Day Time Madness in Dreams

Twin globes of soft, golden light. Two suns in a sky kissing gentle Atlantic waves. The epitome of heavenly. The essence of peace. Or maybe, just day time madness in dreams.

But then my greedy eyes reached for the sky again and beheld a moon and sun, separated by space, connected by space, sharing space. Apart and together all at once.

And you were there too, like you always, always are, but this time it was you taking me somewhere in my own dream. Wherever somewhere is I don’t really care. As long as somewhere contains the sum of us. And in your somewhere where I now am, I was promised to you for every lifetime wherever life can be, has been and will be.

How can it be day time madness in dreams then? Nothing is ever madness where I’m with you. Because for me, you’re the epitome of everything real, sane and eternal.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.

Do we fall or grow in love?

Been thinking of a summer romance in the tropics. Been thinking of creating a galaxy for us, a galaxy built with the bricks of English syntax and fortified with the intricacy of meaning, built for me to be forever with you. I wanna be with you more than I’m with me.

But mostly, I’ve been thinking of love and theories of how it happens. Do we fall or grow in love? How does it happen? I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking. How do I imprison the how of love in these bricks of mine? How do I capture perfection with imperfection?

All along I was breathing and then one day you saturated the air around me. You became the oxygen entwined with my blood, rushing through every inch of me, keeping this me alive to be with the me you’ve always known. Now all I breathe is you. That’s how it happened for me.

So you see, it wasn’t a falling or a growing.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.

Dear Man-Who-Works-With-Hands

Dear Man-Who-Works-With-Hands:

Life only gets harder and time is a wench who tricks us into believing that things will be different as we grow older.

The harder we try to avoid certain outcomes, the more certain is our arrival at that destination. So what’s the secret to happiness?

I’ve found that happiness is as easy as what we choose. Like right now, I’ve chosen to dwell within me where I’m so full of you; where you and I don’t need a conjunction to become apart of a single idea.

So when you’re sad baby, just remember that happiness is a choice we make.

Yours Always,
the Woman-Created-For-Those-Hands-Of-Yours.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.

The Berbice Experience

Beauty, it’s something we all appreciate and something most of us Guyanese are willing to travel 1000s of miles in search of. But beauty, it’s right here in Guyana too and it isn’t very far away from the former Garden City.

It’s some time around 6am on a Saturday and I’m sitting in one of our infamous minibuses headed to Georgetown. It’s the first leg of my journey to Berbice. But it isn’t the crude jokes and loud laughter that I notice in this bus. Instead, I look out the window at the sprawling Demerara River. The gentle ripples on her surface are just beginning to glow from the kisses of the rising sun in the east.

Just outside Parliament Building there are a pocket of protestors. They’ve been camped out there for a few days and their aim is to show solidarity to the Lindeners. At the moment Linden is struggling through a sort of internal battle. But the thing that I do notice is that even in her fallen glory the former Garden City seems almost peaceful at this early hour.

Behind me is St. Stanislaus College. Even she is a sight of beauty in the morning light. But it isn’t the trees or neatness of her grounds that catches the eye. It’s the statue of the Virgin Mother on her balcony which grabs the eyes and reminds the heart of what this place once was before it took a steep plunge. And then he arrives for us.

The farther away we move from Georgetown, the harder it becomes for me to remember where I am. At Beehive, ECD there is a stretch of coconut plantation. It started my imagination rolling. I could almost see this place as it was long before independence and even shortly after.

As we make our way along the winding road that takes us through Mahaica, Mahaicony and then into East Berbice, I’m amazed by the slow rhythm of life that’s beginning to unfold. I can see acres of rice fields and then grazing grounds at Profit, East Berbice. It makes me think of endless grassy savannahs and small town life. My eyes see but my mind is finding it hard to remember that I’m still right here in Guyana and not so far from the city fallen from glory.

In New Amsterdam, I can see traces of the town as it was during the colonial time. Many of the buildings still have those intricately carved trimmings around the windows and roofs. The streets are small but neat and surprisingly clean. Yes, clean is a surprise after venturing out of the former Garden City. If I didn’t know where I was, I’d swear I’d taken a step back in time or I was in some other old world town half way across the world.

But more than these, it was the Berbicians who had a profound impact upon my perception of the Guyanese culture. The few Berbicians who we spoke to were very polite and overly willing to help us. Being largely unaccustomed to this level of kindness in Georgetown, I was amazed to be treated as good as a tourist by these people.

Again and again, as we continued to interact with Berbicians I realised that  these people were very genuine. This is who they are, they are kind, helpful people with a unique way of speaking. It seems that the farther away we get from the capital and her fallen glory, the happier and more hospitable the people become.

So before you go flying half way across the world in search of a new experience, how about you consider a drive to Berbice, eh!

Patterns of Abuse – Part 1

This is one in a series of articles which I hope will help women to recognise patterns of abuse. Share this with men and women, old and young, so that we can spot abuse as early as possible whether we are in or out of the abusive relationship. By recognising patterns early on, we can save a life, save someone unnecessary damage and pain, and help them to live the life they deserve.

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face … (W. B. Yeats)

When she saw him the first time, her instincts screamed that she should run. But he showed up at her office one day with roses and she was flattered. So she ignored her instincts and listened to her hormones. It was the first time any man had ever made her feel so special.

He found out what she liked and got her small, thoughtful presents all the time. Her instincts kept screaming but she was deafened by flattery. But in between the flattering, she could have sworn that one night she saw him parked outside her workplace. It was an eerie feeling but she dismissed it.

So she started dating him and then one day he confronted her about things he had found in her purse! Later, he searched through her Facebook account and proceeded to attack her verbally about her past. Things were never the same after that but she still stayed. She stayed because he kept doing those small thoughtful things.

In the beginning, he made her feel like they could talk about anything and so she told him all her secrets. It was just a tactic though because he soon used her past as his supporting argument for not trusting her. Soon it was always her fault that he did not feel as if he were in a relationship. He found creative ways to make her feel inadequate.

She became so emotionally attached to him that soon it was easy for him to manipulate her. He made her feel guilty for wanting to have friends. He made her  feel guilty for wanting to live her life the way she should live it. After a while she could no longer talk to him. He stopped getting her presents, he stopped making her feel special and every time he hurt her feelings he said it was her fault.

When she made an effort to look pretty, he always began his compliment by first criticising something about her. She never did her hair quite right or her behaviour was never ladylike enough. Little by little, his words were hurting her, eating at her, making her feel worthless.

But then one day, a friend told her that he was displaying all the traits of a psychological abuser. So she googled it and the more she read, the more shocked she became. Finally, she recognised him for who he was but she wished she had seen it earlier. She wished she had been able to recognise these traits before he had managed to injure her self-worth and dignity.

She’s cut him out of her life and she’s trying her best to recover. I spoke to her yesterday and tried to tell her not to worry, that it could have happened to any woman, that any woman could have easily fallen prey to him. But it isn’t always so easy to find the right words in these situations. So instead I shared some of my favourite poetry with her.

I told her to believe that one day she will find a man who will love “the pilgrim Soul in you” and who will love “the sorrows of your changing face”. He will never hurt you with words or make you feel less than you are. But that man, when you find him, will trust and respect you. What else could I say?

Counting Sundays

I have been alive for just over 1000 Sundays. The thing is, I am not so sure how many of those Sundays I have spent doing something useful. But then again, it’s hard to really define “useful”.

This is something you should consider as well. How many Sundays will you possibly live for and are you using them well?  A while ago I realised that if I am lucky enough to live to the age of 70 then I will have approximately 3,640 Sundays to be alive. When you measure your time in terms of Sundays it is shocking just how limited it is.

So if I live to 70 then I have just over 25,000 days of life. Do you see where I’m going with this? There was a time when I thought I had millions of days to be alive. But imagine, all I have is a few thousand days.

I have been alive for just over 8,000 days. Imagine that! A whole 8,000 days have gone by and I cannot really tell you what I have done with them. Almost one-third of my life has just slipped by without me ever noticing it until now.

How do I deal with this problem? Simple. I will have to make the best of every day I have and not allow myself to slip into the motion of just going through life. I suggest you do the same. Make every day count, from Sunday to Sunday.


The Legacy of a Great Man

When I was still a girl, still innocent and unaware of the wicked ways of the world I used to sit at nights and listen to my grandmother sing hymns in Sanskrit and Hindi. Then, like now, I used to let the words seep into me, into my soul and calm my heart. I used to marvel at the great epics like the Ramayana. I knew nothing but happiness, I knew nothing about life’s pains and it was much easier for me to believe that there really never was a time  when you or I did not exist.

Today I sat examining these memories and a man fluttered across my mind. He’s been in my memories for as long as I can remember and will remain there as a constant source of hope. His name is Kampta Prashad but I lovingly called him Aja and many other’s just knew him simply as “Pandit”. Aja is no longer in this material world but his words, his actions and his legacy still live on.

More than everything else, I remember his voice. I remember that voice singing and chanting and preaching golden words. I remember that voice telling me once upon a time to be patient and I remember it saying not to lose hope even when all else seems hopeless. I used to sit and watch him perform Sunday morning prayers at the Hope Village Vishnu Mandir and I wished for a day when I would be able to do the same.

But the thing is, back then it never once crossed my mind that he would not be here forever. I used to think that life goes on and on and on without ever stopping. I used to think that I would always be able to hear that voice sing and chant and bring my soul some amount of peace. Years later when I attended his funeral I was already aware of just how short life is and that time is not a variable which should be treated lightly.

I watched as his family mourned and in my soul I mourned as well. I mourned for the great man who was now lost to our lifetime. I’ve had some time to think this over though and I realised that I was really very wrong about that particular thing. Aja is not lost to us. In fact, he has left a legacy which will not be forgotten for generations. He has helped to instill values in me which I will pass on to my children and he has inspired and shaped the lives of countless others.

Few men are so lucky to leave such a legacy behind and few people are so lucky to benefit from the great wisdom of such men. Aja is no more here physically but if I can then I shall immortalise him by way of the pen. But the thing is though the legacy of this great man has already been given endless life in the values that I and countless others shall pass on for generations to come.