The taste of ripe mangoes

The taste of ripe mangoes

4 July 2020

Courtesy quora.com

 

It used to be one of her favourite moments in childhood. They would sneak out of the house and run across the fields to the point where the mango groves began. They would hide at the extremity of the fields waiting to see if the guardian was there and if he wasn’t they would step into the grove and steal some ripe mangoes. It was usually a boy they called Thengai who used to climb the trees as he was used to climbing coconut trees and had a good foothold. His name Thengai which meant coconut came from not only because he climbed coconut trees but also because his hair combed down in a shell shape manner made the top of his head resemble a broken coconut shell.

 

Thengai would climb like a daredevil any tree in the mangrove and if the guardian was spotted he would be able to clamber down in no time often surpassing them as he ran towards the fields. Little did they know that the guardian always made a show of chasing them but slowed down if he got too close because he never actually meant to catch them. There would be no use indeed of catching them as the mangrove belonged to their family although they did not know it. In fact, almost all the lands around the houses up to the neighbouring city belonged to her family. Unaware of this, the children including her used to run like their life depended upon it, holding on tightly to the mangoes packed in their shirts or dresses, when the guardian chased them.

 

Later on, they would stop in the fields and put the mangoes together. They would then divide the ripest mangoes amongst them for eating on the spot and leave the greener ones for later. It was usually she who got the greener ones as her grandmother was very skilled at making mango chutney with the green mangoes. Once the bottles of chutney were ready, her grandmother would give her a basket of these to distribute around the neighbourhood. The neighbours respected and loved her grandmother not only because of this type of small kindness but also because she gave the lands to plough to the neighbours and only asked for a small share of the crops as compensation. People considered the grandmother as the main village benefactor.

 

She used to love going to the village and spending a part of the summer there during the summer break when her father did not yet have his holidays. It was all wonderful until that fated summer when everything had changed. She had not witnessed it herself but she often had nightmares about it and would wake up in the night trembling. For a long time after the incident, nobody had gone to steal mangoes from the mangrove. The villagers would talk about it in hushed tones when they thought the children were not around. Thengai had been riding the tractor of his father next to his older brother when he had slipped, and the tractor had mauled him before his brother could stop the giant wheels.

 

Some children had started going back to steal mangoes the next summer and one of the children had volunteered to take Thengai’s place as the picker. When they passed by her grandmother’s house she kept the door tightly shut and did not respond to their stage whispers calling her out. She could not bring herself to accompany them like she could not bring herself to eat ripe mangoes anymore. It was as if the mangoes’ ripe insides were like Thengai’s and for a long time the idea of eating them seemed repulsing. She also could not bring herself to distribute the mango chutney among the neighbours anymore and had grown sullener by the day. At the end of that following summer, her father decided to make her spend less time at her grandmother’s house.

 

Long after she had grown older and found out that the mangrove was theirs, she still would not accompany the children to the mangrove during the short breaks she was at her grandmother’s. She had started eating her grandmother’s chutney again, but nobody had offered her anymore ripe mangoes given her clear revulsion to these. One day, as she was walking through the fields, she found herself in front of the mangrove. The guardian was there and he seemed now a wizened old man. He looked at her and made as if he were going to chase her, but she laughed so he laughed too. He went towards a mango tree and reaching out pulled a ripe mango off the tree which he then offered her, slicing it in the middle. His face was wise and kind and she wondered how they could have ever felt afraid of him. She took the mango almost in a second state and bit into it. The taste of the ripe mango was heavenly as it mingled with her salty tears. She smiled up at the old guardian.

 

Kahlil Gibran – On death

The souls spared

The souls spared

4 April 2020

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Smother not

The wilful intent

It breathes low

Remedies

For the dark venture to cease

The mind none to tease

 

Pursue Art

Within mighty heart

The power

To harness

Kingdoms beyond the darkness

Where brave stand duress

 

Look beyond

Written in the skies

The hearts paired

The souls spared

The breach a keen reminder

When the mind despaired

 

Reading of the poem:

The Lumineers – Sleep On The Floor (Official Video)

In the heart that moved

In the heart that moved

31 March 2020

Courtesy pinterest.com

 

Delude me

Canticles of lore

We will pray

Never more

To fears etched within the skies

Downtrodden in lies

 

Elude me

The chest in bosom

I will wake

Griffin’s spark

Fumbling fingers through the dark

Reach the love’s lighthouse

 

Preclude me

Once upon a rhyme

I witnessed

Miracles

Thawing frozen icicles

In the heart that moved

 

Reading of the poem:

Flora Cash – You’re Somebody Else – Lyrics

Change the Earth

Change the Earth

17 December 2017

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Take my eye

See blossoms rising

From dead leaves

Uprising

Everlasting green in brown

From wasted the clean

 

Bandwith mean

Average effort

Middle path

Needle math

Summoning the craft in hand

Making no demand

 

Tears in eyes

Compassion extreme

Renewed birth

Change the Earth

Blue green vision from a dream

Now freed from the lies

 

Singing of the poem: 

Reading of the poem: 

And they have escaped the weight of darkness – Ólafur Arnalds

Prayer to the One

Prayer to the One

3 July 2017

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Mind aglow

Weaving through the flow

Land to sow

New rainbow

Heartbeats of anger to slow

Compassion to grow

 

Blow conceit

Bury the deceit

Three to greet

One to treat

The dark powers meet defeat

In the one way street

 

Hate to shun

Days roll into fun

Dread undone

Through the Sun

Remnants of darkness white spun

Prayer to the One

 

Reading of the poem: 

The Angels Voice – Diane Arkenstone

Weaving compassion

Weaving compassion

2 June 2017

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Flowers bloom

Piercing days of gloom

Daffodils

Run through hills

The sun lights daily passion

Weaving compassion

 

Reading of the poem: 

Weaving art kaleidoscope Bojan Jevtic
Courtesy Bojan Jevtic on Art Kaleidoscope

Breath of Ma – Shaman’s Dream

The Cleopatra Tales 1: Divine Union – Hieros Gamos

The Cleopatra Tales 1: Divine Union – Hieros Gamos

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Reflections on Ramadan

Reflections on Ramadan

1 July 2016

 

This year Ramadan was starting to get tougher towards its end unlike last year. I wondered whether it was due to the weather being hotter. Even though it was getting difficult, I was still able to enjoy the spirit of Ramadan, the way it opens the heart to milder thoughts about others while at the same time heightening all senses. I am not sure this occurs for others who fast too but I have always found when fasting that everything around becomes more acute and vivid. The colours, the sounds, smells/aromas and feelings, practically everything is taken to another level. As I pondered these matters during a short idle time, an exchange with a friend about Ramadan tents got me thinking about some of the parts of Ramadan that I cared for less. Ever since I came to the Middle East, it has always surprised me how Ramadan seems to contradict its own principles. The most wastage of food I have seen is during Ramadan and most people around are in a rarely charitable mood, both from a financial and sentiment perspective and many so taken by the fact that they cannot smoke outside resort to anger to compensate for the lost vice. While this may be a bit understandable for an expatriate who is deprived of his daily habit while not fasting because non-Muslim, I always found it quite surprising coming from Muslims.

 

During Ramadan and since I came to the Middle East, I usually avoid Iftars and Suhoors whenever I can, i.e. whenever it is not pressed upon me as an obligation because the sight of so much food going to waste while millions are dying of hunger and even in the UAE so many workers have close to nothing to feed themselves with makes me feel ill and I end up not enjoying my time at all. I only attend such events if I can be around people I really care about as that makes the experience more balanced on the energy level.

 

I remember seeing all kinds of displays of food from almost every Muslim friend I know on facebook and it made me smile as I felt happy they could enjoy such plenty but it also made me sad to think that most of the time, and for most people, Ramadan has become a caricature of turning night into day and day into night, eating and drinking the maximum possible during the night to compensate for the daytime privation without a thought for those less fortunate and for whom the whole principle of Ramadan was created in the first place.

 

I cannot lie and say I do not enjoy good food myself as I am quite a foodie but when I fast, I feel it is almost impossible to even try having a full meal let alone stuffing oneself as most people do. Besides, for me, fasting is more about attaining compassion and understanding of the situation of the downtrodden than on the basis of Islam so it is a personal choice and not an obligation which could perhaps explain that I do not feel frustrated when doing it. Those who have read my blog regularly or even chanced upon my about know that I come from a varied cultural and religious background where three religions/philosophies of life were already present at childhood and another three captured my attention during young adulthood. Fasting is, as far as I am concerned, a personal choice to experience something unique that opens the mind and the heart and allows one to grow personally in so many ways.

 

For those who have kept inviting me to Suhoors/iftars and who were not happy I declined, I hope you understand that it is nothing against you. I am happy to attend such events where it is a one-on-one experience or a small group of friends who really care for each other but where it is a huge crowd as a matter of social status and the hypocrisy that goes with it, I really cannot be bothered if it does not have a clearly defined charitable scope that is effective. I have made exceptions in the past when I was really pressed to attend by a special person I cared for but am finding it increasingly difficult to adjust to the hypocrisy of such large-scale events.

 

Hypocrisy of course can be on more levels than just this extravagant display of waste and disdain for the downtrodden during a month that normally encourages sobriety and compassion. The events in Turkey for example come to mind and I find it hard to believe that any kind of Muslim could even think it acceptable, what more during such a holy month of compassion and caring, to take away others’ life in such a sad way. In normal times this is already not what Islam preaches – and I will not even indulge in answering all those who can easily pick distorted or out of context quotes from the Quran to try to justify I am wrong (all holy books contain similar if not worse quotes, I have read enough to know that) – and to think that this was done during the month of Ramadan makes it an even worse hypocrisy, that of distorted self-righteousness, i.e. inner hypocrisy or the worst of all. May they all rest in peace, murderers and murdered alike.

 

To end on a slightly more positive note, I would like to share with you what I consider an iftar of plenty during Ramadan and which was my iftar yesterday. Regardless of why you fast, may your fast be accepted and even if you don’t fast, may the spirit of Ramadan permeate your mind and heart in the same way as it should for those who fast. As this Ramadan slowly comes to an end, I hope that in the same way that you have indulged yourself during Ramadan you will indulge the poor and the needy this Eid and wish you all Ramadan kareem again.

 

Iftar 30 June 2016

Only Breath – Jalaluddin Rumi

 

You can only see with Heart

You can only see with Heart

27 October 2015

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Mind brings the chatter

Where every essence dissolves

In river of Souls

 

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Emerging from Dark

Time came to experience

Passage of the Love

 

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Cut down the symbols

I taught you Love in the Faith

That spoke in your coils

 

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Softly voices spake

The morrows in the wisdom

Of Enlightenment

 

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You erected me

Stony voice in heartless Field

Light Thunder covers

 

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Feel in the tendrils

Messages of compassion

Rewriting your Fate

 

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.

Close your eyes my Love

You can only see with Heart

Through the fall in me

.

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