Monday, 26 December 2016

This is Me

Photo Courtesy: amandafinneseth.theworldrace.org

Writing has always been more of a passion for me than a talent, even though both go hand in hand. It’s a lot of things for each writer and among them, time consuming. You can blame work, busy schedule or even the freak of nature procrastination, but for me, it’s been more of the why I do it.

I’ve always been an introvert (1), since as long as I can remember. A couple of years back though, I had no idea I was one or even if it actually existed for that matter. I was the weird one; terrified of small talk and couldn’t keep one up without diving too deep. Some of my most embarrassing moments was when I say something and everyone bursts out laughing not because I was funny, but because they had no idea what I was talking about, as usual I would laugh along because hey, at least I made them laugh, right?

There is Light in Darkness, they say, and mine was this handful of friends I bumped into while crossing this waterless sea. They made staying there something to look forward to everyday when I got out of bed, well, apart from the annoying ringing warden’s bell and the hot canes you get for not completing those assignments. But man did I stick with them, glue ain’t got nothing on me. They knew how to make me talk and share, sometimes I didn’t even have to say a word, I just had to listen, and at those moments, I forget how lonely feels like. Unlike me, they could handle others so well, probably that’s why I liked them so much, because technically, like all others, they ‘handled’ me…but still, they were awesome either way :-p

That lot was not the only thing I bumped into those days. Through one of them, I discovered writing; a form of expression, a form that understood me, who I was, and in turn, gave me a platform to speak to others, a platform that translated me to the world, a platform that gave me a voice where I was voiceless…and now, I had a chance to stand up for those whom did not have such a platform…through one of them, I had finally found my calling, my purpose, my gift, and I was ready to use it to the fullest…

Years passed by. I finally finished high school and here I was, an undergraduate ready for life without class bells and curfews. A new slate, a new beginning, I thought. No one knew of me here so I would be who I want, I thought. I was wrong.
It was high school all over again. But this time, I wasn’t going to even bother trying to socialize. I had learnt my lesson well enough. If it’s alone people make me feel, I’ll do the courtesy all by myself and besides, I didn’t mind it anyways; it’s in my genes L.O.L. Most people think that when you are sad and feel alone you’ll be like a scene from walking dead with black tears flowing out of your eyes, dirty patched ripped 7 week clothes and spikes coming out of you that you got stumbling across a booby trapped front yard for anyone who dares to get close. Ok, maybe not that graphic but I think you get my point. In fact, the most happiest of people aren’t really always happy, they are just that good at hiding their sadness and trials from others. They learnt that whatever tribulation came their way, it’s going to end, and that longing, that tiny possibility…they hold on to that…they Hope.

Anyways everything was now a routine; wake up, get ready, class, long walks, stories with roommates, deen, long walks, more deen, sleep late, wake up, get ready, and so forth...it was simple. There is watching movies and series somewhere in there but yeah, simple uncomplicated life. Well until one night where the innate nature of human beings in being social beings took place. I honestly don’t remember how exactly it happened but I met a few people after that night. And like high school, the lot was back too, like ‘The Lot 2: Grad School’, and am sure you could make a series out of your lots too so you get what I mean.

It was fun being amongst this lot and I mean cwazy fun (Crazy with a ‘w’ :-p). I did most of the smiling in the group because they were also extroverts (2). Lol, I remember practicing responses to common questions before going to hang just to make sure the obvious was covered. I mean they could answer a phone or talk with anyone like it was putting on shoes. That to me was fascinating and add that to the kookoo in all of it, all I needed was popcorn to complete the hangout pack. Sometimes I wondered why I was even ‘needed’ there because I was their audience most of the time. Never really got that.

When you walk with perfume vendors, some of it ends up rubbing off on you. So with time, I learnt a few tricks with the whole innate nature thing and as for now, am sure I can’t fail to impress a few with them. I could call myself an ambivert (3) now but I believe introvert or not, a good friend can always turn a frown to a smile that often leads to rib cracking, breath-taking laughs that make the word seem like an understatement. And as for the present, life is happening and each one of us is being taken to where they are supposed to be, playing the role they were meant to play in others’ lives, regardless of what movie it is, nothing can change or stop it. Everything comes at its own pace and time, and everyone has their own, independent of another’s and that’s is just how life is; always progressing; always moving forward.

As for me, am a counselor now among other things, well not a big one and often work with peers but, I can tell you either one of three things is happening to you at this point: Either you are feeling for me, see this as an attention seeking stunt prepped with lots of complains, or you are just enjoying a good read. But let me just say that whatever of the three, this isn’t for you. This is for me. This is for me to finally be free of all the judgements, all the doubts, the conflicts, the fears…for all that I see as troubles and obstacles...for all my demons, my struggles… and frankly, most of you don’t really know me and even more of you probably never will for more than just a writer whose work you like, and that’s ok because, that Is life. But this…this is my life…This is Me.

So I must wonder, what’s your story?

Key
1. A shy, reticent person
2. An outgoing, overtly expressive person
3. A person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features.

Monday, 14 November 2016

She's My Sister

Photo Courtesy: musmagz.com

By Unknown.

Her cheeks were worn and sunken and her skin hugged her bones. That didn’t stop her though; you could never catch her not reciting Qur’an. Always vigil in her personal prayer room Dad had set up for her. Bowing, prostrating, raising her hands in prayer; that was the way she was from dawn to sunset and back again, boredom was for others.

As for me I craved nothing more than fashion magazines and novels. I treated myself all the time to videos until those trips to the rental place became my trademark. As they say, when something becomes habit people tend to distinguish you by it. I was negligent in my responsibilities and laziness characterized my Salah.

One night, I turned the video off after a marathon three hours of watching. The adhan softly rose in that quiet night. I slipped peacefully into my blanket.

Her voice carried from her prayer room. “Yes? Would you like anything Noorah?”

With a sharp needle she popped my plans. ‘Don’t sleep before you pray Fajr!’

“Agh … there’s still an hour before Fajr, that was only the first Adhaan!”

With those loving pinches of hers, she called me closer. She was always like that, even before the fierce sickness shook her spirit and shut her in bed. ‘Hanan can you come sit beside me.’

I could never refuse any of her requests; you could touch the purity and sincerity. “Yes, Noorah?”

‘Please sit here.’

“OK, I’m sitting. What’s on your mind?”

With the sweetest mono voice she began reciting: {Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full.} [Al-‘Imran 3:185]

{كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ} آل عمران: 185

Transliteration: Kullu nafsin thaiqatu almawti wainnamatuwaffawna ojoorakum yawma alqiyamati

She stopped thoughtfully. Then she asked, ‘Do you believe in death?’

“Of course I do.”

‘Do you believe that you shall be responsible for whatever you do, regardless of how small or large?’

“I do, but … Allah is Forgiving and Merciful and I’ve got a long life waiting for me.”

‘Stop it Hanan … aren’t you afraid of death and it’s abruptness? Look at Hind. She was younger than you but she died in a car accident. So did so and so, and so and so. Death is age-blind and your age could never be a measure of when you shall die.’

The darkness of the room filled my skin with fear. “I’m scared of the dark and now you made me scared of death, how am I supposed to go to sleep now. Noorah, I thought you promised you’d go with us on vacation during the summer break.”

Impact her voice broke and her heart quivered. ‘I might be going on a long trip this year Hanan, but somewhere else. Just maybe. All of our lives are in Allah’s hands and we all belong to Him.’

My eyes welled and the tears slipped down both cheeks.

I pondered my sisters grizzly sickness, how the doctors had informed my father privately that there was not much hope that Noorah was going to outlive the disease. She wasn’t told though. Who hinted to her? Or was it that she could sense the truth.

‘What are you thinking about Hanan?’ Her voice was sharp. ‘Do you think I am just saying this because I am sick? Uh – uh. In fact, I may live longer than people who are not sick. And you Hanan, how long are you going to live? Twenty years, maybe? Forty? Then what?’ Through the dark she reached for my hand and squeezed gently.

‘There’s no difference between us; we’re all going to leave this world to live in Paradise or agonize in Hell. Listen to the words of Allah: {And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful.} [Al-‘Imran 3:185]

{فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ} آل عمران: 185

Transliteration: faman zuhziha AAani alnnari waodkhila aljannata faqad faza

I left my sister’s room dazed, her words ringing in my ears: May Allah guide you Hanan – don’t forget your prayer.

Eight O’clock in the morning. Pounding on my door, I don’t usually wake up at this time. Crying… Confusion… O Allah, what happened?

Noorah’s condition became critical after Fajr, they took her immediately to the hospital … Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji‘un.

There wasn’t going to be any trips this summer. It was written that I would spend the summer at home. After an eternity…

It was one O’clock in the afternoon. Mother phoned the hospital. ‘Yes. You can come and see her now.’ Dad’s voice had changed, mother could sense something had gone deathly wrong. We left immediately.

Where was that avenue I used to travel and thought was so short? Why was it so long now, so very long. Where was the cherished crowd and traffic that would give me a chance to gaze left and right. Everyone just move out of our way. Mother was shaking her head in her hands – crying – as she made dua’ for her Noorah.

We arrived at the hospitals main entrance.

One man was moaning, another was involved in an accident and a third’s eyes were iced, you couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead.

We skipped stairs to Noorahs floor. She was in intensive care.

The nurse approached us. ‘Let me take you to her.’ As we walked down the aisles the nurse went on expressing how sweet a girl Noorah was. She reassured Mother somewhat that Noorah’s condition had gotten better than what it was in the morning.

‘Sorry. No more than one visitor at a time.’ This was the intensive care unit. Through the small window in the door and past the flurry of white robes I caught my sisters eyes. Mother was standing beside her. After two minutes, mother came out unable to control her crying.

‘You may enter and say Salam to her on condition that you do not speak too long,’ they told me. ‘Two minutes should be enough.’

“How are you Noorah? You were fine last night sister, what happened?”

We held hands, she squeezed harmlessly. ‘Even now, Alhamdulillah, I’m doing fine.’

“Alhamdulillah … but … your hands are so cold.”

I sat on her bedside and rested my fingers on her knee. She jerked it away. “Sorry … did I hurt you?”

“No, it is just that I remembered Allah’s words: {And leg will be joined with another leg (shrouded)} [Al-Qiyama 75:29]

{وَالْتَفَّتِ السَّاقُ بِالسَّاقِ} القيامة: 29

Transliteration: Wailtaffati alssaqu bialssaqi

… Hanan pray for me. I may be meeting the first day of the hearafter very soon. It is a long journey and I haven’t prepared enough good deeds in my suitcase.”

A tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek at her words. I cried and she joined me. The room blurred away and left us – two sisters – to cry together. Rivulets of tears splashed down on my sister’s palm which I held with both hands. Dad was now becoming more worried about me. I’ve never cried like that before.

At home and upstairs in my room, I watched the sun pass away with a sorrowful day. Silence mingled in our corridors. A cousin came in my room, another. The visitors were many and all the voices from downstairs stirred together. Only one thing was clear at that point … Noorah had died!

I stopped distinguishing who came and who went. I couldn’t remember what they said. O Allah, where was I? What was going on? I couldn’t even cry anymore.

Later that week they told me what had happened. Dad had taken my hand to say goodbye to my sister for the last time, I had kissed Noorah’s head.

I remember only one thing though, seeing her spread on that bed, the bed that she was going to die on. I remembered the verse she recited: {And leg will be joined with another leg (shrouded)} [Al-Qiyama 75:29]

{وَالْتَفَّتِ السَّاقُ بِالسَّاقِ} القيامة: 29

Transliteration: Wailtaffati alssaqu bialssaqi

And I knew too well the truth of the next verse: {The drive will be, on that Day, to your Lord (Allah)!} [Al-Qiyama 75:30]

{إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمَسَاقُ} القيامة: 30

Transliteration: Ila rabbika yawmaithin almasaqu

I tiptoed into her prayer room that night. Staring at the quiet dressers and silenced mirrors, I treasured who it was that had shared my mother’s stomach with me. Noorah was my twin sister.

I remembered who I had swapped sorrows with. Who had comforted my rainy days. I remembered who had prayed for my guidance and who had spent so many tears for so many long nights telling me about death and accountability. May Allah save us all.

Tonight is Noorah’s first night that she shall spend in her tomb. O Allah, have mercy on her and illumine her grave. This was her Qur’an, her prayer mat and …and this was the spring rose-colored dress that she told me she would hide until she got married, the dress she wanted to keep just for her husband.

I remembered my sister and cried over all the days that I had lost. I prayed to Allah to have mercy on me, accept me and forgive me. I prayed to Allah to keep her firm in her grave as she always liked to mention in her supplications.

At that moment, I stopped. I asked myself: what if it was I who had died? Where would I be moving on to? Fear pressed me and the tears began all over again.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar…

The first adhan rose softly from the Masjid, how beautiful it sounded this time. I felt calm and relaxed as I repeated the Muadhdhins call. I wrapped the shawl around my shoulders and stood to pray Fajr. I prayed as if it was my last prayer, a farewell prayer, just like Noorah had done yesterday. It had been her last Fajr.

Now and insha’ Allah for the rest of my life, if I awake in the mornings I do not count on being alive by evening, and in the evening I do not count on being alive by morning.

We are all going on Noorah’s journey – what have we prepared for it?

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Okoa Ganze Program

Bismillah Ar-Rahmani Ar-Rahim

Food stuffs

Alhamdulillah, thumma Alhamdulillah. On the 13th of November 2016, we managed to pay the residents of Ganze area a graceful visit. In such a dry torment of a place, families lie to their children with empty promises, people starve as their hope drifts away with the willowing dry winds, fathers watch their animals shrink away in the agony of death, living them with nothing to feed their homes, their families, their Hope. This is why we do it. Together with Mombasa Yetu Group (MYG) in conjunction with Pwani University Muslim Student Association (PUMSA), we were able to organize a humble donation of family size food parcels to the families of Ganze area in this hour of Dire need.
Searching for water...



We would like to give our sincere gratitude and appreciation firstly to the Mombasa Yetu Group for their hand in this outreach, the committed members of Angles of Hope and every other person who put in their thought and effort in making this program a successful one. Indeed does Allah love those who give from what He has given them. May Allah bless all of you in multitudes, Ameen.
Fairing the scales

This is the power of the ummah when we come together for like the droplets of water in the ocean, together, We are powerful…and together We can be the Change, and leave a little bit of Hope, everywhere we go, In Shaa Allah.

Jazakumullah Kheiran. #Angels_of_Hope 
@AngelofHope 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Allah is Awesome

Chapter One: Perception
Photo Courtesy: Unknown


You know that feeling that comes in to mind when you hear those scary stories of super natural beings that apparently, according to Deen, stay and live along side with you probably reading this with you right now and their family walking around your house with you not having a single clue they are there…and the even more mind boggling fact that they can see you…but you can’t see them? Yeah, just pretend you still are the alpha in this situation, especially if you are reading this at night…alone…

If you are Muslim, you probably know and believe that Allah subhanahu wataala created other super natural beings; angels, demons, jins- related to the demon family, and that they live amongst us, in the same world with their own complete social, political and economical way of life and the unmistakable fact that they can see us, we just can’t see them. If you are not, then, well you probably heard stories about them.

Disclaimer; whilst we are on this topic, Muslims do not keep super natural beings in their back closets or anywhere else for that matter. That action is purely an individual decision and not a requirement from an Islamic perspective. I mean, who would want to nurture a being that’s always yammering with almost silent snake like whispers,‘Bring me bloood’….Duuude.

Anyways, have you ever wondered how it’s possible for this to happen, because you believe Islam to be as true as your body part, so the belief in super natural beings is also just as true? And don’t tell me it’s religion, because Islam itself tells us to ask questions. 

The Mantis Shrimp. Yep, there is your answer. Let me explain. See we have a sleek sight system where our eyes can see the way they do i.e colour, brightness etc, because of majority of factors core amongst them being Rods and Cones. 
Photo Courtesy: TGI

These two are light sensory nerve cells that are laid on the back of the eye, Rods detect the brightness/ the amount of light entering our eyes and the cones detect the color of light. When it’s morning and mum comes in and opens the curtains because you don’t want to wake up, that painful brightness you feel forcing you to cover your head, that’s Rods doing their thing. That’s also when your pupils (the black round dots at the center of your eyes) adjust their diameter to allow lesser light in…and also the reason why you can open your eyes afterwards. 

Cones on the other hand are divided into three, one senses Yellow light, another senses Blue light and the other Red light. So in essence every other color we see is just a combination of the three. When light lands on each, they send out signals to the brain telling it, hey, I just received some blues, a couple of reds and lots of yellows coming up in the system. And the registering of these light now brings the combinations of the colors hence the perception of colors like Green, Purple and so forth are seen.

Now to the Wonder of wonders, the Mantis Shrimp.
Photo Courtesy: Unknown
The mantis shrimp has compound eyes that have sixteen, One Six, color receptors…We only have three! They see Ultra violet (UV), infrared, polarized light, you name it. They can even see Circular Polarized light, which is a type of light no other living thing on earth can see! What does it look like? I don’t know, I cannot describe it to you, nothing can see it. You know what sees circular polarized light? DVD players, only the mantis shrimp sees them better. In short am saying there are colors existing all around us that you cannot even conceptualize…

This is just but an example from the countless of crazy examples out there. But why do I mention it? 

Is it a coincidence that Allah subhanahu wataala tells us He put a veil in our sight so we can’t see all the supernatural beings? Nope, I think our limited cones are part of that answer. Is it a coincidence that we are recommended to give out salaam (greetings) when we enter our homes, even if there is no one there? I don’t think so. Is it a coincidence that one can be possessed by such supernatural beings? I am still working on this one but, since Jins have the ability to shape-shift into different forms of matter i.e energy, and our bodies literally function through electrical pulses (especially motor activities like movement), which is basically still energy. Thus, if they can manipulate energy, what’s to stop them from manipulating us? Dhikr of course but that’s just me, and this is definitely a topic for another day.

 It has been relayed that during medieval times, some people (especially some Prophets) were able to see these beings and even communicate with them. And because we now know that there are other shades of light we cannot perceive with our eyes because of limited color receptors, and also these beings exist in the energy form, maybe, just maybe, people with such incredible ability had a gene mutation that gave them this ability. And because we all come from a common ancestor, Adam aleyhi salaam, through the Awesomeness of Allah subhanahu wataala’s planning, the gene might have stayed recessive in all other people, surfacing only in the chosen few, and becoming less and less more likely to appear in these generations, just like how the Tallness gene slowly disappeared from previous generations up until today. And we all know humans can hear only up to 20,000 Hertz of sound; explains why in Hadith it has mentioned why animals can hear the screams in the graves of sinners and Allah promises to lift all veils on Judgment Day, May Allah protect us, Ameen. It becomes a whole other realm of possibilities with mutation of hair cells in the ears with this one so, yeah. 

I know…it’s like waay out there that last bit, but never forget, Islam is Timeless while Science is Time-bound. These events did happen and science is still trying to keep up, considering all the discoveries it has made lately like how quantum physics says our conscious does not die after death of our bodies, Islam be like, Duuuh. So we just have to wait for it to catch on. For now, we know Islam explains the ‘Why’, Science deals with the ‘How’.

Anyways, so now you know. Just because you can’t see stuff doesn’t mean stuff can’t see you, look again, that is if you have specialized cones to see into other realms lol. And don't freak out when you hear someone answering your greetings in an empty house...ok at least don't forget to breathe 😏. With that I say, Allah is Awesome.   
    

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Adventures of Life

Chapter One; Allures
Photo Courtesy: in.Pinterest com

He gazed at the softness of its touch. Its essence landed gently on the environment, bouncing off smoothly to the beds of glancing eyes, dancing in slow, calm, with grace. Its light lit the low heavy nimbus clouds that collected in poofy bundles, scattered as they graze the skies, advertising the dull glossy gray whiteness of its glow beaming from their fluffy curvatures, a floating cotton kingdom. Even though the moon wasn’t a full one, he could see how majestic its radiance was, as he leaned to find it from the slide up window. It was a romantic sight, but the guy sitting a seat across from him wouldn’t think so, he thought as he re-composed himself, hoping the dark cabin of the matatu (1) helped.

The soothing rhymes oozed into his ear drums relaxing him a little. He loved how each sound blended in composing waves, carrying nerves to heights with each note, slowly building up to its climax, the power of sound... His playlist always did him justice, and it was not letting now.

His eyes set on her once again. She sat in front of him. He first saw her when he was boarding after the family of the passengers alighted and freed up his favorite seat, right on the back end window of the van. It was then his sight met her. Flawless light colored skin that reflected enough of the cabin’s light to earn a beacon of attention from all the others. Big round eyes, perfectly spaced on her elongated face, plaited long hairs that she curled into a quickly done loop. And even with his sight problems he knew, she was beautiful…the kind you don’t see every day.

He saw the netted shoulder cover she had that translated into a creamy blouse made from curvy spaced pieces of cloth sawn together. It looked good on her, he thought. It’ll be good if it extended into a dress. The driver closed the conductor door of the express van and got back in his seat, turned off the cabin lights and they were off again.

He threw his glance back through the window. The hills, small bumps and protrusions on the flat land, yet so profound as they formed this height dancing view…steadily raising as they descended into their bordered world, seemingly as they cruised alongside them, the van exercising its suspensions as its tires shift positions under the highway road, steadily, passengers flowing with its soft jerks, in thought, in dream, in physic. It made him miss travelling. Hours of looking through windows, drifting away with passing trees and shrubs, thinking, reflecting, listening to Ibn Bukhatir and Alafasy, reading, shear bliss and introvert heaven.

She laid her head on the seat after her, and stared outside. Could she be seeing what he was seeing, how he was seeing it, could she be awed by the spectrums of colors and variety of perfection, of creatures that never ask for anyone’s attention even though they deserve it, just for being themselves, he thought as he watched her from his overlapping field of view. He wondered if she was connecting with it, thus with him…he wondered. He thought of how beautiful they would be standing on a rocky cliff on a beach, watching the sun set, no words, gazing at it, understanding, savoring… He thought of how they would raise a family together, how their friend’s kids would play around with theirs and how families would come together, he thought. He wondered how he’ll have to convince her to join his fold, how he would convince his family that she’s the one, how she would have to convince her family, relatives, how she may be forced to lie and pretend, how she might even have to lie to him just so to protect him from the snarls her disagreeing family might have…he thought. 

The persona was climaxing in his eardrums as he took him to his savor. He could see the distant housing lights that flickered over the tiny spaced tree branches like airport beacons, but faster. He was getting close. The moon light glowed again over the passing cloud. He looked at her again, wondering how shaytaan could turn her to a queen in every man’s eyes, in his eyes. Talk about travelling, he thought grinning.

The driver drove past the normal stage. People asked around at first, but quieted down when they realized he was done for the day. He dipped his hand into his back pocket, fetching a note and put it into his front shirt pocket, for the Boda (2) he’d have to take once he alighted. The van stopped and everyone prepared to get off. She felt for her bags, waiting for the ones in front to alight and said,

“Alhamdulillah”

He froze for a second, perplexed and thought, talk about travelling. He wasn’t grinning this time O_o

Key.

1. Passenger Service Vehicle.

2. Motorcycle taxi

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Reality Behind the Friend Zones


By Lubnah Abdulhalim

One of the craziest thing in 21st Century are the friend zone memes. They are hilarious, heart-felt by many people and just one other way to make the sad situation of rejection sound funny. Well the memes afterwards escalated. It came to bro zone/sis zone (which is considered worse than friend zone) life zone, neighbour zone, mzee wa mtaa zone (the guy who is always approached by his female friend to solve her couple problems), father zone etc etc. You know at one moment we all did that ‘moment of silence’ thingy for all the bros in the friend zone…and behind most of the ‘hahaha’ and ‘HA HA HA’ in the comment section of friend zone memes there is a lot of pain hidden.






So recently there has been too much excitement on the net of the newly found logo for friend zone (which is the most common zone. I guess the root zone?). And it’s so hilarious how people actually believe that such logos are necessary?




As much as I find the memes to be hilarious, I don’t believe in the literal existence of these zones. I don’t believe in a corner where a nice guy is shoved in simply because he is too much a friend. Let’s be realistic, open minded and honest here. We all have what we look for in a partner or what makes a potential spouse. So…




No such thing as friend zone because I believe in personal preferences, choices, fate, priorities and decisions and not the life zones we justify with. You could be yearning for a partner with sparkling beauty yet she could be searching for a man with brains like Einstein? You could be after a man with an ambition while he is after a woman with twice his ambition? You could be after a lady with principles yet she is after a man with religion? Someone is checking his bank balance and someone else is after his humility. It all depends on personal emotions and interests, otherwise, everyone out there can be a potential partner. It’s nothing to do with anyone being in any zone. It’s all a matter of if someone has an interest in you or not. It is all a matter of compatibility and bonding on another level. It is about having someone to spend your entire life with. And sometimes, that lady or guy in the friend zone or bro zone or whatever wouldn’t be the best choice. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

You could be the sweetest peach as they say, the nicest guy but maybe you just don’t have the one thing she has prioritized in a partner. There is no way around it. And most of the times people only try to be nice and not hurt anyone’s ego by telling them ‘You are my good friend’ or whatever people say. They just don’t want you to feel like something is wrong with you or you are not worth them; it’s all about what their choices are and sometimes it is as much difficult for them too to make such decisions.

It is okay to console yourself with the memes, to embrace your pain and to laugh about it because you are not alone. But no it’s not okay to use it as a justification of why someone was rejected. See that guy who made it out of the bro zone? The silly girl finally realized his worth and perhaps understood that what is missing in him; he’s got something better. Not just because he squeezed himself out of the tight corner called bro zone. It is because she has now made her choice and made him a priority.

One other thing that people never consider is that however CLOSE you are to another person, when it comes to the real deal of making someone your life time partner, things change. High-peaked emotions are included here. The way a guy is with his girl best friend is not exactly the same way he would be if the same girl became his partner. This is because we now have expectations, deeper attachment, love associated with every action. So yeah it IS different…and sometimes, people are better off as they are, where they are; in those hypothetical zones.

If you want to deal with this kind of rejection then you have to believe in the choices others make even if they are not the best for you. You have to believe in fate; in accepting that not everything is going to go as you wish. That sometimes the person you see the best for you is actually not the best? That maybe that person is just not ready for such commitment or they already have a lot on their plate and cannot be emotionally available? That everything happens for are a reason. That perhaps God is saving you a whole lot of pain that would come from being with that person. Well it is difficult no doubt but if you want to get over this, you better find a better reason to justify your rejection rather than the zones. Because all these zones? They don’t exist…

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Meaning of Life (Dhul Hijjah Series Special)

Photo Courtesy: Talkislam
By Talk Islam

Part Two: Over 1400 Years Ago

Havent read part one?Click here

Allah.
The creator of everything along with every single soul,
The Ever living, the Master, the only One who is in control,
Unlike His creation, beyond our imagination and No,
He’s not a man nor does He have, any part in his association,
He’s on His own,
And no did He ever, leave us, Alone…
Just like every manufacturer, He left us with an instruction manual,
The Quraan and Islaam and am sorry to jump to conclusions but is the, only one possible,
The only definition of God is the One and Only, Supreme Being its, logical,
A Book with, zero contradictions with, miracles that are both scientific and, historical,
All revealed over, fourteen hundred years ago,
Like the detailed description of the, human embryo,
To the mountains as pegs holding, firm the earth below,
And the two seas that, don’t mix in a complete separate flow,
To the planets in orbit, alternating night and day as they stay, in flow,
The expansion of the universe and the creation of everything from, H-2-O,
To the stories of the past and the preservation of, pharaoh,
 To identifying the lowest part in the land where, Persia defeated Rome,
The gushing fluid that, created man in the glands between the ribs and the, back-bone and,
Not a word has changed its still the same so, please explain how, all this was known,
Over 1400 years, ago…
To a man who couldn’t, read or write as he would, recite whatever the angels spoke,
And if you still don’t believe please try to, come up with something that’s, even close,
But you can’t. So we took God as a mockery and His, Messengers as a joke…
Dismissed his scriptures as legends and, tails of the ancient folk, as we,
Live life according to our, whims desires and hopes,
Saying this life is the, only home we will, ever know,
We will live then die then simply turn to bones, 
YO, LO,
Correction, after the grass dies the rain arrives and it, re-grows,
And Allah promises to do the same thing to your, very soul,
And bring you back from your, very fingertips to your toes… 
As the All-seeing Supreme Being watches us so close,
And we are surely being tested,
In our wealth our health and our self and, everything that we’ve been blessed with,
So believe for we will, surely be Resurrected,
And be brought back to our Lord in account for, 
Every-single deed as He, hands us our books and, Orders us to Read…
From the bad to the good, and everything in between,
You-Yourself are sufficient for your, own accountability so, don’t be mad at me,
You were the one who thought you wouldn’t come back to me,
I gave you a whole life loong to, search after me,
But you were busy in all that which was, tempory(1) so, 
READ.
And glad tidings to all those who believed and if you, disbelieve,
READ.
And don’t let that day be the first day you find out what your, Life really means,
READ.
Don't forget to check out my artivle on the First 10 Precious Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

Key:
1. Temporary

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Meaning of Life(Dhul Hijjah Series Special)

Photo Courtesy: Talk Islam

By Talk Islam

Disclaimer: The piece has been modified to suit the context environment of the blog that may result in losing of rhyme.

Part One: Allah

What are we doing here, and where are we gonna go?
It’s like we just woke up one morning, and then its welcome to the show,
Don’t ask any questions, just, go with the flow,
Make as much money as you can, and try your best not to get broke,
Copy everything you see on the tv, from the, hair styles to the clothes and,
Don’t think too often, just do exactly as you’re told,
If you ever get confused, then just turn towards the alcohol,
You still hear thoughts, turn up the radio as you, learn to live a lifestyle of drugs, sex and, rock & roll,
But in all honesty, I just need to know, 
Is there more to the cycle than, growing and getting old,
Living and dying just to, leave behind a happy home,
And a, whole lot of property that, somebody else is going to own,
I just really need to know before the, casket’s closed,
Cause am not, willing to gamble with my soul, nor am I, ready to take any chances,
These are just, simple life questions and am just, searching for some answers,
Like what are we doing here, and what is our purpose?
How did we get here, and, who made us so perfect?
And what happens once we go, or is this, world all really worth it?
Questions we don’t answer because a-pparently we don’t really have to,
There is no purpose to this life and our existence is merely natural,
Then in that case please let me ask you,
Did you create yourself or was it somebody else who had fashioned you,
Cause you are a being that is impeccable, faultless and unparalleled, 
You’re a product of supreme intelligence and am, merely being rational,
For there isn’t a camera on this earth that come close to the human eye,
Nor a computer that can compete, alongside side the human mind,
And if the whole world was to come together, we wouldn’t be able to create a single fly,
So many signs yet we, still deny…
As Science tries to justify that, all this could come from none,
When it’s a simple sum, zero plus zero plus zero cannot possibly ever give you one,
So from where did all this, order come,
For everything has its origins, a maker, a creator of its own,
I mean the only reason you are reading this article is because, somebody had to press Publish,
So we can believe in the Big Bang but I’d rather, believe in He who caused it, to explode,
Allah.
The creator of everything along with every single soul,
The Ever Living, the Master, the only One who is in Control,
 Unlike His creation, beyond our imagination and No,
He’s not a man nor does He have, any part in his association,
He’s on His own…
And No, He did not ever leave us, Alone…

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Man Vs. Food

Photo Courtesy: www.standardmedia.co.ke


In the last couple of decades, the world has leaped in its development so much so that someone from the fifties might have a heart attack if they were to come into these times. From technology to anthropology, the developments are limitless and continue to be so. Food is one of these developments. It is simply put, eat or die. Epic, I know. Because we love ourselves, we have been able to create so many dishes that explode in flavor and taste that have proven to have an emotional influence to us. Not that they are necessary, but doing anything frequently ultimately becomes, well, boring. That’s why every day we applaud the guy who rustled up, ‘too much of something is poisonous.’ Apparently, this also applies to what we consume.


There are so many choices out there. I mean the number of food varieties is just overwhelming and their taste is even more so, but unfortunately, we have only one tummy. So the brains of society discovered how to store and multiply them. They didn’t stop there, they have even introduced substitute and supplement ingredients that save us all the trouble of going to the farm. Now you can have any type of food you want regardless of where you are, it’s just a matter of defrosting, heating and these days up to a mere addition of water, and you won’t believe how good it tastes. Some even come with their own heat producing fluids, awesome. Food has now became a blend of creativity seasoned with a little bit of science topped up with a lot of taste, a master piece of innovation. But something’s gone terribly wrong.


Normally, food gives us nourishment and is essential for our survival, eat or die, but over consuming it doesn’t mean you’ll have an extended lifetime. We all know that familiar feeling when we lie on our beds after that finger licking meal. Air becomes limited at those times so we know why the life extension theory is a major fail. However, something is eating away at us. Young people are starting to develop old people diseases like hypertension and high/low blood pressure (no offense to old people). Mortality rates are increasing and it isn’t the old dying (also no offense for that, we still love you more than you know). Our physical attributions are degrading, to the genetic level, and this is subsequently from the consumption of food, the same thing that’s supposed to nourish and develop us. I don’t know about you but that is scary. Imagine having a heart attack while in class….what??


It turns out the art of innovation isn’t all awe as we thought. The basis of cooking is oil. In medieval times, oil was extracted from nuts by beating them into paste and boiling them in pulp or water. The product was floating oil that was skimmed off and kept for later use. Animal oil was also derived commonly from boiling. This is a long process and frankly a tiresome one if you consider stock for a whole month. So what scientists did was find suitable substitutes that play the same role, add preservatives and integrate it with the original extract to add that natural touch. Clever, but not quite.


Fast food has won the hearts of countless since it is a quick meal, tastes out of this world and it’s found anywhere, often around the clock. By taste I mean the most liked fast food out there, Burgers. Just kidding, where are all the Pizzeria dudes in the house! Don’t make some noise because you are reading this :-p. It is beautifully constructed with unlimited varieties of toppings and the sheer sensation of stringy hot cheese oozing out as it melts in your mouth with every bite while being complimented by the toppings of your choice. It’s literally a hot mess. This is the kind of meal that makes you want to eat it for breakfast lunch and supper. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t agree.

Photo Courtesy: travel.qunar.com


Even if you have the pockets to fulfill this dream, the recurrent use of processed oil among other bases in cooking pressures your body in acquiring nutrients from it. See, your body converts food nutrients like glucose into fats when it is in excess and uses it later for emergency situations like being broke in main campus colleges. But converting them back to glucose takes a lot of energy and oxygen and this stresses the body. Exercise workouts use this system to burn calories by depleting the glucose in your body thus forcing it to convert the stored fat to keep up with the exercise. This is why most workout coordinators stress on breathing a lot to support the breakdown so you don’t end up doing zero work and get muscle sores in the process. So as your body fights to get some good out of the meal, you add another load, and another one, and another one, and its pushing forward and stressing until it all comes toppling and shuts down. And that’s when those whale noises start and you bloat up because you were eating with your eyes.


If the body can’t digest anymore you don’t get nutrients. Don’t get nutrients, no energy. No energy, weak. Finally that’s when you feel tired every time of day and when you sleep at night you wake up even more tired. Make sense? They call it Lethargy. It’s basically a lack of energy and enthusiasm, which are the pillars of that side plate called Laziness. Regardless of some researches linking laziness to intelligence, you are what you eat, it’s as simple as that. And if what you eat doesn’t give the body what it needs, Houston, we have a problem. As much as I hate to agree with the guy that classified pizza and its competitors like chips/fries as Junk food, I am bound to. So does this mean we cannot eat pizza and chips?
Photo Courtesy: eatthis.com

Slap yourself for reading that question. Of course not, we can still eat pizza and chips. But before I dive in to the how, I realized I had forgotten about Pastry (Yeah, not getting away this time). Lovers of dark desires and mouth coating chocolates and cakes are too not in the clear. Chocolate is every one’s dreamy relaxing munch, probably because the plant it's processed from sounds like a cousin of cocaine extract 😜, but nonetheless still sweet. Its sugary taste and calming effect is caused by hormonal triggers that release oxytocin in our brains, the hormone responsible for happiness and pleasure, hence dubbing it ‘dark desire’. Beautiful isn’t it. After all the oxytocin and tastes comes digestion where it releases high levels of glucose that cause high blood sugar. This means more energy, and all that energy has to go somewhere. I don’t believe they’ll form a queue waiting for the conversion process to fats, so they make your body cells go crazy. Imagine your cells on steroids or each of them turning in to a hulk. Thus man doth becometh Hyper.
Photo Courtesy: gangafoodfactory.com



Everything that goes up, must come down and man do your cells fall. And apparently in science there is a name for that, Lethargy. Sounds familiar?


Now that all of us food junkies are on the same plate, it’s time to go in to the how (how to eat without “letharging” yourself). If you’ve guessed it, it’s moderation (Aslaksen would be proud) [1]. Each of these foods has very awesome benefits, just have to know how to get them. Chocolate for instance provides a super boost of glucose energy to your body so always eat them when you are going to be active. This will help replenish all the used up energy so you don’t feel like an 80 year old afterwards. Milk is a delicious highway when you compliment chocolate with it and it also keeps you powered up through the activity.

Photo courtesy; bbcgoodfood.com



 Due to us being victims of such irresistibles, studying becomes a torturing nightmare. Makes you sit there and read one line of a sentence like 25 times before you understand it 😑. So munch on a bar of chocolate before you do so and even when going into a test so you like a book-worm monster once you are done. Studies have actually confirmed that people who study for an exam after consuming chocolate understand more than those who don’t as they get higher test scores. Whether they understand or cram, it’s really up to them, but, chocolate does help. Fruits like strawberries and blue berries can also be integrated in cakes and chocolate meals because they preserve the brain cells and taste awesome as well. Be creative and play around with fruits and pastry, they usually complement each other very well but always remember, don’t stuff your face with pastry every time you see one. There are seven days in a week. Don’t eat a week’s pastry in one day, it will turn you into a zombie. Ps. Apples are a good substitute of chocolates and pastry because unlike pastry, they give you a constant release of energy so you are well looked after throughout the day. So next time you see an apple, pick one up and replenish.


Every time you eat a box of pizza or a bag of chips, make sure you take at least 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt to wash all that down. I would have said a glass but you have to appreciate the power of one unselfish looking box of pizza #respect_your_food. Plain yoghurt is the best because it has low sugar levels that duck lethargy and help with the digestion of oily foods. So put it in your shopping list. WARNING: I said plain yoghurt. Frozen or flavored yoghurt is digging your own grave. And after a meal like that, utaingia mwenyewe (2). You can also have vegetable toppings on your order if you feel you have the heart and stomach to, well, stomach all of that.


Finally, we all at one point have heard of Yellow fever. This is a tropical viral disease that mainly affects the liver and kidneys, causing jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin) and sweat trickling fever that are often fatal. It is transmitted by mosquitos, one of the smallest creatures that have the ability to mess you up at night. What strikes me about this disease is its treatment. Since it shuts down your liver and kidneys, the only organs responsible for detoxification in your system, your body fills with toxins which are manifested by the yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice). It’s horrible, always itching because you are dirty from inside. To treat this, you are totally stripped off from eating any sort of oily foods, foods cooked with oil or any oil prepared vegetables, completely oil free. This means boiled fish, boiled vegetables and everything else there is to eat because almost everything we eat is prepared with oil. All of this is to detoxify the body and prevent any more oils into it. The other thing prescribed is sugarcane juice. This juice is like a medical miracle. Firstly, it is a diuretic which means it kills infections along the urinary tract and kidneys. It also strengthens the liver and with these two, jaundice is gone. It is also an energy drink filled with carbs, proteins, irons and all this cluster of nutrients that make it I-deal for summer time smoothies which fight off fatigue. (Ps, you should have a glass after reading this far you know). It has laxative properties that improve bowel movement and relieve constipation (now you know why you gotta have one of these after a meal). Lastly, it has a low glycemic index which means it is super for diabetics and if you forget to buy an orbit, take some of this because it prevents bad breath and tooth decay, especially after lunch.


Well, we then come to learn why nature is so important. Even though scientists have made our lives easier, the risks that come with it arrive on a silver platter (sounds positive but it isn't). Yellow fever among many other diseases is just an example of this. So let us not forget what are crucial for our bodies because a healthy one, is a happy one. Spoiling yourself once in a while is nice, keeps the body on its toes, but making it a habit is turning yourself into a zombie.


Ultimately, we have come to learn that in the battle between man and food, Food always prevails, don’t you agree?



Key                                                                                               


  1. A character from the play ‘Enemy of the People’ that always advocated for Moderation
  2. The second part of a Swahili saying which goes ‘mchimba kaburi, huingia mwenyewe’ which loosely translates to ‘the one who digs a grave, will occupy it himself; has metaphorical implications.