Archive - May 2014

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Music and Lyrics
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While I was planning
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Celebration of Life

While I was planning

By January this year, I already had the ashoke (a beautiful shade of lilac) for T’s cultural day outfit. By March, I had given it to the tailor who was also going to source for the matching white lace. By May when the children resumed school from the Easter holidays, I got their term calendar and marked the cultural day boldly in orange ink. The tailor and I were now in serious talks, the white lace was in place and T had her measurements taken. Everything was looking good and would most likely be ready in time.

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Celebration of Life

Someone died in my neighbourhood recently. The colourful posters announcing his passage showed a man ten years away from being called a centenarian. They also showed that he had been someone’s father, uncle, brother, grandfather and great grandfather; he had been something to everyone who had known him. And as become the norm, the posters had the headliner ‘Celebration of Life’. That phrase that began to appear in the ‘90s on death notices, replacing the more depressing word ‘obituary’. And perhaps attempting to replace our grief- stricken hearts and sense of loss with new thinking, new paradigms about death. Being thankful that the deceased’s passed this way instead of mourning a life that is no more.  I totally get this. I don’t completely agree with it. Back to my neighbourhood. I was running errands on the day the commendation service was slated to take place. I would have gone by the poster – ridden house without a passing glance but for the sound and scene in front of it that stopped me short. Instrumentalists – a trumpeter and a drummer – gave music that was upbeat, alluring and akin to that of a football supporters’ club’s sound during a match; pall bearers carrying a brown – hued coffin walked towards a waiting minivan; and a woman and a man, gaily dressed in matching olive – green attires, (most likely relatives of the deceased) brought up the rear. Besides the coffin, the pair were the cynosure of the small crowd of people who had gathered. As they followed the coffin behind, they danced and danced to the music. The woman shook all her curves and matching jewelry, every shiny bit of her accessories and attire reflecting the sun’s rays. She bent her knees and got down almost to road beneath her, while still shaking what her momma gave her. The man accompanied her with expansive hand and flanking movements. They were both smiling widely, almost laughing even, as they did so. Some would think the pair were dancing this much because they were actually GLAD the deceased was gone; I choose”more

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