. And there are only white females working here…around 10 of them. I asked for some water and was just about to pay the bill when in swept the Indian version of Don Juan…on his black stallion…no really it was a black BMW…one of the latest models, very nice. This chap was kinda handsome looking, in his mid to late 20’s…either way, he could not have been older than 30. He was holding a bunch of flowers addressed to “Yolandi”.

My jaw dropped. He obviously wasn’t the courier…judging from the stallion, so surprising his girlfriend maybe? Who knows? She was very happy I must say, but then again which sucker of a woman wouldn’t be? I was mildly disturbed by this occurrence because a few weeks ago Taz and I were discussing why Muslim Indian guys go for white girls. Taz was sure it’s because they put out. But come on, flowers?!?

It got me thinking about Zaida…a friend from Madressa. This woman is close to perfect. She’s educated, she works from home, she’s attractive, she’s active in her deen, and she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. But she’s still single, nearing 28. No ones buying her flowers! Maybe it’s because she’s not white with blonde hair and dressed provocatively. And I can bet anyone that she would be 1000 times better as a partner to Don Juan than Yolandi could ever dream to be.

I was disgusted, appalled and perturbed with the whole situation and went back outside to watch Temba, Sello and David at work. I heard them talking in Sotho when Temba approached me and said that he loves my religion. I was taken aback…where did that come from? Then he proceeded to explain to me that he watches the Muslims and that he loves how we adhere to the Islamic laws and principals without changing the religion. He mentioned that the Christians often make fun of Jesus, to them there are any aspects of the religion that they do not take seriously…and that he saw that the Muslims were the first to step forward to complain about the jokes made in Jesus’ name. He also mentioned something about marriage and women in Islam.

I then explained to Temba that the cornerstone of Islam is respect and peace. We are supposed to respect each other and not judge. I told him that Jesus is our prophet too, and for us to sit back and not fight sacrilege and blasphemy is a sin in itself. I explained to him that in Islam, men and women are equal, but they have different roles and that they are supposed to respect each other in their respective roles….really when I get started, I can go on and on and on…as most bloggers know by now. I can become very passionate in what I believe in…I go into a different mode. I don’t even recognise myself.

When I eventually stopped, they all looked at me mesmerised. I saw three pairs of moist, sparkling eyes looking at me in awe and respect. I just delivered another one of my Dawah sermons without any intention of doing so and Temba told me that I have moved his soul and that they would be keen to learn more. I said that I was glad that I could give them some insight and that I would refer them to someone who could help them further.

While I was preaching to these three guys, I thought of Don Juan. I thought of the message I was giving to Temba, Sello and David after just witnessing the Don on one of his escapades. I thought it is so ironic, preaching the perfection of the deen to some very enthusiastic and eager gentlemen; calling people to the deen when we ourselves are so flawed, tarnished, damaged. How would I ever explain to them that the problem with society is not religion, it’s the people? Regardless of my thoughts, I did not add any additional spices to the story. I couldn’t help feeling like a fraud, as I always do when I’m approached by them. Like I said I don’t know why they choose me, I’m really the last person on earth to be any kind of example.

As for Don Juan, I will not judge him. I chose to believe that he was making a delivery…on behalf of who is none of my business and makes no difference to my life. As people we have too many expectations from others and when they don’t live up to those expectations we are disappointed and disillusioned. I’ve always maintained that I’m far from perfect. So why do I still expect everyone else to be flawless?
Maybe I'm just the moron and this is all a dream :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two Weddings and A Funeral

I nearly fainted in Pick ‘n Pay today. True story…something about low blood-sugar levels and too much stress. I vaguely remember everything becoming muffled and the noises around me fading into the background. I started panicking and praying, breathing deeply and thinking to myself… “Please don’t pass out here, what if someone steals your purse and then you have to replace your drivers license and you know what a pain that is… and what about your medical aid card too and the Discovery credit card and all the Voyager Miles that you just registered…and they’re going to have to phone Mother, and she’s terribly far away so they will phone Daddy instead and he’ll panic and come shout you again for not eating properly and fainting in Pick ‘n Pay…”
All these thoughts in a few seconds…I really hate that KFC ad, those girls are morons and drama-queens…but the whole episode was just like that.

The reason for my ill-health is too much stress. Never mind not eating and still gyming everyday…I blame it on the stress. October/November has to be the worst time of the year for me. It’s like every single thing that could ever come and bite me in the ass, will come in November. I have exams, conferences, endless meetings, weddings and like the cherry on the cake of my misery, I was appointed the wonderful task of organizing the year-end Christmas function.

Now organizing the year-end function is kinda like planning a wedding. Actually, it’s exactly like planning a wedding but without the bride and groom. If I had it my way, I’d just make a fire in the parking lot, go and buy a whole lot of meat from United butchers and announce a braai to anyone interested in attending. But No, instead I’ve had to consult with coordinators, planners, caterers, florists…you name it…just to please the masses. Unfortunately for me, someone else (another moron) already booked a venue by the river…which is sub-standard compared to the other venue by the river that I wanted to book initially. But hey, watch me make lemonade.

Overall, I hate planning anything that's unnecessary. This event is a pain in my ass. Similarly, I hate weddings too. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the aesthetics of it all…the décor, the matching candles, and napkins and plates and flowers and all the crap that goes into it. It’s always pleasing to the eye. But the actual ritual of the wedding? I hate it. I hate how long and drawn out everything is. I hate how everyone has to wait for what seems to be an eternity for the bride or groom to show up. What I particularly despise about weddings is the fact that most people will spend a fortune in the pursuit of matrimonial “perfection”…even though the whole ceremony lasts no longer than a few hours.

I’ve never been to a wedding where everyone didn’t want to kill each other. The worst family fights occur around a wedding…this aunty said that and that other aunty wants to do her own thing. The mother of the bride thinks that her daughter should wear her hair up; the bride insists its going to be left down etc. etc. All the pressure is building up and one of the volcanoes have to erupt.

If it’s your typical wedding, the bride and groom won’t even know two-thirds of the people that have been invited. I have also never been to a wedding where I walked away feeling good about it…where people didn’t have something bad to say about the bride or the wedding party. The food is ALWAYS too spicy or not spicy enough…burnt or under-cooked. The same people who complain about the food are usually the vraate (greedy pigs) that will take most of it home with them stuffed in old 5lt ice-cream containers…just like TCQ explained in one of her earlier blogs. The bride always looks stunning but not stunning enough, there are always comments about how she could have looked better…maybe different shoes, accessories or hair style. And how the venue would have been nicer if they had done this or that…

There are the freeloaders. You know the table where 6 plates, 6 cups, 6 saucers, 6 glasses etc. etc. and the bouquet mysteriously disappears. You know someone went home with a whole new set of crockery and cutlery that night, a small wedding “present” from the bride and groom.

Then there are those weddings where people will go ON and ON and ON about what a nice couple they make…
The Boy is soooo good, a very nice boy who works very hard!! (Never mind he was shagging the neighbour and bridesmaid two weeks earlier, almost got caught with a stash in his car, got thrown out of Manhattans for assaulting that guy over that other girl he was trying to pick up and was secretly seeing that other married chick)…he’s an angel sent from heaven…
And the girl? The Girl is a good homely girl…very pretty with her fair skin and all that. (Doesn’t matter that she looks like a rat, wears an illegal amount of makeup, spent all her time sneaking out of the house to meet other guys or that she was involved with this other Hindu guy because he had loads of money...and money talks in her books).
People always have this tendency to idolise and venerate people when everyone knows it’s not true. I do NOT believe in speaking ill of people…but I don’t glorify them either…If there’s nothing good to say, instead of lying or making up stories, shut up.

So in essence, the entire wedding is a fight-fest at the bride and grooms expense and they usually end up paying people to come and criticise and bankrupt them. Is that really how people want to start their lives together? I know weddings are all about the celebration and people’s duas (prayers)…but people should ask themselves, how much dua is there in comparison to the gossip. And don’t get me started on the people who don’t get invited…they sit at home gossiping and cursing the family that never invited them.

Now I’m not just a cold cynic…I do like the idea of the wedding etc. I just don’t see the point of spending R900 000 (true story) on a bunch of ungrateful greedy strangers. Personally, I’d rather feed Somalia. I always joke that if I had to have a wedding, I’d invite everyone…it would be an open wedding, at R300-00 a head, tickets on sale at the door.

On the flip side, this bout of dizziness is like a fog clouding my brain. It has enhanced my paranoia and prompted already existing thoughts about my mortality. I think about death often…not for the morbid reasons that people may think…but I believe it keeps things in perspective. Weddings, for example, seem very trivial and inconsequential when one contemplates impending doom. During those few minutes in Pick ‘n Pay, I kept on wondering that if I had to die, how would it affect the world? Of course, I believe it won’t affect the world very much. I’m just a miniscule part of the Universe, a mere spec of dust in the wind…life always goes on.

But I thought to myself, if I knew I was going to die soon, what would I do? How would I feel? I would obviously pray…and eat all the Lindt Mint Intense and Woolworths Chocolate Mousse I can find. But would I be sad? Yeah I’d be sad that I never got to get married and have kiddies and be happy…I guess we all want to be part of the dream…no matter how insignificant and moronic we deem it to be.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ode to Madré

We are by no means your average family. So what makes us so different to everyone else? Madré…Mother.

The matriarch in our family turns 45 today…still quite young actually. Mother rarely responds to “Mummy”, that’s why we call her Mother, Ma, Madré or Mama. With all the years of calling her “Mummy”, the mere inclination of the word suggests a bout of nagging and over time Mother has honed the skill of automatically tuning out any speech that follows the dreaded “Mummy”.

To describe Mother may take eons, considering that she’s everything, from Wise to Eccentric, Spontaneous to Philosophical. Mom is a myriad of paradoxes. I have NEVER met ANYONE who commands so much respect just by walking into a room, wherever she goes…whose stern character displays an innate strength unrivalled by any other woman…who is a humanitarian that is self-righteous, just and compassionate…who’s a legend in her own right…not one soul who even comes close to the woman she is.

Our relationship has always had its ups and downs and most of my teenage years were spent in a Love/Hate cycle. We were brought up with a lot of discipline in our house because Mama had both the role of Mother and Father. When we were much younger, Mother was The General, a strict, no-nonsense approach to parenting. We always had to attend school, only a death certificate would exempt us from going. The telephone account was always divided amongst us, VAT and incurred taxes always included and we generally had to work for whatever we wanted. At Varsity, Mother helped me get a part-time job with a couple of Private Detectives she knew so that I could contribute to the Varsity bills and not waste my time day-dreaming on the roof at the C-Les Lecture Hallway. Mother would drop us off on the N1 highway, watch as we made our way to the top of the ramp to catch the bus to Varsity…because the traffic to Auckland Park was horrendous and she would have been late for work if she had to drop us. Ah the good old days…

Even today, Mother invoices us at the end of the month for rent, 1 week each for the domestic worker, a portion of the telephone bill etc. In our house, we sign legally binding contracts for everything. Nisa wants a new R3500-00 phone…that’s ok, as long as she draws up the contract and has two people to sign as witnesses, to affirm that she agrees to pay it off with her allowance money for the next year.

“I, Miss Nisa A with ID number 910605 8888 888 residing at house address, hereby agree to relinquish a total of R??? for the following twelve (12) months to Mother SC….in addition, I hereby agree to the terms and conditions imposed upon me from the date of this contract and consider it to be binding on my conscience”…

She’s been doing that since she was 13. It’s friggin’ HILARIOUS!

Mother is truly one of a kind. This is the same woman who would refuse to entertain my friends in High School. Induction at my house was mandatory…
Mummy: Welcome to our house, here’s the kitchen and there’s the fridge and grocery cupboard.
Friend: Thank You. (Smile)
Mummy: Well we only have two rules in this house. Number 1 is that you help yourself to anything you like, please don’t expect to be waited on, you’ll starve to death. And Number 2, whatever you’re making for you, please make for me as well. Thanks.

Mother is many things…but docile and weak is not one of them. Mother loves her peace and serenity, and will rarely engage in matters that do not concern her or the greater good of mankind. She is a lone warrior. Quiet and reflective but ready to attack at a moments’ notice.

Over the years, Mother has come to epitomise eccentricity, sarcastic wit and facetiousness too…often driving us completely crazy! One day in our mis-spent teenage youth, Taz and I were complaining about the maintenance of long hair. Anyone with long hair will know and understand what I mean. I had my long locks up in a bun, and Taz had a little Pipi Long-Stocking imitation going on – with two plaits on either side. We didn’t complain for too long though, because I just heard the snip and before I knew it I was holding my entire bun in my hand…long cascading hair reduced to a bob in mere seconds. Poor Taz was doing the dishes at the time and had two neat plaits piled next to her. We were horrified! Mother jsut shrugged it off and said “there you go, no need to complain anymore”.

Mother: You girls are so boring…why don’t you go out somewhere…meet new people!
Teenage Taz & Az: Ok, Fatima is having a get together at her place, can we go?
Mother: No.

Mother’s nickname in our house is Savannah. She’s “dry but you can drink it”…Honestly she has the driest sense of humour you will ever come across. We can have an argument; she states something completely arbitrary and out of context and laughs for what seems to be an eternity.

Azra: See, now that is NOT funny…AT ALL!
Mother: ROTFL

Ay that is life in my house. Never a dull moment :D Mother is the type of spontaneous spirit that will decide to do something, go ahead and do it without thinking too much about it.
Mother: Let’s go to Durban.
Kids: Yeah ok, good idea… (5 minutes later) Where you going to Ma?
Mother: I told you I’m going to Durban, you coming or what?

I remember the days when we never had a lot of money laying around. Mama would pack up her three kids in her car, pillows and all, and take us on road trips. We went everywhere that South Africa would allow us to go to. Our staple diet? Simba Chips and Rolls…if we were lucky we’d have Cheese too :)

Today, Mother is one of the wisest people around…

Azra: I hate Men, they’re all assholes.
Mother: Every man is a product of a woman....
Azra: Then all women are assholes for not teaching their sons how to treat women!

This morning…
Azra: Happy Birthday Mummy (kiss and hug)…May the Almighty SWT give you 100 more years…filled with health…and wealth too, otherwise there’d be no point.
Mother: Every poor person gives every rich person a chance to do some good.
Azra: You’re becoming very wise these days…
Mother: I've noticed.

What is the best gift that my mother has ever given me? Materially, it would have to be the R20k Middle East holiday that was inspirational beyond what words could describe.

Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically?

FREEDOM – Freedom to be myself with her. The Freedom to explore my options and choose my own path in life. The Freedom to approach her with any problem and listen to her dispensing sound advice. The Freedom to come and go as I please (not that I ever do for some weird reason).

RESPONSIBILITY – I’ve been paying bills since I was 5 years old…enough said.

CONFIDENCE – Mother has instilled an unwavering confidence in us.

A VOICE – A voice to speak up when I witness an injustice. I’m not afraid of confrontation, and can hold my own in any battle.

SUPERIOR CULLINARY SKILLS – Since Mother was more likely to be found servicing her own car that making dinner and since she considers anything that doesn’t burn a hole in her stomach lining as “bland and boring”, we were forced to learn the art of making everything from Indian to Mexican food. (Not that she isn’t an excellent cook, just lazy).

AMBITION – Mother has always been a driving force in our lives, encouraging us to achieve excellence.

FAITH – A cornerstone in Mothers life. Steadfastness and sound faith in The Almighty’s Power and submission to His Will.

There are many other things, too varied and numerous to mention that my mother has bestowed upon me with the Grace and Will of The Almighty SWT. If I can be half the woman that my Mother is in my lifetime, I will be successful.

I can remember the day I left South Africa to go work and live in London, UK (sans family, friends, job and accommodation). Mother’s boss, a Director told me “You are so Brave!! How on earth are you going to survive?”
To which I replied “I will survive because I’m my Mothers child”. Not only did I survive, I thrived.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cousins Make Dozens

Justin and I were plotting as usual. We have so much fun when we play...we plot and scheme. He’s not actually my friend. He belongs to Taz, an old Varsity mate of hers.
I met Justin, Shamima, Nicky and Yasmina three years ago when we went for coffee at Melrose Arch. I wasn’t actually invited, it was Taz’s Do but I gate-crashed anyway. So we got chatting and it was surprisingly easy and natural. We quickly found that we had a lot in common, considering that he is a White Jewish Male that is 2 years younger than I am.

For one, we both have the same WHACKED sense of humour. We would sit and talk about all the things we could do to shock the HELL out of people. One of the scenarios involved me and him in Sandton Square on a Saturday night just before Ramadaan (or when it was guaranteed to be packed with Muslims or Jews). The scene would play out like this:

We wanted to start a fight. We would begin by hurling insults at each other in public, a massive brawl would ensue. He would call me a Muslim terrorist and I would tell him he’s an arrogant Jewish Pig and that Israel deserved to be wiped off the map. Then we decided, for added effect, we would begin hurling chairs (and whatever else we could get our hands on) at each other…and then sit back and see who’d get involved and what events would transpire after that. Evil I know. But we laughed for hours over the stupid antics we plotted and never carried out.

My friendship with Justin got me thinking about our perception and reception of Jews in society. I remember when I was in Madressa (Islamic Classes) we were always taught to “hate” the Jews. I kid you Not. We were told by the leaders of our society and the people around us that they are evil and that they are responsible for killing the Muslims world-wide etc etc.

With this in mind, my initial reception of Justin was one of curiosity. My intrinsic reaction was like that of a kid examining a foreign object for the first time. I wanted to poke him to see if he felt any pain, to tickle him and see if he laughed…I was in awe. I also treaded with caution to make sure he wasn’t some Zobot coming to kill me and my family. But I quickly realized that for all my wisdom, I was an old fool. For one, the more I learned about Judaism, the more I found that I really knew nothing about the religion, customs and traditions of its people. I found this rather odd and ironic, considering that we’ve had Christianity shoved down our throats since infancy, without us even being fully aware of it. In some cases I know more about Christianity then some of the Christians do. I know about the various sects, how they differ from each other and I even know some of the freaking hymns that used to be sung at school.

But Judaism and the Jews? I knew nothing, nada, zip, zilch. We were never encouraged to learn about the religion, about their practices and beliefs, EVER. Ironic, since Justin knew a whole lot about Islam. He even wished us Eid Mubarak. So I had to go and Google Judaism to wish him a happy and blessed Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). (I find it amusing that they are the considered the “enemy”…should we not know our enemies? How else are we to defeat them?).

And the more I got to know about Judaism, the more I realised that it was very very similar to Islam. Their religious holidays almost always coincide with ours and they believe in the same things we do. We are more the same then we are different. People in South Africa say that the Jews are misers. Most Muslim Indians aren’t any better. They say the Jews are shrewd businessmen, show me an Indian who isn’t. In fact, the similarities are so many that they even seep down into the customs and traditions that both parties conform to ie. The male is the head of the house and the female is the neck that turns the head of the house.

So if we are so similar, why the negative sentiment world-wide? Two words…Israel and Palestine. This is the bone of contention for most people across all faiths. When I had the privilege of actually visiting Palestine in 2005, we were explicitly informed that the “Zionists” are the ones responsible for enforcing the Jewish state of Israel. However, NOT ALL JEWS ARE ZIONISTS. There are many Jews that are opposed to the atrocities that occur in Palestine/Israel and are vocal about it.

If you look at history, on all accounts, Islam and Judaism essentially began with two brothers, Ismail AS and Ishaaq AS (Ishmael and Isaac) who were the sons of Ebrahim AS (Abraham). So technically, the Arabs and Jews are cousins. Just like the French and the British. It’s somewhat disturbing and very sad to see family members take their gripes with each other to such great lengths and over centuries...building whole nations to fight with each other over arbitrary and ambiguous issues. If only we could exert that much effort into building our relationships with people and our Creator SWT.

In retrospect, our hatred has been misplaced, unwarranted and unjustified. And as a consequence, we have denied and ostracized ourselves. There is not a single scripture or command in Islam that states “Hate Thy Jew”. Our Prophet SWA himself had Jewish acquaintances and said that we could eat with them, but not sleep in their homes i.e. trust them. He never said that we shouldn’t talk to them. I must admit, I found Justin to be a wonderful person…his beliefs, traditions and customs are intriguing and I love sharing stupid stories with him. But for some reason, there’s always that twinge of caution, an intuition that doesn’t allow me to trust him.

On the other hand, I can’t help feeling that if we could only accept each other for who we are, without expectations, without judgments and prejudices, we would be a much happier world.

That said, I have one more prank up my sleeve. I spoke to Justin about it and we thought it would be cool to bring him home and introduce him to my Dad as my fiancé. But then again, Daddy has been under pressure lately and I don’t want to give him a heart attack :D

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Balance

Because I strive for and enjoy a good balance in my life...
These are some of my favourite verses of Al-Quraan. If anyone wants me to read it aloud in Arabic, give me a call :P

Adh-Dhuha - The Morning Hours (93:1-11)

1. By the morning hours
2. And by the night when it is stillest,
3. Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee nor doth He hate thee,
4. And verily the latter portion will be better for thee than the former
5. And verily thy Lord will give unto thee so that thou wilt be content.
6. Did He not find thee an orphan and protect (thee)?
7. Did He not find thee wandering and direct (thee)?
8. Did He not find thee destitute and enrich (thee)?
9. Therefore the orphan oppress not,
10. Therefore the beggar drive not away,
11. Therefore of the bounty of thy Lord be thy discourse.

Al-Sharh - Solace (94:1-8)

1. Have We not caused thy bosom to dilate,
2. And eased thee of the burden
3. Which weighed down thy back;
4. And exalted thy fame?
5. But lo! with hardship goeth ease,
6. Lo! with hardship goeth ease;
7. So when thou art relieved, still toil
8. And strive to please thy Lord.

I've never come across anything more beautiful and comforting :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lyrical Therapy: DAY 3


I’m beyond trying to figure out a way to kill him. My ego was bruised…no need to be pedantic about it. It’s not like I was devastated…close but no cigar. Time to put it behind me like an old episode of The Young and The Restless. One day left in the grieving process.

A hundred days have made me older,
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face,
A thousand lies have made me colder,
And I don’t think I can look at this the same.

I don’t want to be bitter…and I truly believe that I will be blessed with a soul that’s a thousand times better than the fool who hath been.

Tell me a story,
Where we all change,
And we'd live our lives together,
And not estranged.
I didn't lose my mind it was
Mine to give away,
Couldn't stay to watch me cry,
You didn't have the time,
So I softly slip away...
No regrets they don't work,
No regrets now they only hurt.
Sing me a love song,
Drop me a line,
Suppose it's just a point of view,
But they tell me I'm doing fine.

I’m no longer Sade’s King of Sorrow. I didn't like him enough and besides, I respect myself too much.

I won't suffer, be broken, get tired, or wasted.
Surrender to nothing, or give up what I,
Started and stopped it, from end to beginning.
A new day is coming, and I am finally free
Run away, run away, I'll attack…Run away, run away, go chase yourself
Run away, run away, now I'll attack
Your promises, they look like lies. Your honesty, like a back that hides a knife,
I promise you)…I promise you…And I am finally free!

An eerie peace envelopes me….its only eerie because I don’t do peace. I wouldn’t be able to recognise it if it smacked me in the face. I eat an apple, to make sure it’s real and that it lasts the duration of my crunching and munching.

Its a shame in a way cause
I feel that I may not ever find the right one for me,
Did I leave him, is he right in front of my face,
Will my true love ever be?
Why would I go on a search again,
When I know what the end will be,
What good is love when it keeps on hurting me?
…I’m not missing you,
I’m not going through the motions
Waiting and then hoping you’d call me,
I’m not missing you,
You might have had me open
But I must be coping because,
I’ve got lots to do,
I know I'm usually hanging on,
I used to hate to see you gone,
But this time its different.
I don't even feel the distance.
I'm not missing,
I'm not missing you.

The initial hatred has dissipated. I no longer wish to peel off his skin with a carving knife, rub salt in the wounds and then burn his house down with him strapped inside...

Cool breeze and autumn leaves, Slow motion daylight
A lone pair of watchful eyes, Oversee the living
Feel the presence all around, A tortured soul,
A wound unhealing, No regrets or promises,
The past is gone, But you can still be free,
If time will set you free, Time now to spread your wings ,
To take to flight, The life endeavour,
Aim for the burning sun…

Some more Chocolate…The Lord Almighty’s way of having mercy on women-kind.

In this farewell, there’s no blood, there’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret from the truth of a thousand lies…..
….Put to past, what you thought of me.
While I clean this slate, with the hands, of uncertainty.
So let mercy come and wash away, what I’ve done
. [6]

I don’t think for a couple of hours…and I didn’t even have to take any drugs…ah bliss.

I’m doin’ just fine,
Getting along very well,
Without you in my life.
I don’t need you in my life.
I’m doin’ just fine,
Time made me stronger,
You’re no longer on my mind.

And now? On to the next chapter…Back to the Gym for a start.

Heaven help the heart, that lets me inside.
Heaven help the one, who comes in my life.
Heaven help the fool, that walks through my door.
‘Cause I’ve decided right now, I’m ready for love
. [8]

Lyrical Therapy: DAY 2


Its weird how you can awake from slumber in a state of bliss for 10 seconds before reality comes crashing down on you like the US stock market. I’m less sad today…somewhat furious.

And I will not accept this as a part of my life.
I will not live in fear of what may be.
And the lessons I have learned with you,
I would rather be alone than watch you spinning,
Spinning that wheel for me…

I am LIVID. Just who the Fuck does he think he is? I'm spitting fire again and the flames flow through my veins…

…'Cause the love that you gave that we made wasn't able
To make it enough for you to be open wide, no.
And every time you speak her name,
Does she know how you told me you'd hold me,
Until you died, till you died. But you're still alive…
….You seem very well, things look peaceful.
I'm not quite as well, I thought you should know.
Did you forget about me Mr. Duplicity.
I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner.
It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced.
Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?
And I'm here to remind you.
Of the mess you left when you went away.
It's not fair to deny me Of the cross I bear that you gave to me.
You, you, you oughta know.

I briefly contemplate using my staff discount on two tankers of Hydrogen and Liquid Nitrogen…but the Plant is offline today.

How dare you say that my behaviour’s unacceptable,
So condescending, unnecessarily critical,
I have the tendency of getting very physical,
So watch your step ‘coz f I do, you’ll need a miracle,
You drain me dry and make me wonder why I’m even here.
The double vision I was seeing has finally cleared.
You want to stay but you know very well I want you gone.
Not fit to fucking tread the ground that I am walking on!

If this is “karma”, I wonder what I’ve done to deserve this. Maybe I should be nicer to the receptionist at work. And give more to charity. And be more humble.

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind.
I can withhold like it's going out of style.
I can be the moodiest baby and you've never met anyone,
Who is as negative as I am sometimes…
I am the wisest woman you've ever met.
I am the kindest soul with whom you've connected.
I have the bravest heart that you've ever seen And you've never met anyone,
Who's as positive as I am sometimes…
…I blame everyone else, not my own partaking.
My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating.
I'm the most gorgeous women that you’ve ever known And you've never met anyone, who’s as everything as I am sometimes.

I look forward to a nice cooling swim at the family luncheon. The only problem is that out of all the blistering hot days of the week, today is cold. I swim anyway. Water has an unbelievably soothing quality.

Been down and wondering why,
these little black clouds are walking around with me…
…so maybe tomorrow, I’ll find my way home.

The dessert being served lures me out of the cool depths of the water. I can’t wait to fill this void with some custard, ice cream and trifle. As we get our bowls, I tell Taz to be careful that she doesn’t slip on the wet tiles. No sooner are the words out of my mouth, I see the light. Slipping, suspended in the air, the sun in my eyes. I roll down the wet staircase, dessert in hand. Amazingly, not a drop spilt :D

I have been down this road before,
And each time I run when I should walk,
Diving too deep when I can't swim,
Always asking what could have been.
And so they say that time's a healer,
Maybe it's about time that I start,
But I've found time don't make it any easier,
The longer we're apart.

Taz: OMG, are you alright?
Me: I think so.
Taz: Let me help you, give me your dessert.
Me: No. For what do you want my dessert?
Me: Smile.
Taz: Well, look at it this way. You have hit rock bottom, literally. So the only way from here is up.
Me: I guess so.

Loose lips sunk ships,
I'm getting to grips with what you said.
…You say we're fatally flawed,
Well I'm easily bored,
Is that OK?
Write me off your list,
Make this the last kiss,
I’ll walk away.
Why don't we talk about it?
I'm only here don't shout it,
Given time, you'll forget,
Let's pretend we never met.

The dessert was great. Some things in life can never disappoint you :D

All the times, That I've cried,
All this wasted, It's all inside,
And I feel, All this pain,
Stuffed it down, It's back again,
And I lie, Here in bed,
All alone, I can't mend,
But I feel, Tomorrow will be OK.
I'm on the outside, And I'm looking in,
I can see through you, See your true colours.
'Cause inside you're ugly, You're ugly like me.
I can see through you, See to the real you.

Whatever heat was bestowed upon the earth in the afternoon has evaporated. The rain and thunder echoes my sentiment.

I still don’t have a reason, and you don’t have the time,
And it really makes me wonder if I ever gave a fuck about you and I,
So this is goodbye.

Another week ahead. Have I the strength? Of course I do, I’m a fighter not a lover ;) Now to find my ammunition.

Armed with an arrow you're pointing it straight at my heart,
Watching me break as I try to find my way out of the dark,
They say each moment comes to an end
So my pain is its consequence,
It's a battle and I have no defence.
I guess I'll never understand
How love can come and go,
Looking through the broken glass now I know,
But even though my bitter doubt lets my loneliness show,
I'll get over you, over you in the end.

Lyrical Therapy: DAY 1


I’m grieving. That’s the only way to explain it. It’s what I do. When a chapter in my life comes to an end…I grieve for three days, like a death.

My grieving tools, utensils and consumables for this particular episode include:
1. A hookah pipe with 2 boxes of mint flavoured tobacco (they were out of strawberry)
2. Chocolate
3. Chicken
4. More chocolate
5. iPod and a wide variety of music
6. Dark chocolate
7. Some DVD’s
8. Mint flavoured chocolate
9. My Musallah and Quraan
10. Backup chocolate

Thankfully no one is at home to witness this pathetic state of existence. I pop in the iPod. It’s amazing how every song seems related to the situation. Every lyric is speaking to me…the myriad rollercoaster of emotions takes over…Anger, Sadness, Vengeance, Determination, Complacency…Some of these lyrics are even tweaked to fit the situation.

Just like I predicted, we’re at the point of no return,
We can’t go backwards, and all corners have been turned.
I can’t control it, if I sink or if I swim
Cause these are the waters that I’m in
And it makes no difference
Who is right or wrong
I deserve much more than this
Cause there’s only one thing I want
If it’s NOT what you’re made of,
You’re not what I’m looking for
You were willing, but unable
to give me anymore
There’s no way you’re changing,
cause some things will just never be mine
You’re not in love this time
But it’s alright

Now I’m not a smoker…and I deliberately gave up smoking hookah on the 18th of December 2007 in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Regardless, I need some form of non-judgmental therapy and this pipe is a source of comfort and temporary redemption. I’m SAD…

You should have told me, told me from the start.
Thought that I was your only.
Until you put me on the shelf and found somebody else.
I never thought that you would ever do that,
everything we had is gone.
You said you loved me said you’d never leave me,
maybe I just heard you wrong.
‘Cause I’m damaged, I’m damaged, don’t know what to do.
I’m damaged so, So damaged because of you
(ok he never said he loved me…but you get the point).

I go to the kitchen to get some foil for the pipe and get side-tracked. The chicken looks too good to want to post-pone eating it. Grab a bite to eat on the way back to the lounge…Light the pipe.

What if I wanted to break.
Laugh it all off in your face.
What would you do?
What if I fell to the floor.
Couldn't take all this anymore.
What would you do, do, do?
Come break me down.
Bury me, bury me.
I am finished with you.

Smoke bellows from my mouth in little ringlets…the mint taste reaches my lungs…I briefly contemplate the situation…

My stock is down, I use to be worth my weight in gold.
That was before the great depression kicked in and rocked us.
And that was before the hurricane came in and stopped us…
… I know sorry just wouldn’t do it,
(My) heart is obliterated I’m trying to get through,
Gotta move this mountain, It’s like moving mountains.
But I keep climbing and hoping things will change.
Then the sky turns grey, And the water from the rain washes progress away,
It’s like moving mountains…

The pipe sizzles…

And if you could see inside my heart,
You would see loneliness,
and if I could show you my mind,
you would be depressed.
So I sit away lonely,
and I get away only in my mind

Now I feel the ship sinking…reach for the Aero…

Words have left us all alone.
And something’s come between us to turn the fire cold.
Thoughts that chase you in the night,
silently restore, the life from in your eyes.
And I remain alone no matter who may try and take your place …
And I’ll remember you,
the dreams we could’ve dreamed,
the tears I should have seen.
We use to say forever.
But I’ll remember you….
…And here I stand, alone with every promise melting through my hands…I’ll remember you…

I want to cry….I really do…but I’m defiant. Change the damn track…

At night I pray, that soon your face will fade away… [7]


I’m so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears,
And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave
‘Cause your presence still lingers here, and it won’t leave me alone…

Asr …find solace in Al-Quraan. Come back to the lounge feeling calmer and some-what numb. The pipe has gone out…put a DVD on but lose interest quickly….

With this tear, I thee want,
I have longed for you to talk to me like you did, that night in the restaurant.
Spoke of love, so openly, and again and again you promised me, that you’d never leave. But now you’re gone.
With this voice, I thee call.
Sometimes I catch myself calling your name when you’re not there at all.
Please tell me what I did wrong?
Why must I hear your voice inside my head, all day and all night long. Its not fair…

Nope…that just won’t do. I reach for some more chocolate, dark this time, 85% Lindt cocoa solids whilst listening to Sean Kingston make promises he can’t keep. He wants to “Take me there”. The bitter taste complements my current state of mind.

Don’t wanna think about it, don’t wanna talk about it. I’m just so sick about it.
Can't believe it's ending this way.
Just so confused about it. Feeling the blues about it. I just can't do without ya.
Tell me is this fair?
Is this the way it's really going down?
Is this how we say goodbye?
Should've known better when you came around.
That you were gonna make me cry.
It's breaking my heart to watch you run around.
'Cause I know that you're living a lie.
That's okay baby 'cause in time you will find...
What goes around Comes all the way back around

A couple hours, 3 chocolates (including the stash) and a packet of biltong later…

Lie awake in bed at night.
And think about your life.
Do you want to be different?
Try to let go of the truth.
The battles of your youth.
'Cause this is just a game.
It's a beautiful lie.
It's the perfect denial.
Such a beautiful lie to believe in….
…Everyone's looking at me.
I'm running around in circles, baby.
A quiet desperation's building higher.
I've got to remember this is just a game…

Reason escapes my comprehension….

Baby sometimes I get so excited,
the night that we met I was bursting inside.
You know that it must have been fate that we found it too late.
The special relationship died and I Hate that night…
…And I’ll be with you, when we go our separate ways.

Maybe its just men in general…

…You lied straight to my face, looking in my eyes…
…and all you had to do was apologise.
But you didn’t say you’re sorry.
I don’t understand.
You don’t care that you hurt me.
And now I’m half the (wo)man that I use to be when it was you and me,
you didn’t love me enough.
My heart may never mend.
And you’ll never get to love me again.
Sadness has me at the end of the line.
Hopeless watched you break this heart, of mine.
And loneliness only wants you back here with me.
Common sense knows that you’re not good enough for me.

I eventually drift off into a deep sleep….

Sometimes I remember,
The darkness of my past,
Bringing back these memories,
I wish I didn’t have,
Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back,
And never moving forward so, there’d never be a past.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The truth about men...


Not my own work...but I couldn't resist LOL :D

Q. How are husbands like lawn mowers?
A. They're hard to get started, they emit noxious odours, and half the time they don't work.

Q. How can you tell when a man is well hung?
A. When you can just barely slip your finger in between his neck and the noose.

Q. How do men define a "50/50" relationship?
A. We cook-they eat; we clean-they dirty; we iron-they wrinkle.

Q. How do men exercise on the beach?
A. By sucking in their stomachs every time they see a bikini.

Q. How do you get a man to stop biting his nails?
A. Make him wear shoes.

Q. How do you keep your husband from reading your e-mail?
A. Rename the mail folder "Instruction Manuals."

Q. How does a man show he's planning for the future?
A. He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

Q. How is Colonel Sanders like the typical male?
A. All he's concerned with is legs, breasts and thighs.

Q. What do most men consider a gourmet restaurant?
A. Any place without a drive-up window.

Q. What do you call a handcuffed man?
A. Trustworthy.

Q. What do you call the useless piece of skin on the end of a man'spenis?
A. His body.

Q. What makes a man think about a candlelight dinner?
A. A power failure.

Q. What should you give a man who has everything?
A. A woman to show him how to work it.

Q. What do men and mascara have in common?
A. They both run at the first sign of emotion.

Q. What do men and pantyhose have in common?
A. They either cling, run, or don't fit right in the crotch!

Q. What do you instantly know about a well-dressed man?
A. His wife is good at picking out clothes.

Q. What's a man's definition of a romantic evening?
A. Sex.

Q. What's a man's idea of honestly in a relationship?
A. Telling you his real name.

Q. What's the best way to force a man to do sit ups?
A. Put the remote control between his toes.

Q. What's the difference between Big Foot and intelligent man?
A. Big Foot's been spotted a several times.

Q. What's the smartest thing a man can say?
A. "My wife says..."

Q. Why can't men get mad cow disease?
A. Because they're all pigs.

Q. Why do men like smart women?
A. Opposites attract.

Q. Why do men name their penises?
A. Because they don't like the idea of having a stranger make 90% oftheir decisions.

Q. Why do men need instant replay on TV sports?
A. Because after 30 seconds they forget what happened.

Q. Why do men whistle when they're sitting on the toilet?
A. Because it helps them remember which end they need to wipe.

Q. Why do only 10% of men make it to heaven?
A. Because if they all went, it would be Hell.

Q. What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?
A. A widow.

Q. When do you care for a man's company?
A. When he owns it.

Q. What do men and sperm have in common?
A. They both have one in a million chance of becoming a human being.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Azra's 10 steps to total existential liberation and emancipation

1.) Forfeit all emotional ties with anything that has monetary or sentimental value. After all, baggage comes in a physical, emotional and psychological’s the thoughts behind them that count.

2.) Don't hoard. That nice dress you want to keep for a better day...there is no better time like the present! Wear your precious frocks with delightful glee and smile at the world in all your glory!

3.) Take responsibility for your actions and move on. Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry", "Forgive me", or "Help me" when you need to and then move on without harping on the subject. Rendering yourself vulnerable without losing total control is a passive strength. Learn to forgive yourself and others.

4.) Don't be afraid of confrontation. The longer you keep things hidden inside, the more it builds up and they manifest into ugly little creatures which eventually take on a life of their own. Confront your issues and learn to let go.

5.) Don't feel compelled to conform to other people’s beliefs and expectations of who you are and what you should be. You are who you are and as soon as you accept that, they will too.

6.) Fear nothing except the Lord Almighty. A life lived in fear is a life half-lived. However, fearing God instills discipline, morals and values. When you remember your Lord in all His Greatness, nothing seems impossible.

7.) Remember your life is no better or worse than the next persons. When your life is bogged down with problems, think of the Millions of people who don't even have food or basic amenities like running water.

8.) Don't sweat the small stuff. If it aint broke, don't fix what if your little sister ate the last twinky? There are worse things in life like losing your health to Cancer or AIDS.

9.) Don't be a victim of your circumstances and don’t be afraid to learn new things, broaden your mind and horizons. When life gives you lemons, you make a unique lemonade recipe and sell it to Coca-Cola for US$6 million.

10.) Remember, you cannot control other people or certain situations, but you can control how you react to those people and situations. So make the best of it and live in liberation, emancipated from the constraints of society's expectations and demands and just really truly...LIVE!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Art of Eccentricity

A typical conversation at my home, Saturday afternoon:

Dad comes to visit with Step-Mother and 5 year old Peanut

Mum: Hey, guess who I saw?
Dad: Who?

Az and T singing Barney is a Dinosaur in the background

Mum: Dino!
Dad: Dino?
Mum: Yeah Dino, remember him?
Dad: No
Mum: Dino Dino man! You know him.
Dad: Dino? No I don’t remember

Az and T are joined by Birdy and Peanut singing Barney is a Dinosaur

Stepma: Who’s Dino?
Mum: Well when we had the shop he used to come around and sell those spares.
Dad: Dino?
Mum: Yeah Dino Dino!!
Dad: (thinks hard) Dino?
Mum: Dino, remember that time he sold us that transmitter?
Dad: (frustrated) I don’t know any Dino
Mum: Yes you do, Dino Dino man!

Az and T switch from singing Barney is a Dinosaur to Dino is a Dinosaur

Dad: DINO?!?
Dad: (Frustrated, Angry & Dead Serious) Is he a fucking dinosaur?

Everyone stops and bursts out laughing

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Shit'eth hath hit'eth the Fan'eth


The Foot IN Mouth Chronicles: The Story of The Phonecall

I always had a few friends in high school, but I never belonged to any particular clique. My closest friend was a Brazilian student who could only speak Portugese when she just arrived. So we spent the first few months of Std 8 (Grade 10) having lengthy conversations – me in English and she in Portugese. Our mediator was a tiny Portugese/English dictionary that she carried and we hardly understood each other at first, but as the months turned into years, we came to understand each other on a level that transcended language barriers. She eventually became more proficient in English than most of the people I know, and in turn I came to understand Portugese, Spanish and a little Italian – I say understand because I can interpret more than I can converse.

I had another friend during that time…a guy called Mo. He used to call me every night and since he lived light years away from me, it was the only way we conversed. I never ever got to actually “see” him. Mother knew about our friendship and she didn’t seem to mind; although she did request telephone printouts from Telkom and made us underline all the calls we made. She also made us pay for whatever calls we made with our allowances, making sure that she included the 14% VAT and any other incurred taxes to the total.
My Dad didn’t really know about Mo…mostly because my parents were divorced and he lived three streets away and also because I never told him – I wasn’t about to tell him that his 16 year old was talking to an 18 year old on the phone – he would have had a Calf.

So there was this one night I called Mo to tell him about what had happened in school that day. I was exhausted and drained…but excited too and couldn’t wait to tell him the story. He answered the call after the third ring and we began to chat as usual. Three and a half minutes into the conversation, he had to end the call because he had to go and help his brother with some or other thing. He promised to call me back later that night but I told him that I was pretty worn out. I then suggested that he call me, let it ring twice and if I was still awake at that time, I would call him back…but if I wasn’t then I’d speak to him the next evening. So we agreed, I put the phone down, leaned back onto my pillow and drifted into a deep sleep.

It must have been a couple of hours later…around 10:45pm that I was woken from my slumber by the telephone ringing. I heard the first ring…then the second ring…and then silence. I took my cue, got up from the bed, picked up the phone and pressed the re-dial button. The following conversation then transpired:

Me: Hello, can I speak to Mo please?
Call: Hello….(quiet) Mo?
Me: Yeah, Can I speak to Mo please?
Call: (pause)….Mo?
Me: Yeah Mo…can I speak to Mo please?
Call: (another pause)…erm…Mo?
Me: Yeah…MO MO MO….Can I speak to him please!?!?!?!?
Call: Erm….Erm….(confusion)….(whispers)…Mo?

It took a while for the daze to end and it was at this point that it had occurred to me that the person on the other side of the line was not Mo or any of his family members…IT WAS MY FATHER!!!!!!!!

The shock of my realization temporarily paralized me and instead of saying “I’m sorry, I think I dialed the wrong number”…I Hung up in my Dad’s Ear!
I sat back in my bed, HORRIFIED…my heart beating a million times a second…adrenaline pumping through my body and making me tremble out of fear…when the phone rings again…
Slowly and hesitantly, I pick it up:
Me: (whisper) Hello?
Dad: Azra, is everything ok?
Me: (softly) Erm…yeah…
Dad: Are you sure?
Me: (still softly) Erm…yeah…
Dad: Ok then, I’ll see you tomorrow.

And that’s how my Dad found out about Mo. I avoided him for weeks after that, even hid away on some days…and when I eventually saw him, I couldn’t look him in the eye…I was ashamed and embarrassed. Luckily for me…he doesn’t hold grudges :D

Monday, October 13, 2008

Battling Demons: My Parting Comments

Ok, I have too much to say to post a reply...

So heres my last rant and rave (PG18) about this whole thing..(and its purely my subjective point of view)...

FUCK Gaams...PERIOD! There I said it. I'm tired of people who want to please everyone for status' sake...but they can't please our Creator SWT.

For those who think that this Un-Islamic practice is still ok and socially acceptable...well then we might as well re-institute Apartheid...because that regime pleased some people too.

People want to know why there is no cohesion amongst the Muslims... its because of this fucking Gaam shit that we have allowed into our society. As Sheikh Salaama Said said: "The problem with the Muslims in South Africa lies in the divisions amongst them and the caste system. That is NOT Islam".

I took this excerpt from Trinity's Portal...
The concept of Race is a phalicy, because it was justified by biological factors that at they time, those people didn’t fully understand. Religion and Culture - the whole world even the academic community seems to misinterpret. It is NOT the same thing. We don’t get married in Indian Church. We get married in a mosque, or church etc. We get married in front of Allah (God). Your morals and values should be from your religion. The MI’s (Muslim Indians) should be looking for people who display Muslim values. Not someone who know the traditions of the Ghaam. Cultural laws can be learned. But people don’t realise that culture is constantly changing. Religion stays the same because it is defined by a specific set of laws. Culture is how we interpret those laws!!

So the way I see it...people chose to be either Muslim or Indian in this society.

I've always had a problem with those Jews that had the need for a Jewish state - as if to say that they weren't only Jewish by religion, but by culture and state as well, and that they were entitled to live seperately from the world because they were more superior then any other race.

Well guess what? This fucking Gaam shit is no different from Zionsim.

The problem with Muslims today is that they do not fear Allah SWT enough...because if we did, we wouldnt do half of the things we do....
If people truely Feared Allah SWT, they wouldn't be standing there and justifying every piece of shit that they've been fed throughout the years...and feel no shame.

Being a Good Muslim is not just reading your Quraan and Salaah and observing Ramadaan. It reaches beyond that...into your soul. Amongst many other things, being a good Muslim also includes the way you treat people and recognising that everyone is equal.

And I DARE anyone to challenge me on this...because you WILL lose.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Battling Demons: Not Indian, Malay, Coloured, White or Black

I've seen my fair share of demons in this lifetime. I can remember an incident when we were on the Middle East tour…we were in one of the Yemeni villages, having lunch on the floor of an old dilapidated building when one ignorant aunty asked my mother, “So were you born Muslim?”…to which my mother replied, “Yes”. The question was prompted by the mere fact that Mother’s surname is of English origin. I was deeply offended….”what kind of F#cked up question is that?” I wanted to ask her…but I said nothing….Breathe.

Did aunty honestly believe that because she has a surname from the Hindustani capital that she would automatically be classified as Muslim? I never met a single MUSLIM “Patel” out of the thousands I dealt with in all the time I worked for the Camden District Housing Office in London, because Islam’s origins were not in India…meaning that the ancestors from India had to eventually revert to Islam so that their progeny could be Muslim. So to judge a person and their religion by their surname is F#cking ludicrous. This is what happens when you don’t educate your women…they grow up to be ignorant old aunties.

I was raised in a predominantly Muslim Indian society…went to School and Madressa (Islamic classes) with them and even had a few friends. I remember the day one of the girls asked me which Ghaam I belonged to. I must have been about 7 years old at the time…and my response was something like “What’s that? Can I eat it?”
What a can of worms…I still don’t know the difference between the Memons and Kholvads and Alipors etc. etc. And I don’t care.

From my point of view, I’m a Muslim first and foremost and that’s all that matters. I bleed the same colour as everyone else and I feel joy and pain with the same degree of passion, fervor and anguish as everyone else. Theoretically, I’m considered and classified as Indian. But the truth is that I am a thorough-bred mixed breed. If you look at my heritage, you’ll know why:

My Paternal ancestry: My late grandfather was an Imam from the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was an orphan that grew up in the mosque, so no one knows where his parents were from and he spoke 13 languages. He came to SA and married an Indian woman, born in SA with roots in India…only the Lord knows where. And they had my Dad.

Maternal ancestors are much more complicated.
On my late Grandmothers side: My great great grandfather was a white Scottish man living in Ireland. He came to SA and married a Malay/Coloured with some other fruity mixes going on there. They had my great grandmother, who married a Muslim Indian and reverted to Islam. They had my grandma who married a handsome, eccentric Portugese looking player named Cisel Patrick Charles aka “Popeye” as they use to call him. He reverted to Islam too and some years later, my mother was born.
On my late Grandfather’s side there isn’t as much detail…other than his Grandmother was Edith Brown, a French woman and that her daughter also married inter-racially. The rest as they say is history.

So it’s safe to say that I’m not your average girl. I have two very different families. The “Indian” family on my father’s side and the “mixed breeds” on my mother’s side.

When we were much younger (and defenseless) my sisters and I were marginalized and ostracized by everyone because of this. At the time, I was the only one in school with “divorced parents” and I was a nerd so that didn’t help. Regretfully, I spent too much time trying to fit in. It had never occurred to me that I wasn’t Indian enough for these f#ckers because I wasn’t brought up to believe that there was something “wrong” with me. My parents never over-indulged us so we never had the chance to adopt that sense of entitlement that most Indians have. My mother was never the type to wait on us (maybe that’s why we’re not alcoholics, drug addicts or whores – not that every Indian is…but you know what I mean). We were encouraged to think for ourselves, get an education and to live our lives as best we could. We always had to work for what we wanted, I’ve been looking after myself since I was 5 years old.

Back in the day, we also had to endure the family’s shit, but in a more subtle way…with undertones and currents speaking volumes. In my Dad’s family we were outcasts, looked down upon, degraded and not considered to be good enough for the family…we were not Indian enough…unfit and unworthy of anything.
On the flip side, we were too Indian for Mother’s family who were more intimidated by us because they always thought that WE thought, that we were better then them. But this was not the case….the truth was that THEY thought that WE were better then them, so they assumed we thought so too.

These issues use to plague me tremendously in my mis-spent youth. But thankfully, not anymore. If anything, Adulthood has brought clarity, freedom and emancipation from the prejudices, judgments and oppression that society has wreaked upon us for the majority of our lives. I no longer feel constrained and inadequate or compelled to be one or the other, mainly because I don’t give a F#$% what people think or say about me. Those years, reflection and time has allowed me to come into my own, to develop a self-assured persona and a personality that would make Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy envious. It’s liberating. Variety is the spice of life and I have the priviledge of being part of both worlds. I don’t have time for the Indians with the elitist mentality, the Malays and Coloureds with the defeatist approach, the White colonialist supreme-ist ideology or the Black “victimized” mindset. This is Me…I hate everyone equally…and that’s how I roll :D

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Marriage Challenge For Single Muslim Career Women Over 25

Marriage for me is a touchy issue. I'm 26 years old and still not married...which is a crime and sin to some f#$%ed up folk out there. It makes me sad because its NOT that I DONT want to get married...on the contrary...but it has just never happened. Some guys did like me, but its not like anyone was ever serious enough to want to propose. And yet, I'm labelled and tainted by this sick society I live in. The first thing everyone wants to know is "What is wrong with her?".

Well there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with me. I am actually the Perfect woman seriously I am...LOL. And no one knows me better than I do thats why I firmly believe that the man who marries me, will be the luckiest guy alive.

Well only Allah SWT knows. I can relate to this article by Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine and it resonates with me....

How hard can it be?

My husband and I recently tried to match-make a couple of our friends. Omar began telling his friend about a really nice woman we knew at 33, successful, beautiful. His first response was, "So, what's wrong with her? Why is she 33 and not married?" Looking at the 30-year-old man before me, my first thought was, "I could ask you the same thing." However, the reality set in that there's a double standard when it comes to the issue of age and marriage.

Many Muslim women are successful lawyers, doctors, professors and journalists. They are outspoken and active in their Muslim and non-Muslim communities. They are intelligent and beautiful, and they are unmarried. The same women who are ambitious and focused on their academic and professional success are finding it difficult to find a suitable spouse.

Twenty years ago, as young Muslim boys and girls were being raised, they were encouraged to excel academically and professionally. Parents placed a huge emphasis on education and hard work for both boys and girls. And apparently, they were taken seriously. Girls excelled and never felt they could not attain an education or a profession. They worked hard and succeeded past their parents had encouraged all those years. Now, these same women are in their twenties and thirties and the same parents are now pressuring them to get married.

Are women to blame for being ambitious and educated? Apparently so. Women seem to be penalized for their ambition. Once a young woman passes the age of 25 and remains single, she is considered "old" and often finds it difficult to find a suitable spouse. Suddenly, others tell her that she has become too picky and her expectations of a husband are unrealistic and that she should hurry up and get married already. "There are some of us who went to college and are successful in our careers and we are not on a search and destroy mission to get married," says Suhad Obeidi, a 39-year-old former banking manager with an M.B.A. The reality is that Muslim women have worked hard for their education and careers and they will not give it all up in order to get married.

In recent decades, men have also become highly educated and progressive. However, while these men are impressed with a successful and active woman, they do not consider her "marriage material." Despite the elevation of women, many men have maintained traditional ideas as to the type of wife they seek. After all, they do not see anything wrong with the way their mother was.

Consciously or subconsciously, many men seek a wife who will fulfil the traditional role of a wife and mother and one who will maintain a traditional home life. She should be educated, but she should also be willing to put her education and career on a shelf while raising a family. These women in their late twenties and early thirties appear too established in their career and lifestyle and therefore, more difficult to marry because they will not fall into this traditional role.

Many Muslim women want to be wives and mothers while at the same time be respected for their profession. One big problem is that, rather than embrace her ambition and success; men simply tolerate it and expect something in return. Current expectations of marriage have changed for women and become more aligned with the examples of women during Prophet Muhammad's lifetime. The Prophet's first wife, Khadija, was an established career woman who was 15 years older than her husband. Khadija was a very confident and successful woman who actually proposed to the 24-year-old Muhammad. Yet, the Prophet was not intimidated by her nor found her "unmarriageable." They maintained a strong marriage as she continued to be a businesswoman, as well as wife and mother. Prophet Muhammad and Khadija were married for 28 years, the longest of all his marriages. The year that Khadija died was also referred to as the Year of Mourning by Prophet Muhammad.

Many Muslim women seek not to compete with men, but rather to establish a partnership with their spouse. Ultimately, these women want to be cherished and loved in the same way that the Prophet loved Khadija. This type of partnership in marriage can only exist when both people are accepting and respectful of one another's ambitions and priorities in life. Men have succumbed to negative cultural stereotypes that are contrary to Islam when selecting a spouse. We (Muslim women) are the way we are because we are trying to be good Muslims.

Thus, a partnership in marriage can only be developed when men and women really follow the principles of Islam and learn to communicate their expectations of marriage as well as be understanding of one another. Communication is vital to any successful marriage, but now more than ever, women must feel comfortable in expressing their expectations of marriage to a potential spouse and in return feel that they are being understood, respected and encouraged.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Foot IN Mouth Chronicles: The Story of the Wors-Roll

Everyone who knows me will tell you I suffer from a mild form of FIMD (Foot IN Mouth Disease). The disease began very early on in my life…and for a minute there, we thought we had a cure. Sadly, it had emerged that this was not the case and the disease began to progress over time. I suffered greatly in my adolescence and early adulthood with mild headaches, delusional perception, blackouts, convulsions and something Lindsay Lohan called “Word Vomit” in Mean Girls.

The defining moment in the progression of FIMD was brought to my attention with one particular incident that occurred in Spring of the year 2002. It was the year like no other. I was in my 3rd year at what is now called UJ, then RAU, (2nd Academic year because I F@#$ed up the first one) and I was competing with Alicia Silverstone for the Clueless title. But then maybe it was just pure naïveté or innocence that contributed to the events that transpired that afternoon.

I remember it was warm…hot even…and it was the day of the Fietas Festival in Vrededorp, Johannesburg. The objective of the festival was to mark the anniversary of the year that all the Indians, Malays and Coloureds were expelled from Vrededorp and relocated to Lenasia and Eldos under the Apartheid regime.

Vrededorp is a tiny suburb made up of a few streets, nestled between Mayfair, Fordsburg and Auckland Park. So naturally, the place was packed! They had various stalls lined up in each street selling all kinds of things and of course, one whole street was dedicated to the food stalls. It was our first time at the Fiestas Festival. Mother reminisced about the many times my late Portugese looking Grand-Pa would smuggle them onto the “white” buses and INSIST that he had every right to be there while they (the Whites) were trying to kick them out; while Tazmania, Nisa and I browsed through the various pieces of fake jewelry and sunglasses, looking for ways to waste the little money we had.

I was decked out in my finest gear at the time…a Spanish-type top and these killer platform heels I remember…strutting my stuff and feeling good. Anyways, the time had flown by, the men had gone to mosque and before we knew it, it was Supper Time…

Inevitably, we were hungry, because that’s what happens when you walk around aimlessly for five hours. And because we are all very strong-willed, opinionated women that want different things, we decided to go ahead and order separately from different vendors. I wanted a Wors-Roll…aka Sausage in a Roll with various condiments sloshed all over. They were going for around R12-00 at the time…and the prices at all the stalls were pretty standard.

Let me just say, that I am many things…but Patient is not one of them. I walked towards the first food stall, saw the number of people there and automatically carried on walking to the next one. I paused briefly at the second one, they were just starting with their preparations…so I moved on….The third stall didn’t have the coveted Wors-Roll…so I continued. I carried on walking down the aisle of food stalls until I came to one that was un-inhabited. There was a nice lady there and she was buttering the Rolls and her very attractive son was seeing to the Wors and Sausages on the grill. I couldn’t believe my luck! I hit the freakin Jackpot!!! No lengthy queues while I watch HotOne make me a Wors-Roll…geez what else could a girl ask for?!?!?

So there I am smiling at the guy like an idiot…and I ask his mom “Can I order a Wors-Roll please”. She looks at me and says “Sure”…then she tells HotOne to get a piece of Wors ready. So the poor guy looks at his griddle and they were all still raw, but he had one prepared (It looked like it was a plate that he had prepared earlier for HIM) - so at a loss…and he gave the plate to his mom. I was so touched and OVER THE FREAKIN MOON…a nice guy giving up his meat for me?!? Unheard of!

It was then that his Dad showed up. What a nice Uncle. He rocked up, greeted me and when his wife told him that I had ordered a Wors-Roll…he announced to the world “Get the Lady a Wors-Roll Pronto!”. Then out of no-where all these people arrived…HotOne’s Uncles, Aunties and cousins…they were all so cool and I briefly wished I was part of this family. I looked at HotOne…and he looked back at me smiling…I was smiling too…even flirting a little…and I didn’t even care that his male cousins were standing with him and smiling at us. Then Uncle asked me if I wanted some salad with my Roll…I initially said “No thanks” without taking my eyes off HotOne…then I said “Wait, what’s in the Salad, because I don’t like Radish”…Uncle was just too happy to help me, picking out all the Radish from my salad. Then Aunty asked me if I wanted some tomato sauce (ketchup) and mustard…I was like “Yeah, why not”…eyes moving to and fro between HotOne and the Roll.

So when all was said and done, I reached for my purse…and asked Aunty (who was chatting away to her sisters and in-laws in the interim) “How much?”…meaning for the Wors-Roll. Uncle looks at me and says, “For you, free…just make dua for us ok”…and I was like “No you guys are too nice, seriously, how much…it’s R12-00 everywhere else”. They insisted that I should not pay and we kept going on that way until it dawned on me. It hit me like a Freakin Bus! They were NOT selling Wors-Rolls and they did NOT have a stall…they were having a family BRAAI!!!!!!! I was MORTIFIED!!!!!!!
I had never wanted to DIE so much in my life! The truth hit me like a ton of bricks and I said “OMG – so I just walked up to a strange family and asked them for a Wors-Roll?!?!?!”…I turned to look at HotOne and the cousins…and they were all just smiling at me incredulously and laughing.
I was so embarrassed, to depths I had not known before! If only the ground would open and swallow me whole. I didn’t know what do to…so I tried to run…
And like the cherry on my cake of humiliation, one of my platform heels gave way, I tripped and almost fell….in front of the whole freaking family! Then to add insult to injury, everyone gasped and screamed “OH NO Are you OK?!?!?”…I was like “nooo...dont look at me” (trying to hide my face) and made a run for it…I still remember HotOnes handsome face of amusement upon my departure.

I found Mother and told her what happened. She laughed for 3 years. Needless to say, I will never look at another Wors-Roll in the same way again :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Location: In my head...
Mood: Cynical and Sarcastic

There’s no good news these days. Everywhere you look, there’s a reporter or analyst predicting doom and gloom for the consumer, Eskom, the country, the world, you name it. I guess no one ever thought that when we rang in 2008, the shit would hit the fan on such a massive global scale. For us, it started with the Power-cuts. For a minute there I thought I lived in Zim. Then it was the rapid rise in oil prices, petrol, food prices and every other commodity that we utilise in society on a daily basis. Things are bad. It actually feels like the society we know is regressing, not progressing…it’s a miracle I can still check my email and blog. We could even be a couple of horses away from going back to the horse and cart/carriage system of the 17th and 18th centuries.

My friend Bea told me that the Clinic has never seen so many patients in one week…and that’s in London. She reckons the global credit crunch is making everyone in the UK physically sick. Even her family in Venezuela is complaining. Joanita has to move out of Paris soon, because she simply can’t afford bringing up a toddler and a baby in the city, even though both she and her husband work. I’m devastated at this news…no more free accommodation in Paris? Noooooo :(

Anyways, so one day, while I was sitting in the dark, eating MJ’s Pringles @ like R50-00 a pop, I started wondering who is benefiting from all these price hikes? Seriously, think about it…everyone is adjusting their prices to keep up with the overall price increases everywhere. But who started it? And why? Yeah I hear everyone tell me it began with the rapid rise in oil and fuel prices. But who is sitting at the top, raking in all this money, that’s what I want to know.
Maybe it was the darkness…or maybe I shouldn’t eat Sour Cream and Onion flavoured Pringles at that time of the night…but I had a theory…a theory crazier than anything Killa could ever come up with…what if there was this elitist group that controlled the way the whole world operated. They determine which prices go up and which come down (not that anything ever comes down). They decide who goes to war and who receives immunity. Kinda like the Producers of Survivor….they pull all the strings…and the puppets work the stage. Well Shakespeare did say “All the worlds a stage”…so maybe he was in it too…

Everyone’s looking for a solution…what does one do to escape the dreary existence that has become life to so many of escape the horrors of human nature, the tragedies of mother do we escape the everyday problems that plague our tortured souls?
I’ve heard that a positive attitude can help your goals materialise…so they say in “The Secret”, which by the way, is no damn secret because we all knew that on some level and positive thinking has always been encouraged in society and religion. Some say that charity work encourages self-reflection and creates a greater consciousness...and others believe that prayer is the only way…

While I agree with most, there is only so much positive visualising a person can do before you give yourself an Aneurism...and I’m sorry to burst the bubble but no amount of visualisation will get you the new Ferrari Adonai F-800 especially if you’re stuck in the perpetual cycle of the capitalist drone.

Self-reflection brings forth appreciation and contentment and prayer is solace… but neither encapsulates true escapism. Can we even escape ourselves or our dreaded lives? Or are we prisoners of our own existence?

The answer is that we think too damn much...just suck it up and get on with it. Go and thrive in your adversity, smile in the face of frustration and sing in your hurricane. You might as well have some fun while you’re as miserable as hell, and be the happiest saddest person around.

PS. Go invest in Horses while they’re still reasonably priced :D

The Root of All Evil....According to Azra

There are many debates and opinions with regard to exactly what is the root of all evil. Evil itself exists and manifests itself in many forms. The Catholics have even structured evil and its counterparts to formulate the infamous "Seven Deadly Sins" which encapsulates the sins of Lust, Greed, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath and Pride.

Islam has several takes on sinning as well as evil and its origins. The Prophet (SAW) mentioned that most of the occupants of Hell would be women as women are deemed to be more fickle in nature. In these contemporary times, that would include all the men that act like women too :D

Evil in Islam includes Adultery, Murder, Gossiping, Pride, Shirk (Associating partners with God) amongst various other sins. But what is the Root of all evil? The bible says "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" in the King James Version (1Timothy 6:10). But is the love of money really the root of all evil? It is evident that the "love" of money is closely associated with the need for power or authority. But money itself is not evil.

In my opinion (and its purely my opinion), the root of all evil lies in the common denominator amongst all of the other sins. It is the one sin that drives all other sins. It acts as a catalyst by adding fuel to flames which result in raging fires. It is the sin of Greed.

Greed is at the forefront of many of the major sins. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that Greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things". It is because of Greed that Adultery exists…because of a carnal animalistic need of excess. For those men or women who cheat on their spouses for no apparent reason, it is because of greed – because one man or woman is not enough to satisfy their desires. Greed also acts as the driving force behind the sins of Jealousy/Envy and Gluttony. When one is not satisfied with his lot, he becomes envious of his brother. Gluttony is the consequence of Greed in that it is an over-consumption of anything to the point of being wasteful. Greed is the lead actor in the play of Murder. Murder is almost always motivated by reasons that resulted from the need of excess. Robberies and trickery are also the direct result of Greed or wanting what one does not own nor has any right to. Greed is the mother of disloyalty, betrayal, violence, treason, bribery, manipulation, scavenging and hoarding as well as a host of other sins. Greed can very well be seen as the characteristic that motivates and drives most evil deeds…the root of all evil.