The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

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My Indian Boy by Michelle Ayuma

My Indian Boy

My Indian Boy

 

“Wake up! You are going for a motivational talk.” Dad woke me up early on a Saturday morning. He always took-up mum’s role whenever she was gone for her field work. Sleep vanished faster than usual as his rude deep voice woke me up to panic compared with the smooth sail out of sleep my mum’s sweet voice. I had to shake my 12-year-old sister, *Carol, out of bed on Dad’s behalf. She was a tough one! She would envelope herself with her blanket, and pulling the thick bed covering meant playing tag-of-war. That is how I often did my morning exercise.

We took a quick shower and dressed up for the strange event Dad was taking us to. He always wanted the best for us. At times I felt that he tried too much, but I also felt that it would be so disappointing if we dared show disinterest in his push towards our excellence. And so I wore a giant clueless smile for him so that he would see my enthusiasm. I often did this to reassure him that he was doing the right thing.

 

 

We rarely mirrored what our peers did over their school holidays. Dad always insisted that excellence meant making some sacrifices in our lifestyle. Mum was working during the August holidays so he kept the home running and our brains fed with wisdom. At times I wondered how it would have been to live like the other kids in our neighbourhood. They always had interesting stories to tell after the school holidays, especially last year’s Christmas. I rarely have any tales to tell, not unless it is about the interesting documentary I watched on Discovery channel. Or perhaps how funny it was when David Copperfield bit his step-father, Edward, in Charles Dickens’ book which I later on watched as a film by Hallmark.

It didn’t really bother me to go for a motivational talk. I always love to learn new things, go to places I’ve never been to, meet people from different cultures, experience things that sharply intrude on the normality of my life. My only disappointment was Carol’s constant nudge to express her discomfort in going to a strange place early in the morning.

“Excellent! We are on time.” Dad announced to prove a point to an invisible time-thief. He hurried to open the car door and ensured that we had carried our then fashionable “Monkey Bags” stuffed with our glittery Spice Girl pencils, Mickey Mouse rubbers and a classic black pen from Dad’s office.

“Hello girls! Welcome to the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training.” A lady reached out to welcome us. She had a shinny face and a warm smile that had no end. I wondered why she exaggerated her smile but I just followed the direction indicated by her arm. “Be the best girls!” Dad said.

A boy, possibly a 15-year old just like me hurried past the main door. It was evident that he was Indian as his father’s voice with a heavy accent echoed though the corridor as he helped him look for the right room. They said their goodbyes and we found ourselves walking shyly into the room which greeted us with big clueless eyes from other kids. The Indian boy let me into the room first and Carol followed. There was a large oval table surrounded by kids who assembled while waiting for the smiling instructor who sat at the front to start off the session. The boy sat on the opposite side of the table right next to Carol who placed her Monkey bag on the table as if it were a pet.

He gave away a gentle smile from across the table and I sent him one as well. During introductions, he picked up a pen and notepad and scribbled away. He only looked up when I introduced myself by name. When it reached his turn, Carol nudged him and he was startled for a moment. He introduced himself as *Raj Pandit and when he saw me smile he suddenly went quiet and gave the next kid a chance to introduce herself. He then picked up his pen and notepad and continued sketching. Carol stole a peek whenever she could and sent reports to me though her winks. Silly girl, but I loved her!

During our break, it was like Raj turned into a robot. He suddenly stopped drawing, stood up straight and marched outside, unlike the other kids who rushed for munchies at the snack table. Carol stuffed herself with snacks and threw some sweets into her bag. As I was about to grab a samosa, Raj grabbed it and then handed it to me. We both laughed and he told me that samosas are the only interesting snacks he could spot on the table. How Indian of him! I told him that I hadn’t taken breakfast and that samosas looked more filling than the other snacks. After our samosa talk, the instructor told us to get back to our seats. Raj took up his pen and notepad and continued doodling.

Whenever we could, we stole a stare or two from each other. Raj was a quiet boy but whenever I made a contribution to a discussion he actively participated by listening. His widened eyes made me realise that he really paid attention to what I said. I had met other cool kids but I was sure to pay a little more attention to Raj who was a little reserved and interacted less with the other kids. But one time, he had a deep chat with one of the boys. I bet they were talking about some boring boyish stuff judging from their gestures and words such as ‘gadget’ ‘Beckham’ and ‘NASCAR’ that escaped their bubble of chat.

The toughest moment came when the training period came to an end and all the kids had to say their goodbyes. Although there was no easy way for kids our age to keep in touch, I made the best of the last moments I had with Raj. I laughed a little more so that he wouldn’t forget my smile. I stared at him a little more so that I would not forget his geometric face and his spiky black hair. The colour of his face that was as smooth as the fresh pies that Dad used to buy from a new coffee house near home called Java. The impact of his tiny yet sharp eyes that pierced through mine whenever he stared and his gentle nature even in his silence as he drew on his jotter. My curiosity swelled with every stroke of pen on paper.

During the last session, he looked at his notepad and took a long gaze at me. I smiled and he rested his notepad. The instructor called him to the side and he rushed to listen to what she had to say. Carol sneakily stole a glimpse of Raj’s drawing then quickly moved away from his chair. When he came back for his notebook, I stood up and walked towards the main door along with the other kids. My heart started pounding as I waited to ask about his drawing.

But all this was in vain when his father’s voice echoed into the room. Raj looked at his father who wore a wide smile that raised his thick moustache and had some round glasses just like Mahatma Gandhi’s pair. He took a step towards me but his father patted him on the back indicating that they should get going. The two hastened past the corridor and I rushed outside as if pulled by his last glances only to find Dad at the end of the corridor.

Carol had followed me, curious to find out if Raj would manage to show me his drawing. Our fathers exchanged firm manly nods on our way out as I literally felt the bond between Raj and I tear away. We were from different worlds but the bond I had with him felt so cosmic and familiar that I didn’t want to let go of his watch. There were no quick means to help us reconnect and we barely shared a lifestyle. As soon as Carol got into Dad’s car, she told me about the notepad. “Raj was drawing you,” she said with a worried look on her face as if we were running out of time to do something.

And so I reached home and sank back into my world of excellence – of books and documentaries. But I soon started one of my own – of imagination and wishful thinking. I grabbed a pen and notepad and wrote about Raj –his smile, his eyes and the samosas that he liked so much. Writing became my new world where culture, technology and time could not get into my way. Writing became my haven, where I could escape and meet my Indian boy whose smile will remain eternal in my words.

 

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013 at the National Museums of Kenya. Follow @SMHayFest on Twitter, and Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook for updates on guest authors, events, pre-fest events and tickets.

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th - 22nd September)

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th – 22nd September)

 

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

African Fashion Rocks!!!

WELCOME TO LA MAR

There’s a wild animal in each one of us!

We live in this modern jungle called Nairobi where the survival for the sleekest is the rule of game.

La Mar - Splash of Colour

La Mar – Splash of Colour

LA MAR celebrates two official years of online shopping for authentic fashion accessories which are all custom-made!

La Mar Designs - Photography by Ben Kiruthi

We believe in the beauty of bringing out the best features of each animal in us with a dash of African flair: the rockers, the rooted African, the nostalgic retroman , sporty dudes & dudettes, the dynamic artist, the boardroom giant, you name it, we’ve got somemething for everyone!

La Mar - Mosaic of a Woman Dance

La Mar – Mosaic of a Woman Dance

There is a wide range of accessories to meet your fancy!

La Mar - Mosaic of a Woman Professional

La Mar – Mosaic of a Woman Professional

Men’s fashion, Women’s fashion, Kids’ fashion and even Home and Office accessories.

La Mar - Men's Fashion

La Mar – Men’s Fashion

La Mar - Fabulosity

La Mar – Fabulosity

La Mar - Kids' Collection

La Mar – Kids’ Collection

La Mar - Office and Home Wall Piece

La Mar – Office and Home Wall Piece

Our team is driven by a pure mix of creativity, fun and an adventurous smashing of rules to come up with fantastic pieces that leave each wearer of our designs feeling absolutely fabulous.

Faces of La Mar

Faces of La Mar

Having started from simple beginnings, LA MAR has now grown into a dynamic online shop through the LA MAR Facebook Page with thousands of fans from across the urban jungle. Like our page NOW and indulge in our rich serving of glamour!

La Mar - Standing Out

La Mar – Standing Out

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. So let La Mar blow your mind away with the thousands-of-words captured in the gallery below from the LA MAR Gallery.

Enjoy!

LA MAR PAIRINGS

La Mar - Fun Times Piece

La Mar – Fun Times Piece

La Mar - Safari Pairing

La Mar – Safari Pairing

La Mar - Date Night Pairing

La Mar – Date Night Pairing

La Mar - Afrique Pairing

La Mar – Afrique Pairing

LA MAR RINGS

La Mar - Ring Collection

La Mar – Ring Collection

La Mar - Rings

La Mar – Rings

LA MAR LONG NECK PIECES

La Mar - Funky Neck Piece

La Mar – Funky Neck Piece

La Mar - Men's Neck Piece

La Mar – Men’s Neck Piece

La Mar - Funky Fun Neck Piece

La Mar – Funky Fun Neck Piece

LA MAR EAR PIECES

La Mar - Button Ear Piece

La Mar – Button Ear Piece

La Mar - Ear Piece Fun

La Mar – Ear Piece Fun

La Mar - Ear Piece

La Mar – Ear Piece

LA MAR WRIST PIECES

La Mar - Charm Wrist Piece

La Mar – Charm Wrist Piece

La Mar - Wrist Mix

La Mar – Wrist Mix

La Mar - Men's Cuff Piece

La Mar – Men’s Cuff Piece

LA MAR ANTIQUE PIECES

La Mar - Brass Neck Piece

La Mar – Brass Neck Piece

La Mar - Bold Antique Neck Piece

La Mar – Bold Antique Neck Piece

La Mar - Aluminium Neck Piece

La Mar – Aluminium Neck Piece

La Mar - Antique Neck Piece

La Mar – Antique Neck Piece

LA MAR BROOCHE

La Mar - Brooche Piece

La Mar – Brooche Piece

LA MAR BAGS

La Mar - Fuschia Clutch Bag

La Mar – Fuschia Clutch Bag

La Mar - Clutch Bag

La Mar – Clutch Bag

LA MAR GIFT CARD

La Mar - Gift Card

La Mar – Gift Card

More from the LA MAR Gallery:

La Mar Beginnings

La Mar Spring 2013 Men’s Collection

La Mar Spring 2013 Women’s Collection

La Mar Fall 2012 Collection

La Mar Kid’s Collection

La Mar Home and Office Collection

La Mar Weddings

La Mar Bag Collection

La Mar Mosaic of a Woman Photoshoot

Out of the Shadows Fashion Catwalk featuring La Mar designs

Do you like what LA MAR has got for you?

Place your order NOW and get a free delivery within Nairobi!!!

Contact us on +254 787 148 198

We do welcome your feedback.

Keep it LA MAR!

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La Mar - Logo

La Mar – Logo

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

City in the Sin!

The October 2012 Special Post: City in the Sin! By Michelle Ayuma

The city lights of Nairobi brighten by the day as the souls of Hes and Shes darken by the shade,

Pubs and strip clubs now host people as many as homes used to during the almost ancient tradition of family get-togethers,

The only time that seems reasonable to meet with kinsmen – Funerals! As dust is cast into a deep pit of a soul soon to be forgotten the moment hustles hit Monday morning. [Work]

Forgotten dreams and life passions lead to industries full of zombies programmed to produce something in exchange of money. “Who cares about passion any more? Just work like a donkey and live like a king!” [They say]

And as dusk awakens, city lights take over the sun of day as sex, money and drugs rule the streets of the “City in the Sun.”

Wives forced to restrain passion for their husbands as they bury themselves with house chores and nursing their children,

As their husbands chase their secret fantasies to be with a pretty little thing the age of their own offspring,

Other females – broken and seeking revenge – prey on lonely men by the bar thirsting for affection,

They’re wrapped in hot chains of lust and seek temporary soothing in some soft skin, sweet nothings whispered into their vulnerable ears and inviting some entrapping lingerie.

Such a priced commodity sex has become that it has claimed space by the supermarket tills, right above some tasty saccharine,

This sex candy [condoms & sex toys] satisfy all kinds of wild sexual needs! [They suggest]

And so little Lucy asks her mother at the supermarket what sex means after picking a packet of condoms,

“It’s something you share with a man when it feels right,” says mother and the topic is never to be repeated not unless in school – leave all that work to the teachers! [Teachers left to unlock facts about sex?]

Little Lucy finally “understands” why her teacher back at school treated her differently. He even touched her differently and mummy never gave her a chance to explain what she was feeling inside.

“Perhaps he thinks I’m special!” [She thinks]

Mummy’s words kept echoing in her mind, “It’s something you share with a man when it feels right.”

And so she gives in to her senseless and inexplicable emotions and she lets him in,

But she bleeds to her heel as her green body wasn’t “woman” enough to handle the impact of an adult male on heat.

And as she rests in her hospital bed, numb and confused, mummy’s words slowly fade away as the late nurse exists her dark room into the bright corridors.

This is the painting of life within the Sin City:

Dark smoked clouds and a dusted dome with a little ecstasy. Twinkling shots from a gun and a naked moon that lights the path of every thug-infested street corner. Lonely streets carpeted with dirty money and a spell of golden liquor-ish showers in the night.

The city lights of Nairobi brighten by the day as the souls of Hes and Shes darken by the shade.

May the Good Lord save this city!

 

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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