Friday, November 28, 2008

Why do all good things come to an end?

Why do all good things come to an end?

Have you ever tried as hard as you could to hold onto something but it didn’t matter how much you tried because it was already gone? Something that you thought belonged to you but in truth it was never really yours. The feeling of separation or emptiness after being once full makes us wonder why all good things come to an end


When good things come to an end, it is that end that makes our memories all the more perfect …all the more desirable. We live history in the making yet it feels like we are just going through a maze that has no ending. Yesterday is today’s comfort zone and it seems the future will remain uncertain... a hope for the lost, a trial for the happy.

More farewells than beginnings it seems, as we don’t remember when it started but we do remember when it ended. "Why all good things must come to end?", you might ask. Unfortunately I do not have the answer for that question but what I can tell you is how it feels everytime it happens...

Have you ever felt the sadness of departure yet you were actually arriving? To realize you’ve looked forward to something so much that the thought of it ending impedes it’s potential. Or is it just a case of too much thinking? You are on the journey to, yet you are already thinking of the journey away. It’s quite a hard perspective to indulge in but the reality of it is inevitable and all good things do end, yet it seems everything miserable in our lives remain imprinted on us from birth to death.

Yet I choose to live in the hope for more chances at “good things” to happen even if it is going to end. Going beyond being optimistic versus being pessimistic, it’s not so much thinking the best of things but it is in accepting nothing in our lives is sure to last forever. We take extravagant life-long insurance policies on all the materialistic things in our life but we could never protect the things that truly feed our soul and make us truly happy. For every time I heard someone say in response to a statement like this one, “Well that’s life”, a strange stifling feeling envelops me.

May I ask, what is life? Why do we have so many expectations of it and why does it become bad just because we are not happy with the way things turned out? I’ve never heard someone say “Well that’s life” when they were randomly chosen to win huge sums of cash or when they heard the cry of their first born for the very first time. Maybe I was just born that way, but I can’t passively accept that my life is the way it is because of life itself.

While good things come to end I still believe in the chance of everlasting “good”. Maybe it is hope, maybe optimism, maybe belief, but whatever it is doesn’t matter but what matters is that I continue to believe it...

Blogging with purpose

Monday, November 24, 2008

Couscous Anyone?

Couscous Anyone?

“Fervet olla, vivit amicitia”: While the pot boils, friendship endures. (i.e. the man who gives good dinners has plenty of friends).~Latin Proverb

I have long accepted my addiction, and I am perfectly happy with keeping it that way! Food, yes F-O-O-D, for me it’s much more than just sustenance, or staying alive. It’s the heart of my soul, the fulfillment of my day and the enjoyment of my time. Every aspect of this wonderful four letter “f’ word is appealing to me; preparation, cooking and of course last but certainly not in the least, eating to my heart’s content. This reminds me of the commercial that says, “Does dark, slowly melting, European chocolate feed you or your soul?”
It is obvious that as varied as my taste is, I would discover new recipes and put them to the test of my kitchen’s prowess. One such dish I recently tried was Couscous which is very popular in the Maghreb region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania). It comprises of small spherical granules made from semolina and durum wheat which is steamed and served with a meat or vegetable stew.

Much to my surprise whilst shopping through the grocery aisles I noticed above the sacks of basmati rice, about half a dozen boxes of pre-cooked Couscous grains. It was Roland’s brand of Couscous and the directions seemed quite straight forward. I knew there would be no guarantee that I would get this again if I did decide to go ahead and try it, so without further deliberation I plopped it into my cart and off I went. It was reasonably priced, so it wouldn’t be a bad loss if things didn’t go as planned :)

Now began my searches for authentic recipes off the net. If I was going to do this I wanted to try to do it as close to the “real” dish as possible with the resources available. There is a special pot used for its preparation, called the couscoussière (traditional steamer for couscous). I obvioulsy didn’t have one so I sought a preparation that I could do and it would still be authentic. All the while I asked more than a dozen of my friends who ate Couscous regularly to further endow my memory bank. Then I came across Alia on youtube :). She does various videos on cooking Maghreb dishes using western styled kitchen utensils. After taking her advice on certain questions that I still had after reading her elaborate web page, I began to make my couscous list of food items.

A couscoussière a traditional steamer for couscous.

Excited with overlying anxiety I shuffled though the kitchen with the help of my father who assisted in helping me prepare the vegetables prior to cooking. If I could watch her video on youtube why not watch it while I was actually cooking? So with streaming video on hand, printed recipe and an able store of cooking ability I prepared my first Couscous. I had no previous experience in any Maghreb dish nor a taste for their cuisine so to be tensed and excited were norms of the moment.
I’m happy to say, after 2 hours of experimentation my first attempt at Couscous was met with appreciative tasters. If I should quote my brother saying, “At least you know how to cook one great dish….finally!” Don’t be dismayed, I do however know how to cook many dishes and I assure you they are very much edible and tasty, however one can indeed understand the exaggeration and teasing of an older sibling. Here are some pictures of My Couscous for I am yet to taste authentic Maghreb Couscous. It is my sincere hope my attempt was not far off from its taste.

“What’s this taste?”
“It’s the taste of taste”
“I love the taste of taste!”

“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.” ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Pictures of my Couscous

My First Attempt at Couscous

Blogging With Purpose,

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Flawless Eternity

A poet's bequest,
Read and comment; my humble request,
Gratitude is what I offer to thee,
Penned by yours truly.

Flawless Eternity

A craving that can never be fulfilled
A wish once born is now stifled
To fill a broken vase to quench the thirst
Amongst one who comes last and who comes first?

A yearning that is never satisfied,
A slander that is amplified,
To believe that there is a chance,
To gift mockery with song and dance,
Make merry while the candle burns,
Before the first leaf turns,
A bitter remembrance when the illusion fades,
An emotional volcano cascades,
Happiness without shedding a tear,
Trust without knowing fear,
Affluence without striving,
Dying without ever living,
The worth of something without its exact opposite,
To enter bewilderment without reaching the exit,
To consume far beyond one's limit,
Without a valley there is no summit,
To die amongst the mortal,
To live amongst the immortal,
Beauty that sits upon the throne of light,
Blinding away the beast from plain sight,
An end to the craving that once existed,
The tears have finally ceased,
Déjà vu tickles the memories that painted the past,
And finally the yearning breathes its last.


Blogging with purpose,


Friday, November 7, 2008

World in Crisis

World in Crisis

As I turn on the television, a “window to the world”, I’m overwhelmed with what I see. My natural inclination is to update myself with the happenings of the world in which I live. I see President Obama already on a tight schedule, as he rushes in and out of shiny, black limousines in his newest portfolio. The hub is over and now he faces the greatest challenge in his 4 year term at the white house; Recession is eminent, international ties are estranged and the people need someone accountable, accompanied with the backdrop of “bad” politics associated with the last presidential office. America has fallen from its grace; the world sees it as power-hungry bully. President Obama, I wish you all the best. May a change come but not at the expense of life or hope, a change that can fuel sustainable growth.

44th President of USA

There is mass fear of a disease epidemic as tens of thousands gather just outside the United Nations base in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tutsi and Hutu Rebel fighters along with Government militia battle against each other as hundreds are killed in the cross fire. Men of fighting age are dragged out of their homes and shot dead in the pretext that they belong to an opposing rebel group. Thousands are displaced estimated at as much as quarter of a million as they flee on foot with a few basic belongings. They gather around the UN base, some there for two days now and no relief has been sent yet. While the government leaders meet in Nairobi with UN Secretary Ki-moon, a call for ceasefire yet death is knocking on the door of the Congolese civilians with each day that passes.

Mass displacement in DR Congo - Fleeing War

The Israeli army are called to account for the contents of an amateur video posted on youtube showing a Palestinian man blind-folded and mocked as he is made to repeat derogatory statements about himself. The Israeli army says it doesn’t condone such actions and will make a “full” investigation into it yet a leading Israeli human rights group says "many instances of abuse are not exposed because they have become the norm". It is common practice where Palestinians are mocked, verbally and physically abused along the Israeli border under the nose of informed authorities. It was conveniently pulled off youtube but a portion of the footage with English captioning is viewable on BBC.

Palestinian man humiliated by Israeli soldiers

The remarkable resilience of an Iraqi book seller is featured as he starts over his business of selling books. His customers are increasing as he lays a temporary stand on the side of a once busy trading street. He is Nasser Hussain and he represents the true strength of a people under siege from failed governance to the refusal of the US in pulling out their troops. The figure till date stands at 1,284,105 Iraqi deaths due to the US Invasion and the figure continues to rise.

US Invasion of Iraq

The world is on the brink of an economic disaster as foreign states try their best to consolidate to reduce its impact. An unlikely duo of Russia and China has started collaborating, a partnership of convenience rather than mutual interest. Will there be a shift of the “super power” from the west to the east, as Asia makes it stake on the world’s economy. Only time will tell as we remain spectators in a rate race for power and financial acquisition.

President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev and China's President Hu Jintao

Locally, after a domestic dispute a father mixes
lannate, a chemical insecticide, with soft-drink and gives it to his 2 year old daughter and later he himself ingests the poisonous concoction with alcohol. A quick fix to silence his grievances as both toddler and father are to have their last rites performed. A family is literally torn apart and the general public are left stunned.

Police officers and relatives restrain a distraught Lisa Ramdeen at the scene where the bodies of her husband and two-year-old daughter were found. Police said it was a murder-suicide.

Fifteen minutes of my time spent watching these events and I cannot continue the pastry dessert I was priorly eating to my heart’s content.
I feel a sense of gratitude for where I am, as I am made aware of the World I live in …a World truly in crisis.
Blogging with purpose,

Barack Obama as a child with Kenyan born father and American mother


Iraqi women mourn the dead as US raid kills 3

Former President of Russia Vladimir Putin and China's President Hu Jintao
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