Saturday, August 29, 2015

OF GRANDMA’S GANGSTA CURRY CHICKEN and OTHER SPICY NOTES OF A PRELUDE TO A CHILD’S STORY





by Azly Rahman

I am beginning to believe that my life is structured to be lyrical; I get stimulated by songs I hear from my childhood and they become opening acts of my stories; an opening act of Kid Rock for Bon Jovi in a stadium in New Jersey; an orchestral symphonic orgasmic feel of musical sensibility; I supposed the idea of a lyric essay hits home; I cannot escape from finding rhymes even without reason, every time I think of a sentence; words from songs come a visitin’ in the cave of my contemplating abyssimality almost like some revelation of the Divine I cannot see because it is obviously all tattooed in me from cradle to the grave and from here till eternity in all its linguistic glory; and that even the last sentence is a rhyming non-dangling modifier that came out naturally; and that just last night I fell in love with the semi-colon and I wrote these words on my facebook page:

I THINK I AM FALLING IN LOVE
with the SEMI-COLON; a great way not to end a sentence quickly
a way to compete with James Joyce --- who will write the longest sentence in English Language history; I love you SEMI-COLON! ;;;;;;;;;;;; LOVE;;;;;;
-- ar 

Here is an example I just wrote on my facebook page; this is about Hang Kasturi and the problematique of Malay/Melakka history, concerning the argument of the fact and fiction surrounding the traditional heroes of the ancient kingdom of Melakka, circa 1400 A.D:
" ... some say Hang Kasturi is only real person and true blue Melakkan and not some Hang-clone-drone of the Ming Dynasty sent to hegemonize the region; some say the entire history of Melakka is a plausible fiction overblown for some vainglorious reasons; some say Melakka was nothing great except that Tun Sri Lanang the well-paid court writer made it too-great to be true; some say Melakka was just a small coastal town as big as my village in Sin City J.B.; we don't know: but the Malay Annals as a work of epic-historical-pulp fiction worked well as a literary propaganda tool up till today; but then again, who knows?; the winners write history, the losers study anthropology and write poetry; this entails the entire history of the Malay kingdom is suspect; one needs to read deconstructionism to test this theory; I don't know; but a good question you have asked; Kasturi is a Sanskrit word; Tuah, Jebat, Lekir, Lekiu sounded Bangladeshi and Vietnamese combined, and so Kasturi might be the real hero of them all. Or-- if we follow the theory of karmic cycles, Kasturi might be a reincarnation of all the four guys; Kasturi was a hero whose epic story started off with him hanging upside down, like a Melakka lemon, from a durian tree in Durian Tunggal. … “

On writing about memories 

To say that we are going back to the past and revisiting it;
that we are to journey into the world of yesteryears of the days of our life,
that we are to open again the doors to the dungeons
leading to the artifacts of the things we have kept only to ourselves,
to open the box of letters unopened and therefore unanswered,
to mount the white horse of our well-garnished glory
and to ride into the horizon of our childhood to confront the ghosts inside of us
demons Fate has bestowed upon us --
to say all these is to express meaningless utterance.
We are here -- past and present;
a wasteland of uncharted territories
of the child of wonder,
the old man and the sea,
and the weary and the mundane soul
pounded by the infinitesimality
of life's own doing.
We are it-- the amalgamation of fear and hope.
We are it. We are: the child, the being-in-this world,
the deteriorant, the decayed, the diseased, of death inevitable, of decomposition next
in the seasons of our lives.
--- A cycle of memories trying to forget and forgive each other
a speck of dust
we are, not yet --
evolving
revolving
in the wasteland of this canvas
of the colors of remembering


Of grandma’s gangsta chicken curry 

Circa 2005 it was. In a class of almost 100% American kids of the suburbia, of jersey shore, and the sopranos, and bon jovi - type and tatoo-displaying masculania... i shared this story of anatomy and chemistry and complexity of globalization of the american "chicken-run" global industry ...
told them that their life is cool and easy when it comes to eating Colonel Saunder's KFC ... all chickens are powered by batteries and of the same size and made to taste delicious with that perfect recipe of uniformity with the elements of calculability, profitability, and the aura of glorified global economy framing the lives of chickens globally ...
I grew up, borrowing a gangsta rapper’s high-school da’ Bronx lingo, “jumping chickens” (as in yo’ Jamaal I got jumped after school yo’ I was going to my crib’ in my hood’ in East Philly and they Jackie Chan’ed me yo’ … unlike that jump entirely) like a hunter and gatherer in a kampong that still had snakes like anacondas and tigers roaming like the "open zoo" down south in Singapore city...
i told them this in rhymes that is :
- grandpa told us boys to go after those chickens; we're going to have gangsta curry
so me and my bro and cousin and all; would get our gears ready;; this means changing from our sarong to a standard hot pants for males only  ...
and so we roam around the house that has no electricity; for thomas alva edison was still had 999 invention to go before he found out he had misplaced his batteries; and skinny-Gandhi-looking grandpa, like a godfather of chicken industry commanded us to hunt down that one chicken ripe for the that gangsta curry; and we run around the house and saw one that looked one from the movie Chicken Run fearful-looking of a bipolar pedigree
we strategized the arrest for a good many hours, till the sun and the moon from each other they broke free; the next day the mighty chicken was found finally; we all … brothers and cousins  jumped on it happily; and held it by the neck and the body as it struggled pleading amnesty ..

no mercy .. no mercy  ... said we …
(we think jazz; we drink gin; we play hooky; we groovy)
blesse grandpa, bless his soul  ...' i am sure he is smiling reading these gleefully..
and grandpa had his butcher's knife; me and my bros and my cousins aplenty held the chicken by the neck and prayed together in perfect harmony ... Ebony and Ivory  as the McCartney-Stevie Wonder tune of the Awesome 80s now playing in me …
“ we all know .. that chickens are the same wherever you go … there is good and bad  ... in every chook … learn to eat grandma’s gangsta chicken curry … la la la … what we do to survive … together we cry “
as grandpa uttered the golden words before the feast of this gangsta chicken curry ..
"O' God ... Merciful and Most Compassionate One ... bless thouest this chicken that will be today’s gift for my family ... and unto Thee shall this chicken too return ... as all of us shall return .. from then till eternity … " and the drama of the chicken dance was laid out already
and with that little mantra of Islamic spiritual ideology ... the sharpest part of the knife went straight across the jugular vein … a practice perhaps borrow from the Jewish rabbis who slaughtered goats with precision and humility …  downwards once ... upwards once get the poor soul’s great vein .... … go for the jugular as some American comedian down in New York city would say … and maybe one more time if resistance is  not yet futile as grandpa agreed; and we're done our job as tradition decreed ... as blood spurted and spouted and sprinkled out of the neck onto the ground that will too receive the body ... from dust to dust from ashes to ashes, from Earth we cometh unto Earth we shall return … interstellar beings we might be though unlike those conceived in the religion of Scientology … do not go gently into the night O’ Chicken and executioner and all … do not take the road not taken, for it will not make any difference … Mother Earth Mother Ganges … Father Sun O’ Jupiter .. O’ Deus Pater … O’ Mi To Fu , Ohm Ohm Ohm , from Nothingness that becometh a chicken back to Nothingness we do not know what its karma will be … many paths to truth, many doors to salvation … but this is a chicken right down there in the food chain … of the Man appearing in the eleventh hour of Creation to own and to administer whilst the chicken struggled in vain … ahhh .. grandma’s gangsta chicken curry we wait patiently
ahha .. we then threw the chicken onto the ground ... it did a bit of a dance move wobblingly like a bad groove of a James Brown move ... not like Ginger’s in that movie Chicken Run … as me and my bros and my cuz’ did all at once, and that poor chicken did like a funky chicken dance that might be ... play that funky music right on’ as the Black Panthers of the sixties would sing
and grandma was ready with big earthenware-pot of boiling water so that the chicken can then be ready to be stripped naked, feathers and all gone forever ...
and we would all... brothers and cousins sit around stripping those feathers ... while grandma would prepare the grounded spies for that gangsta curry better than anywhere served in a Malaysian  restaurant in Greenwich Village, NYC  ...
and when the chicken's ready ... and the gangsta curry's all served over white rice and we sat and ate quietly on the floor as if listening attentively to an interesting folklore ... as we prepare for the hours next, of playing football barefoot in the fields of grass and dandelions aplenty ... kicking the rubber ball barefoot imaging ourselves that famous Brazilian "Pele" …
Of Blackie’s death 

Way, way, way before there was this  Malaysian public square event to encourage people touch dogs" my grandfather had "Blackie" guarding our kampong house in Johor. Blackie, true to his name, was a black dog and not of any color, including white. Back in the day of the early 60s, the village was brand new and there were only a few houses. Grandpa "relocated" us from the fishing village of Stulang Laut near where the Johor causeway is now.

The new Malay village had tigers roaming. Yes, tigers! I did not recall any campaign to "touch a tiger" or "kiss a frog' by the then Prime Minster, Tunku Abdul Rahman. He was one happy man with his race horses; a first prime minister of Malaysia who drank and prayed as a Muslim and happy about it; his philosophy being: water and oil will not mix. 

Now—back to Blackie’s story.

I remember Blackie the faithful black dog who acted both like a border patrol and a national security dog against undesirable elements that will threaten our kampong house and us. All kinds of snake would come into the house and one day while I was bathing with a red plastic hand-held water container, when I was a little teeny weeny boy, a cobra crawled into the bathroom through an opening by the side of the huge dirty brown earthenware pot the size of a half Saudi oil barrel; it peeked its head into the opening and when it saw me gasped, I think, it went away- while I was bathing. I must have had magical powers to still be alive. I came back one day as I recall my grandfather was in the bathroom screaming and next I heard him shout to my grandmother to bring him a kettle of hot water he poured onto the black slithering reptile that again quickly went away. That must have been the cobra that had a battle with Blackie; that could have been the cobra’s wife or elder son or daughter or a distant cousin that went to combat with our faithful dog; that could have been the one that killed Blackie.  Hunger games of the slithering society. Mortal combat of the animal kingdom. 

Blackie was there maybe outside the bathroom when I was gasping and naked obviously and perhaps hiding behind the huge pot like the one you see in the New York Botanical Gardens, gripping that read plastic water container and perhaps cheap soap lather all over my body; soap, smelling of Jasmine or rose, my mother usually buy at a discount in that store in Singapore, across the causeway; and Blackie was there though I did not remember him helping me out that day. And Blackie our dog died after battling some wild animal, perhaps. I suspect it was a snake, as big as an anaconda of the Brazilian samba as I would have imagined when I was five or six; and I am sure like a Viking Black version of Lassie from the Black and White TV series of the shamed-Yankee-in-post-Vietnam seventies, Blackie fought it well and lost. Such a heroic struggle of Absurd Drama proportion.

We all woke up one day and saw him motionless inside the small monsoon drain right in front of our house. The morning was gloom; like the day’s weather that would perhaps not see the sun shine and happy as the last stanza of Wordsworths’ poem on wandering a cloud where he said: “ … My heart with pleasure  fills/And I dances with the daffodils” There were no daffodils in fact; just a monsoon drain and patches of tall grass partly covering the drain where Blackie lie; his eyes closed.
Grandpa sobbed, grandma sobbed; I sobbed too. We were very touched by Blackie's death. I call him a family martyr and I could still remember the day I cried while taking poor Blackie out of the drain, using a piece of wooden plank, to be buried with all the rights and honor of a fallen hero that died in the line of village duty. Honorable Blackie. And, like all dogs that went to heaven, like the 1001 Dalmatians, Blackie was the 102nd.

I become so emotional and touched every time I hear the word "Blackie" or derivatives of "Black". I was touched by the songs of the Singapore pop group Black Dog Bone, and Led Zeppelin's classic "Black Dog" and soundtrack from the movie Dog Day Afternoon in which there is a scene where Al Pacino’s boyfriend and lover wanted to fly out of the country to seek asylum, after robbing a bank to get a sex change surgery: in a place he blurted “Wyoming!” 

May you rest in peace, Blackie. As they say, all dogs go to heaven. But I hope Blackie will not be neighbors with those scriptural 72 hourries or virgins or “white raisins” as the correct Aramaic interpretation of a reward for jihadists should mean. Blackie is too good a soul for that.

So, reading about the Islamic campaign of "I want to touch a dog' bored me to (Blackie's) death. I was already touched by Blackie -- touch by his loyalty and the sacrifice he made to keep or family safe in a village where tigers roam and all kinds of Malay ghosts roam our neighbours.
Of an Alien invasion in my school

The country where I grew up in was given independence by her British colonial master, somewhat on a silver platter; a prince from the Malay royal court of the Northern state of Kedah became her first Prime Minister. It was on August 31, 1957 that shouts of “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! or Free at Last! Free at last Last! Free at Last! (Today it will be chanted O’ merde! O’ merde! O’ merde’, if you may excuse my French, as corruption murders the nation) were heard in the National Stadium; suddenly the country was free; I do not know what that means even today. Singapore, the island and city where I was born was then part of Malaysia and when there we a large population of ethnic Chinese, originally brought in as indentured serfs to work in the tin mines.

When I was a child in primary /elementary school back the mid-1970s, there was an alien invasion in my elementary school, Sekolah Temmengong Abdul Rahman, Johor Bahru. A spaceship landed, my friends said. It was a UFO, they said too; little people in strange suits the ones you see in the popular cartoon series from the Singaporean television running around shooting our legs and leaving red ant-bites all over, scaring the shit out of us kids. Yes, nobody saw what these unfriendly visitors look like but we all agree, based on images we saw on TV that they are invaders. Scary but exciting; this added to the excitement of the days at school

And so, that day sometime in the year 1969 or 70; circa the Apollo moon landing, during recess, hundreds of kids ran around the soccer field screaming as if they were hearing the last 10 minutes of the broadcast of Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds'. There was total chaos. Each little scream added up to become a symphony of a cacophony of some alien invasion mystery.
Kids were knocking each other; we were running as if we were out of gas; I am now thinking of Jackson Brown’s song “Running on Empty,” The scene of chaos was like the street where those rhinocerouses ran wild in Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinocerous”

I recall falling on my face as I jumped across the huge monsoon drain that separates the field from a building leading to the classrooms. I tried to run away from being attacked and taken into the spaceship, into a world of weightlessness in which teh tarik becomes teh terbang.

I almost fell into the drain and was helped by my best buddy, Fook Shiang, a bespectacled chap who would roam around with me even into the Chinese graveyard on the north side of the school. I was curious about what a Chinese ghost looked like, having been quite well-versed in how Malay ghosts are presented.

Years later I discovered that ghosts, supernatural beings, and aliens are actually big business in Corporate America. Halloween is a great celebration of spiritual awakening – wherein America danced it to the tune of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'.

In the case of the Johor sighting, kids were talking about seeing a spaceship landing in the middle of the field and about children being shot with laser guns that left them with red spots, just like those you get when bitten by red ants.

The invasion and the attack by the aliens on the kingdom of Johor did not stop in the school field. Two of my classmates saw battalions of little creatures (actually not seen by the naked eyes), the size of red ants, marching across the classroom as we were ready to resume class. Some claimed to have been shot in the legs and thighs.

In broad daylight we were attacked - in an age when TV was still black and white. That was almost 10 years after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, in a race with the Soviets. That was the beginning of technological fantasy - that we will one day colonize space when we have devastated the Earth enough.

The incident at my school, which I heard was reported by Utusan Melayu, happened almost 50 years before we sent our first space tourist/cosmonaut/space participant aboard the Russian rocket. A giant step for Malaysian but a small step in our understanding of spaces of knowledge and power. Here's why.


Outer space, inner spaces

We go in and out of spaces and create these as well. We let the entire nation become mesmerized by our ability to launch a man into space. This could be good education for our kids, so that they may get hooked on rocket science.

But science ought to also teach us how to think rationally, promote free inquiry, cultivate academic freedom, address economic disparities, solve our educational problems, haul corrupt leaders to justice easily, how to recognize the rise of totalitarianism, solve the issue of our dispossessed and violent youth, and most of all decolonize our minds and let us live a life free from being colonized by the spaces of knowledge and power.

Science ought to be democratized to teach citizens to live in republic that is founded upon scientific socialism and transcultural ethics. But we are still colonized.

We let aliens colonize our living rooms; through TV programmes we allow Hollywood to dictate how we should invent our reality. We saw the 1961 Apollo blast-off and thought that only when we have sent a native to the moon would we be recognized as an advanced nation.

We are misled by the notion of technological advancement. We have not learned what science for social purposes means and we have not delved into the philosophy of science for the advancement of the Third World nation.

We saw Pakistan triumphant in testing its nuclear bomb near Kashmir on May 28, 1998 through the achievement of Nobel Laureate in Physics Abdus Salam, and we thought that an Islamic nation had progressed.

Little did we know how Pakistan has evolved as evident in the rule of General Pervez Musharraf. The nation's Nobel Prize-winning scientific achievement has its contradiction. There is so much disparity in the national-cognitive evolution of Pakistan.

We must get Malaysia to come down to earth and look at the reality of empty spaces and the spaces in knowledge and power that we have created over the last 50 years.

At present we are looking at Outer Space as escapism and a national fascination and alteration of consciousness - so that we may be made to forget the harshness of the daily lives of the people. We create newer grounds for play and fantasy.

Now for example, the Johor Kingdom is heading towards another fantasy world - the Disney Project. It will become Johor Darul Disney and Sekolah Temmengong Abdul Rahman will become the Malaysian office of the American project called Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.

Critical thinking is all the more needed to equip the next generation to 'come down' from space and through science and technology, build a socially meaningful paradigm of economic development that benefits all races so that to evolve into a nation that prides on bridging the gap between the filthy rich and the abject poor.


Who benefits?

The world around us and inside of us continues to become more complex. We continue to be given bread and circuses. We continue to be mesmerized by inventions, institutions, and installations that are slowly killing our critical sensibility and eroding our ability to analyze realities that have been invented by those in power.

We have been turned into alienated beings amused to death with things we do not need. Our economy has been transformed beyond our control - and we think that this is the only way to 'progress'.

We think 'progress' is linear, following what Walt Rostow suggests in his book 'The Stages of Growth'. The 1960s brought us the hippy movement and the World Bank formula, a precursor of the Reaganomics ethos of the 'magic of the marketplace'.

We were trapped into believing that modernization means liberation. Now that we are in the post-modern era, we cannot turn back unless we revolt against the rule of instrumental totalitarianism. It has to be a revolution of the mind and a reconstruction of our consciousness.

With those many little 'super corridors' being installed in major states, what will 'human development' mean to us? Where is the concept of 'development - of the people, by the people, and for the people'?

Let us come back to Earth and be grounded in the social reality of things.

Of Malay girls and mass hysteria in Pahang

And then there was this story of hysteria again; if there were kids screaming during the alien invasion in my school, there were also slightly bigger kids screaming in yet another school. This time it was girls screaming; there was a “mass hysteria” when I was in high that was psychologically designed as a hybrid of an ashram and a kibbutz, with a tinge of Americanism. It was then in the n the mid-70s, many girls were "possessed by demons" for a good two weeks as I recall... It started off with an American-Idol type of singing competition that night. 

The school had to call a famous bomoh from Pahang. The ustazs (Islamic Studies teacher) called him. He used chicken feathers to ask the evil spirits to get the hell out of the girl’s bodies. The ghosts were busted. The girls were cured of the strange illness. But a parent trained in modern psychology spoke up at a meeting upset that the bomohs were called in. She said that it was purely psychological and the demons possessed can be explained by Freudian theories of repression, the Electra and oedipal complex and that the girls were not possessed by were actually emotionally repressed perhaps because of girl-boy love.
I was fascinated by the debate between Tok-Bomoh-ism and Pop-Freudism. I started reading Freudian theories after my exams. Till now I don't know whether it was the bomoh with the chicken feathers dancing around with mantras that healed the girls and the evil spirits had repented or because of the ghost of Freud that released them and spoke to the girl's libido telling them that love is not real. 

If I had the chance today, I'd request for in-depth psycho-anthropological interviews with the girls (now grandmothers with Coach bags) and ask them what actually did they "see" in their heads. 

I don't know ... but that was an interesting debate I was closely listening to, and could still enjoy movies such as The Exorcist and Ghostbusters. 

Of watching men turning into horses

I grew up roaming around the Malay village exploring a world rich in cultural tradition, immersed in the sight, sound, and sensibilities of many worlds of tradition. One vivid memory was watching for hours till late midnight the Malay dance of trance called the "Kuda Kepang"; a mystically-inspired dance form of the Hindu-Buddhist tradition brought to Johor. I remembered being mesmerized by the dance form and psyched up and stoned by the trance music as well as the incense-smelling smoke that filled the air. The dancers, mostly male started the dance conscious and ended up sub-conscious, being possessed by the spirit of horses. Hence it was called "tarian kuda kepang" At the end of the dance, a few of them went really haywire and started to ram into the audience. The guru (chief trance-inducer) of the dance appeased the dancers by feeding the, with petals of different flowers. They devoured the petals like hungry horses.

In the Malay kampong where I grew up, there were enclaves of Javanese, Bugis, Bawean, and those of Indonesian origin. The kampong as I clearly remembered had houses that were far away from each other and I was told that there were also tigers roaming. It was a newly established Malay village; perhaps whose origin is as old as the days of British Malaya.


The place where I was born, Singapore was an exciting "other world" where in my later growing up years became another place of exploration of modernity
:


Of hanging out in “tuck” shops” 

When I was a child, the word "tuck" is supreme: your mom tucked in your shirt before going to school, Brylcreem is tucked to your hair, you eat at the school "tuck shop", you tuck a Malaysian hard candy bar in your waist, your mom tucked you to sleep in your sarong pelikat ... when you grow older you start watching movies of American gangsters with guns tucked in their pants robbing their tuck-shops while Third World countries are tucked to either the Western or the Eastern block.

Of a scouting childhood in Johor Bahru 

Late one night while googling songs from the forties I found this song “The Happy Wanderer,” that goes: 

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
Chorus:
Val-deri,Val-dera,
Val-deri,
Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Val-deri,Val-dera.
My knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
"Come! Join my happy song!"
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev'ry green wood tree.
High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o'er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky!

My Boy Scout song; from the late 60s. Remembered a painful walk from my school, Sekolah Temenggong Abdul Rahman in Jalan Abdul Rahman Andak with other kids. We walked along Jalan Sultan Ismail and I had forgotten which other road we took before ending up at a huge water pipe (that send clean Johor water to Singapore.) We almost died of exhaustion. I remember feeling as if my whole body was about to disappear from my soul; like a Gandhi on a hunger strike but for a scouting reason. We ate bread and sardine (cap Ayam/Chicken brand) and were rejuvenated. Felt like karma all over. "Scout curi ayam," was a popular phrase used against us; meaning "boy scouts steal chickens,". But happy wanderers we were. And Johor Bahru was "the city as educator. " Much safer than today.  

Of a conclusion—somewhat:

GROOVY POETRY
this child in me
there is this child in me
that is alive and well
roaming around the village
the neighbourhood
the city
the principalities
the world
alternate worlds
of other-than real- worlds
of the world of possibilities
in which each child of the other
has no color
no race
no religion
no hate
just a smile
or maybe a look of curiosity
of what our play would be
in our togetherness
beyond the screams and yells of those adults
given the voice to speak to many yet speak of building tallest towers, promising the most emptiness, scheming the best so that each race will fight the bloodiest, and triumph with the most money acquired out of the best way to steal for the poorest rest--
there is this child in me
whose dear friend
is the language he is most at ease with
like an alice in wonderland
a world of being
and becoming
of perfection
and contradictions
and wild imaginations
as thoughts race up and down the heavens
as the mind refuses
to bow down to neon gods
or man-made gods who called themselves
kings who rob others poor every time the world blinks
a child is the father of man as a sage once said
close to Nature as
close as to oneself as the vein they called 'jugular'
there is this child in me
that will live till the end of eternity
unless the adult running the country
slaughter him for trying to roam free
like abraham's sacrifice
in that moment of confusion in history
-- ar
# And at the end of this prelude to a child’s story I hereby present you readers a photo of me:




Thursday, August 27, 2015

PREFACE TO MY SEVENTH BOOK, One Malaysia under god Bipolar (September 2015)

 by azly rahman



My new book will be out in a few weeks; one entitled ‘One Malaysia, under god, bipolar’. It will be my seventh; another collection of essays analysing contemporary Malaysia. Below is an excerpt from the preface I am sharing:

1. Malaysia turning into Uganda?

At the rate of how many political fights we are seeing,
how many Idi Amins in songkoks we have produced,
how fast the capital flights we are witnessing are,
how seriously the crime rate has risen,
how policed the state has become,
how many of those speaking truth to power have been persecuted,
how fast the judiciary has rotted,
how deep the educational standards have plunged,
and how much wealth those in power have amassed
we are seeing Kuala Lumpur turning into Kampala
we hope not
at least we must first become Kenya.

2. Wealth can be an enemy of wisdom

One cannot serve god and money at the same time, as Jesus said
this is what is happening in Malaysia today
fighting over power, wealth and money
the loss of basic sensibility... the absence of wisdom
leaders taking pride in arrogance and ignorance
it takes three generations to destroy a nation, Kungfu Tze would say
for Malaysia, it takes only two.

3. Malaysia today

Obsessed with the past and the politics of the day
we have not paid much attention to the future... to Education
to building a new world of endless possibilities through education
we owe the children this new world
of charting new ways of doings things, of living,
of relating, and making peace
with oneself and with others,
of creating a new philosophy, paradigm, processes, new products of value,
these -
not to have them inherit our ills
and to have them born into debt and despair
criminals are made, not born
i wished the politicians from both sides
have paid more attention to new ideas in education
what a waste of two generations.

4. Anti-terrorism laws are necessary

Only if used wisely and justifiably
for national safety and security
only in a society that knows what clear separation means
of the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary,
such as the government of the United States
and not yet of Malaysia - where those with power and money
and in deep desperation

5. On the passing of Malaysia’s renewed Internal Security Act

Or the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota)... all is done as BN wanted it to be. Where were all the Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament - those missing on voting day on this issue of such a grave magnitude? Not interested any more in fighting for those who fought for you to be in office?

6. What actually matters in Malaysian politics

For the rich and powerful, the children and family members to rule the country
for the poor and powerless, how to feed the family and how the leaders and the rulers are ruining the country,
and therefore that too is what the media is interested in reporting
this is a new brand of class and consciousness in a hypermodern economy, in a world of modern slavery.

7. A mirror

There is so much hatred in this world today
love seems to have flown away
until in each of our hearts we tear down the walls
of fear
of anger
of bigotry
of jealously
of prejudice
of selfishness
of misconstructions
and let love and only love
engulf us
and overwhelm us to tears
embracing each other and open
our eyes
window to our soul
to the sufferings of many
because we are a mirror of one another

8. Malaysians, return to sanity. Here’s how:

Political will, radical political change, an overhaul of the system, a fresh new and different mandate, a prison complex big enough to incarcerate the long-time corrupt ones, a plan to redistribute wealth, to dismantle educational apartheid, a rewriting of Malay and Malaysian history, a re-threading of the moral fibre of the armed personnel, a massive arrest of political tyrants for past doings, a restructuring of the casino capitalist economy, the establishment of a stronger local government, a clampdown on racist and other hate-groups, a return to the rule of law, a return to agricultural society, an experimentation with a radically new form of communal-styled living, a dismantling of systems that allow global corporate giants to continue to prey upon the natives, a return to the cooperative system, the strengthening of labor, a re-education of political officials on management, ethics, and political philosophy, the separation of religion and state, the dismantling of useless cultural and religious rituals, a restructuring of society based on the principles of radical multiculturalism and the celebration of transcultural philosophies, the reduction of TV time and TV channels, the introduction of the reading of the great works of arts, humanities, and literature from the cradle to the grave, the curbing of rhetoric on Islamic or any religious state, the compulsory teaching of philosophy from the cradle to the grave, ... all these and more to overturn the system onto its ugly head.


Those are the thoughts I penned as I was following closely the developments of the latest issues in Malaysia, especially the 1MDB fiasco and the current power struggle within Umno in the form of an open war between the camp of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the current leader, Najib Abdul Razak.

I hope this collection of essays will both be an enjoyable read as well as help inform readers of the views I have taken thus far on the state of Malaysian affairs, as they are impacted by the historical forces of race and religion.

What is different about this volume from previous ones is that in the spirit of good online dialogue, I have included the excellent comments from the readers of my articles, showing the range of diverse opinions on the topics I have presented weekly. These comments are also engaging and intellectually stimulating, signifying the level of maturity Malaysian readers have arrived at, on critical issues facing the nation.

I have learned a lot from the generous responses of those who took the time to read and comment. My deepest appreciation goes especially to those who have been commenting regularly, participating in the dialogues with the level of decorum expected of intellectual dialogues.

As in my previous works, I have enjoyed writing these essays and sharing my concern for our beloved Malaysia as we usher into yet another unknown frontier in this complex and globalising world characterised by bipolarism; a condition of clinical depression of emotional ups and downs and that can be applied to characterise Malaysia of today as a hypermodern nation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MAHOGANY

by azly rahman


Beautiful is autumn
The falling leaves.
From your window
Solemn. Whispering
A haiku of the heart
That knows apple trees too

A hunter
hunted he will never be
As he disappears into the trees
Of mahogany
whispering to the beauteous heart
O destiny O memory
do you know where you’re going to?

I bid you goodnight Serenity
I will be spending the evening
amongst mahoganies
where Diana Ross will be serenading me

Saturday, August 22, 2015

JOHOR SLANG WORDS of THE 'UNDERGROUND ROCK CULTURE" of THE LATE 70s to MID-80s ...

by azly rahman



it was the period of rock music whose influence came from down south, Singapore .. words reflecting the sociolect of the genre and the generation I was part of became the dominant linguistic marker and mark of communicative competence of my generation ... here are a few ...


" -- gua, lu, lu orang, member, brader, babe, beb, mat, mamat, sambar, cinoni, minah, bini, mak we', ah moi, apek, jam, kepala best, high, fag, kena dam, jam, jamming, merak, jambu, pergi melabor/go to the bathroom, bertelor/too long in the bathroom, goreng, turun johor, terjun singapore, bigoh, sengal, senak, lepak kompleks, jalan Lido, bapok/pondan bukit Timbalan, kena sembor, masuk mentol / masuk mental hospital, masuk tampoi, kena sound, toya, tantun, lipat, kona baring, buat wheelie, slack, fras/frust menonggeng, bertenggek, bikin trouble, feeling sama dia, story, bando'/bandar, rembat, sesah, belasah, bedok, bengang, rewang, penaggah, chelaka, mem, bos, stout, ayam, ... etc. "

- wa/gua ("I" or "me")
- lu (you)
- turun Johor (to go to town)
- pegi "jamming" (to go and play music with your band)
- best (satisfying)
- toya (nerd)
- tantun (not sophistcated in grooming)
- terror (of greatness)
- fag (cigarette .. not faggots, mind you ...)
- rugged (of american-looking)
- kodok (girls)
- chinoni (very cute)
- bond (police/mata mata)
- boss gua (my father)
- mem gua (my mother)
- kerek (arrogant)
- anak Lord (rich man's son/daughter)
- bedok (to beat one up)
- teranjang (to kick ...)
- stim (to get high)
- kena dam (to get high)
- isap fit (to get high)
- kena barang (to get high)
- bikin kepala best (to get high)
- sedut barang (to get high)
- sedut benda tu (to get high)
- makan pil (to get high)
- tarik itu barang (to get high)
- kena gam (to get high)
- stone (to get high)
- makan madat (to get high ... used in the 60s)
- makcik (girlfried)
- bini gua (my girlfriend)
- scrambler ( motorbike)
- goreng ( to play the scales .. mad scales .. on your elctric guitar)
- wa cakap sama luu ... ( i tell you .../standard expression at the end of conversation ..)
- wa caya sama lu ( i trust you)
- wa cinta sama lu ( i love you)
- wa sumpah (i swear ..)
- wa story sama lu ( i'll tell you what happen ...)
- bapok Bukit Timbalan (tranvestite of Bulit Timbalan)
- turun Lido (go hang out at Lido Beach/now Danga Bay)
- anak ABU (anak anak angkatan bawah umiur / underaged unruly kids)
- gua belanja lu ( i pay for your lunc/dinner/movies/jamming session, etc ..)
- wa main toto (i play the Sports Toto)
- wa kena Stout (i drank Guiness Stout)
- wa panas (angry)
- wa ngan lu kamcheng (we're BFF/great buddies)
- wa tak sombong ( i am humble)
- wa kena kantoi ... celaka .. sial ... ! ( i was caught ... damn damn ..)
- wa hot (angry too)
- wa sedih (i am sad)
- wa happy (i am happy)
- wa punya minah (my girlfriend)
- wa clash sama minah wa (i broke up with my girlfriend)
- wa frust menonggeng (i was really broken-hearted/after the breakup)
- minah Larkin (girl from Larkin)
- minah Tampoi (girl from Tampoi -- stay away ..)
- wa pi Mekah (errr ... quite unlikely ...)

alright folks ... any more ? there will be a test on these words next week .. you better know your stuff ...



JOHOR-MALAY KILLER SLANG WORDS ...

- muntah-kedarah (to eat like a pig; seven Big Macs for lunch)
- memberot (to excrete)
- melabor (to excrete also .. modern usage)
- meneran (the process of excreting)
- membeseh (to urinate)
- berendut (to go on a date)
- membuta (to sleep)
- merayau (to roam around)
- manapak (to set foot)
- menogak (to drink beer/toddy)
- mengisap (benda tu .. ) (to smoke ganja)
- melalak (to sing like a rock star)
- menackle (to 'tackle' a girl or boy)
- menonong (to walk away rudely)
- berda'ah (to lie through the nose)
- bergetah (very beautiful girl) 


please add more if you know ...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yellow Mellow Tomorrow

by azly rahman


I told you already
of the fate of this country
that has moved so fast
and now we have another Bersih rally
yellow mellow what will it be like tomorrow?
we all won’t know until we wear yellow
I have advised the country already
to go to the national square and treat it like a samba party
why aggravate the authorities when they too wish to join in the party?
they are all lonely and want to be clean and happy
in their hearts they powers that be want to be corrupt-free
what then must we do
for a yellow mellow hot potato tomorrow?
i am into cultural parties and sports events aplenty
so - Bersih people let us do things differently
wake up very early
brush your teeth and eat capati and mutton curry
get your yellow mellow -shirt and hide it in your bag together with your Rolling Stones CD
out of the house you shall march and march and march quietly
march and march on your own quietly to the station LRT
don’t let anybody see your yellow tee and your lunch pack of mutton curry
the authorities will want some of it but don't give your capati to anybody
ride the LRT quietly
when folks ask you where you’re going
tell them you’re visiting a sick auntie
a white clean lie goes well with the spirit of a BersihH rally
when you reach your destiny... oops... destination i mean seriously
wait till you see people suspiciously carrying a backpack of capati and mutton curry
these are your brothers and sisters in arms and legs and limbs aplenty
when all eyes locked in unspoken camaraderie
jump up and down and sing hip hip hooray and do a bit of funky chicken dance to release some Bersih energy or the Africans call it honouring the ‘good chi’
mind you folks the authorities don’t want you to march or rally
especially if you stiill have that capati and a plastic bag of mutton curry
but here is what the organisers can do to make it a smooth sailing sit-in party...
Now take your yellow mellow hot potato tee
wear it with pride and unquestionable dignity
it might smell a bit of capati and mutton curry - but what me worry?
get in groups of twenty
we will have a three hour sports and cultural party
do the samba
dance the rhumba
sing ‘honga honga’
do the tai chi
put away the capati
do the yoga
wear a yellow toga
perform the malay silat
be careful of the flying lalats
do the breakdance
make sure those over sixty just sit and watch quietly if they can
sing the a capella
singing praises of the global listing of Felda
dance the zapin
remember it doesn’t go with the songs of led zeppelin
ahhaa... don’t forget the dance poco-poco
banned in perak and 13 states more to go...
this is the time in this yellow mellow sports and cultural sit-in rodeo
for those poor perak folks to overdose on the poco-poco
those with a guitar or a sitar or an avatar of the sitar and sitar
sing the blues and the jazz tunes praising the beauty of perak’s left and right bota
johoreans can sing the ghazal
accompanied by Perkasa performers from silat pulut sambal
pahang folks can do the joget pahang
dancers imported from telok bahang
i’d like to join the indian classical dancers
the bharat nadyam i think is a cool dance that provides life’s difficult answers
ahhha... we must not forget the shaolin dance
inspired by ancient chinese buddhist monks always in trance
yellow mellow kung fu hot potatoes
- not that’s a shaolin training laced with ‘Ohm-mi-to-fu’ as verses fit for budding Shaolin heroes
i can go on and on and on and on
suggesting how a yellow mellow clean rally can be Malaysia’s open big samba party
so big that both the proper and improper authorities can see the beauty and possibilities of a peaceful rally
even the world’s royalty can join in the yellow party
since they all wear yellow outfit daily
they will save on Bersih yellow tee...
Malaysians I honour and respect thee
Rallies need not be ugly
Sit-ins need not be a time to get angry
A regime change is a possibility in any democracy
A gentlemanly and lady-like act to relinquish power held for centuries
Deep in the heart of any regime
is the cry to repent from all its sins
and to take a break from doing the work of devils and djinns
Yellow mellow hot potatoes
Yellow mellow sweet potatoes
We shall all see a better tomorrow
Adios amigos...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

MEMOIR: Grandma’s gangsta chicken curry

by azly rahman




To take us all away momentarily from the madness of 1MDB, and the impending economic doom the country is plunging into, and this one hell of a  massive crisis of leadership we have been subjected to, I’d like to share some memories of childhood many of us might be familiar with; growing up in the sixties. This one’s on preparing chicken curry.

In a class of almost 100 percent American kids of the suburbia of Jersey Shore, and the Sopranos, and Bon Jovi-type and tattoo-displaying masculania... I shared this story of globalisation of the American ‘chicken-run’ global industry.


Told them that their life is cool and easy when it comes to eating Colonel Sanders’ KFC... all chickens are powered by batteries and of the same size and made to taste delicious with that perfect recipe of uniformity with the elements of calculability, profitability, and the aura of glorified global economy framing the lives of chickens globally...

I told them how I grew up jumping chickens like a hunter and gatherer in a kampong that still had snakes like anacondas and tigers roaming like the ‘open zoo’ down south in Singapore city...

I told them this in rhymes that is:

- Grandpa told us boys to go after those chickens; we’re going to have gangsta curry
so me and my bro and cousin and all; would get our gears ready;  this means changing from our sarong to a standard hot pants for males only...

And so we roam around the house that has no electricity; for Thomas Alva Edison was still had 999 invention to go before he found out he had misplaced his batteries; and skinny-Gandhi-looking grandpa, like a godfather of chicken industry, commanded us to hunt down that one chicken ripe for the that gangsta curry; and we run around the house and saw one that looked one from the movie ‘Chicken Run’ fearful-looking of a bipolar pedigree.

We strategised the arrest for a good many hours, till the sun and the moon from each other they broke free; the next day the mighty chicken was found finally; we all... brothers and cousins  jumped on it happily; and held it by the neck and the body as it struggled pleading amnesty...
no mercy... no mercy... said we...

Blessed grandpa, bless his soul... ‘I am sure he is smiling reading these gleefully...
and grandpa had his butcher’s knife; me and my bros and my cousins aplenty held the chicken by the neck and prayed together in harmony...

As grandpa uttered the golden words before the feast of this gangsta chicken curry...

“O’ God... Merciful and Most Compassionate One... bless thouest this chicken that will be today’s gift for my family... and unto Thee shall this chicken too return... as all of us shall return... from then till eternity... “ and the drama of the chicken dance was laid out already...

And with that little mantra of Islamic religiosity... the sharpest part of the knife went straight across the jugular vein... downwards once... upwards once.... and maybe one more time if resistance is  not yet futile as grandpa agreed; and we’re done our job as decreed... as blood spurted and spouted and sprinkled out of the neck onto the ground that will too receive the body...

Ahha... we then threw the chicken onto the ground... it did do a bit of dance... as me and my bros and my cuz’ did all at once, and that poor chicken did like a funky chicken dance that might be...

And grandma was ready with big earthenware-pot of boiling water so that the chicken can then be ready to be stripped naked, feathers and all gone forever...

And we would all... brothers and cousins sit around, or rather squatting around in our short hot pants, stripping those feathers... while grandma would prepare the grounded spies for that gangsta curry better than anywhere served in a Malay restaurant... and we have not talked...

And when the chicken’s ready... and the gangsta curry’s all served over white rice and we sat and ate quietly on the floor as if listening attentively to an interesting folklore... as we prepare for the hours next, of playing football barefoot in the fields of grass and dandelions aplenty... kicking the rubber ball barefoot imagining ourselves that famous Brazilian soccer player ‘Pele’...

Makers of our own history

In writing about childhood memories, I thought about what we are as makers of our own history:

GROOVY POETRY
this child in me
by azly rahman

there is this child in me
that is alive and well
roaming around the village
the neighbourhood
the city
the principalities
the world
alternate worlds
of other-than real-worlds
of the world of possibilities
in which each child of the other
has no colour
no race
no religion
no hate
just a smile
or maybe a look of curiosity
of what our play would be
in our togetherness
beyond the screams and yells of those adults
given the voice to speak to many yet speak of building tallest towers, promising the most emptiness, scheming the best so that each race will fight the bloodiest, and triumph with the most money acquired out of the best way to steal for the poorest rest-
there is this child in me
whose dear friend
is the language he is most at ease
like an alice in wonderland
a world of being
and becoming
of perfection
and contradictions
and wild imaginations
as thoughts race up and down the heavens
as the mind refuses
to bow down to neon gods
or man-made gods who called themselves
kings who rob others poor every time the world blinks
a child is the father of man as a sage once say
close to Nature as
close as to oneself as the vein they called ‘jugular’
there is this child in me
that will live till the end of eternity
unless the adult running the country
slaughter him for trying to roam free
like abraham’s sacrifice
in that moment of confusion in history

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

MEMOIR: Prelude

by azly rahman

I.

To say that we are going back to the past and revisiting it;
that we are to journey into the world of yesteryears of the days of our life,
that we are to open again the doors to the dungeons
leading to the artifacts of the things we have kept only to ourselves,
to open the box of letters unopened and therefore unanswered,
to mount the white horse of our well-garnished glory
and to ride int the horizon of our childhood to confront the ghosts inside of us
demons Fate has bestowed upon us --

to say all these is a meaningless utterance.
We are here -- past and present;
a wasteland of uncharted territories
of the child of wonder,
the old man and the sea,
and the weary and the mundane soul
pounded by the infinitesimality
of life's own doing.

We are it-- the amalgamation of fear and hope.
We are it. We are: the child, the being-in-this world,
the deteriorant, the decayed
in the seasons of our lives.
--- A cycle of memories trying to forget and forgive each other
a speck of dust
we are, not yet --
evolving
revolving
in the wasteland of this canvas
of the colors of rememberings

-- ar

II.

GROOVY POETRY
this child in me
by azly rahman



there is this child in me
that is alive and well
roaming around the village
the neighbourhood
the city
the principalities
the world
alternate worlds
of other-than real- worlds
of the world of possibilities
in which each child of the other
has no color
no race
no religion
no hate
just a smile
or maybe a look of curiosity
of what our play would be
in our togetherness
beyond the screams and yells of those adults
given the voice to speak to many yet speak of building tallest towers, promising the most emptiness, scheming the best so that each race will fight the bloodiest, and triumph with the most money acquired out of the best way to steal for the poorest rest--
there is this child in me
whose dear friend
is the language he is most at ease
like an alice in wonderland
a world of being
and becoming
of perfection
and contradictions
and wild imaginations
as thoughts race up and down the heavens
as the mind refuses
to bow down to neon gods
or man-made gods who called themselves
kings who rob others poor every time the world blinks
a child is the father of man as a sage once say
close to Nature as
close as to oneself as the vein they called 'jugular'
there is this child in me
that will live till the end of eternity
unless the adult running the country
slaughter him for trying to roam free
like abraham's sacrifice
in that moment of confusion in history
-- ar

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Tale of Chandu-Land



Tale of ChanduLand
A (well …) hero’s tale
By Azly Rahman



And so as the story well-known well-told
In a place below the wind where Sumatran gorillas don’t grow old
A place way, way, way far away near Thailand, a place called ChanduLand
A paradise for gangs of Colonial Shanghai opium smokers and emerging indie Bangkok heavy metal bands

Enter the hero we shall call Aji-Boros
An incarnation of an automatic-teller machine made of tin cans
Prophecy had it that he would one fine day be an emperor
Who would create in his tribal land so much terror, laced nonetheless, with pleasure

A hero he shall be, always giving his people bread and circuses and freebies
Conceived in a bank vault powered by New Jersey solar energy
Aji-Boros the Man the greatest anti-hero he was predestined to be
His life set off as mundane as Sisyphus’s rock, but ended up as exciting as a deadly spinning Californian frisbee

Yes, our hero Aji--Boros the Man enters the scene
Pushed into the Indie Jones adventures littered along the way with spilled Mexican beans
Born in a bank vault he wanted to be anything but an emperor
Until he was fully-charged with New Jersey solar power

Aji-Boros the Man knew life was Bora Bora Island easy
He was born with so much Zimbabwe money
He need not get into the game of power crazy and gangsta Bombay chicken curry
But the voice kept on coming back to haunt his groovy insanity

“You shall be emperor with lots of Park Avenue clothes,”
And you wife will be adorned with lots of deBeers jewellery
But I shall tell you what the story shall be
From beginning to end you will achieve fantasmagoric-gory glory

I have done this to the chosen one so many
Said Mata-Tuli the nicely-Noah-aged-Merlin and Zulu-like Oracle of ChanduLand
You are the chosen one and will be born out of a planet run on solar energy
Your karma will be that of an emperor run on Shanghai opium and plenty of sleazy slushy Zimbabwe money

Thus haunts the voice of Mata-Tuli, the author of the epic Hindu-Javanese poem nogorikertagama,  the guide of a thousand incarnations
King of the best of Shanghai Opium and Master of vintage  Balinese concoctions
In the bank vault of Aji-Boros the Man
Who will one day say, “Into my bank account, please” as he rule the country with so much Kiekargaardian dread and reluctant Bismarkian glory

Okay, okay, Ajib-Boros the Man said, I have no choice do I?
As he smoked the Shanghai opium furiously and recharged his shiny head with the golf cap-full of New Jersey solar energy
Into my bank account, please ….” he mumbled
As the voice from the vault disappeared slowly

Aji-Boros the Man woke up from the deep sleep
He was born again, from a previous life of the prodigal son of Dolly the British sheep
I have to get his karma right, Aji-Boros said
I have to be born gain and rule this land with all the might of a wise man with a shiny head

Into my bank account, please 
Into my bank account please
Was the mantra Aji-Boros the man said with ease
As he was rolled out of the bank vault as the wise man Mata-Tuli pleased

And the sun continues to shine
Like Wordsworth’s daffodils the people danced and wine and dine
Smoking Shanghai opium and feasting on Marcos’s caviar
As Aji-Boros the Man was born to run, like the CanduLand’s national car Protozoa Saga

But as in Carl Jung’s mangled mythical dreams and nightmare
And Joseph Campbell’s archetypical gaze and stare
There will be challenges and these will be strategically laid bare
As Aji-Boros the hero searches for another tomorrow
In a story filled with sorrow and lots of subplots and storyline no one could follow
A story worse than Arthur Anderson’s ENRON’s mystery
Or a UFO landing in Roswell’s vicinity
Unrivaled only by the story of the missing Malaysian Airline Flight MH 370

Into my bank account
Into my bank account
Sang the chorus-line of opium smokers
As the man, the hero, the chosen one born out of an Outhouse bank vault traverse his difficult journey in search of drama of multiple countdown with an anti-hero

And so the story goes
As an ordinary Hollywood plot, if you follow
Aji-Boros the Man borne out of the womb of the famed OutHouse commercial bank
Had to go through these thresholds of adventures that stink, stunk, and stank: an epic poem conceived in a shark’s tank

Like a knight in shining armor
Guided by the master opium smoker
Aji-Boros the man crossed the Rubicorn of this dangerous adventure
By first buying off Chandu-land’s tribal leaders
Not an easy task, as it takes years to appease these cigar-smoking gold-diggers
But hey, what can we say: Aji-Boros our man had this secret energizer: solar power
                                                                                                                    
And the battle by the River Styx was not easy for our hero
As his first test was not only buying off of the tribal leaders
But battle the groundhogs and hummingbirds and turtles with only his bow and a single arrow
That was the first threshold for our hero
As he comes of age in a story that seems to have no tomorrow
Aji-Boros the man, our hero, had only one voice to follow; that of Mata-Tuli the Guide of Untold Sorrows

Into my bank account
Into my bank account
Was the war cry of Aji-Boros’s political jihad
As he crossed into another battle field
Across the Straits of Jabal-Tariq into an open field densely-populated with opium smoking Death Metal-loving head-banging gangsters

And this certainly is an original first-edition East Philly gangsta territory
Worse than a Paquia-Hollyfield eye-popping boxing battleground  of the much rigged-Round Three
Indeed this realm is totally unknown to the hero as well as to the author of the story
A total mystery. A total mystery
A world of MAD Magazine’s spy versus spy and bouncing and back-breaking humpty dumpties
A world testing our hero’s manhood and his need for the blue pill and if he need candies and Snickers and Smarties
Yes, a dangerous world heroes of ancient stories were plunged into
Of Gilgamesh’s alter-ego Enkedu and John Rambo and Sir Gawain and those chronicled in Toy Story
Total mystery Total mystery
This is when he needs the greatest dose of solar energy

Into my bank account
Into my bank account
Was his mantra of pain and pleasure
He repeated endlessly in iambic pentameter
In all the complexities of poetic ambiguities
In all the glory of a Shinto-istic mantra  of limited vocabulary
Of an Osaka yo! moment
And a Bronx gangsta yo! that torments
In all the exhilarating moment of prose and poetry
In all the intensity of solar energy shining onto his bald head glazed with gangsta kandaq-chicken curry
This is to be the greatest Ozmandias of a battle ground of an Eliotian wasteland of his battle for uncertainty
Aji-Boros the Man’s moment of a sense of story

Yes, into the belly of the whale
Or the belly of the beast, whichever comes first after the mystery of this hero’s journey shall Aji-Boros the Man’s story will be crafted with certainty
And Mata-Tuli the voice was nowhere to be heard
Disappeared like the silent squirm of a beaten-up class nerd
The moment of separation has begun
Can Aji-Boros the chosen one of the Kingdom of Candu-Land survive this ordeal?
Will his own master one day spill the great Gobanzo beans?
Will he, from a bank vault, metamorphosized into Kafka’s vermin?
We shall see … we shall see

Into my bank account please
Into my bank account please
A voice from the source of solar power came
Descending like an Andrea Bocelli symphony
“Time to say goodbye “ – these words shattered the sky with no shame

And years  went by and the power game got even crazy
Aji-Boros was faced with the biggest challenge; how to keep in power as long as ever
How much Zimbabwe money will be enough to last him forever and ever
And how to eliminate those little tribal leaders clamoring to jump on him all over

The seasoned emperor knew the trick well
Things he learned from the mentor Maha-Tuli the every politician knows and fear as hell
Little did Aji-Boros know what the grand scheme was about
As he kept on feeding the tribal sharks with more money day in day out

Into my bank account
Into my bank account
The mantra keeping him alive
As he sits on the throne and master the art of destroying beehives

His greatest challenge has now come
The next biggest national elections is more than just a ho hum of humpty dumps
He is to feed the hungry beasts: gorillas in his midst,
and to engage in a deadly Kung-Fu battle with a political opponent whose secret weapon is a deadly kiss

He needed the money
In this Chandu-land of depleting milk and honey
And how is he to do this?
To become an emperor with no worries

And lo and behold
Into my bank account
Into my bank account
He said to his clan eager to lend multiple hands

And so seventy trillion Zimbabwe money channeled into his personal account
Into my bank account
Into my bank account
He secretly roared
As he channeled the  people’s money
As they snoozed and siesta and snored

As years gone by when Aji-Boros’s enemies wanted more
As old ones came back to settle political scores
As the kingdom became all heated up with great battles
As Chandu-land was plagued with opium smokers and Rasta gangsters and wannabe dictators with tin pots and kettles, lo and behold

Aji-Boros the Man felt a deep yearning for his Master Opium Smoker
Who came back and wanted to wag his dog and kick him out of power
And therein lies the story of Chandu-Land’s Machiavellian complexity
When the guide of the hero
became a devil whose revenge knows no tomorrow


Aji-Boros had no choice but to sit under a Bodhgaya tree
And did extreme yoga with a Master Sadhu complexity
And mediated for three long years chanting
“SOLAR ENERGY SOLAR ENERGY SOLAR ENERGY “
a million times, a million times daily: as if each mantra is a-dollar-a-day Zimbabwe money
So that he could tap the energy from the ancient goddess of mercy and plenty
And beam the rays right into his head, always bald and shiny

Into my bank account
Into my bank account
SOLAR ENERGY
SOLAR ENERGY
What me worry?
Our hero chant for three years
In a yogic position of utmost mind-blowing complexity

And the hero came out of his three-year mantra
With so much energy to shame the Great Goddess of Tantra
Turning him into a powerhouse of smokeless opium smoking political original gangsta
Ready to take on Mata-Tuli his old master

And with the immense power of a million X-men and a Zulu warrior
He battled all the temptations like a Buddhist monk in an infinite battle with the Demon Mara
He was offered women of paradise and white grapes and flowing rivers of milk and honey
And opium and orangutans and anchovies and all the rewards in a Monty Python movie
But like a wise chief editor of a college literary magazine he said NO! NO! NO! to all these temptations and settled for the cheapest dowry

The biggest battle has now begun
Mata-Tuli his master came back with a Wak Disney-water gun
The battle was arranged under a bonsai tree
In a terrarium
All live on Candu-Land cable TV

The battle was quick, really
Mata-Tuli saw Aji-Boros’s shining head
And got blinded momentarily
And instead shot himself in the head
(With that Disney water gun of course)
And died instantaneously
That was it: the story
A micro-fiction on minimalist complexity
LOL and behold – that was the story
Of our hero and anti-heroes and vice versa whose plot nobody knows
Of Aji-Boros and the great Mata-Tuli.

TO BE CONTINUED …

Lecture: Edward Said

Loading...

Lecture: Noam Chomsky

Loading...

Lecture: Jacques Derrida

Loading...

Lecture: Jean Paul Sartre

Loading...

Movie: 1984

Loading...

Movie: Animal Farm

Loading...

Movie: Chicken Run

Loading...

Poems: Rumi

Loading...

Dialogue on Religion: Karen Armstrong

Loading...

Dailogue on Religion: Huston Smith

Loading...

Islam

Loading...

Humanism

Loading...

Jainism

Loading...

Sikkhism

Loading...

Hinduism

Loading...

Bahai

Loading...

Confucianism

Loading...

Taoism

Loading...

The Bhagavad Gita

Loading...

Jesus of Nazareth

Loading...

Siddharta Gautama

Loading...

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

Loading...