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take-a-walk-through-my-world-a-little-monarchy-in-my-head – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

“Wham, Bam, Is that it?”

419 scammers are just no fun anymore.

I’d like to blame this on the global down-turn or something I could throw shoes at, but it could just be that some people aren’t quite inspired enough anymore.

Sent: Mon 29/12/08 19:21
Subject: Fwd: Urgent Calling For Help,
Hope this mail  meets you well, please permit me to introduce my self to you, my name is miss jean smith, the only daughter of Late Mr/mrs Williams Smith. I am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer the sum of ( $7,000,000.00 ) Seven  Million  United State of  American Dollars that I inherited from my late father to your  bank account . I am willing to offer you 15% of the total fund as a mode of compensation after the transfer for your time and effort. All the necessary documents concerning this fund is intact.
please  get back to me asap through my private email address ( for more details concerning this fund and I will equally send you my photos so that you will see and know whom I am.
Waiting for your cooperation. Yours Faithfully, Jean.

from: Saaleha Bamjee-Mayet
date: 29 December 2008 23:58
subject: Re: Urgent Calling For Help

Dearest Jean,

Darling, I’m just not feeling you, you know?
What you’ve offered me here is like a glass of Coke left out in the sun all day; a flat and sad fly trap.
Where’s the fizz darling?
Where’s that hook, that x-factor, that A-Ha! moment that will pounce on my naiveté and make popcorn of my good sense?
I’m getting none of that with your, “I am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer the sum of ( $7,000,000.00 ) Seven Million United State of  American Dollars that I inherited from my late father to your  bank account”.
Where’s the drama sweetheart?
No plane crash in the Alps? What of the bloody coup which left you the sole heir of amassed ill-gotten fortunes? Tell me you found God in your omelette and your blackened soul must now make amends!
There’s no arc here baby. Nothing I can look forward to or mull over.
You gotta make me believe. You gotta make me feel like I’m worth something; that you’ve contacted me because you were searching for someone benevolent, kind-hearted, godly, who loves orphans and believes that heathens must be stoned to death slowly.
What I’m really saying is that you’ve got to come to market with something a little less insipid.
How can this be an ‘urgent calling for help” when there’s really no sense of “now!” in it?
Reading this made me feel like I just got laid by Keanu Reeves’ equally wooden clone; a most unsatisfactory one minute I can never redeem.

Warmest regards,


Day One

It was hard for me to bask in a spiritual infusion today, when my brain must’ve been trying to escape through my eye sockets, for all the pain I blinked back.
Hello Caffeine Dependency, you are such a bastard.
A website I was working on had its database eaten by some e-tokoloshe.
That translated into two full days of work having to be compressed into a couple of quicksand hours in order for us not to look like inept fools should some client surf over. This excluded the two hours of downtime we experienced due to the power being cut-off because someone was having a Marie Antoinette moment down at the municipality.
It takes a strong person to not want to smash up the internet and unleash an inner Gustav on anyone within arms reach.
I am not a strong person.
I tried to smile, and I failed.
The frustration and the physical fatigue gave my aura the brown-colour wash of a party-pooper. I could see relief iron out the wrinkles on my boss’ face when I asked to leave early.
I admit the juggling is a feat and I’m trying very hard to keep work, pray and kitchen in smooth circles up in the air.
But this is only Day One. I have an entire month (and beyond) to work out my arms.
And there is something truly magic and complete about breaking your fast with someone who builds your world.

waxing on tetris world-views and a puddle of snowman

– Plummeting tetrominoes bring to mind a [simplistic] notion that all of Life is falling pieces.
And the business of living is little more than packing those streaming shapes to fit, along with knowing when to leave gaps for the unexpected.
When you’re dealt the I’s and O’s, it’s lull-time into the static of complacency (much like when Life goes according to seeming plan), and it’s only when the S’s and Z’s come down in chunks, that you pull out the strategies and consider contingencies.
And despite Freddy Mercury wanting to, it’s not a game you can play indefinitely.

“Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said let’s run
And we’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away”
It’s one of the saddest songs I know and it speaks to the transient and ephemeral. Google the lyrics and you will find within them the melody of; passion, spirit, the magic of belief, hope and defiance.
If Muslims had wakes, this is the song I’d want them to play.
Yes, I’m cheese&tinsel like that.

capsule roadtrip (mafikeng)

There’s something about a 300km stretch of tar.

Something about the road that pulls at you to start pulling together.

And that’s what happens on the N14 from Krugersdorp, all the way through to Ventersdorp and the R503 pass Coligny and Lichtenburg on the route to Mafikeng.

You pull together.

Just me, Duritz and De La Rocha (who screams in an oracle of irony “Fuck the police” just as I drive pass a hoot of speed cops on the roadside.)

Just me and a long way ahead

The Aveo chews kilometres at a rate she never dreamt when her rubber smacked the streets of the city. But out here, her voice breaks, and she croons like a lounge singer to her audience of enquiring sunflowers who could not tear their faces away.

And while Aveo is seduced by the way she’s been allowed to stretch out on this country route, the mind of a lone driver charts its own course, looking forward, back and where I’m at.

And on that road to Mafikeng, one realises that there’s lots to pull together.

So between the RATM and Counting Crows, old risks are weighed up against each other, their consequences lined up like dominoes arranged to form the face of Elvis.
A finger nudge, tik tik tik tik.
I count the number of times on one hand. I will nudge again.

The edges of some parts of the road looked like they’d been masticated by a tar-monster on a bulimic binge. It was only suddenly, when static washed out Duritz telling me that Richard Manuel is dead, and the rooibos-bred voice on the traffic station floods out my speakers, that I wonder if I entered an alternate dimension when I passed that roadside stall selling “Tamaties!!!”
I drive on with my fingers melted securely to the steering wheel, generating reservations about the innocence of the seed bars I ate earlier. The traffic voice stops its loop about the backup on the N1 and the trouble with the traffic lights near Booysens. Duritz displaces the weird energy left behind by the strange intrusion, “And what brings me down now is love, Cause I can never get enough”. Sing on man. I pull together.

Priced to go…

I park at a garage rest stop where the signs proclaim the toilets to be clean. I order a cup of coffee at the take-away. “Percolated?” they ask which confirm my suspicions that I’d entered into the bizzarro space-time continuum at the padstaal* with the histrionic tomatoes.
“Yah, that’s fine,” I say, hearing the crackly jingle, “Ricoffy, fresh percolated taste” ricochet in my head disturbingly. I wonder when they’ll start calling it filter coffee in these parts.
What I receive tastes like ditchwater that’s been strained through two layers of dirty dishcloths and nuked for good measure.
So much for percolated I think as I empty the blasphemous abomination out onto the lawn. It’s so vile, I forget about any ants encountering the liquid and mutating.

And I’m on the road again, carding my thoughts, making neat piles of things as I pass a small dam, its water reflecting scatters of the sun, so pretty and sparkly.

The drive is longer still and I start thinking about the people in my life especially the one whose eyes crinkle up at the corners when they smile and the thought of whom leaves me with a warmth and tenderness I can not title.

I pull together until the sign ahead reads Mafikeng.
The woman at the guest house offers to take me to the halaal steers. Those questionable seed bars ingested earlier were about as substantial as eating clouds.
She can see I’m hungry enough to devour anything in an unladylike manner.

Every sentence out of her fastens to a close with a ribbon of “mm” or “aah”. The next day I find this to be a general idiosyncrasy of towns inhabitants. It’s such a distinctive “mm” conveying agreement and consideration in just that one sound, Mmabatho*.

In the afternoon I pensivate my route back to the city.

There’s just something about a 300km stretch of tar.
It pulls at you to pull together.

*roadside stall
*an area part of Mafikeng.