Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kalu of Arabia!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I'm Dying

When I die, bury me in a frozen lake of ice! Don’t mind me jare, I’m just mimicking 2 Chainz and Kanye’s song “Birthday Song” which I found very catchy, the beat that is. I just can’t bring myself to say “Bury me in a Gucci store” Seriously, is that the highest level we wish to attain, being buried in a famed tailor’s shop? I bow o. Maybe my ignorance is bliss given my deaf ears to lyrics of the songs I generally listen to, or does my subconscious mind pick up more than I am aware of? If they were lyrics about what to do with itches and gardening tools – for digging up yams - then yes, that I could understand and make good use of by playing role play romps with my significant other in the bedroom or the sitting room or maybe the kitchen while checking on the muffins or boli (grilled or baked semi ripe plantain) in the oven, or, wait for it, shut up in the boot of the car! See why I love writing? It sometimes dredges up things you never knew lurked in the recesses of your mind. Two things I’d have to keep handy to safely accomplish that feat though: my car keys (remote car locks of course) and a sound theme of a large dog’s bark to be activated in the very likely event of an attempted car theft Hmm, stringy meat to chew on another day. My meat for today is yes, a little off the beaten track but no less important to yours truly, the way I would like to die.

When I die and how I’d like to die are of little concern to me as whatever puny control I may exercise over the when and how of my demise may only be effected through prayer or due diligence regarding my security and lifestyle. What I would like to do at the point of my demise is a matter I have given my imagination free range to roam to its heart’s content. I have come to accept that there is, and may remain a childlike and playful side to me, and I would love to keep it that way till I’m a hundred, hopefully plus. At the moment, to my shame, I have so far only managed to envisage any of the three things I’d like to do just before kicking the bucket, which even so few, still give me a warm glow on the inside.

Like the Okinawa residents in Japan, I would love to still shag my wife at a hundred and two years old, and she, mmm, maybe between eighty two to a hundred years. Of course by then we’d have sensibly begun investing in lubricating gel, strictly to jumpstart her of course, and I, by God’s divine will, will still be rising to the occasion on demand, give or take an hour or two of prompting or stimulation, at this point, of any kind, oral or any sensible otherwise. Anyway the meat of it that we’d have been at it for any length of time ranging from four minutes to thirty – yes, I am that ambitious, the software program chosen being the lovemaking application so I can remember she’s the woman I love who has borne me these wonderful initially troublesome children who have left us to our rapturous delights and our unfathomable petty squabbles – the kind no one dares intervene in the knowledge that both of us are just looking for an excuse to have make up sex - I digress. She’s busy with her electric toothbrush buzzing away downtown between us, her wrinkled face – still as beautiful to me as the day I married her – distorted in concentration and I roger on as manly as possible, LLCool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” playing in the background to aid my rhythm and vigour until she stiffens suddenly and begins to let out an almost eerie low but slowly rising moan as my own fever begins to take over me in paroxysms of blurred vision, my glasses almost falling off my nose, convulsions radiating from my loins as they take over my body in ever powerful waves as now a hundred million half lives course their way up from my bejewelled orbs, my centenarian roar sounding like it’s coming from the adjoining room as we cling to each other in our torturous bliss as we are suddenly levitated to celestial transports, God’s throne. Oblivious to our new environment, we look at each other and gasp, “Wow, that was some banging!”, before we notice our celestial surroundings, angels and all, and I, seeing the Almighty and quaking with fear, blurt out, “Banging at, sorry, on Heaven’s door!”. Sharrap all of you, it’s not blasphemy; we widowed each other in matrimony!

Second, I’m at my deathbed in my home hopefully and not the hospital, still at a hundred and two, surrounded by my wife (she should outlive me – I love being pampered), children: biological, in-law and adopted, grandchildren and hopefully the greats. I call our children to draw closer to me for the last blessings and admonishment. As I bless each one and their future genealogies, I punctuate each blessing by spitting into their open mouths, yes there is an Igbo community where this form of father-child blessing has long been practised – and, hehehe, you never deny a dying man his wish. I would have made it seven spits per mouth but that would be greed, and I may expire before getting to the third child, besides I don’t know how much saliva I’d still be able to muster at that ripe age so I’ll dispense my treasures sparingly.

Thirdly, if God tarries His hand at taking me away to Him, I would bless the rest of my beloved gathering and save the last for the one most alike to me in personality or maybe the youngest. I would call him/her to me very lovingly, pray for the beautiful child, bless him/her with a tremulous voice and trembling hands, give him/her some life serving advice and ask him/her to put his/her hand under my thigh as they used to do in biblical times. When they obey me, I’ll ask them to move it up further a bit, just under my bottom whereupon I’d take a deep breath and unleash the most ferocious fart I can muster. Hopefully the force generated will be enough to propel my soul and spirit from my body to eternal bliss leaving behind a mischievous grin on my face. I must remember to maintain a strict diet of raw broccoli and beans for when the beams start to tremble and the bulb starts to dim to give me enough wind for my sails- note to self.

My point here is who says dying can’t be fun? It is inevitable so why not, instead of being so petrified all the time of it, have fun with it and making your exit as memorable as possible, both here and beyond? Cowards have the misfortune of dying many times before their death but the creative ones have the luxury of enjoying theirs many times before it comes. Death is naught but a gateway so I enjoin everyone to enjoy this life, its passing and the life beyond this one. Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to eat your fruit and veggies!.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Seven times out of Ten!

Good week everyone! It’s a beautiful day I see outside my window, the morning sun peeping through my dark blinds and even the melodious sound of a (I-don’t know-what) bird trills above my neighbour’s noisy generator. Yes my friends, I’m sorry I have to drag you into my now cantankerous and no-electricity morning but as they say, there’s love in sharing. Ah bless! The power just came back. I tend not to praise my local power company when they give us the power we actually pay them for, it being their job but the main reason I never praise them is I found that any time I praised them for a job well done, a range of two to twenty hours of power in a few days, I’d end up not having any at all for the next four days, and this has happened seven times out of ten. I now see the genesis of superstition, tradition and culture. I actually like this topic – I was going to talk about my misadventure at my friend’s dad’s funeral in Ebutte Metta, Lagos but I suddenly want to try making some sense of this in my head and throw it out to you my folks.

The majority of us, if not all, tend to follow tried and tested, sometimes handed down formulas that lead to successes ranging from immediate gratification to reaping profits from long term investments, personnel and material.. Once these endeavours succeed seven times out of ten, they are likely to be adopted as a winning formula and then a tradition and consequently culture. A man driven to distraction by hunger and seeing no other way out of his predicament than to burgle a house for the first time in his life weighs the cost of his intentions. He prays to God to understand his predicament and to shield him from discovery and shame, to understand that he only need fill his belly and nothing else. He embarks upon his desperate act and ends up not getting caught. The euphoria of his success drives him to try another venture, and then another with resounding success; a winning formula is born – until he is eventually nabbed.

Take my new found ‘superstition’ as an example. When I praise the power company for transmitting uninterrupted power for a whole day – a rarity in these parts and find that seven times out of the ten I praise them for their services, I suffer blackouts for an unusually extended period of time, I would subconsciously or otherwise, sense that some indescribable force is against me praising the company for its services and doing so would be to my detriment. I would therefore, from then on, refrain from praising any improvement on services provided by the company lest some dark force comes along to snatch away what little service I have hitherto enjoyed and plunge me into its fraternal darkness. I ‘learn’ not to acknowledge any strides the company makes to improve upon its services, however phenomenal, for fear of being let down, and I subsequently compel my family to adopt this ‘secure’ and ‘proven’ tradition. We thus learn a culture of criticism and cynicism through our ‘tried and tested’ tradition of non gratitude and non encouragement; and if some bemused outsider, perplexed by our culture of negativity, asks us why we never acknowledge the laudable efforts of our service providers, we smugly reply that it is to ensure the status quo remains the same so that we never regress; and argue further that the culture of criticism is actually a form of reverse encouragement to our service providers. If then this tradition works out for us better services, or at worst keeps us in status quo, what is to stop us from applying it to other aspects of our lives. A dear friend travels through the treacherous roads from Benin to Lagos upon hearing of your hospitalization bearing the Benin fruits and Auchi groundnuts you love so much, huffs and puffs his/her way round to your bedside to give you a hug to which you, with ‘good’ intentions, ask what took them so long without so much as a word of thanks because you know you’re encouraging them to do better – seven times out of ten.

One of the greatest gifts we have as human beings is the power of individual thought even though most of us rarely utilize it for fear of drawing the ire of, or standing apart from others. Almost as crippling is our unwillingness to ask ourselves the plain truth no matter how painful it may be. Hence we sometimes go through life holding tenaciously onto outmoded beliefs and traditions of yore handed down to us by our forefathers or parents or even by our own hand. I think one should assess and evaluate whether their tradition is taking them to the destination they are going or drawing them back. If it is then all well and good, and if not, then they should know it is in their power to either amend it to suit their purpose or jettison it outrightly. We oftentimes abuse much of the power we have by being too afraid to exercise it to our hurt. Tradition and culture were made for man and not the other way round. Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Valentine's Day in Lagos

A good week to everyone! The 14th of last month was Valentine’s day and thankfully, on that day, I happened to be working in the midst of a wide range of extremely beautiful ladies, from slight/slender to the outright BBW – big beautiful women – but sadly, like the proverbial man who, carrying watermelons under each arm, trudged to the watermelon market with the very intention of buying more, I simply resigned myself to admiring, or ignoring the fruit on display. I haven’t had a Valentine’s day date in Lagos in such a loooong time, and if I ever do, it will definitely take the planning of a wedding of feuding families to effect it. Why?

You and your significant other decide to give yourselves a full Valentine’s day treat by planning to see a long anticipated movie and then wine and dine at your favourite restaurant with a view to ending ‘tins’ with a bang, or maybe something slower with more emphasis on the romantic. You both kiss each other your goodbyes as each one, or one of you, goes off to work, with promises or assurances that you will meet at an agreed rendezvous from whence you’ll commence your amorous itinerary for the rest of the evening. Everything going on around you in the office, from the commencement of the business day to the pm still in its toddling stage, only serves to bespeak just how deeply the goblet of love will be drunk: the office secretary suddenly squealing in delight at a couriered package, the office aloof beauty whose desk paraphernalia, desktop computer inclusive, have to make way for the legion of love cards, love cakes and love wines to be displayed. Even the normally routinely dreary office lunch gets a love lift of its own with jollof rice on the menu being served with heart shaped dodo – fried ripe plantain slices -, softer cubes of beef and the sweating and unusually overly made up dinner lady serving up extra helpings of meats with coquettishly batting eyelashes, to the object of her affection, who’s studiously oblivious to her advances. Then the magic hour, 3pm, strikes, your cue to rush out to meet your object of desire.

You grab your presents, your laptop bag and oh, your car keys, start out, stop abruptly to cast a cursory glance at your desk to check that you haven’t forgotten anything and with a parting general farewell to any who cares to listen, you dash out to your waiting car, phone to your ear warning your sweetheart she’d better not be up to her usual tardiness. With ears pushed to the back of your head on account of a beaming neon smile, you generously tip the security guards, hop in your car and drive out into the largest car park in the world, Lagos traffic! Add to that the mobile phone network jam reminiscent of the wee hours of New Year’s Day and you can be sure whatever cracks existed in your relationship in the previous weeks will metamorphose into yawning craters. You try unsuccessfully to call her, your eyes still on the banner by the traffic lights you’ve been staring at for the past three hours of sweltering traffic and she, her frustration building, remembers that picture of you with the office beauty, her arms wrapped suggestively around your waist, your strident denials of unwholesome behind-the-door liaisons, and your delay and ‘switched off’ phone only serve to confirm her niggling doubts. You finally get to her office block and as you’re driving in you espy her chatting amiably with a small group of junior staff. You park nearby directly in line of her vision and call her cell phone and miraculously this time, it does go through. She doesn’t seem to hear her phone ring because she carries on her conversation regardless, her laughter ringing out louder and above everyone else’s. You finally get the hint after the third ring and humbly exit the car to walk to her. As you reach her she suddenly exclaims to the crew she has to go straight home on account of a blinding headache and swiftly turns around and sashays towards the car leaving you bemused with no choice but to give your onlookers a brave smile, grab whatever is left of your self control and apply a step after the other towards the car. In the course of the silent drive home, you seething with rage and she fixated on her phone and its incessant annoying message beeps, still have some presence of mind to stop over and grab a bottle or two of ‘bubbly’ or her favourite wine and…

Far be it from me to go delving in other people’s private lives, so, on that note I will have to end here. But, would it be so bad if, even if the wine is not drunk and you both cart your icy weather to bed with you, she unusually clothed and facing the other way, you surreptitiously sidle up to her to gently spoon her, your free arm creeps around her hips and navel, and upwards to the soft globules you know so well until she deftly but gently moves it away. You, feigning resignation, sigh, kiss her left shoulder and relax in the first throes of slumber. A moment of silence, an imperceptible shift of her rump into your groin and a slow smile spreads across your face. As the ice thaws and the hands fumble, the tent is raised and the stone is rolled from the well’s entrance. As you begin to draw water from the well, you begin to verbalise your indignation at being so poorly treated in the presence of outsiders. She screams out her accusations of putting another before her on such a special day, and it’s not clear what passion she’s (s)creaming) from but you know it prompts you to draw water faster and faster as you both argue back and forth until she vents her frustration in one long final shuddering scream as she clasps you tightly to herself. An hour later, or considerably less, depending on the ardour expressed and the self control applied, two of you polish off the hitherto ignored bubbly and reminisce on the day while cooking up what excuse to give for not being able to turn up for work the next day. Valentine’s Day in Lagos might not be such a bad idea after all. Have a great week everyone

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hiatus!

A good week, or should I say good year to everybody! It’s been such a long time and yes it’s been all my fault so please feel free to pelt me with all the rotten fruit within grasp – keyword being ‘within grasp’. It’s been so long, almost two years since I wrote my last post and it seems like it's taken twice as long to get back on track. I know the question on everyone’s lips, “What kept you away for so long?” I understand, even I am asking myself that question.

I have been going through a life changing experience over the past two years, change that took me completely by surprise, not by accident, but by my constant relegation of needful things to be addressed to the background of my mind. My relationship with Frieda is not what it used to be before, to our hurt. Alas this blog that hitherto used to be my therapeutic session where I could air my thoughts as personably as I could has become my albatross; my Achilles heel being my penchant for talking straight from the heart as I see it. How would I be able to write my posts without betraying to you all the anguish I, and Frieda, were going through, even more maddening when I was still trying to sort the conflicting emotions raging within me, differentiating between my ideals and the realities that presented themselves before me, pressuring me to make choices when I was at a quandary? I have habitually always kept my cards close to my chest, not letting anyone observe the way I prepare my soup until the final product is hopefully cooked to perfection. In other words I have kept you all at bay waiting till everything has been sorted out before opening the wide gates to my palace, to my anteroom lined with portraits chronically charting my arduous journey towards building this edifice. That was until I realized I stood the risk of losing the one channel, apart from my Lord God, through whom I have the luxury of expunging my fears and misgivings, celebrating my triumphs and achievements, however small – my blog and you my wonderful readers upon whom I liberate myself.

I have missed you greatly my dear folks. Being away from here has not been good for me at all. I have missed my ranting, my banter and your hilarious comments appreciating my work, good, bad and the grey areas. I’ve stayed away for so long I feel like I have forgotten to write, to pinpoint those beautiful little quirks we so often ignore in our pursuit of shelter, clothing and feeding; the things that make life worth living. Forgive my lack of literary form in writing this missive; I realized, after months of angst over what and how to write, that perfection lies not in the end product but in the courage and commitment it takes to stick through the process toward it. I care more about interacting and airing my views and experiences, within reason of course. In so doing I aim to make our relationship on this forum a little more interactive than before and I am excited so watch this space! I’ll giving out more details soon; this is a profuse apology for being away for so long. Have a great weekend everybody and very glad to be back!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Na Wa O

Good week everybody. Don’t ask me how I am right now ‘cos’ I’ll probably snap someone’s head off. Is this what producers see in movie shoots?!! It’s like playing chess with forty people at the same time; lose concentration for even a second and your production is delayed for an hour; and I’m just a co producer. Imagine what it would have been if I was the only producer on the set. Yes my friends, I am just helping out with producing and writing on this set in Minnesota just a week before I return to beloved Naija and I’ve already sprouted two new gray ones. Add very heavy emotional stress (which equals no sleep whatsoever) to the mix and you’ll understand if I’m spotted running naked along the streets soon. Anyway I’m saying all this to appeal to you to excuse me for putting out such a short post this week. Pray for me o; I need it! Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beautiful Women

A good week to everybody. It is an absolutely fabulous sunny day here in Texas Like the director on the movie set I’m working on said, “The sun here wan be like Kano own”. Kano is one the desert states in the northern part of my beloved Nigeria. Unfortunately, as is the case with most work environments, there seems to be an overcast message reminding me that I am here to work and not to admire the place. It is a bittersweet experience I’m having at the moment; the frustration of being so near my family members strewn across the state and not being able to see them, and the pleasure of working with an old colleague of mine, the director Ikechukwu Onyeka.

I don’t know why but I detest talking about my work; it makes me feel like I’m shoving my work down people’s throat or like I’m bragging about things I‘ve done or blowing my own trumpet. Come to think of it, where did I learn these values from, the bible or my parents? My father, he was a very hard worker who liked recognition for his work, and extolled his achievements with a frankness and matter of factness unique only to him. My mum on the other hand is someone who craves anonymity like no other person I know. Not even her right hand knows what the left is doing if she can help it. All she’s happy doing is doing her work and being satisfied in the accomplishment thereof. I suppose then that I am a marriage of the two; I work quietly with fierceness and let my work do my bragging for me. Maybe that’s why I work hard to achieve perfection in my work; so I can have something tangible to be remembered for after I am long gone. What I will enjoy talking about, on the movie set I’m working, are the people I’m working with.

I am surrounded by beautiful women and I’m depressed. Yes, I can see everyone except the boys rolling their eyes in exasperation. “Kalu and his numerous tales of women and sex!” You wouldn’t understand. The issue of my interactions with the women in my life goes beyond the carnal path you questionably minded people think I’m probably going. The subject of women in my life, I find, is deeply philosophical especially when they are three or more in the same place at the same time. You have this constellation of jewels around you, each vying for your attention and you dizzy from ogling at their sparkling lights, not knowing which to settle on; one for all and all for one. Instinctively you know that should you settle on one the others instantly turn to harpies, and the one you settle on, what happens after the first nuptial flight? It either instantly dulls into a relationship or you are labeled a bastard – yes my friend, that is most times the way of women. Settle for settling on all flowers and you’ll need to tread not only very carefully, but also to employ the wily services of subterfuge, for in vain does a fowler set a snare in full view of the bird he preys upon. Needless to pray for Heaven’s aid should you be found out. Most importantly, you remember the one back home on whom you depend. The one whom you have known for years, been through thick and thin together, has drunk garri without sugar and groundnuts with you, the one in front of whom you fart freely, entrust with your innermost secrets and tells you the truth as it is, in love and no guile. You think about her and wonder which one of the jewels surrounding you will go that mile with you. Alas, the desperately frustrated poet cried out, cast out at sea, “Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink!” I am surrounded by beautiful women and I am depressed. Have a great week everyone.