My skin is glowing…actually it looks as if someone dipped me in a vat of Extra Fine Lindt Milk chocolate, finished it off with a coat of honey and left me out to dry. The tiny hairs on my arms, face, neck and ears have been bleached blonde from excessive exposure to the sun and I have a stupid grin permanently fixed on my knackered face.
So it’s no surprise to say that my time away was a success. Actually, it was so much more than that. It was rejuvenating, sublime, fantastic, amazing, serene, euphoric and pure bliss. Thanks to The Almighty, everything went perfectly and there were no hiccoughs or reasons to be stressed. The four of us were on time for the flight; there were no issues with the Sea port customs officials; we were one of the first groups to board the vessel that was to be home…everything just flowed.
It has become apparent that there are two things that I really love in this world. One of them is sailing. There is something so majestic about sailing. It’s so liberating and provides you with a sense of freedom and reckless abandonment that very few get to experience in their life time. Maybe it’s the sense of temporary homelessness or the notion of living in your own made up country called the “United States of Emancipation”. You’re neither here nor there while you’re gliding serenely through unknown water’s; every minute is exciting and unpredictable. The 360° view from the deck reveals miles of ocean, no land in sight and it’s enough to convert even the most ardent disbeliever, because no man could ever re-create such beauty, splendor and magnificence. If the journey is better than the destination, then for me, sailing is definitely the way to go.
I’m still rocking to and fro, ever so slightly…being conditioned from the motion of the ship sailing through rogue waves in Richards Bay. The sensation makes you high…so there’s really no need for alcohol or cannabis. And forget about walking in a straight line; everyone is vulnerable to the capricious sea and the host vessel’s passage through dark and untamed waters. Even simple tasks like making Salaah is incredibly fun because you never know when you’re going to be propelled back or forth or even sideways. It’s a voyage that is definitely not for the feint-hearted. Thankfully, none of my traveling companions and I were feint-hearted or had feint-stomachs…even so, there are pills for that. I figured that because the ship weighs like a Million Tons, it won’t sink in a hurry and even if it did go down by some miracle, I’m a good swimmer and one can always float to shore.
I was initially very wary of this trip and made the conscious effort not to have any expectations, especially when I discovered that Steve-fucking-Hofmeyer was going to gate-crash my precious cruising time. For those who don’t know, Steve Hofmeyer is one of South Africa’s top local musicians with a penchant for Afrikaans “sokkie treffers” music and a notorious philanderer…and everyone knows how I hate cheaters. So my main goal was to have as much fun as possible regardless of what or who I would have had to encounter or endure on the ship.
To my pleasant surprise, Steve was as inconspicuous as a drop of water in the ocean, a minor feature in the grandeur of what the ship had to offer. Overall, the entire trip gave me exactly what I was looking for…long languid lazy days and warm balmy breezy nights. The food was good too…they have Halaal certificates for their Mutton, Beef and Chicken from 5 different authoritative Muslim bodies including SANHA, MJC and The Brazilian Muslim Association (or something like that).
The highlight of our trip had to be the islands themselves. We were ferried on huge zodiac boats to miles of pristine beaches on a deserted island…what more could a girl ask for?
And then we frolicked…
And man did we frolick…
Frolicking has to be my second favourite thing in the world, next to sailing. We rolled about the beach in ecstasy for a few hours and swam in the clear blue warm wave-less shallow waters for most of the day. It’s what dreams are made of. I was lucky to find everything that I had envisioned and dreamt of all those weeks ago and didn’t leave disappointed.
True to word, I went snorkeling at Inhaca Island, and no I didn’t drown although I find I swim better without the flippers. I really love swimming. We had a blast once I got the hang of it although we didn’t see much because the tide came in bringing some murky water with it. It was still amazing and before we knew it, the day had come to an end and we were bouncing on the waves back to the anchored ship.
And then we had fun…
And man did we have fun…
Maybe it was because of the debauchery – eating, laughing and dancing too much…but as it turns out, we became minor celebrities on the ship through our “excellent dance routines”. Well they were not so much routines as us mimicking each other, loosing any inhibitions that we may have had and just going with the flow. We were all just in sync with each other, moving simultaneously to the tunes churned out by the DJ, making up crazy moves as we went along, while we laughed until we cried. We weren’t paying any attention to the crowd, we didn’t care how we looked or even noticed who was there and who wasn’t…we just danced. It was only the next day at breakfast, that we realised that something was up because everyone was staring at us…some were whispering, others pointing and some of them amused. One lady from Durban came up to us after breakfast and told us that we were really good on the dance floor the previous night…she said she loved our “choreography” and that the only reason they even planned to attend the next evening was to watch us. At this point I was LMAO…rolling on the floor…literally. After that, many more people came to tell us similar things, it was hilarious!!!
The second evening had a Carnival theme and it was a huge party on the deck…I remember an uncle and an aunty in a scarf sitting on the sidelines, glaring at us with grave disapproval etched into every crevice of their faces. I briefly thought “Fuck you aunty and uncle, what the hell are you doing here anyway”…since attendance to the Carnival party was not obligatory and very much voluntary as there were other programmes that were scheduled. In any case, the Carnival crowd was between 18 and 35 years old. We received more compliments, and had a fan base growing, with a few teenage girls joining us. There was another girl on the dance floor, obviously looking for some attention, who was scantily clad and bumping and grinding all over her boyfriend. I wanted to tell skankalicious that if the only way she could dance was to bump and grind, then she couldn’t dance at all and to please fuck off the dance floor. But I got distracted by the Sailors who joined us – damn men in uniform are so divine – but that’s a whole other story. There were those who looked at us in awe and admiration…as if we being absolutely crazy had inspired them…and then there were those who laughed and thought we were crazy. Damn Steve Hofmeyer was part of the audience too. We had pure fun…and it worked wonders as an exercise routine…I lost 2kg from shaking it like a Polaroid picture, even though we ate like Bears at breakfast, lunch, tea time, supper and with midnight snacks.
I didn’t get to oogle as much as I wanted to, for some reason men in general did not interest me on this trip. I had a stalker though, he asked for my number, I said no because I have a strict Muslim-Only policy…and I caught him staring at me numerous times after that but I didn’t pay much attention to him or any other interested guys oogling their brains out. There’s only one incident to report on and it involved 5 minutes of me stalking the most beautiful Italian security guy in the world. He was all decked out in a suit – I’m a sucker for men in suits – with his ear piece, he looked like he belonged to the Mafia. But he was there purely for security and didn’t engage much with the passengers. It took all my strength, willpower and every ounce of resistance I could muster NOT to walk up to him, extend both arms, push my wrists together and say “Arrest me please, take me away and lock me up in your chambers…I’ve been a bad bad girl”…LOL.
Overall, it was an excellent mini holiday. For those who are wondering…the ship has 8 Decks, 2 Pools, 2 Restaurants, 1 Poolside Terrace/Dining Area, a Cinema, Gym, Running Track, 3 Clubs, Playhouse for kids, 3 Bars, 2 Jacuzzi’s, a Casino and several duty-free shops. There’s a photographer and camera crew that operate at every major function, capturing and immortalizing every memorable moment for those who wish to purchase photographs or DVD’s…although it’s expensive and most people don’t bother since they come with their own equipment. Even with all the amenities, the ship is still quite small compared to others in its fleet. The Fantasia (pronounced Fan-ta-see-a) having made its debut late last year and its sister ship, the Splendida making its debut in a few months time being the largest ships in the fleet. These vessels are going to be the Queens of the oceans…but not for long since the company as already put in orders for larger and more sophisticated sea vessels due out in 2010/2011.
The Fantasia was crowned the most beautiful ship in the world and is one of the reasons I’m doing an MBA. Boasting 18 decks, over 120 Pools, a massive Pool slide, a Fountain, 12 Restaurants, a sports stadium/arena, a Spa, Turkish Bath, Hairdresser, an Italian Piazza with a glass ceiling, a Patisserie, an ice-cream stand, a Games Arcade, A Formula 1 simulator, 4D Cinema, Elevators and state of the art technology amongst the hundreds of other facilities and services on board, including a personal Butler for every Cabin as well as a plasma screen TV and private balcony in each cabin. I’m sure that it must be a sin somewhere to have so much aboard a single vessel and it has been reported that the opulence and decadence offered on board can be overwhelming for simple cruisers. I’m not too concerned about that and in the event of the ship sinking, I maintain my floating principle, it’s just important to cruise in summer so that one doesn’t perish from hypothermia.
When I grow up, I think I’ll cruise every year; that’s how I’ll spend my mini holidays and weekends away. I still love airplanes and airports and long haul flights…so I won’t be giving that up any time soon. Looks like that MBA will come in handy after all.
The mind is an amazing thing. It holds a plethora of memories, good and bad, and has the most advanced file retrieval system that could out-do even the most sophisticated software and technology that will ever come to exist. All it requires is a whiff of that cologne or hot bread baking in an oven or a taste of chocolate cake that is reminiscent of what Grandma used to make, or a song that plays in the background and WHAM, you’re instantly transported to another time and place, sometimes a completely different era.
This happens to me often. Maybe it’s because I have a fantastic memory, provided that I have the will to remember something. I was listening to the radio yesterday, and Ricky Martin was singing a song featuring Christina Aguilera “Nobody wants to be lonely” and I was instantly transported to the year 2002, my second academic year at Varsity; the year Jennifer Lopez became J.Lo. I remember wishing that I was Latina purely because it was in fashion at the time. It was the year I decided to take my studies more seriously but still spent way too much time on the roof at C-Les counting the planes flying by, and guessing their destinations whilst desperately wishing I was on one of them. It was the same year 94.7fm almost killed my auditory canals by over-playing Vanessa Carlton’s “A thousand miles” 12 times a day and Spider-man became one of the movies to watch along with LOTR: Two Towers and the Harry Potter sequel. The world was still reeling from the shock of the surreal events of 9/11; I was introduced to office politics when I began working part-time to pay for my Varsity books and other essentials and I officially became a Linkin Park fan. It’s difficult to believe that all that was 7 years ago, still feels like yesterday.
The saline taste of China-fruit overloads my sensory glands and instantly takes me back to 1996. Those formative years in Junior High School, when I ruled the world with R3.00 in my pocket as a daily allowance, were some of the best and worst years of my life. I was madly in-love with “R” at the time and would pray religiously that someday we would get married. I loathed going to school with enough malice and rancor to make Satan envious. Ironically, I was quite popular but not in the “Cheerleader” sense…I was more like the art student/prankster who told everyone to fuck off and use to hide their bags when they weren’t looking and they’d always come back for more. I hated the institution of school because I always believed that it was a prison of sorts and that it inhibited my capabilities…it prevented me from “becoming”. My convictions were justified because my imprisonment eventually contributed to my general lack of interest in life. I was not motivated to great heights nor was I motivated to achieve some astronomical goal. Instead, I was intelligent enough not to study and still come in the top 5 and I was usually the clown laughing my ass off everyday, waiting in agony for my eventual emancipation. Mariah Carey’s duet with Boyz II Men “One Sweet Day” ruled that year, for me anyway… TuPac died after being shot and in Hollywood there was a Tom Cruz overload with Jerry Maguire and Mission Impossible.
The stench of freshly painted walls reminds me of 1988. It was the year we moved into our house, the same house we live in today. I was six years old and it was my first year at school. I should have known then, what the next 12 years had in store for me, since I cried like a freaking baby that entire first day. It was a year of many firsts. It was the first time I learnt to read in Arabic, the first time I learnt to read and write in general, the first time I participated in some form of extra-curricular activity called sports day, the first time I wrote my name without any help from the teacher or Mother, the first time I fasted in the month of Ramadaan. It was the first time I wore a uniform and it was the first year of my 12 year sentence. Hollywood was very busy because some of my favourite movies were released in 1988 including Cocktail, Who framed Roger Rabbit, Coming to America, A fish called Wanda, and Beetlejuice. Life was lived to the soundtrack of hits from Phil Collins, Tiffany, New Kids on the Block, Sade, Bobby Brown, Rick Astley, Paula Abdul, Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson.
There are many other memories that are evoked by various snippets of music, fragrances and flavours embedded in my taste buds…all a part of my history. I could give Dr. Emmett Brown and Marty Mcfly a run for their money. Some memories are more significant than others. There was Celine Dion’s “Falling into You” that captured an era filled with theme-park rides at the Rand Show and a catastrophic and hilarious trip to Cape Town in 1997. There’s the smell of hot donuts, washing powder as well as Keane’s “Everybody’s Changing”, The Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Don’t Phunk with my heart” and the Scissor Sisters’ “Filthy Gorgeous” that filled many summer nights in London in 2005. The cupboard in the corner reeks of the scent of Jasmine incense sticks, and reminds me of my Grandmother just before she passed away in 1993. I can’t eat jelly without remembering how my aunt used to add whipped cream to the top in the Summer months of 1995.
Then there were the pesky years in between, like 1998 and 2003 when things were quiet or less meaningful. They were still important in the evolution of Azra, each contributing in their own way. And I’m sure there are subtle nuances that echo those passages of time, but none too significant to remember at present.
I sound like a broken record but I can’t help advocating my cause for this year called “LIVE”. I’ve spent most of my life always looking back, and in anticipation of the future. But that has changed because I’m willing myself to live in the present, really truly LIVE. I feel the meaning, now more then ever before. It feels like a new chapter…no…a whole new book. And it begins now, well on Saturday, when I intend to keep to my promise to try something new every month. I shall brave the waters off the Coast of Inhaca Island while I snorkel for the first time. I’m shit scared but quite excited too. After all, a life lived in fear, is a life half-lived.
Ok, so I don't usually do this...but I've become such a fan I feel I have to. She's quite amusing and hilarious to say the least, and her opinions always ring true or bring some truth to light. Here's an excerpt from one of Rebellious Arab Girl's latest posts:
"I will call the war in Gaza from now on the “War to Kill Children.” Why? Simple. When you kill as many children as you can, you don’t have to worry about them growing up and joining some fanatic religious organization. Target UN school. Target homes. Target, well, everything. Who cares. Kill them all. That’s the philosophy of a true war to annihilate an entire culture...13 days and Arab leaders sitting on their asses doing nothing but have closed door meetings with no conclusions."
She's good...and her content is refreshing even though we've heard it before.
On to other matters.
I suck at poetry...only near devastation can pull poetic prose out of me. But I'm good with music and I've had this song in my head the entire week. These lyrics are as close to poetic as I get:
World on Fire - Sarah McLaughlin
Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You're not alone in this story's pages
Night has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I try to hold it in, I try to hold it in
The world's on fire and
It's more than I can handle
I'll tap into the water
(I try to pull my ship)
I try to bring more
More than I can handle
(Bring it to the table)
Bring what I am able
I watch the heavens and I find a calling
Something I can do to change this moment
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
Don't wanna be left alone, don't wanna be alone
Hearts break, hearts mend
Love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash
Still there's talk of
Saving souls, still the cold
Is closing in on us
We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take, the less we become
A fortune of one that means less for some
The world's on fire and
It's more than I can handle
I'll tap into the water
(I try to pull my ship)
I try to bring more
More than I can handle
(Bring it to the table)
Bring what I am able
I watch the heavens and I find a calling
Something I can do to change this moment
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
Don't wanna be left alone, don't wanna be alone
The PG21 rating for Language/Peril/Violence/Blasphemy still stands, and this post is not suitable for sensitive readers.
Confession # 13: So I went to a friend’s Bachelorette party a few years ago. I was initially a little shy because I didn’t know the majority of the people there. And then I discovered that there are some things in life that a girl just does NOT have to see…like a skinny white male rubbing baby oil all over his ribs. I say ribs because he hardly had anything resembling a six pack. I was rolling on the floor laughing. The only other time I laughed that much at someone was the first time I saw the Fast Forward chocolate advertisement on TV, the one where the midget on the scooter attacks and terrorizes those dudes in the car while they’re driving. Amazingly enough, no amount of laughing affected Skinny’s performance in any way and he was just working it, shaking his tail feather or should I say little earthworm. At least the neighbours didn’t call the cops; apparently they had to the last time.
Confession # 14: The one thing I collect on all my journeys, apart from the usual postcards and the clichéd souvenirs are little stones. I collect sand too, just a little from each place. I usually layer the different colours of sand that I collect from different places in decorative bottles. My collection is priceless and I love that I get to take a piece of any place I visit home with me. Besides, if someone had to break into our house for whatever reason, I doubt they’d want to steal a pile of stones…unfortunately, that kind of thinking is a result of living in SA. When I was in Palestine, it was no different. I remember scouring the grounds of Al-Aqsa after Fajr (somewhere in between getting lost in the little city’s walls in the dark and encountering armed forces) and I was looking for a particular stone. I always try to get the most authentic pieces, and not what someone may have put there in the last 50 years. So I usually dig a little in the ground or look in places that people don’t usually frequent. I went into the cave at the Dome of the Rock, where it is said that the Prophet SAW ascended to the Heavens on Mi’raj (Journey to the Heavens) and after offering a brief prayer in the form of Salaah, I went on a mission to find a stone in the cave. Everyone else there was solemn, basking in the auspiciousness of the place, eagerly engaged in prayer while I was climbing the walls like a fucking monkey, looking for a stone. I put my fingers in the crevices of the rocks, searching through dust and sand and I eventually managed to break of a few tiny pieces from a fragile rock. Someone told me I was going to hell. I said “I know”.
Confession # 15: I use to be an extra on a TV show a few years ago and was really chuffed when the director asked me and another older dude to do what I call a “filler-scene” together. We had to pretend that we were lecturers discussing a subject for a few seconds before they cut and went to the main actors. Maybe this is what prompted my stint in London because I took an acting class at a studio in Holborn. Tweets came for a lengthy visit and she joined too. I discovered that I have no hidden talents because I can’t act to save my life. See, there are a few pre-requisites to being a good actor and a set of criteria that you have to fulfill. For one, you have to be a good liar…no a professional liar. Great actors also have no qualms about making royal fools of themselves in front of an audience. I suck at both because I can’t keep a straight face, I’m too honest and even though I can laugh at myself for hours WITH other people, I’m too self-conscious to have everyone else laugh AT me. The class was fun though, and we did a lot of improvisations which was, for the most part, absolutely hilarious! Ironically, the only part I played brilliantly, according to our Coach who happened to be an actor himself, was that of a juvenile delinquent Prisoner.
Confession # 16: At one point, one of my flat mates was a difficult Polish chick, Karolina. She was temperamental and a spoilt ex-model who was very particular about everything. I was standing in the kitchen once, looking for some salt for my pasta and found some in her cupboard along with a packet of some very expensive mixed nuts, a gift from her Albanian boyfriend. I was hungry ok, that’s my defense, and the pasta was going to take at least another 10 minutes! So I figured, that she wouldn’t mind if I had a handful…but one handful soon became 5, also not my fault because damn cashews are addictive. I felt terrible, and knew she was going to have a bitch-fit if she found out. So I ran to the closest Lidl about 300 meters away, and bought a few packets of nuts, ran home and mixed them up, re-sealed her packet as neatly as possible and voila, the perfect cover-up. I did tell her about it a few weeks later, when we were having one of our ritual monthly Girls Night In and she was drunk out of her mind. She just laughed it off.
Confession # 17: Over time, I moved house and got my own place. The only snag was that my new anally retentive neighbour decided to get a boyfriend. People live freakishly close to one another in London and let me say, Sunday mornings were never the same again. They would go at it like bunnies. Now I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, but that’s just it, it’s suppose to be private! The first time it happened, I was K-O’d…in a deep sleep because I spent the previous day walking around Brighton and was exhausted. But I awoke to what I initially thought was a ghost. But then it occurred to me that ghosts don’t moan. And geez were they loud. The entire street could hear them and B-Road was an awfully long road. I blocked my ears, mortified…then I started laughing hysterically. Needless to say, I spent the next few Saturday nights at Angie’s place in Leytonstone. And thankfully, it stopped after some of the other neighbours started complaining.
Confession # 18: We were at a family friends wedding, Tweets, Shana and I, and Cuteboy was there because he was the brides brother’s best friend. My cousin Jazz was there too and Cuteboy was clearly interested in her because she was the only “foreigner” in a land where he knew everyone. So he offered to take her to the bride’s room/house after the reception when everyone left to go there. We really really wanted to drive with him, because he was so cool. So Shana, the bride’s cousin, told him that she need a lift because there was no place left in the car she was suppose to drive in. Tweets and I kinda pushed our way into his car too…along with some other chick…and soon everyone except Jazz was in the car with him. It was hilarious, we could tell he was annoyed. Almost nine years later, Jazz is married to someone else and Cuteboy is not so cute or cool anymore.
Confession # 19: After Angie moved to yonder in the East, I became friends with David who happened to be gay; which suited me just fine because the last thing I needed was another guy to hit on me and I felt safe with him. It’s amazing the amount of desperate people in London, Asian men in particular. I was so sick of “men” I can remember telling Mother on the phone that I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see another man for the next two years (well the time has since lapsed:). They will accost you on every corner, wanting your number to “chat”. When I was with David, no one came up to me so I was relieved and we had a lot in common. We both loved going to various museums, art galleries, parks, historical sites etc. There was one night when David insisted that he wanted to give karaoke a try and there was a pub who was hosting a karaoke night. After he persisted for a week, I relented especially since he went to Fulham Palace with me when he didn’t really want to. So there we were completely sucking at Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and No Doubt's "Don't Speak"…the crowd was incredibly supportive even though we were either laughing or screaming into our respective mics.
Confession # 20: Tweets, Birdy and I always dance around like freaks. I’m guessing that it’s not Tourette’s even though it always occurs somewhat unconsciously, like we don’t even realise we’re doing it and its involuntary on some level. So we’ll walk into shop 1 and dance to PCD’s “When I grow up”…leave, walk into shop 2, and dance to Will.I.Am’s “Heartbreaker” etc. We do that ALL the time. And when we’re not dancing in the streets as Mother calls it, we’re making kooky home videos of us singing after inhaling Helium and doing whacked dance moves. I must admit, we have a lot of fun. We definitely have some crazy genes.
Maybe it’s because I’m frustrated and I really need to get away, maybe it’s just the weather, but I feel anti-social which is unusual for me. But not anti-social in the typical sense, more physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I’m also feeling somewhat reckless and daring, a very dangerous mood to be in…like oh-my-fuck-did-I-really-just-walk-out-of-the-office-to-go-skydiving-even-though-I’m-shit-scared-of-heights kinda reckless. I therefore forfeit the responsibility of anything I might say or do from hereon and this post is rated PG21 Language/Peril/Violence/Blasphemy and is not suitable for sensitive readers.
Confession # 1: So it has dawned on me that if I wasn’t Muslim, I would SO be an alcoholic. I’m not even joking, 100% true. I’d probably hit the bottle when I wake up. A good shot or two of Uncle Jack in the early morning followed by some Irish coffee with those chocolate liquors for breakfast. Then maybe some Archers Aqua mid-morning, Sauvignon Blanc with lunch and Mojitos as an afternoon snack. The evenings will vary between Cosmopolitans, Vodka or Tequila straight up…depending on how the day went. Well, I guess I should be grateful that I’m Muslim and will never even look at a drink, much less consider actually drinking it. But sometimes I do wish for an easy escape.
Confession # 2:Wentworth Miller has some serious competition with the emergence of Eric Dane aka Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan in my life. How can I be expected to choose? Problem with Eric though, is that he’s married and I’m allergic to married men, unless they’re betrothed to me. So that’s minus 10 points for him.
But seriously, I can appreciate a beautiful man. My eyes love them. What about that Jesse Metcalfe…he’s not too bad either. But I must admit, a guy does NOT have to be pretty to tickle my fancy…like I said previously, I love spunk and fiesty. I’m a sucker for such things and I think nothing of staring and lusting after what can never be. Maybe that explains my fascination with Dane Cook. Honestly, there are worse things in life that I could be doing so for me, there’s no harm in looking at the menu without ordering…and as long as I don’t ever see Wentworth in real life, Mother has no worries of adultery or illegitimate children running around the house. I know I know I know, I’m going to hell.
Confession # 3: I don’t like beards. I don’t mind some stubble on a man’s face, but I’m talking about those men who compete with Gandalf. Now I know its part of our religious customs and it’s a great Sunnah and was recommended by the Prophet (pbuh) himself – he did not make it explicitly Fardh (compulsory), it is a RECOMMENDATION…but I still don’t like it. I don’t find it attractive at all and if my future husband wants to propose, he’s gonna have to shave first, or else I can elect not to shave for our wedding night six months in advance and see how he likes that. I’ve even heard people say that its Haraam (forbidden) not to grow the beard (ironic because I’ve only heard it become Haraam in the last few years, not before that…another example of an ever changing religion with a million interpretations and everyone making their own rules and complying in accordance to what suits them). How about those men who save morsels of last weeks chicken curry and rice in their beards, a safe house for their midnight snacks…Lord only knows what else you will find in there. Or those men who are completely bald and have chosen to overcompensate for it on their faces? I particularly despise those sanctimonious beards who think that they are beyond condemnation and love to judge the rest of us, not realizing that only God Himself shall judge and that any judgment in itself is a sin.
Confession # 4: Talking about men and their attire…I think that men who roll up their pants or trousers above their ankles look like morons. Now I’ve begun to understand that a lot of the rules and regulations in Islam are based on ancient Arab customs, traditions and culture. Hence many laws were passed to govern the people of that time. So when someone tells me that the reason that men are compelled to wear their pants above their ankles is to show humility and not display arrogance, I have to say that in this day and age, that’s bull. Especially since I happen to know a particular arrogant bastard who has a penchant for those above-the-ankle-type pants/shorts (Bermuda shorts as some call it), always rolls up his regular length trousers or pants and he still thinks he’s the shit…so where’s the humility?? But, I won’t argue with the ruling, if it comes from my Creator, I shall obey.
In light of the last 2 confessions, I think it’s important to mention the following as additional info:
My paternal grandfather was a very religious man. In fact, most people I encounter tell me he was a saint of sorts, although I wouldn’t know because he passed away before I was born. He was born on the border of Pakistan/Afghanistan near the Kashmir region and grew up as an orphan in a mosque where he excelled in Islamic studies. In his 30’s he came to South Africa and married my grandma. He was a leader in the community, a Moulana and an Imam of the mosque and was highly respected amongst everyone for his character, values and modesty. He passed away in Sujud/Sajdah (Prostration), while leading the Jummah congregation (Friday prayers) in the mosque. Now I’m no expert, but a lot of people tell me that that is the time when one is closest to The Almighty and that it is an honourable death.
Here’s the thing…my Grandpa allowed my Grandma and his children, including my Dad, to listen to the radio…and I’m not talking Islamic talk or nasheeds, in those days all they played was Elvis and The Rolling Stones amongst others. My Grandpa also never wore his trousers above his ankles. He believed that life was about moderation, and respected the laws of the country he chose to adopt. He was a simple man, wore a suit often, kept his beard neatly trimmed, spent his life helping others and not judging them and not amalgamating politics or culture in religion. He never flouted Gods Laws for his own agenda, even when he was in a position to do so and he never aligned himself to any particular sect or affiliation. He stayed away from being labeled. He was a man for the people…not only the Tabligi’s or only the Salafees or just the Shiate’s. My reasoning is, if what he did (i.e. allow music in his home and not wearing his trousers above his ankles etc.) was SO wrong, surely he would not have been bestowed with an honourable death and the decades of respect that his legacy has left behind. We can only ever try to be perfect but perfection will elude us because it was only reserved for The Almighty's messenger. So instead of nit-picking on stupid issues like if you left your house using your right foot this morning...look at the bigger picture called life. Instead of pointing fingers and following rules that were made gospel by misinterpretation, look at your own life and find ways to enhance it through different forms of education. So many people are educated, but they're still stupid. They're closed minded and indoctrinated by so-called leaders...often forgetting that they are just human too, and people are bound to make mistakes. But thats a whole other blog on its own...
Confession # 4: The situation in Gaza depresses and drains the shit out of me emotionally, that’s why I’ve got nothing to say on the matter. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already. Is it horrible, atrocious, unjustified, unwarranted, vile, terrible, a travesty, appalling, dreadful, vicious, and horrendous? OF COURSE it is. Are those Zionists that are violating basic human rights cruel, malicious, evil, wicked and animals? OF COURSE they are. Therefore, I won’t even comment on the situation. Instead, I stand in silent protestation with the knowledge that there is a bigger picture here; that beyond all these atrocities there is a higher power at work; that scriptures and prophecies have foretold of such events and that to a large extent it is beyond my control. The oppressor shall be oppressed…eventually. Our Creator does not sleep and there is a reason for everything. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stand up against it. It’s just recognising that beyond condemning such acts, all we can really do is to have faith and pray.
Confession # 5: I honestly don’t believe that I deserve to go to Jannah (Heaven)…not without being punished first. It’s NOT that I don’t want to go to Heaven, of course I do. I just don’t believe that I should be allowed to because I don’t deserve it…and of course I’m sure if I see the place I’d be singing a different tune. But seriously, I should burn in Hell, searing flesh absorbed in the kind of soul-wrenching pain that’s unfathomable to my feeble mind, that’s what I have to go through. I need to cleanse my soul. Maybe after my soul is punished for a few thousand years and I plead for redemption, I could go to Heaven…who knows.
Confession # 6: I’m not one of those chicks that “forgets” to eat. If it does ever happen, it’s under exceptional circumstances, like a mental or emotional breakdown or a very very hectic day at work, or a nuclear explosion. In fact, I plan what I’m going to eat for the day from the night before and in the case of holidays, planning occurs weeks and months in advance. I plan what I’ll have for breakfast – usually Oats; I’ll plan Lunch – usually tuna on Low GI seeded bread; and Supper – usually grilled or broiled vegetables with fish or chicken. I even plan snacks – usually mixed fruit, herbal tea, coffee, biltong, and assorted nuts…all the healthy stuff. Weekends are for junk food. I stray occasionally, when I’m slightly less obsessive-compulsive. And then there are days when Tweets will call me and ask if I want a Cinnabon. Initially my answer is "YES!!"...followed by a stringent "No, No, No, No, No, but thanks for asking".
Confession # 7: Beyonce Knowles is one of the most over-rated things to ever come out of the music/movie scene EVER!! She made like one tolerable song, everything else is absolute shite. I wish 5fm would stop assaulting my ears with her wanna-be-throw-back-to-the-60’s-icon-shit. Look, she’s got a pretty face and she can sing, but her daddy oops I meant management and producers are ruining it. She should take some pointers from Britney Spears. Now she’s got some great producers and is one good performer even though she’s a crazy bitch and a little bit of a whore. I don’t even mind that she lip syncs, I’d rather have her do that and get the dance moves right, then sing and dance half-heartedly while she breaths heavily into the mic. And with all that she still manages to pull it off, bar the horrendous MTV performance for “Gimme More” but I’ll put that down to her involuntary drug stint with her ex-manager Sam “Osama” Lutfi.
Confession # 8: I don’t know if I’m the only one who finds it hilarious that after all the crap the US has been through since 9/11…with hunting down terrorists and phantom weapons of mass destruction, stealing oil and disguising it as a war as well as blowing Afghanistan to smithereens with bullets that cost more than the houses the Afghans use to live in…that they would choose a black Muslim president. Now THAT is fucking funny, excuse my French. Someone was having a ball when plotting and scheming about this plan in the Oval office. Yeah yeah yeah we all know he’s not really Muslim, but with a middle name like Hussein come on, no one’s buying it. Besides, even if he was from the Taliban himself, it wouldn’t matter. People need to realise that the face that represents the White House in Washington is nothing but a pawn, a puppet governed by strings that come from above. He has no real say, because they tell him what he needs to say, believe and what actions to take. Even before his inauguration, people are waiting for Obama to do or say something against Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza…but alas…nothing. He is tight lipped. I can bet anyone that he does not approve of the invasion. But he can’t voice his disapproval because it goes against his pact with the devil…or the mysterious oracle disguised as a few white men/puppeteers that govern the policies and procedures in America, the same ones who ensured that he was elected to run and win in the first place.
Confession # 9: This is an old issue but I really hate those girls who prance around with their version of the hijab, you know the tight somewhat revealing clothes. Previously, those clothes were exemplified with the ever-tight blue jeans and the boob-enhancing baby-t’s, all justified with the scarf. These days there’s no discrimination because you can get equally tight-fitting Kurta’s and Abayas and even have them tailor-made to cling to your curves. The guys love them. Shiraz even told Tweety that he thinks those women are beautiful when she was interviewing him for her Honours thesis; while he stood with his gawking friends and stared down, lusted after and oogled all the pretty girls in their scarf’s. No guy even bothered to look at Tweets who was decked out in a plain old track-suit, hair tied back and no make-up. Makes one question the true definition of hijab…and what it has become in the modern age.
Confession # 10: I couldn’t believe it when Justin voiced his opinion on Muslim Indian guys and sex even though I knew it to be true. To hear him actually say it confirmed my beliefs on the subject. He said that most Muslim Indian guys behave like they’ve never ever seen women in their lives; like they were brought up amongst wolves in the jungle or something. They are so sleazy about it too and walk around wanting to hump anything that moves. Justin said that he hasn’t seen any male nation so obsessed with sex…they go on like they are going to die if they don’t get it and will either prey on young, naïve and slutty women, or pay prostitutes for the privilege. Then they get married, and pretend that they’re virgins...so innocent. Fucking disgusting pigs they are, and I’ve seen and heard examples of this behaviour in every Muslim Indian society in SA. I have to agree with Justin, I haven’t encountered any white or coloured male that performed the way some of these guys do. They are like those deprived, starved little kids you see in movies that don’t have a decent meal for like 10 years and then when a roast chicken is served at the table they attack it with both hands stuffing their faces like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe it’s the whole stigma surrounding sex...especially amongst the Muslims…like the fact that it’s forbidden before marriage makes them want it more. I wish people would just get over it already, like OH said, its not some kind of holy grail…it a natural part of life and maybe if people stop making it bigger than what it is, we won’t have so many male-whores and ho’s in our society.
Confession # 11: I can never look at Benjamin Bratt in the same way again. Not without seeing Isa’s face as I walked away from him four years ago, knowing that it was never going to work, that we had different priorities, and came from completely different backgrounds and continents...that we were just too different. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And he looked just like Benjamin Bratt.
Confession # 12: One of the best times I’ve ever had came one unexpected night in August 2004 when I joined a couple of SA guys and girls for a night out at the Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle in the south of London. I’m not a chronic clubber by any means having been out a mere 6 times in my entire life. But that night at the Ministry of Sound was the best. Maybe it was the company, although any conversation was reduced to screaming matches to combat the 50 000 watts that resonated with every heartbeat. Walking out at 7am the next morning, we were all temporarily deaf, exhausted and broke from spending £5.00 for each Red Bull ordered. It was my night out at Equinox or Fabric…I can’t quite remember…that I decided that at 22, I was either too old to be out clubbing or that it wasn’t my thing because I dozed off, dreaming of work I kid you not, while sitting on one of the sofas and not even Robbie Williams’ attendance with Jay-Z and Beyonce could wake me up. I stumbled out of there around 1am and made my way home…and have never been to another club since.
Azurah means "Blue" in Persian & incidentally it's derived from the Italian word Azzurra also meaning "Blue". I've got a Bachelors Degree in Sarcasm and therefore not EVERY. SINGLE. THING I say should be taken seriously. I love long-haul flights, good music, huge jars of Nutella, NKOTB, happy fairytale endings, the taste of heaven in a white-fleshed nectarine, perfecting the art of pranking, swimming for hours on hot summer days, loads of witty humour, books that resonate, Windmills - yes Windmills, fresh bread straight from the oven, intense gym routines, soothing rain and Nivea-For-Men Commercials. I have a penchant for beginning my sentences with conjunctions and sometimes I can't spell for shit. So if you're looking for some kind of literary masterpiece, you've come to the wrong place.
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to get through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that this was my life. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way'' ~ Alfred D Souza