Friday, 4 May 2018

The Holmes Gene


Ok guys so my story was shortlisted and picked to be among the first EVER Analogy series of short stories from the Coast of Kenya by Coastal Writers. It was published awhile ago but I thought to share it with you still. I mean, for a guy with a blog, it's kind of a big deal 💃💃💃💃 ahem...Anyways here's an excerpt of it. Might be good, might not be as good. If it's the former, be sure to download that PDF to complete it 😉 Now, back to business.


"The ocean wavered, transferring its energy through gentle crests which crushed against the coral 
below us. The sound of the crushing waves fused with the cheerful laughter from my friends 
harmoniously. I zoned back in to the energy of my friends as they cheerfully tell stories, sipping away at 
their gahwa beneath the residential storey buildings shading us from the setting sun. The buildings gave 
way to a cemented patio that stood just at the edge of the corals with a railed ending; this made up the 
coffee joint. I loved my gahwa as sweet as they come.
It was our favourite spot in Kibokoni where we'd have coffee after parkour practise runs near 
Fort Jesus every Friday evening. We made considerable progress that week so the coffee and visheti were 
super sweet. We just about filled the joint, whiling away the time with snacks and stories complimented 
with a view of the ocean. The eye-catching English Point Resort gazed at us from the other side of the 
ocean. The stories kept us there even after our cups were dry. They were good stories. 

“Nisave na hiyo kikombe bro,” a lanky, light-skinned guy around my age said, pointing at my 
empty cup. He had sharp cheek bones, brown-framed, thick lens glasses which he kept pushing above his 
nose and messy, black hair. 

I smiled as I handed it to him but he never looked at my face. He put it in the small bucket half-
full of water by his side and begun arranging the other cups to create more space for the rest. As he sorted 
away a few etres beside me in the rather quite packed joint, I glanced at the notifications on my phone and 
realized it was time for Maghreb prayers. I bid my friends goodbye and headed for Baluchi mosque. 
Listening to the imam's beautiful voice leading the prayers was a superb way of ending an equally 
beautiful day 

Approaching the main road, I heard someone calling behind me. Initially I thought that it wasn't 
meant for me but the urgency in the call made me turn around. I turned to see the lanky guy from the 
coffee joint running in slow wide steps as he struggled to hold his oversize pants to his waist while 
pushing his thick glasses back to their place.

“Bro! Ngoja!”

I grabbed my track pockets to see if I had dropped my phone but it was there. He finally got to me 
and bent over to catch his breath for a few seconds. 

“Asalaam aleykum bro!” he said, still panting.

“Waaleykum salaam warahmatullah,” I answered.

“I just wanted to ask if by any chance you practice parkour and free running,” he continued.

“Yeah, ata we're from training just a while ago hapo Fort Jesus,” I said

“Oh maa shaa Allah this is so great!” A wide smile came over his narrow face and he continued, 

“I've been practising a little pia but I never had anyone to practise with.”

“Sucks, right?” I said. “We'll be here for practise tomorrow. Feel free to join us,” I added.

“That would be awesome wallah bro. What time?”

“Usually tunaanza after Asr prayers but you can come earlier nione how good you are then 
tuanzie hapo.”

“How's 3 pm?” he asked.

“Yeah, that'll do great,” I said, feeling like an accomplished athlete.

“Ajeeb bro,” he said gleefully.

“Can I have your number?”

We exchanged our numbers and I gave him my names. He started walking back to the joint and I 
announced, “And what should I save you name as?”

“Twariif!” He yelled back as he back-peddled. I smiled at the thought of being a teacher of my 
favourite sport for the first time. 
The adhan sounded from all over Kibokoni and so I started again for Baluchi. I wanted to make it 
to the first row in salaah and get every rakaah.

         *************

I didn't want to be late for my first lesson so by half past two in the afternoon, I was in the matatu
waiting for the driver and conductor to be satisfied by the scarcity of passengers on a Saturday afternoon. 
It was one of the slowest matatu rides I‟ve ever heard in my life especially since I was determined to 
break my known reputation of coming late to important events. I was so anxious to make sure I don't 
keep my first student waiting. Looking back at it now, I wish I had the time to savour the full tide ocean 
as we crossed the bridge into town.

After multiple stops and waits, we finally arrived at my stop and I started for Fort Jesus on foot. 
What started as a pacing walk turned into a slow jog after I realized it was five minutes to three. On the way there I thought of the beginner moves he might have known already and which moves we'd train that 
day. My first student, I thought, smiling. I caught sight of a homeless man staring at me with a smirk on 
his face. I nodded backed at him as if to tell him that I respect him for all he‟s been through and I 
sympathize with him; even though I couldn't assist with his situation. 

I jogged past the last corner to the park just in time, expecting to see him waiting in anxiously. He 
wasn't there. I put down my string bag and warmed up as I waited for him. Good thing there weren't a lot 
of people on site so the weird stretching had no attraction value at this historical site.

I collapsed on the grass after trying to go for a leg split. What in the world was I thinking, I 
thought silently laughing away the transcending pain. My breath slowly steadied as I marvelled at the 
humongous blue sight of the sky, extending its signature convex nature to the edges of my view, its 
glassy depth emanating from the heights as it settles in still beauty, its majesty so pronounceable yet 
never seeking the attention of anyone or anything. Just existing in its own natural beauty. It was peaceful.

I slide my phone from my pocket and switched my view to its screen,

Nineteen minutes past three.

I opened my contact list as I sat up and selected Twariif's name for a message.

“HEY, WHERE ARE YOU AT? WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES TO STICK THE 
LANDINGS.”

My gaze fell back at the ocean which never ceased to amaze me in its beauty. Stray thoughts cut 
at my fabric of sanity with questions about who I was, what I meant for people and what my purpose, my 
calling was in this broad world of digital dementia, stereotypes and identity crisis. This was the curse of a 
wondering mind; the unravelling of nothing but the harsh realities that surround every border and will of 
our dreams and the definition of our lives that vary everyday like the combinations one can use to solve 
the Rubin's Cube.

I wasn't ready for that roller coaster today. I put my phone in my string bag and set it aside. Let's 
start flying, I thought.

Parkour is my second love- those single moments when you execute a vault 
perfectly and you feel the air moving alongside the adrenaline coursing through your veins as you float 
for just a fraction of a second in the air as the crows glide around you, clueless in their search for food, 
totally unmoved by your poor attempt at flight. There and then, it is just me and my world… 


Intriguing much? 
Continue this story here by downloading the PDF of this analogy and discover the Holmes in you & more wonderful stories from the Coast 😊

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Humor

Photo Courtesy:drbillsikuala.com.au


Laughing is one the most weirdest thing our bodies can do aside from hiccups and dreaming among others. When you're having a laugh, all your internal organs are convulsing inside of you, pushing out the air from your lungs to your throat to produce the weird variety of laughs we all express. Now to get the full picture of what convulsing means, the dictionary defines it as to suffer violent involuntary contraction of the muscles, producing contortion of the body or limbs. That is what happens to your organs. 

But lucky for us, we have the endorphin hormone. You know how you run like an Olympic athlete when you're being chased by a dog or a cow, or workout so hard it's beautiful, and if you hurt yourself you'll feel it much later when you out of danger.... yeah, endorphins. Their job is to musk the pain in such situations. And one of those situations is laughing. And when they run out, is when you'll hear someone say hysterically, "I laughed so hard it hurt." Think about this the next time you're squeezing air out of your throat. It's fun.

Anyways, so they say thou shall know a man from what thy laugh at. I used to think I was a bad person because often my sense of humor, was when my friends were having frustrated outbursts and such. But I soon came to realize that even though I'd help them however I can, my obsession with authenticity made me smile at those moments. That single build up of tasks and confusion that we occasionally have and the outburst that follows after, right there and then, that's true emotion. At that split moment, you don't care what your face looks like, what you sound like or even whatever is happening around you. it's pure feeling and shear expression.

And this is why I'm attracted to genuine personalities. People who snort when they laugh because it's funny to them and express themselves in pure rawness. Even if it's just a fraction before their composure. There is something about being genuine and projecting it. It's like that feeling you get when you have so much fun you forget about the world outside the circle you and your friends create. It's fulfilling...

This is one of the reasons why I believe that Prophet Muhammad aleyhi salaam was the most awesome man to ever walk this earth. He was the most sensitive individual with a pure natural and uncorrupted soul. He would laugh until his face lit up and anger (only for Allah though) until his face turned ripe red. He would cry in sad situations Infront of everyone as he lived his words of what a blessing tears were... He was natural. And perhaps the most beautiful thing was that his sensitive nature was not for him alone, but also extended to other people as well. 

This quality was so much projected that he would change his tone according to different people and give answers and advices with regard to a person's personality and condition. A phenomenon known by the Arabs as Firasa; something the scholars believe that the highest level can only be attained through the fear and worship of Allah. When different people asked him what would get them to Jannah, he would answer them according to their capabilities; one told to wet his tongue with dhikr and the other advised not to leave swalatul A-dhuha ( one of the optional prayers). 

A good example was about an old swahabah who asked him to pray that he gets wealth. The prophet aleyhi salaam warned he couldn't handle being rich and it would stray him. He insisted. He was granted his wish by Allah and soon after, from being in the first row in Salah, he slide to the last and finally abandoned the mosque while tending to the growing number of animals for grazing. 
Ultimately he refuted giving Zakah (charity) for his wealth and grew arrogant. It became reason for his destruction and loss.

Having a sense of humor means that one is funny intentionally, and that takes intelligence; of knowing your audience and what's considered funny to them. I feel that this ability to gauge is how we should all be interacting with each other. 

Every student in a class learn at different capacities. Sibling sisters and brothers operate at different frequencies of understanding. The biggest mistake our teachers, families, friends and ourselves make is comparing one person to another. Because no two people are the same nor will they ever be. The moment we learn to take each person as their capacities are and indulge with them at their level, is the moment we will become true social beings; true human beings. And funny ones too 😂

So, you a teacher, a parent, a relative, a leader, a brother or a sister? And feel like you want to influence more than just your life? Then all you have to do is learn humour. And use its giggly ways to connect and transform the lives of the guy to your left and that to of the one to the right of you. Besides, what's life without a little bit of swivel in it? 😂😜

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Mr. Nice Guy

Photo Courtesy: unknown


There is this common fallacy or some sort of ignorance existing in our thinking. Mr. Nice guy. Or, reframed to our contextual environment of the coast, the Pious Brother. And every time someone corrects this fallacy, people listen and they're like, "Oh wow maa shaa Allah, so true, very interesting.." and then after, they continue basing their reasoning just like before as if the Men in Black were waiting on the exist door of the room with their memory flashing sticks. If I had a drill that could drill information into people's brains, i'd come out of this screen and drill this to your head and then perform imaginary First Aid on you because non of that exists or is possible....Pheew, now that's out of my system, let's get on with the main course.

A lot and I mean A-lot of people think that anyone who is observant upon the deen is not supposed to ever have anything to do with lust and other gender needs, and not because they don't know they're human like everyone else and we're created with them. They know this and even acknowledge it. But every time the supposedly pious bunch express anything of the sort, "Eh kumbe ustadhi pia yumo 😏." or "Haram khui 😱"  are the kinds of responses you get from them. 

All the Mr. Nice guys are men. And men are made of hormones, a body and a brain to govern it all. The first reason why a brother will steer far from any lustful situation is because Allah subhanahu wataala ordered it. And Islam means submission. So it's submission to the adornment Allah subhanahu wataala wishes. The other is because the brother knows his hormones will take charge and the concept of 'aql' will be disintegrated in lustful minutes...aaaand he'll have to find a mosque that has no "Hakuna Ruhusa Kabisa ya Kuoga Hapa 😐" sign because there are 5 daily prayers a day. 

While we're on this, if there's any brother out there feeling like the hormones are a burden to them, I tell you today that this is a feature your Rabb created in you. And accepting it is the first step to mould yourself around the orders of Allah subhanahu wataala. This is why our Prophet aleyhi salaam went to his wife after getting the urge when a woman passed by where he sat with his swahabas. It doesn't get more realistic than this. 

And to the rest of the world...now you know. The struggle is real man. But I can understand where you come from. I mean, being pious means struggling with your bad habits, falling in and out of them. And holding on just long enough until Allah subhanahu wataala starts bragging of you to His Angels. And you see with Allah's eyes, hear with Allah's ears and walk with Allah's legs; when looking at Haram becomes disgust, going to the Haram becomes introverted and when you hear Prophet Muhammad's name being mentioned all your senses and attention open up...

Perhaps the most apparent is every time you walk into a masjid, it feels like walking into an exciting and beautiful garden, where all your worries and responsibilities are lifted off of you like an overcoat, a feeling of warmth and energy and fragrance of orange...the Arabian and persian art stand as if in movement through the deep voice harmonizing the words of you Lord as you feel His presence upon you, listening to you praise Him, looking at you as you bow down to His Splendor, wishing the imam could bow just a little longer, wishing that time would go slower....such depth, peace, pain melting freedom... 

Mr. Nice guy is first and foremost a guy, who's always trying to be nice. This notion of always putting them on a pedestal is such a disappointment because Human isn't complete without flawed in it. Only He who created them deserves such expectations. And don't be shy about who Allah subhanahu wataala moulded you to be. Accept it (for ultimate comfort) and find ways that you can use it to please Him....

Now, where Is that drill? 👀

Monday, 16 April 2018

Numb

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest.con


I choose to be numb
Numb to the sweet-bitter noise 
To the voices that ripple the surface of crystal clear depths
Deafening their silence 
Flooding the coolness of their rhythmic beating pulses 

But I struggle
Struggle to be numb
To be cold to the soothing hymning hisses 
Sweeping away my trance like crawling desert silicates 

Stealing it

Leading it to the palpitating lights
Taking it to the soul of strobing amber flights 

Dousing it 
Immersing it in oscillating groove
That tingles every tendon connecting the calcium to your muscles
Untangling it's winding fabrication
Loosening every pinch of its twinning extension
Undoing every contraction 
Neutralizing any retraction
Nibbling away it's strength like Alzheimer's biblical incarnation

Beautiful destruction

Sweating, staggering, blind with addiction

But still I struggle 
And struggle 

And as I fall

I choose the silence 
The calm
The unwavering motion of crystal clear depths...

I choose to be numb