Archive - August 2014

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A parent’s worst nightmare
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Booking a place in the world
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My name is…

A parent’s worst nightmare

120 days. Not 120 seconds or minutes or hours. But 120 days. That’s how long some parents haven’t seen or spoken to their children. Children who did not go on summer holidays or are on sabbaticals nor are they schooling in a different hard – to – reach continent, thereby explaining their absence. No. They have been abducted. To be used as bargaining chips, and to prove a political point by their captors. Who uses children to make a statement? Boko Haram. And that ex – CIA agent in the just concluded TV series ‘Crisis’. 120 days. Almost four months and counting. And not knowing how your child is faring. The feeling is, most likely, worse than death. Death would even be better. There’s a finality to it and it brings some sort of closure. This…this, however, is torture, torment, unimaginable horror. One that has, sadly, seen the death of eleven of the affected parents. Once, my elder brother ‘lost’ T in Shoprite for about five minutes. What followed was the most hellish five minutes of frantic searching. The thoughts that occurred during the period. Anything could have happened to her within that time. Someone could have picked her up[…]

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Booking a place in the world

‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.’ – St. Augustine I didn’t introduce T to the world of books early but when I did, we more than made up for whatever lost time. I added her brother into that world last year. Fortunately both children love books, reading, writing and all that jazz. Every opportunity to indulge in these activities means quiet and peace in my world, and I’m their biggest cheerleader. ‘No entertainment is so cheap as reading nor any pleasure so lasting.’ – Lady M.W. Montagu I must mention here that T loves, loves books ( a tad more than her brother) and takes every chance she gets to attempt to read and sound out familiar and new words, and sentences. It is only natural that one of her favourite moments is bedtime reading. She chooses the book, the story and reads what she can, displaying her reading prowess, learning new words and testing her memory. She also points out corresponding photos and asks questions when something is unclear. Before now, I’d read the story for her brother and her while they both listened attentively. Not anymore. In the last[…]

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My name is…

Do you have an English name? No. Why? Nothing. How do you spell it? Your name, that is. Of course, I have an English name. But what’s wrong with what I’m presently called? I cannot recount how many times strangers have stumbled while attempting to properly pronounce my name; most asking for the spelling in order to assist them. Invariably, not many readily recall it when we meet again. And it often happens to those who know me by name only. So of course, statements like: ‘I’m sorry I don’t remember your name’. ‘Forgive me but what is your name again?’ are all part of trying to make a name for myself. Literally. It was quite frustrating growing up with this tag hanging around me. Teachers, grown – ups and peers alike would stutter and stammer with audible ‘Eh?! What did you say your name is?!’ interjections after initial introductions. It was in fact a primary school teacher who asked if I had an English name. Most times, I felt really embarrassed; other times, very less often, I took it in my stride when I reminded myself that I didn’t have the most difficult name in the world. There was[…]

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