Archive for November, 2005

A drawing by my kid bro…


Lucion&Wayne-B&W

Originally uploaded by Salman Cassimally.

… for my other bro, Yusuf and commisioned by me.

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The other side of that birthday

Yesterday I was compelled to blog during my brother’s birthday party. The party was good – as good as the other birthday parties we have around here – but it was the same things all over again. At least it was while I was writing my last entry.

At about half past six, we started plugging the gas conduit into the grill, which we had mounted in the porch/garage outside. We put the charcoal (which was apparently of a special type) in the grill and lighted the thing. This grill has two openings where gas would flow out into the charcoal and both of these openings had to be lighted. My aunt took out her long, white and thick candle and lighted one of the openings. It lighted. So far, so good.

However for some obscure reasons, the other opening was refusing to light up. We turned off the gas supply and removed all the charcoal pieces from the grill. Probably a case where the grease had completely blocked the opening, preventing gas to pass out through it and into the charcoal. The opening was cleaned, the charcoal was put back on and the gas supply was opened again. I had that strange impression that we were all sensing that something was going to be wrong.

Breathes were held. My aunty took out the long candle, lighted it and placed it above the “good? opening. It lighted. She then placed it above the problematic opening. And… And we waited. And we waited a little bit more. But nothing happened.

There was a problem with that stupid grill and it looked as though we wouldn’t be eating soon. While removing the still lighted candle from the grill however, gas, which was still being released, decided to react with oxygen present in air (in simpler terms, the butane burned). The thing is that it lighted below the grill instead of the more convenient inside the grill. Yes, there was a gas leak somewhere and not as every normal person, my uber security-minded uncle immediately closed the gas supply. It seemed like I wasn’t going to be eating grilled fish – and them grilled chicken – any time soon.

My aunt lives 10 minutes from my place. That was our next destination. Leaving my dad, grandparents and brothers at the party, mum, my aunty, my uncle and myself jumped into one of the 4 cars (the one nearest to the gate and not sandwiched between any other vehicles) parked outside in the yard and we were on the road to get the chicken grilled at aunty’s place. The fish, my mum had decided, was to be cooked in home’s oven.

The fun happened at my aunt’s though. She put a one-hour target for the preparation of the chicken and I just don’t know whether we managed to respect it. But I think we were just through. At her place, while the chicken was being grilled, we all sat in a circle and started talking about everything and nothing. That was fun.

We returned home at about nine and finally had dinner some fifteen minutes after. Everybody was hungry and the food seemed especially tasty. That was the good side of it all.

We did eat little late, but we ate well.

Birthday and World War

My brother is celebrating his 15th birthday today. The party is in full swing. The cake was cut and shared. The cake, by the way is always made by my aunty. We all enjoyed it. Now dinner is under way. The menu is grilled chicken, salad, beef pilaf and we’re having kulfee for desert (it is an Indian ice cream made with milk, cream and pistachio nuts). Grilled fish is also included in the menu. Occasionally I do eat seafood otherwise I do not eat practically any other meat. I wonder whether I should call myself a lacto vegetarian.

Like any of the birthday parties we have three times a year, my grandparents come to visit us – an excuse to have them at home – and dad’s father’ll start talking about the World Wars to whoever will listen.

It’s interesting to know how Hitler was defeated at Stalingrad. As interesting is how the British Spite Fires were so extraordinary. Then I come to think about it. In this technology era, we have TV and the internet among others. But in the 1940s, there weren’t any of those electronic stuff. This generation can read fiction as ebooks. Two generations ago, people were reading the happenings of the war through newspapers. That was their exciting John Grisham fiction. But then, that was better. It was true happenings contrarily to lawyers on the run with a few hundred of million of dollars.

Although I should not say this, war stories are cool. Of course there are people who’ve died but there’s also the military strategy. There are the defeats of those well known figures like Napoleon. But most exciting of all, is the way my granddad recounts the story.

He’s a passionate, having lived in the time of the WWII. Besides, he won’t talk nonsense like so many others – not half as well read as he is – nor will he slip in his own personal opinions, that is to say propaganda.

It’s pretty ironic how a mixture of birthday party and stories of the World Wars make such a good recipe. Almost as good as my the birthday cake itself, I might add.

Just kidding, aunty. Just kidding.

A darker side of me

It’s amazing sometimes how I can be inspired by films. Really, I watched a film the other day on tv. On Thursday night actually, featuring Johny Depp and Leonardo, the golden boy. Both are really great actors and I have to admit that I’m slowly becoming a fan of Mr. Depp. Really, isn’t it amazing how this guy can incarnate into any characters. I mean, he’s played the sort-of good Frankenstein in Edward Scissorhand, the older bro of a handicapped boy and the son of an ill woman in SSSSSSS and to cap it all, a pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Anyway, after I watched this film on Thursday, I entered one of my various moods (they tend to shift rather easily these days); namely my reflective mood. Having watched this film made me think about my life in general and for the first time in my life, it made me reflect upon the meaning of life.

“Why are we on Earth? What are we suppose to do??

“Oh no! Not those usual teenager’s blah bla.?

“No, really. Have we been put on this Earth only to learn, get a job and have a paycheck??

“Well, actually the scientific reason for our existence is to reproduce and assure that humans continue to spread.?

“Have sex to increase the already-existing problem of over-population. Disaster!?

“I give up!?

After I watched these films, I can open up completely. I can open my, what I like to call, ‘dark side.’ It isn’t actually the bad side of me but it’s the creepy, mysterious and locked side of me. That’s the part of me which opens up when I write poetry and when I text my special somebody in the middle of the night. That’s the part of me which can engage itself in taboo topics.

When I’m among people in the real society – not virtual one – I’m pretty introvert and like most elders from a family of 3 sons, I tend to slowly open up to only a selected few. In the virtual world, I’m extrovert. I can approach anybody, conduct interviews, via email or IM, with astromers, and even write my own personal life in a blog. When I started to become a nerd (internet geek), I thought that I had a dual personality: my real-life personality and my virtual-life personality. But nowadays I’m thinking twice. Because I’m not too sure whether I have a dual or triple personality. Ok, my dark side is a subset of my real-life personality but it is still so different from it also. I am not a poet in real-life. Or am I?

I am getting all confused about stuff which probably doesn’t mean anything. I suppose that’s the problem with all teens. And that’s the thing: when some of my friends started to be like… entangled in their world of personal problems, I thought that, well, I’m not like this. Funny, how those people complicate their life.

And now, look what’s up! The quagmire of life is upon me, the guy who sometimes feels like he’s all alone in the world, although he’s not. And these reflections about life and all are nothing but the side-effects of my dark side’s control on me. And this very rarely happens.

After having written these 560 words or so about my dark side, I realise that maybe this dark side is probably only this weird part of all teenagers. It’s just that part of a teenager which asks questions about things that may not bother. In fact this side is the part adults see when they look at us, teens. It’s more than the rebel part of immature teens but alike the full-of-problem part.

And if one gets too much absorbed in it, then there’s depression. I’ll have to shut this side off.


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What’s up in my life?

1. Best friends: I love you people.
2. My own company: sky media
3. Science is so very cool
4. 6 month sabbatical.

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Khalil A. Cassimally’s blog