Archive | December 2010

Parallel Worlds

If we really think about it, we tend to divide our time between four parallel worlds. First there’s the real world with all its glamor and ugliness. Then there’s the virtual world with all the social networking media from facebook to through MSN to twitter. Then there’s the dreamworld which we experience when we are asleep, and finally there’s the fantasy world which we experience when we are awake. Since we’re familiar with the first three, this discussion revolves around the last one.

So the other day I posted, what are the consequences of dreaming? The answers were as follows:

a) High expectations and severe disappointments

b) Waking up and discovering it was all a dream

c) Dreaming motivates us and makes us look forward. Dream, get prepared for the worst case scenario and learn the best way to fall down and then to stand up again.

d) Falling Hard

e) Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true.

Yet some people admit to being huge dreamers. As stated by someone;¬† In the extreme case, let’s say you have a problem/deadline that you need to work on but you are just in another world and no matter how bad your situation, your happy dreams are making you happy when you’re supposed to be angry.

So do you let your imaginary world destroy your real world? Or do you sink into your imaginary world because it’s better than your real world anyway. But then we might be lost in the twilight region between fantasy world and the real world, and a quote from Inception comes into mind; “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”

Another quote comes into mind, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T. E. Lawrence

So what’s your insight on the topic? This is an open discussion


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On Weddings Part 2

For those who are wondering why this topic is clingy this week, it’s because it’s the holidays people…and my statistics have gone down so I’m searching for a cheap way to give my stats some CPR to resuscitate them. So the other day I was thinking of classifying weddings, and here’s the classifications we got for Kemeni weddings:

1) The Let’s-Rent-A-Whole-Stadium Wedding: This is the type of wedding with an astronomical number of attendees. It’s one that gives the organizers a challenge to follow who has attended and who hasn’t. I don’t know if people who organize these weddings are actually popular or they just get a huge number of attendees because they send the invite to one friend by SMS and then request, “Please Forward.” These weddings make business for the caterers. So much so that a doctor decided to run a catering service along with his clinic in Mombasa. So if it’s a good business day, you might go to his clinic to find his secretary chopping onions.

2) The Everybody-Bring-Your-Own-Food-And-Chair Wedding: This lies on the opposite extreme of one. It’s normally a small party held at home for friends and family. Since there aren’t many people, the invitees contribute by bringing in plates of food so that the family does not carry the burden of the whole party.(Okay, the chair part is a bit exaggerated. Since these weddings are normally held at someone’s home, people normally sit on the floor – so there’s no chair in sight aslan except maybe for the older folks).

3) The A7santum Wedding. In this one, the men go to prayer in congregation as usual and discover that there’s 3agd (or nikah) being held after prayers. After the whole script is said, “Zawajtuka…”/”8abeltu”, the imam announces, “A7santum” to the audience, and everybody goes home. Total cost = 0 dirhams.

4) The Indian-Series Wedding. This is the one that has part 1- Girls Henna Party, part 2- 3agd and waleema, part 3- kesha (white dress and slow drive), part 4-sub7a. After such weddings, one needs to take note of the stock price of panadol since they might have gone up because of the high demand as a result of the head-pounding noise pollution from the stereo for four days.

Talking about the wedding dress why does it have to be a heavy baggage that makes walking in it enough exercise? And about the drive, what’s up with the slow drive of the newly-married couple after the wedding? What’s wrong if they decided to hit the highway instead? Oh yeah, and if they do that, and a radar camera goes off, they must not forget to say cheese. That way, they won’t need to get a “professional photographer” for the wedding. They can pay the government to do it.

Okay I can’t think of anything else. Please add to the list

PS 1: The doctor-cum-caterer story is NOT fabricated.

PS 2: Part 3 is coming up soon inshaAllah

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On Weddings

For those who’ve been following my blog since 2006, you probably know that I’m not a big fan of weddings. Sadly enough, sometimes you feel the whole point of our “cultural” weddings¬† is showing off/music/food. For instance, what’s up with Yemeni events and Dana-ish songs? Who’s this Dana they keep on singing about anyway?

*Ya dana dana*

And the Kemenies got it even worse, because some of them can’t even decide whether they’re Kenyans or Yemenies, and that identity complex can be spotted even in their dances that appear as a weird mix of shar7 and chakacha.

Then of course, don’t forget the “Islamic” anasheed with all the “non-Islamic” instruments in the background that drown out the “Islamic” words…

For music-non-lovers, you sit and start a count-down to the food. Alternatively, you may switch on your phone, facebook/chat/write a note…Alternatively, you play the role of a shelf-cum-clothes-hanger as people who stand up to socialize throw their phones and sheilas/abayas at you.

Then you got the Shami weddings, where attendees’ first question to ask is, “Is it mixed?” Because apparently the answer to that will determine whether the attendee will attend or not.

And you know what’s sad and ironic at the same time? How even though weddings join two people, they may result in breaking other people up. The bride and groom can go and live happily ever after…

Or not…

But how many relationships break down as a result of weddings? Let’s go back to the Yemeni/Kemeni way of doing things. We are supposed to invite all those people…some we know, others we don’t; the extended family, the neighbours, friends. Friends of neighbours…family of friends…you get the picture…Then one of them doesn’t show up, and there’s another reason to get angry at each other, and sever family ties, etc…etc…etc…

And once upon a time, I used to wonder, if you’re going to print out 1500 invitation cards, and invite all those people, how do people keep count of who came and who didn’t? But then I discovered that relatives disperse, and take different positions inside the hall and at the door, to keep an eye on who came and who didn’t. And then they can actually spend days – if not weeks – involved in the post-wedding discussions about who came and who didn’t. By the end of these discussions, I always wondered if they can actually model the wedding and simulate it as well, because their accuracy is quite impressive. Subhaan Allah, if only the time could be spent in something else.

Also, since so much emphasis and importance is put on weddings, we can’t deny that families break down because of these endless weddings; the mother is never home during wedding weekends, the parents argue because the mother always wants new clothes for the wedding, meanwhile, everybody ignores the children….And on it goes. People get angry, others sever relationships, generations get lost…and the more people you invite, the greater the probability of that happening. And the more parts you have in your wedding, again, the probabilities sky-rocket.

I remember just before my older brother’s wedding in Kenya, we were driving somewhere and this kid just leapt in front of the car. My brother hit the brakes suddenly and I literally screamed thinking that we had run the kid over. Suddenly we saw him on the other side of the road, alive and unharmed, alhamdullilah Allah satar. But we told SH to be careful otherwise, “tutacheza harusi yako central.” (we’ll hold your wedding at the police stations).

My aunt said something along the lines that knowing watu wa Mombasa, “Watatugeeza.” (They’ll think it’s the latest fashion and start copying that – i.e. holding weddings at police station).

That’s it for the day.

AH