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" Bloody Blogs "

Each story has its own destiny and sometimes . . .

“As your marketing team we would like you to write a weekly blog.”
 
Bloody blogs.
 
If I have to do this, then let me make it  the best possible.

My writing isn’t just story-telling. It captures a philosophy of how I live and the values that are important to me.

I love to entertain, build a ‘prejudiced ‘ view of a person or incident at the beginning of each story and come to an opposite conclusion

Each day I walk  along a tight rope separating my past from my present. I’ll see a face and tell myself it’s my aunt come to greet me, then realize that aunt died a decade ago and the face I see today was really the face of my aunt all those years ago. How does that help me to steer through my life today?  And pass on values that are priceless to me yet seem archaic to my two sons in their early twenties?

My stories and blogs crystallize what those values and beliefs are. Each story has its own destiny and sometimes it shows me how prejudiced I am when I take those prejudices and treat them as values or morals to hand down to my boys.

A visit to my birthplace in Africa

I last visited my birthplace in Africa six years ago and devoted a chapter ‘ Paradise Unravelled’ to my homecoming.

The story was preplanned in my head. It was to be one of loss of all the people I knew in the community and buildings and shops and tree-lined avenues all destroyed until, in this mess, I found the building my nanima had lived in. There, I found cousins who knew of me but whom I didn’t.

‘Paradise Unravelled’ was to end in a happy reunion. But the ending became totally different. It was in accepting that end that I began to realise I could never find that past. That it lived only in my mind.

It convinced me to write the stories down to pass on to my boys to give them an understanding ofmy values and how I came by them.

To me words are mystical. Each carries its own weight and vibration.

How many books of others have I read ?

Thousands.

Of all those books, one ending stands out. It’s from ‘The English Patient’ by Michael Ondaatje.

It’s a love story of a Canadian nurse and a Sikh army sapper in the Italian Campaign in World War II. But it was the ending that has haunted me since reading it.

The Sikh goes back to India becoming, I believe, a doctor. The nurse returns to Canada. At the end, she brushes against a glass which falls to the floor. At that very instant, the Sikh is sharing a meal with his family. His toddler daughter drops her fork . As it falls, her father catches it before it hits the floor.

I hope that one impression or a sentence from my writing remains to haunt you for the rest of your life.

For then, my job will be done.

Latest Post

Welcome Home

Despite the horrendous shortfalls in basic needs of its citizenry, there was no sign of self pity but an inspirational energy if a visitor like me could put away the past and a longing for a bygone age where all power and privilege had been torn out of the black African’s hands .

Welcome Home

Despite the horrendous shortfalls in basic needs of its citizenry, there was no sign of self pity but an inspirational energy if a visitor like me could put away the past and a longing for a bygone age where all power and privilege had been torn out of the black African’s hands .

Keeper of Stories

Tyrion Lannister suggested people were not bound together by banners, castles or mighty kings but by stories of their heritage held by “The Keeper of Stories”.

Bag in Hand

Wherever I travel , I pick up “Harrods” bags and always ask for extras,. These I carry round with me daily. They store my bills to pay, a diary and some cash. Today, I am sporting a forest green bag with gold lettering from Hatchards of Piccadilly , booksellers since 1797 , bearing the royal crests of The Queen, Prince Philip and the Prince of Wales.

Lost in Translation

He had met Laura in Calgary. At first he had found her reserved and introverted. Gradually, she opened up as she gained more and more trust in him. But she kept her conversation with others to the barest minimum. Eventually, the penny dropped. He began to understand her reticence towards speaking to others.

Requiem for an Accountant

He barged into the oversized boardroom, still in his Eskimo parka and Arctic gloves, tottered to the nearest empty chair, half an hour late. The meeting of twenty people shuddered to a halt.

Imagine

Darting through the battlefield of warring vehicles, he took a weaving path in some nondescript corner of Central Park until he came to a Portuguese-style circular mosaic in white and grey tiles with the word ‘Imagine’ at its centre.

A Whiff of Disapproval

From a storage room of broken and discarded furniture, he borrowed a coffee table – a sin beyond redemption in the eyes of his colleagues. On this he emptied a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. His wayward action brought nothing but dismay and consternation to his fellow inmates. Was it the jigsaw puzzle itself or the fact that it was all red that caused the furore ? He couldn’t tell. His action cemented their notion of how wrong the management was in recruiting such an oddball. And all the way from England too !

Beware the Monster

” Pops, can I have 20 Euros, please? ” Pops smiled to himself at the automatic way the Monster had included please in  his sentence, after all the years cajoling. Then, doubt crept in — the Monster was not beyond using subterfuge to win his father over… “

A Gift that Goes on Giving

” Tonight, in Pyla, it would be strawberry parfait washed down with Coca Cola amid a congregation animated by the same delicious and intoxicating mix of joy and satisfaction. “

Blessings From Baguio

A short, stubby, fortyish Filipina took the seat beside him. She, too, had brought two carrier bags of provisions with her. Unlike the tourists and most of the locals, she wore long beige pants, instead of the obligatory cut-offs. Her hair was tied in a bun and she used minimal make-up. A cross hung on a thin gold chain around her neck. The appearance of pious conservatism was totally wrecked by an absurd beige T-shirt bearing a giant strawberry at its centre. Below the fruit, the message “Blessings from Baguio”.

Lulu

A pair of startlingly yellow budgerigars brashly chirruped on their shiny silver perches.

Like Long-Lost Girlfriends

There in front of him stood The Lady of Cyprus (Aphrodite) on a life-sized poster, in all her naked loveliness, emerging from the foamy sea onto the golden sands of Pafos.

Waiting for Godot

” A shimmering movement caught his eye. Through the gloom, a mirage wafted towards him — a young girl carrying water to revive him. The only Indian in sight. Her height and slimness, the lilt of her body, reminded him so much of long lost cousins, now scattered across the world, that his eyes welled with tears.

” Are you for real ? “

Kassare

Together with his contagious, million dollar smile, he was the centre of attraction, surrounded by a sea of his son’s friends.

Eid Mubarak

“Tables were resplendent in white starched linen and sparkling silver cutlery. The best of china was set out for their guests – the buffet, a magnificent blend of traditional Arab and European haute cuisine. It was though an extraordinary large family had gathered to celebrate, kids of all ages and heights running loose and helping themselves to sherbet.”

Thank You Lowestoft Chronicle

We received news that Lowestoft Chronicle, based in Massachusetts, who’s writers also contribute to The New Yorker, had accepted ‘Heart of New York‘ as a short story to be published in their next quarterly issue in the Spring.

This is a significant milestone. Lowestoft is regarded as a prestigious publication, being in the business for decades. To have it endorsing our first chapter bodes well for the rest of the second book, ‘New York State of Mind’.

The issue was published on June 1, 2019, and the story can be read here.

Keeper of Stories

So much was learned from Hazel of the people , customs and history of Cyprus. She was a touchstone to them and the dozen civilizations that conquered this island because of its invaluable deposits of copper ( Kupros- Greek for Cyprus) and were then forced to relinquish their hold – to participate in their own Game Of Thrones.

Mother Where Are You?

The night before, a bottle of coke at the Kilimanjaro had cost him 4,000 shillings ( about $2..50 US ). His nanima would have lamented the days when the same bottle had cost no more than one.

Emil Rem

Emil Rem

Connecting to Eternal Truths Through Storytelling

I was born in 1955 in Tanzania to East Indian, Muslim parents. My mother, who possessed no education but held impossible dreams, divorced my father when I was five, and was immediately ostracized by her community. She moved to England and took me with her.

 

Journal

Latest

Welcome Home

Despite the horrendous shortfalls in basic needs of its citizenry, there was no sign of self pity but an inspirational energy if a visitor like me could put away the past and a longing for a bygone age where all power and privilege had been torn out of the black African's hands .