F.R.E.E.D.O.M.

F is for Fighting R is for Resistance E is for Enlightenment E is for Entitlement D is for Don’t give up O is for Overcome… (We shall…) M is for My life, My choices. I am a child of the 50’s, raised in the 60’s and 70’s. Born in India (Pakistan) after the Partition.…

I had a house in Africa*

I had a house in Africa… Not “a farm at the foot of the Ngong hills”, as Karen Blixen, though I did go to the hills later. (“But that, Best Beloved” is another story.) It was a simple house by the West African sea. A concrete jetty pointing North. The sun rose every day to…

Warriors

“We were warriors once. “We lived in the desert, by the Red sea and the Gulf of Aden. Or so the white man calls them. “All the tribes feared us, the Amharinya, the Tigrinya, the Erythreans, the Somali. We were warriors. We were the Danakils. “To marry the young maiden of our choice we had…

The high tide of the Equinox

The Sea covered most of the black rocks in front of the house by the Sea. Far, far away, the grey waves merged with the leaden sky. The Land was bracing, waiting for the final assault. The trees moaned in the howling Wind. The rocks shook under the crashing waves. The time had come. The…

The importance of wearing a mask

There still seems to be some debate about wearing a mask or not during the current pandemic. Blatantly ignoring the fact that cultures where masks are routinely worn in public seem to have fared – much – better. Singapore? Japan? Korea? Adversaries of wearing a mask appear to all be rednecks of various hues. All…

An African childhood. Part 5*

My sister and I spent most of our childhood in Africa, West and East, from 1959 to 1971 with a brief interlude in Amsterdam. What you learn as a child stays with you always. Above: munching elephant in Uganda, Murchison Falls, source of the Nile, 1969. White rhinos, Uganda, 1969. The term “white” is a…

Pot-pourri (when I’m) 64

“I was a rich man’s plaything.” Mid 40’s maybe? A Coke was worth 3 cents… The blue man. Polanco, Mexico city. February 2020. The gate to Angkor Thom, Cambodia. 2018. The light was divine. Denmark street, Mexico city. 2020. The prayer, Cluny museum, Paris. I would say the statue dates back to the 13th-14th century,…

An African* childhood, part 3

The magic house, Conakry, Guinea, West Africa, c.1962. I’m sitting on the table, pondering the day’s next play. Little Sis walks down the stairs with her cast on her arm. Keep a safe distance lest she clubs you. The house may be long gone, the African village at the back has been replaced by rows…

The last of the wild*

Coati, or coatimundi, in Les Mammifères by Louis Figuier. 1879. 140 years ago. One of the many old books that gather dust on my shelves. That one fell apart. Had to restore it completely, all the while thinking I could make a buck cutting off the engravings and selling them for 10 euros a piece…