Monday, May 18, 2009
I just finished the book 'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Imagine a smiling stranger walking upto you with a bouquet of flowers and a basket of fruits. As you stop to take in the heady aroma of fruits and flowers, as you slowly press every fruit trying to choose the ripest one to savour its delicious sweetness, a fierce blow hits you in the head. Before you can steady yourself, another strong punch rocks your foundation, your deep rooted faith in love and humanity... and that is Adichie's book.
The Nigerian Civil War wasn't something I was very familiar with before now. But the author makes you suffer the pain of the country through the experiences of her protagonists, as their idyllic life is shattered in one quiet afternoon. I liked this book more than her previous novel 'Purple Hibiscus'. There are no loose ends, the characters are well etched, not essentially rounded, but that makes them more believable.
More than anything else, this book bothered me because the Srilankan - Tamil Civil war came to an end yesterday. The suffering of the Srilankan Tamils is closer home, and it irked me to no end when none of the big news channels here in America carried any information for weeks on end. How come there are no activits protesting the civilian casualities the way so many people feel for Darfur or Palestine? And when I say activists I am looking for non- Srilankan Tamils. Why is it not a genocide when another minority is attacked under the veil of rooting out evil? I don't support the LTTE. They are a vile and terrible organisation and it is a good riddance. But sometimes what we fail to understand is when the righteous ones remain silent, the weak will follow whoever has the loudest voice.
The book is awesome. I feel for what the Nigerians had to go through. But I feel more for what the Srilankan Tamils are going through now. In some way, they are indeed my brethren. All the Tamil Nadu politicians who cried hoarse from rooftops about Eelam are now awfully quiet, either revelling in their election victory or contemplating whom to blame for the loss.
I sound so hypocritical blaming the politicians. I would press the 'Publish' button and then go back to the safe cocoon of my life. Holding my baby girl in my arms, smelling the coconut oil in her hair, nestling in the strong hold of my husband, drinking a glass of clean water, everything is a certainty in my life. And I feel ashamed I have all that and all I do as my part is shed a few tears while reading news and watching a mother howl for her lost loved ones.
Maybe it is people like me who let these atrocities and injustices continue.
I do nothing. I just sit and feel. Pain.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
This Mother's Day
I pledge to
- wake up with you at 7.30 A.M to answer the kukol's call...smiling!
- look at the food on the carpet and my clothes as food art and treasure them for your creativity.
- make chasing squirrels as higher priorty to folding laundry.
- sit with you to watch the moon rise and count the stars.
- count my blessings by the number of times you smile and not the things I have. Though an iphone wouldn't hurt, you know!
- read stories aloud to keep the monsters under the bed happy.
- not kiss away your pain but give you the strength to accept the disappointments.
- rejoice in your victories, even if it is as small as spelling your Amma's name right. We all know how difficult it can be!
- give you the freedom to grow wings and fly. And I promise to wait by the window with a cup of chocolate milk!
- be true to Kumari, even if most days she takes a backseat to being your mother.
- be happy being your mother. There's nothing else more exciting!
But most importantly, I pledge to be not just the 'Mommy' you love to hug but also the Amma I long to be!
* kukol - Maye's name for sparrows, ants, squirrels :)
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I was absent
because Blogger wouldn't let me login due to some cookie issues. It was too much effort to clear cache, delete cookies blah blah. So instead I just munched cookies and read :)
So there, now you know.