“Them that takes cakes…”

Sometimes
I kick
geriatrics
in the shins
in the dark
of half-price cinema.

Sometimes
I weave
new birds of paradise
into your pristine
chobi
from gum
my feet bring in off
of the street.

Sometimes
I split
infinitives
and dangle
participles and modifiers
from the
hanging mobile of
my prose.

Sometimes
I forget
the salt
the sugar
remembering instead
the exuberance of
turmeric.

Sometimes
I
just
make
mistakes.

Day 4, 5 and 6

I was born on the fifth of Ramadaan.

A Friday much like yesterday, except for the faint chill of winter that threads through June air.

I always forget my Islamic calendar birthday, and have to be reminded by my mother.
Once I hit fast#3, the days become one huge amalgamated mass of light and dark, with only the numbered chapters of the Quran and the tear-away days on our Ramadaan calendar providing any sense of where I really am.

However, this is not exclusive to Ramadaan. Just a few weeks ago, I misplaced a whole day. I have no idea what I did with Tuesday, August 26. Any information you might have regarding the missing hours can be forwarded via email to me.

The quiet still shrouds me, amplifying all those ugly, scraggly bits of character I need to do away with. If only a metaphysical Verimark existed, and I could pick up a nifty flaw and fluff-remover along with some Bio-slim (as this month of abstention does nothing for a body that’s stubborn and clingy).

The community website ramadaan.co.za features a really good series by Mariam Mahomed titled Ramadan Bootcamp. A post on forgiveness pulled a string in me, and I began to think on all those whom I had stomped on and the ones who muddied me.

I believe it’s a feature of only-child syndrome to want to be loved by everyone all the time (other solo brats feel free to disagree).

For a large part of my lived life thus far, the thought of someone not falling in step with that line refused to compute. And with that, I lived selfishly, doing what I had to do to get what I want, with little cognisance of the sharp words I’d utter or the disappointments I’d cause. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise…” were frequent and familiar. I’d give you a smiley face and some story of how I’m just so caught up in myself to be aware of what I’ve really done. All would be forgiven, because, well, I’m me, and everybody likes me.

But it happens, that one day, someone actually is not able to stomach you, and it sickens you to your bowels, because really that’s never happened before (or maybe you were just so caught up in that little monarchy in your head, that you never noticed). That experience was enough to allow for a long-overdue growth-spurt of maturity. And you begin to think on who’s really forgiven you.

It would not make any sense to go back to every single person you’ve wronged for all your time on earth. What would you say that wouldn’t rattle with empty? “Look, I’ve just had an epiphany. I’ve been really ugly to you. I know I asked for you to forgive me, but will you really forgive me, because I’m being sincere this time around.”

You can’t expect people to hand out their heartfelt maafs on your demand. They have a right to withhold it for as long as their soul will allow. All you can offer is your honesty and prove by your subsequent actions that you truly are regretful.

As for those for whom you penned great epics of wrath and rage for, it’s all kind of laughable really. You would not be who you are today were it not for some reptile who forced you to walk on another path. While you need not cut out your heart for canapés, know that hate makes you brittle.

I visited my family in Azaadville today; with all their quirks and crazies, they keep me grounded. Reading salaah next to my grandmother, I found it hard to suppress a smile when she made her takbeer aloud and proceeded to recite her prayers just above that of an audible whisper. She’s been praying like that for so long, I don’t think He minds anymore. This is the woman who raised me, more mother than grandmother, I’m blessed to have three I can call Mummy (the recent addition of sg33k’s). My grandmother laments my weight gain and pushes sweets on me, all in the same breath. The ways of the old sometimes grate on the young, but in that exercise of patience, lies great reward.

My uncle had a tumour removed from his bladder two days ago. He’s caught in that horrid limbo of waiting on his results. Some of you reading this may have met him, and for others who’ve not; know that he is a father, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle. At a time where our prostrations are just that little bit more extended, and we’re inwardly clamouring for the Almighty’s approval, remember him, and all those who are not in their best of states, in your prayers.

Jelly and Ifthaar are inextricably linked for me. Whobbling wonderfulness, I lose at least twenty years whenever I’m shlurping some.

Day 2 and 3

There is a stillness in Ramadaan; a special type of quiet that wraps around us. A stillness that renders us malleable; a warm and pliable soul, ready to receive all of Good.
Those things that rub against our grain; loaded words that bring on brain-hives and the desire to strew expletives over the offender — for no well-reasoned argument will dumb the donkey’s bray that offends — we find those things have no place in this soft soul.
It is from the stillness that patience is to be born, with a certain measure of tolerance and the will to let things go. Water off of a sheet of glass.
But I must acknowledge how fortunate we are to have within our midst, those who abide in domiciles built from a certain amorphous solid, and who are only too keen to hurl projectiles at those who pass by. Well-meaning missiles, of course; targeting our ill-placed sentiments into something that loosely resembles one person’s notion of what constitutes a Mu’min.
Why, you need not scar your forehead asking of The One to guide you onto the path of Truth and Light, when you’re being herded onto a trail predetermined by one who simply knows better.
And everyone knows better. Except you, of course.
My patience is not complete. It has yet to be tempered into something better than glass.
(Coffee at Sehri, keeps you Merry. Salma will agree, that rhymes somewhat)