Feb 28, 2011

The tomato, not yet ripe

I am not a regular cook but there are things that are obvious when it comes to cooking. Cooking is not a “men’s” thing people tend to argue but the best chefs in Uganda are actually men. In my little unknown kitchen I try out two tomato soups. Strictly tomatoes not the packed tomato soup powder in sachets. I have a garden in the backyard of my simple house and I grow a good number of tomatoes.

In the first soup, I sliced green tomatoes that were hardly ripe into small pieces and dropped in hot cooking oil. This was after I had dropped the onions in the same cooking oil. The tomatoes took so long to get ready because of their hardness. But I waited. Within 15 minutes, the tomato soup was ready. I put the soup in the bowl and took it to my wife to taste and tell me how I’d done. She tasted and immediately spit out the soup.

“Yaaaaaak” she said out loud. She was as if spitting fire.

 “What a waste,” she added. “Why did you use unripe tomatoes?” she furiously asked me. (She is the one who actually looks after the garden)

So I apologised, took the soup and sent it down the garbage bin. I had wasted such a good number of tomatoes and now they have become useless.

So I tried out the second tomato with ripe tomatoes. Sliced them into small pieces and used exactly the same process like the previous soup.  Then I walked to my wife and gave her the soup. She tasted, smiled and said “this is some good soup hun.”

“You’re a good cook my darling,” she said as she hugged and gently kissed my forehead.

The trick this time is because I had used ripe tomatoes. Much better tomatoes. I wanted to try out the third tomato soup but this time I could hardly touch these tomatoes. They had ripened and gone bad. The stench they had is one I couldn’t stand.

The unripe tomato is representative of that person who is just not ready to support a cause. Once they are put out there, they are immediately bundled into huge vehicles and taken away. Quashed to no return just like the same soup was sent down the garbage bin.

The ripe tomato is that which represents people who are ready for a cause. Ready to die to defend what they believe in. They can fight the fight. They cannot easily be shoved away because  they know what they believe in.

Ugandan’s at this stage are like that unripe tomato. They are not ready for the cause. But just like the tomatoes in my garden, ripening is a process and surely Ugandan's will also get to that point. Tomatoes also tend to ripen faster when placed under some conditions. The same way with Ugandan's being kept in a particular situation and they could be triggered by this situation and react.

Feb 23, 2011

Little Imaginary country

Littered streets, drunken men staggering out of a roadside bar and glide into their fuel guzzling SUV’s parked under a rugged roof. They drive on the garbage filled roads, oozing sewerage from septic tanks with the streets majorly deserted being patrolled by rats. Street lights have become home to the owls. The men drive to their homes. Homes far away from the sewer filled city.

Their wives wait at home. The food gets cold. As they wait, their heads become too heavy and they sleep in the couch. She cannot go out. A prisoner in her own house as she can’t leave since beggars wait on the outside. They need food. Food she has but cannot offer.

The husband is speeding knocking lampposts and garbage bins. He approaches his 16feet gate but the beggars are as many as the Vultures that surround a carcass. He cannot stop, he drives through with the protection of the community protection unit. They shove the people out of the way until he gets into his 1000 acre estate.

The drunken men all own huge estates part of which are sitting on land where the begging people were shoved, pushed and at times killed. All they do is to wait for food to be thrown over the hedge from rich man’s home. This how they wait as no-one seems to care. Their children wail, they have no food and those that have gone to school but can hardly read nursery rhyme. They have been denied the education and barely receive the healthcare they deserve.
The commander of the Vampires that are used crack down on the resistance 

Blood sucking Vampires  have been deployed to suck the blood out of anyone who seeks to challenge the drunken men. Blood would be sucked out of them and they'd be left harmless and restless. They would soon become the enemies of the people.

Every five years, the rich men seize to be animalistic, they return to being human. They begin to care about these people. They are offered free food, free clothing and are promised the same things every five years. They accept all these but at a price. The rich man wants to be in control again. To control the vast resources. The rich man says he will make the life of these people better but because of their beggar status all they care about is now. They now begin singing praises for the man. And for the next five years their status will change by less than a percentage point.

The beggars also rely on those who have been fortunate to have better lives. But they are also under the a spell. The spell of fear, the spell of being comfortable with what they have. They are like the rich men but the difference is that they are not in control yet they can be of influence. Some wine and dine with the rich men. They have been put under a spell.

This is my little imaginary country...

Feb 1, 2011

Black "not" Swann

Another night, another day
Body rolls around the bed
Twists left and right and left and right.
Face looks side ways and upwards.
The clock keeps ticking, the dogs constantly patrol the red tainted night.
The roof shudders only in the little boys thoughts.
The room is too loud as the world is asleep.
mosquitoes buzz around the bed. He covers his face.
But not for long. He feels he has been suffocated.
Blanket close to the nose that leads abrupt halt to his breathe. His thoughts and his fears.
Then the pictures appear. Slideshow format. He can't control them. One by one they appear. He can't stop them. Then tears slide out of the deeply embedded glands. The tears are red. Red like the colour of the earth. Red and unsolicited.
He can't see the tears. One of the Images made the boy shed red tears.

A little girl alone by the ocean, with fine winds blowing over the ocean forming currents that constantly slapped the sandy beach.
There she stood. Alone. Bleeding. She had bruises all over her body. Someone had done this. In the picture she is pointing a finger at him. The little boy.
' You did this to me. I trusted you. We were friends but see what you did,' the girl constantly tells the boy.
The he remembers the girls name, Natalie. Its Natalie Portman. He remembers her role in some movie but he shrugs it off. Because he knows he did something wrong. He hurt her in some way.

He weeps thick blood. Because he knows he has done something wrong. He doesn't know he is suffocating but then there is a loud bark by the dogs outside and he suddenly wakes up.
He is standing by the bedside of the girl next door.
In his hands is a red like fluid. And on the bed there she lay, helpless, motionless and peaceful.
The blood was his own.
 He had a three inch pencil in his own skin. All he said was
"Perfet, its perfect"

Post written on one of those insomnia nights. about 3am. totally not thought through.