Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Ten Lessons of (un)Kindness

Marble Work - Red Fort, Agra - 2017
Thankfully I do not always encounter meanness in life. I have quite fortunately been the recipient of a bountiful of warmth, love, kindness and devotion from some pockets of humanity.
The spurts of unkindness while few and far between however, made a huge impression on me.  I admit some of these experiences have left me scarred, likely to fester wounds long enough to last my current lifetime.
But all said and done, in a somewhat dispassionate and hindsight-y way I tried to reflect.  When the hurt and pain dissipates to a dull ache I have drawn a lesson or ten from all those tough moments:
  1. No matter how much one loves someone one cannot teach them kindness.
  2. Having a generous spirit regardless of circumstance is a choice.
  3. Despising and cutting words to others speaks volumes about the speaker than the object of their scorn.
  4. A silent bystander is culpable and complicit when watching and shrugging away as others are put down. 
  5. We are not defined by anything other than what we let ourselves be. One is mean because one chose to be mean.
  6. Two possible outcomes can be drawn from unkindness; one is that others tolerate the abuse and two they let go in its entirety. Be ready for either possibility.
  7. There are too many humans on earth to focus on one who is unkind, ungrateful and unpleasant.
  8. Disdain and hate has caused death, wars and rifts over the eras but it has NEVER drawn a bridge of lost and yearned love.
  9. The world is big enough to move out of the shadow of past pestilence, rifts and strains.  Start a new chapter in your life baggage free.
  10. Your emotional baggage does not define you. Walk away and life live like you have one chance at it.

Take a deep look inwards, heal yourself by breathing out and release all your pain. So may it be....


Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Embodiment of Us-ness

***I wrote this inspired by four phenomenal African activists working against all odds and spread across this wonderful continent. I honor you and your brave work. You are the revolutionaries keep us alive, thank you eternally.***

In a context in which Africa today stands,
With a rich tall history
Yet to be free from colonial and neo colonial excesses,
Where visitors are welcome; expats and tourists
While our visits outside met with antagonism
Where sweat of our brow over thousands of years of generations
Built the foundation of the wealth that is the west
Some of the best of our minds and skills were and still are
The anchors of innovative ideas but we still we remain immigrants.
Where history books valorise Caeser as a military genius (with a small caption of dictator)
And we know little of our own African heroes for posterity’s sake.
Where we have complicated relations with vast resources that is ‘Africa’
And yet deep poverty synonymous with ‘Africa’ in development jargon.
Where we know there are strong forces pushing and pulling us
But we remain conveniently silenced to be good recipients of aid
Some which draws its roots from our mines and wells.
But this is not what we will be discussing today.
Today, let us consider African bodies.
A continuous and loose string of things that we embody
With promise of endless possibilities…
We exist but for some they exist much more because they are seen.
We are here but for some they are here more because they are listened to.
Our African bodies 
Our Autonomies ?
Our self-determination??
Or lack of;
Well despite, or depending, because of it, we are here.
Regrouping and reconnecting
To keep this Pan African fire alive
Of our sexualities, our identities and our lives.
But to consciously make our spaces much more mindful
Of the voices and bodies yet to be heard
And counted
And offered a seat on the table
Let us listen,
Let us learn
And lets be part of a practice and not just theory of inclusion
That will keep this space and act revolutionary!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Kindness Matters

Kisoro, Uganda circa 2011

Be kind now... the procrastination of kindness from well meaning folks always astounds me. It rings as insincere when one rushes in with regrets and remorsefulness, excuses and could haves.... should haves... a generous spirit does not need prompting, a free moment, or convenience to act... so stop reading this and do something nice to someone significant for a change without a reminder, nudge or prompt. #kindnessmatters #flowers

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Behind my Smile

More of me knowing more of you
Weaving through increasingly familiar paths 
To the place our souls connect and reconnect 
Over and over again.
The joy this journey gives me unsettles me in equal measure
In that space where time stretches or stands still 
Where you see me raw naked open and broken
With all the battle wounds of past hurts throbbing
And, you choose to love the fragility I am.
Inevitably and irrevocably changing me
Healing, restoring and soothing dulling aches.
Passion, hope, devotion soars to new heights within me,
And the me you increasingly know and love
Is reborn radiating that joy in my soul you infused
By the mere mention, touch and existence of you
And the only hint of this not so small miracle 
Is the secret behind the smile on my lips and these few words.
So, thank you.