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Beyond All Odds

beyond all odds

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The air was charged and tense. There was no gainsaying that everyone felt the presence of spirits, whether benevolent or sinister, no one could tell. As soon as the native doctor started his demonstrations, more carnivorous birds mostly vultures, started arriving in their droves knowing that there was no way there won’t be meat. Whether they have been conditioned to the rattle the apprentice to the native doctor stamped about, no one could tell. As each one arrived and perched, the boughs of the tree rocked endlessly due to the weight of those that had earlier on come. He welcomed the people and immediately took a white chalk—the size of the Olympic torch, with which he drew a large circle round on (Ani) the red earth ground. His steward brought two stools which he placed at the middle of the circle and ordered both men to pull off their clothes. They did and wearing only their boxers were made to sit on the low stools, backing the crowd. It was as if the village people were expecting the show. So, they had gathered in their droves everyone stretching their necks to witness what would happen. A few men holding some palm frond beat them on the ground incessantly trying to drive back the crowd. The two men were given something like dry cheese and they chewed, sat there and looked on. ...

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The Long Gone Era: A Memoir on my People

the long gone era: a memoir on my people

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'You do not start school again at six after your right hand crosses your head to touch the left ear. These days, babies are detached from their mothers after three months because their mothers want to do the white-collar job. They are kept in creche where a stranger nurtures and caters for them and as soon as they are one, they start school. That developmental stage which takes a baby through informal education by parents is no longer there. That bonding between mother and child, that creative instinct of the child building his toys or experimenting with the environment has been lost. That ‘Hey…..throw that thing away and don’t put it in your mouth again’ is no longer there. A child at the Creche puts whatever he comes across into his mouth, falls sick every now and then and is taken to the clinic or hospital. The next morning, the child is dropped off by his mother with a box of medicines. He cries, clings to the mother and refuse to be dropped off. Then, the Creche woman on hearing his cry comes out, receives him against his will as he twists in her arms, pointing at the mother who is hastily going to work and is getting late. Late in the evening, she returns to pick him up; he is tired, sleepy and sickly. A child hardly gets stung by the ant these days because the compound is floored and there is no sand to play with. There is no farm of his where he learns responsibility and care. He is growing up a savage, lacking care and pity. He is growing up an irresponsible man or woman who cannot fend for himself or herself or even cater for others. If he lends you a hand, he demands money in return. He looks away from you as you come with so much load weighing you down; he is glued to the device he is operating. You are insignificant to him. It matters not to him how you feel, your opinion or your condition. He can go on to commit evil feeling that there will be no consequence as long as he gets away with it by telling lies. He is overly selfish. He has taken his heart away from the natural environment and has become one with the artificial environment through his constant affinity with electronic or technological devices. Little wonder he is fake and artificial in everything he does, living to impress others; living for today, and living for no one. The body curves and contours which were rarely revealed, which were excessively preserved; which were left for imagination are displayed tactlessly for vultures to devour. And the excrement after the gobbling is the aftermath—the violence we witness on daily basis. Children beat up father or mother, father is sleeping with daughter and impregnating her while mother knows but covers it up. Divorce is now hugely fashionable because she lacks the moral upbringing to behave well and not run mad with her husband. She can be married to him and still be having an affair with another man with the notion that the so-called husband (as men are being referred to these days) cannot provide all her needs. He cannot provide all her needs because today’s woman is now sophisticated. She must acquire fashionable attire and accessories as they hit the markets. She must not be left out or left behind. She must move with the time. The man on the other hand, must drive the latest car. He cannot own just one or two; he must own lots of them if not to impress her in order to keep her so that she will not run off with other men who have so many, it will be to make himself relevant to other women whose jaws are dropping for him or to be able to have a say where his ilk are gathered. If he cannot afford all these, he might take a gun and kill a fellow man or strike a business deal to defraud a fellow man in order to be there. It is only by the possession of lots of material things that a man is considered a man; how he acquired them notwithstanding. Amongst all that have changed, you are shocked to the marrow to learn that a male dog looks for a female dog; so male birds look for female birds and vice versa but, in this era, men marry men. They say that was how they were created by Jesus’ Father---who is in heaven. And you begin to wonder if he too could have made factory mistake because the Seminarians taught that everything he made was beautiful. Perhaps you would love to encounter that era again; an era long gone.'...

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