Tag Archive: Sacrifice


The Beauty in You

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The Beauty in You …

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My eyes have travelled across oceans, beyond valleys and peaks, across the vast savannah and swirling in murmuring streams,

my eyes have travelled far and wide in many kaleidoscopic dreams,

my eyes have travelled here and there, and through places in between, yet your beauty remains a constant, skipping off the most radiant sunbeams.

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I have felt the touch, the wild deluge of the monsoons, drenching me in its cleansing rain,

I have felt the touch, of moonlight cocooning me, a soothing veneer, that has kept me sane,

I have felt the touch, of your body, your lips, your being a healing presence, your unspoken words a melodic refrain.

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You come to me in moments alone, when this world seems empty, a chalice brimming with tears,

you come to me in moments dark, your delicate whispers banishing away all my dreadful fears,

you come to me in moments of splintered thoughts, your wondrous self offering shade from the scorching sun that sears.

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The beauty in you lends a lifeline to me, dispelling my mute vacuum, raising me from life’s empty hole,

the beauty in you douses the flames of my self-immolating fire, breathing life into me to once more be whole,

the beauty in you is a sublime truth, a truth of love and of belonging, a truth that has firmly taken root, in my once barren soul.

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In your eyes …

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in your eyes

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As another day recedes,

enveloped under the shawl of night,

allow me to drown,
in your eyes.

Moments fleeting,
fickle hands of time unseeing,

allow me to seek solace,
in your eyes.

The trodden path littered with each shard,

regrets this heart wishes to discard,

so allow me to seek refuge,
in your eyes.

i have walked through twisting boulevards of life,

seeking simple joy, away from desolation, strife,

so allow me to find peace,
in your eyes.

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In your eyes,

i find,
the gentleness left behind,

away from superficial smiles,

away from fatigue of the walked mile.

In your eyes,

i feel,
at home at long last,

your love caressing away the restlessness of the past,

stepping out of the shadows to embrace pure contentment,

though a bit player,

in your life’s theatrical cast.

In your eyes,

i touch,
the flame of promise radiating through your loving light,

that is why,
i no longer dread,

the vacuum of encroaching night … … …

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raspberry leaves whirl, as flavours of life,
yawning, begin to unfurl …

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dusk falls, day palls,

each moment randomly twirls,

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each minute unveiling fresh swirls …

The Hyperbole of Verbose Hope

“Rising Hope” – Painting by Karla Beatty

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The Hyperbole of Verbose Hope …

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When wilting despair blossoms into hope,
and life that seemed held together by strings you were always flailing to grope,

the dawn sun cocoons you with its rejuvenating rays,
and you feel the stirrings of being alive once more, crawling out from the desolate maze.

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When the slicing sleet of pain turns into a gentle shower of life-affirming rain,
and life that seemed held together by fingers fractured by the incessant strain,

the song of the birds caress you with their enveloping refrain,
unshackling the emotions that once held you in a vise, meant only to restrain.

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When the days and nights no longer shred you, piece by agonising piece,
and life that seemed held together by a daily renewable lease,

your soul finally soars the scarlet skies with untethered release,
and at long last, you touch the clouds, feeling the filaments of that almost forgotten peace.

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The verbosity of this scribble may seem overdone, but only because finally from the excruciating hyperbolic anguish you know you can now cope,

only because finally you grasp tightly onto long lost hope,

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embracing hope,

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infused by hope,

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pure peaceful hope

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“Hope” – Painting by Megan Duncanson

This hapless man

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This hapless man.

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… … … this hapless man,
this quivering leaf,

is falling, tripping,
feeling the desire a-raging,

with thoughts of you, so true,

enveloping my being whole,

so forgive me if I say so,

you’ve seduced my soul,

as the storm clouds roll,

as the evening bells toll … … …

Is it me?

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Is it me or is that a conscience I see drowning in the apathetic gutter?

Is it me or is that a expletive I hear a gucci-clad man to a homeless person mutter?

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Is it me or is that a pure heart I spot, being savagely ripped with malice?

is it me or is that a soul being drowned in an obscene ostentatious chalice?

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Is it me or is that the sickening drone of the few carping on about their bank balances’ erect phallus?

Is it me or are they the same who regard the homeless as living in an under-the-bridge palace?

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Is it me or is that the chilly wind of apathy I feel a-blowin’?

Is it me or are those streams the tears of numberless mothers that keep on a-flowin’?

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Is it me or is that the hallowed bourse where human dignity like derivatives are calculated and sold?

Is it me or is that the flogged dignity that the many try so hard to grasp onto and hold?

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It must be me, even though my eyes see nothing now but the repellant glare,

of the overflowing glittering pot of plenty from which only the 1% share.

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It must be me because when basic humanity is an endangered sentiment glimpsed at, only here and there,

It must be me when exhausted labourers have to scrounge around just to eke out their daily bus fare.

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It is me for I laze on my throne, dashing off these meagre absolving scribbles,

It is me for it is from my mouth that each hollow “I’m-so-shocked” dribbles.

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It is me as I “like” photographs of squalor and famine on Facebook et al,

It is me for I am the one who remains self-absorbed as the forests burn, and the last rhino awaits the grandiose cull.

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It is me alright, no doubt about it at all, as I smirk at the weakened who stumble and fall,

It is me alright, who rides my chariot through the hungry throng, just so I can make it to the glittering ball.

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Of course it is me, with my hifalutin words and my hollow don’t-give-a-shit attitude,

Of course it is me, just as long I can scribble meaningless platitude upon platitude.

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Of course it is me.
That much I know to be true.

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But,
just possibly,

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could it be you too?

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copyleft afzal moolla 2019

X E N O P H O B I A

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This was written in January 2013.

Utterly shameful, obscene, and inexcusable that it is true today.
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It ain’t Xenophobia? Really?
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it’s not xenophobia?

the refrain is the same,

it’s the criminals to blame,

we still won’t be calling the attacks by their stinking name,

‘xenophobia’

yes,

that’s what it is,

but,

let us not be simplistic,

we have to face the ugliness of our collective shame,

because when mostly ‘foreigners’ get put to the flame,

how can we ignorance feign?

it’s xenophobia,
simple and plain,

with poverty & unemployment barrelling on a runaway train,

and it won’t just ‘go away’,

for as long as ignorant complicity continues to reign …
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Xenophobia’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as:

” noun:

intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries “

The synonyms for xenophobia are:

chauvinism, racial intolerance, racism, dislike of foreigners, nationalism, prejudice.
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As a citizen of South Africa, I am acutely aware of the many challenges that our young country faces.
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The iniquities of our tortured past, the legacy of Apartheid, socio-economic issues etc. are just a few of the many problems that South Africa is grappling with.
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What is extremely disturbing for me is something that I have personally encountered, in conversations with friends, family, and fellow citizens from all walks of life.
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That something is how rife ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment is within our various, and still divided communities.
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I have heard the most atrocious, insensitive, hate-filled utterances regarding the ‘foreigners’ who ‘take our jobs’, and ‘take our women’, and ‘are the cause of all the crime’, and ‘they must go back to their countries’, and most chillingly ‘we will kill these foreigners’.
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I am also aware that many intellectuals, think-tanks, NGO’s, and sociologists etc. have written and spoken volumes about how the failure of proper service delivery by the government and local municipalities, and the myriad other shortcomings that plague our country have played a part in the emergence of this abhorrent xenophobic sentiments that are being spouted almost as if one was talking about culling animals in the Kruger National Park.
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We have already witnessed the scourge of xenophobia, and not long ago, when organised bands of people marked, attacked and killed ‘foreigners’ in a frenzy of blood-letting and looting.
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This was in 2008.
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And today, as the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela lies ill in a hospital bed in Pretoria, I hear similar disturbing and blood-curdling hate-speech directed against ‘the foreigners’.
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What is going on?
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Where and how have we, as a country, failed, or more worryingly, chose to ignore the signs of this cancer that has to be dealt with, and dealt with as a matter of national priority.
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The synonyms for xenophobia include racism, racial intolerance, and prejudice.
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The neo-Nazis in Europe and elsewhere are xenophobes.
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No one disputes that.
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The neo-Nazis in Europe and elsewhere talk in almost exactly the same terms when they spout their rhetoric, when they go on ‘Paki-bashing’ sprees in England, when they deface Synagogues and Mosques and Temples, or when they beat up and kill ‘foreigners’ who ‘take our jobs’, and ‘take our women’, and ‘are the cause of all the crime’, and ‘they must go back to their countries’.
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What is particularly disturbing about the rise of xenophobia, especially in the South African context is the complicity of silence, and by extension, a shocking acceptance of these racist and murderously dangerous views, by ‘normal’ citizens.
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We are Africans.
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And above all, we are all human.
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This may seem like an obvious and unnecessary fact to point out, but when certain friends, family members, and people one interacts with daily, spew such xenophobic drivel, it needs to be taken seriously.
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Pogroms, xenophobic attacks, racism, intolerance, prejudice, casteism, religious bigotry, sexism, and homophobia, do not simply arise out of nothing.
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There are societal, religious, traditional, cultural and other factors that do indeed create fertile ground for some of these noxious sentiments to germinate.
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It is incumbent on us all, people, just people, to engage with people, however close they may be to us, and challenge and make our voices heard that we will not stand mutely by, as such hate-filled venom is chucked around nonchalantly.
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We cannot be conspicuous by our silence and inaction when a large segment of our society, those who have chosen our country to be their home, often fleeing economic hardship, political and social violence, and numberless other factors that force, and this is important, people are forced into leaving their countries, often making hazardous and painful journeys in order to find safe-haven amongst fellow human-beings.
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As South Africans, we know just how friendly countries welcomed us during the darkest days of Apartheid repression and tyranny.
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Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and the other ‘front-line’ states paid dearly for offering South Africans fleeing Apartheid a place of refuge as well as a base of operations against the oppressive Apartheid system.
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Apartheid agents and security forces attacked, fomented insurrections against the governments in the front-line states, and still South Africans of all races, creeds etc. found a welcome home in these comradely countries.
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We should never forget this.
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Ever.
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Our government needs to be more vocal about its stance on xenophobia, and by doing so it will send a message that it will not stand by idly while people from other parts of the continent are constantly under the threat of being attacked.
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That said, we as citizens have a voice, and it is morally incumbent on all of us to do our bit so that the scourge of xenophobia is excised from this land.
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There is a simmering undercurrent of the possibility of attacks on foreigners as I type these words.
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If this is not taken seriously and dealt with, sadly we may see scenes similar to those we witnessed in 2008.

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AND IT IS HAPPENING NOW. TODAY.

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Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

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What Happens
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By Erich Fried*

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It has happened

and it happens now as before

and will continue to happen

if nothing is done against it.

The innocent don’t know a thing about it

because they are too innocent

and the guilty don’t know a thing about it

because they’re too guilty.

The poor don’t take notice

because they’re too poor

and the rich don’t take notice

because they’re too rich.

The stupid shrug their shoulders

because they’re too stupid

and the clever shrug their shoulders

because they’re too clever.

It doesn’t bother the young

because they’re too young

and it doesn’t both the old

because they’re too old.

That’s why nothing is done against it

and that’s why it happened

and happens now as before

and will continue to happen.

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* –

Erich Fried

1921-1988
Erich Fried (6 May 1921 – 22 November 1988), an Austrian poet born to Jewish
parents who settled in England, was known for his political-minded
poetry. He was also a broadcaster, translator and essayist.

Erich Fried (6 May 1921 – 22 November 1988), an Austrian poet who
settled in England, was known for his political-minded poetry. He was
also a broadcaster, translator and essayist.

Born to Jewish parents Nelly and Hugo Fried in Vienna, he was a child
actor and from an early age wrote strongly political essays and poetry.
He fled with his mother to London after his father was murdered by the
Gestapo after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany. During the war, he did
casual work as a librarian and a factory hand. He joined Young Austria, a
left-wing emigrant youth movement, but left in 1943 in protest at its
growing Stalinist tendencies. In 1944 he married Maria Marburg, shortly
before the birth of his son Hans. In the same year his first volume of
poetry was published. He separated from Maria in 1946, and they divorced
in 1952. In the same year he married Nan Spence Eichner, with whom he
had two children; David (1958) and Katherine (1961). Erich and Nan
divorced in 1965. In 1965 he got married for a third time to Catherine
Boswell with whom he had three children; Petra (1965), Klaus and Tom
(1969).

From 1952 to 1968 he worked as a political commentator for the BBC
German Service. He translated works by Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot and
Dylan Thomas. In 1962 he returned to Vienna for the first time.

He published several volumes of poetry as well as radio plays and a
novel. His work was sometimes controversial, including attacks on the
Zionist movement and support for left-wing causes. His work was mainly
published in the West, but in 1969, a selection of his poetry was
published in the GDR poetry series Poesiealbum, and his Dylan Thomas
translations were published in that same series in 1974. The composer
Hans Werner Henze set two of Fried’s poems for his song-cycle Voices
(1973).

In 1982 he regained his Austrian nationality, though he also retained
the British nationality he had adopted in 1949. He died of intestinal
cancer in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1988 and is buried in Kensal Green
cemetery, London.

An Austrian literary prize is named after him – the Erich Fried Prize

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Erich Fried

dawn slides 




momentary slides,


of lifes’ exquisite times,


at times,




are dusted, burnished,


shedding the weight, baggage,




of random strings,


at once,




flinging me opposite you,


in a dream i relished,




not long ago,




so know this, if nothing else,


those moments within me reside,




today, now,


as timely as the coming in of each dawns tide … …

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Talkin’ Neo-fascist Blues …

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The odour of fire and hate that I smell across our earth,
reeks of an obscene neo-fascism that is being brought to birth,

for as our world’s lungs are clogged and in flames,
and as hard-won democracy is tear-gassed and gored,
millions of our sisters and brothers are being put to the sword.

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When the mathematics of 370, of tariff fluctuations flung here and there, of the nauseating billions siphoned and looted,
while hungry mouths and empty bellies are silenced and jackbooted,

even as they scapegoat the poor, the destitute, the ninety-nine percent,
even as they call us the toxic, fifth-column diseased brigade,
it is their rapacious greed that pummel us to the ground, as they sip their cocktails in their ostentatious shade.

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While constitutions are ripped apart, and religions are poisoned into many a hornets hive, lo and behold we must celebrate that at long last, our sisters are allowed to drive,

and this isn’t the madness of emotions laid bare, this is the careful crafting of hate, of communalism, of religious bigotry, of patriarchal injustice, of us and of them, of prejudice chiselled with venomous care.

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For when the richest countries dehumanise the poor, when their presidents and so-called leaders strut conceitedly, with the puffed-up ugliness of a drunken bar boor,

when the weak are threatened, the rich coddled, when the beaten down are beaten down ever more to the blood-caked floor,

the time has long past to boot these fascists out of the door,

to reclaim our streams, our seeds, our shared waters, our collective commons and so much more,

and to finally shutter the shutters, to tear down the walls they build, because our world is not their 24/7 convenience store …

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yes, I’m talkin’ neo-fascist greed and racist, misogynistic, grotesque nationalist hate,

yes, I’m talkin’ the jagged edges of discord, the realpolitik of tribal, divisive, casteist sandpaper that is meant to grate,

yes, the erosion of shared humane principles, the corrosion of the internationalist ideal, the dumbing us down and flaying us into submission, the never-ending braying that this is and will always be our fate.

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Yet we will rise!

We rise as one!

We rise and we resist,

yes,
we must rise today,
before it is truly, far too late.

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leaving it all behind 

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leaving the din of this city far behind,

away from the strangling grind.

she asked me “what are you hoping to find?”,

“you”, ” i said,

“if you don’t mind” …

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Our mother with Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother

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The 15th of August 1934 and 1947

( dedicated to our late mother Zubeida ‘Jubie’ Moolla, and to all the women, the mostly unsung heroines in all the struggles for freedom across the world )

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Our mother was born on the 15th of August, an auspicious day, in the winter of 1934.

Thirteen years later, also on this auspicious day, in the summer of 1947, India cast off the yoke of colonial oppression.

These dates, though a decade apart are bound together in our family, hewn together by the happenstance of fate.

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The threads of the struggle for freedom, the hunger for liberation, the thirst for democracy, the ache of sacrifice, are intertwined.

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The valiant freedom fighters faced the brutality of the enemy head-on, staring down the barrels of the imperialists with chins held high, relinquishing the comfort of inaction for the battle for those eternally noble ideals – the struggle against oppression, the quest for human dignity, the emancipation of women, the conviction of being a part of a greater cause in the service of humanity.

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The struggle for liberation in South Africa and in India left many martyred souls, many more victims of appalling cruelty, the harrowing pain of families’ torn apart, the parents and children ripped from each other, the savagery of torture, the massacres of the innocents, the decades spent in prison, the years spent in exile.

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The names of the martyrs bear witness:

Solomon Mahlangu.
Bhagat Singh.
Ahmed Timol.
Rajguru.
Vuyisile Mini.
Prakash Napier
Sukhdev.
Steve Biko.
Victoria Mxenge.
Yusuf Akhalwaya.

Just a few names of the many more who gave up their youth, cruelly executed by the merciless foe.

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The torch bearers of the struggles, are forever etched in our minds, always kept close to our hearts, for these were the giants who inspired countless more to join the just cause for universal human dignity.

Their names are legendary:

Nelson Mandela.
Lillian Ngoyi.
Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sarojini Naidu.
Walter Sisulu.
Mahatma Gandhi.
Dorothy Nyembe.
Oliver Tambo.
Charlie Andrews.
Ahmed Kathrada.
Sardar Patel.
Govan Mbeki.
Nana Sita.
Chris Hani.
Aruna Asaf Ali.
Andrew Mlangeni.
Margaret Mncadi.
Sucheta Kriplani.
Ruth First.
Subhash Chandra Bose.
Joe Slovo.
Raymond Mhlaba.

These are but a few of our eternal flames – the flames that shall burn bright in the hearts of all freedom loving people.

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Our mother was born into a politically active family. Our grandfather a fierce opponent of racism and sectarianism in all its grotesque forms.

Our mother grew up in this cauldron of political agitation.

Our mother married our father and a daughter and a son were born, while Papa made his way in and out of jail, Mummy was left to tend for the infants, Tasneem and Azad.

Our parents were forced into exile, with their beloved young children left behind in the care of loving maternal grandparents, uncles and aunts.

Mummy as a mother suffered harshly and went through many breakdowns, being separated from Tasneem and Azad. I think only people who have been apart from their children will understand the pain of a mother.

People often think life in exile was easy. It was not. Papa was with MK and travelled continuously. It was mummy who was left with her thoughts, her grief, her pain and suffering knowing that her children were suffering by not having parents like normal families do.

People also called mummy ‘cheeky’ with a quick and bad temper, but can anyone understand the pain of being separated from ones own children and not becoming angry and feeling broken.

What Tasneem and Azad had to suffer through only they know. No one who has not been ripped away from their parents can ever ever know the effect that pain and pining has on the children. Today we see people whose kids go for sleepovers with friends and already the house seems empty and already the parents and the children miss each other and WhatsApp each other.

Tasneem and Azad never had that luxury.

May my nieces never forget the sacrifice mummy and daddy made and the pain of that time that can never really heal.

So may we try and spend time just thinking how it would be for the grandchildren if they had their parents suddenly taken away from them and then having to live with uncles and aunties, and grandparents.

These are the scars of history.

These are the wounds that never heal.

These are the sacrifices that go unnoticed.

These are the gnawing ache that history often forgets.

These are the experiences of countless mothers and their children.

This is the price paid dearly for the freedom and democracy we share today.

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The 15th of August, a day of celebration of freedom in India.

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The 15th of August, a day of reflection for our family in South Africa.

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Long live the Women’s Movement!

Viva the strength and power of the women!

( dedicated to Zubeida ‘Zubie’ Moolla, and to all the women, the unsung heroines in all the struggles for freedom across the world )

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Our mother with Comrade Nelson Mandela

The Beauty in You

The Beauty in You …

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My eyes have travelled across oceans, beyond valleys and peaks, across the vast savannah and swirling in murmuring streams,

my eyes have travelled far and wide in many kaleidoscopic dreams,

my eyes have travelled here and there, and through places in between, yet your beauty remains a constant, skipping off the most radiant sunbeams.

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I have felt the touch, the wild deluge of the monsoons, drenching me in its cleansing rain,

I have felt the touch, of moonlight cocooning me, a soothing veneer, that has kept me sane,

I have felt the touch, of your body, your lips, your being a healing presence, your unspoken words a melodic refrain.

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You come to me in moments alone, when this world seems empty, a chalice brimming with tears,

you come to me in moments dark, your delicate whispers banishing away all my dreadful fears,

you come to me in moments of splintered thoughts, your wondrous self offering shade from the scorching sun that sears.

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The beauty in you lends a lifeline to me, dispelling my mute vacuum, raising me from life’s empty hole,

the beauty in you douses the flames of my self-immolating fire, breathing life into me to once more be whole,

the beauty in you is a sublime truth, a truth of love and of belonging, a truth that has firmly taken root, in my once barren soul.

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Love Concedes






love concedes … … …




love concedes, through bitter travails,


love recedes, into closeted wardrobes,


love exhausts, lover and loved alike,


but,


love endures, through the years,


traversing valleys of tears,


dispelling untruths,


exiling paralysing fears.

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a scribble just scribbled. definitely needs to be edited and maybe rewritten but it’s just a raw slice of pained emotion now.

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The First People and the People of our World Speak …

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You visited our shores,
bearing muskets and swords.

You landed on our revered soil,
in your hearts your blood a-boil.

You came to our land,
cunningly extending a friendly hand.

Your motives were clear,
pillage and plunder everything, however far or near.

Your eyes blazed with greed,
always hungering for so much more than you ever could need.

Your syphilis-blankets were your gift to us,
biological warfare you waged with a smile and without a fuss.

You tore into our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our wives – to the very last,
your ugliness has not been forgotten after all these centuries that have passed.

You decimated our peoples, raining death upon us as a bloodthirsty barbarian horde,
you slaughtered the bison that roamed free, as into their flesh your bullets mangled and gored.

You stole from us all we ever had, regarding us as vermin meant to be wiped off the face of this earth,
your genocide is now a footnote in history, you cackled merrily as your ethnic-cleansing was carried out with much mirth.

You dumped us into ‘reservations’, your sickening Apartheid on display,
your arbitrary ‘bantustans’* was where you decreed our people could stay.

The reservations are where we barely live today,
creating the climate so that with alcohol and drugs our people you still slay.

Where are your grand words that you spew around like dung,
“freedom” and “democracy” and all the other hollow platitudes that are so obscenely flung.

We could go on about your carefully crafted plans to get rid of us all, the gracious “White-Mans’ Burden” repeated endlessly through colonialism and neo-imperialism all around this world,
your avaricious plunder of this, our common earth, on grotesque display as on “free trade treaties” your signatures swirl.

Yes, we could speak endlessly about your notions of racial superiority, your hubris that your might is right, how you try to cower us all because today your empire is strong,
yes, we could and perhaps should talk about your noxious nationalism, your obscene belief in “my country right or wrong”.

Yes, we could go on and on, about the racism that you embrace, even as you blabber that God is one.

Yes, today we will remind you that “The Cradle of Humankind”** is here on the southern tip of the continent of Africa, where all of us, the human originated from,

yes, today we will remind you that as you pour your infectious bile and as you continue to pillage and invade, and our countries bomb,

we will not stoop so low, as you so shamelessly have,

and,

and,

we will not tell you to go back to where you came from.

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* – Source: Wikipedia –

A Bantustan (also known as Bantu homeland, black homeland, black state or simply homeland; Afrikaans: Bantoestan) was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid.

Ten Bantustans were established in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South West Africa (then under South African administration), for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating “autonomous” nation states for South Africa’s different black ethnic groups.

In terms of the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970, blacks were stripped of their South African citizenship, which deprived of their few remaining political and civil rights in South Africa, and made them citizens of their designated homelands.

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** – Source:
https://www.maropeng.co.za/content/page/about

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The Cradle of Humankind is one of 10 World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in Gauteng.

It is widely recognised as the place from which all of humankind originated.

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An Immigrant’s Lament

art by banksy

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an immigrants lament

gazing at the sky
i often wonder why,

birds soaring,
high in the open sky,

are free to fly ?

is it that they have wings,

for i too have wings, friend,

so,
i often wonder why,
huddled against desolate sleet,

and,
i often wonder why,
buried under flimsy newspapersheet,

that i too have wings, friend,

i too have wings!

it is just that
my little wings,

are my tired
little feet …

For Nelson “Madiba” Mandela (born 18th July).

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of action, forged in the crucible of resistance.

Resistance against racial discrimination.

Resistance against injustice.

Resistance against oppression.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man burnished in the furnace of struggle.

Struggle to defeat the crime against humanity that was Apartheid.

Struggle against the obscene notions of racial superiority.

Struggle against the scourge of hate.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A human being who personified kindness.

A human being who embodied humility.

A human being who exemplified the unity of our human race.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of peace, and a man who fought the just fight.

A man of forgiveness, yes, but a man who believed in the truth to be brought to light of the complicity of the many who supported the Apartheid regime.

A man of truth, and a man of humane love.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he shed his blood as he endured the lashes of the whip on his flesh.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he fought ferociously against the suppression of his fellow human beings.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he emerged with dignity from the hell of twenty-seven years of imprisonment on an island of tyranny.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was a man of a steely will in the long cause to rid all oppressed people from the yoke of colonialism, he picked up arms and fought the honourable fight.

He was a man of fiery resolve against the scourge of divisiveness, he was at the forefront in the battles against human subjugation and indignity.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Madiba was a revolutionary, in the trenches against the obscenity of poverty and deprivation.

Madiba was a soldier, on the ground in the service of the most vulnerable, the children of this world.

Madiba was unshakeable, and he lived the example of the committed revolutionary and the dignified statesman.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Our beloved Madiba does not walk amongst us anymore.

And yet, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela lives within us.

Madiba lives in the streams that flow into the rivers that flow into the oceans.

Madiba lives in the winds that blow across the vast lands of Africa and beyond.

Madiba lives in the thud-thudding of heartbeats around our world.

Madiba lives in the veins where the blood flows through our common human form.

Madiba lives!

Madiba will always live!

a few more days …

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a few more days … … …

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as the branch of the oak sashays,
as a solitary palm undulates, and sways,

i count the days,
till i feel your loving gaze,
your soul, your heart ablaze,

i count the days,
till our separate ways,
dispel the haze,

i count the days,
when seeing you will make my eyes with desire glaze,

i count the days,
mattering not what cards fate plays,

i count the days,
till destiny’s highways,
merge, embracing the sun’s scorching rays,

for as awake this man lays,
the need, the hunger, the desire aching and ravenous, stays,

as i think of you,
counting the days,

until our seduced souls through the night skies blaze,

i count on you,
counting the days,

when the need for each other whisperingly says,

for you, i have crested the waves,

knowing my hunger for you may be a craze,

a craze that shall abide, firmly rooted, in nights and in days,

as i remain still,
counting these remaining moments, for you my being entire craves,

i lie awake,
counting the days,

lying awake, counting these minutes, these days … …

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For a Mother …

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She left me,

with only the thoughts of her embrace to warm me,

in frigid mornings of tomorrows yet to come.

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She left me,

with her words of tender truths to shroud me,

in the coming evenings of stabbing sleet and hail.

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She left me,

yet she stays forever within me,

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in my waking dreams

and in my restful thoughts,

she stays forever within me,

she remains an abiding part,

of the love,

the pain,

the tears,

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and thus we shall never, ever be truly apart.

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( for my mother, who passed away on the 4th of April 2008, after a long battle with Motor-Neurone Disease or ALS )

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Love Persists 

Love Persists …

Rivulets of tears,
flow into gutters,

hearts break,
whispered truths shatter.

Love persists,
stubborn, obstinate,
unyielding,

a tempestuous deluge,
seeking murmuring eddies.

Love persists,
unflinching,
battle-fatigued,

lost at times,
floundering in muddied waters.

Love persists,
when stormy clouds gather,

the embers crackle, burn, tinder aflame,

deeply knit,
out of the piercing rain …

A L I V E

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alive …

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Lashed against jagged truths,

plumbing the depths of lost emotions,

straining to hear your voice calling me back.

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Aching to taste
your breath scalding my lips,

pining to feel
forgotten whispers murmured,

swirling around
the rapids,

gasping for air,

nursing a simple dream,
nothing grandiose …

to feel
once more –

alive.

alive …

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