A Death In The Family!

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For Wednesday – November 27th  2013.

Between Us Only!

A Death In The Family!

  • To a father when a child dies, the future dies; to a child when a parent dies, the past dies! – Red Auerbach
  • It is after death that we measure men! – James Barion Hope

It was really touching to see the human race coming together as one to give peace and diplomacy a chance – and for human beings to come together to discuss their own problems and issues face to face vis-à-vis – and come to an amicable solution for the interests and the benefits of all and for human kind as a whole! Even if there were no winners or losers at the end – and difficult and hard decisions had to be made! I was really traumatised – and can only hope and pray that it will eventually work out! Quiet diplomacy has won the day again! It was only my wish and prayers that some had really watched – and had learnt the lesson!

Last two weeks, I received a What’s Up message from one of our distant relatives in the Interior – of someone with similar tribal name having expired! The presumption was automatically that there had to be some relationships – even if far and isolated! The Western world specifically does not know or appreciate this ‘extended family link’ in our lives – especially when it comes to applying company rules and regulations – like obligations of attending funerals etc. Even if – and although the modernity application was used – from the old days and ways of telephone usages – or sending of emissaries to deliver messages!

A few days back, we received a similar message – but this time from India that our uncle had died there. Though since he moved there from the distant land – there was no real contact until his death. Then one questions oneself whose fault it was really that this so happened? Amazingly, all these type of questions only come out – when death has struck – and everyone feels remorseful and guilty! For a temporary phase and time only – until the next time! Having seen how people drive once back on the road – where only a few minutes back we had buried someone as a casualty and victim of a road accident!

Funeral Pyre

The Funeral Pyre – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

When I was a young boy, we used to have a small library in that distant small island. Trust the colonialists’ wives led by The District Commissioner (DC) to be so forthcoming and charitable to even organise to have books to form a library where – even students could borrow books! Post independence the library took a natural death with one by one of the books just ‘mysteriously disappearing’ from the shelves! It was written by me in my article – The District Commissioner’s Wife! – several years back!

One of the books that really had a traumatic affect on me at that time was titled A Death In The Family. Even today after more than forty years it still does – and I still remember that book! I do not know who in the end took the book away from the shelves – but what a pity – and shame on him or her for denying others to share the book from the library!

Islamic Grave

Islamic Grave – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

About The Book –  A Death in the Family – by James Agee and Steve Earle –

Forty years after its original publication, James Agee’s last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man’s death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.

Funeral A Funeral

Images – Funerals – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in Knoxville, Tennessee, to tend to his father, whom he believes is dying. The summons turns out to be a false alarm, but on his way back to his family, Jay has a car accident and is killed instantly. Dancing back and forth in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay’s wife, brother, and young son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly powerful novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that should be read aloud for the sheer music of its prose.

In his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Death in the Family, James Agee reconstructs through the lens of fiction the real-life car accident that claimed his father when James was not yet six years old. Leading us from the evening of the phone call that sets the tragedy in motion to the funeral that strives to bring the calamity to closure, Agee offers a plot that is simplicity itself, and the occurrences he describes are perhaps no different from those that would transpire within any family that has had a member suddenly stolen from its midst. Despite its seeming straightforwardness, however, A Death in the Family is a novel of surprising profundity and aching lyricism.

A triumph of literary style and psychological acumen, A Death in the Family excels in its brilliant attention to the too-often overlooked nuances of thought, speech, and action that comprise the true fabric of being. One of the most intensely personal novels ever written, it also transcends its author’s subjectivity to shed clear light on the mysteries of life and death, of faith and unbelief, in which all of us inescapably share.

More Sayings: –

  • Every man must do two things alone; his own believing and his own dying! – Martin Luther King
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours! – Yogi Berra

Sorry for a morbid subject! Take Care!

By  Majid Al Suleimany

Let Us Pray!

Wednesday February 6th 2013

Between Us Only!

Let Us Pray!

Continuing on the series from last one of Family Pressures! This time – Let Us Pray!

The other day I got a missed phone call from one person outside Oman. I did not receive the call and it went missed. The people there have a tendency of calling you  in ‘missed call’ format – and expect you to call back! I did not recognise the number – and typical I nowadays just did not bother to call back. The next day the number was still there – again missed.

Whilst I was debating with myself whether I should call back – the number rang – and this time incessantly and long! So I gathered enough courage and sort of said Hello. He replied to me in Arabic – which was really unusual – and just said – please call me back – without saying who he was!

Prayers 2

Prayers 2

Again I ignored the call. Then a message came through – again strangely in Arabic. Please call me. I am your Uncle… but no name given! This time I was determined and was about to switch off my mobile when as if he knew what I was asking – said who he was! A sort of uncle in ranks – being a close friend of my late father when we were there! I had no alternative – except to call – and finding already what excuse and ruse to use this time to say I had no money to send – which is the truth anyway! But people simply cannot believe that this can happen to an Author!

If you do not believe me – come to the house and see the boxes and boxes of books of books returned from the bookshops – with the tags still on! I cannot blame them – they have been extra nice and patient with me to keep on storing my books – but the time had come to part ways. The shock was ‘we are now only storing novels, magazines and sweets – because people simply do not buy now serious books – and no one (or few) buy any book that goes over OMR 5 – yes – that is the cut out rate in our literacy drive!

Prayers 3

Prayers 3

Anyway – poor Uncle related – asks me if I know of a certain family now in Oman? I ask him why? He retorts – do you or don’t you? Thank God to our upbringing – I keep my manners and respect on! Then he tells me! This family has ignored their relative here that is dying in hospital. He is calling out for them when he could speak! Now he is in a coma – and is not expected to recover! I have heard those stories before – and people did recover! I have also heard of the story of one old lady recovering and doing well – only to hear she died next morning!

Just imagine how God loves us! He has not given us the secret of when, how and where we will die – otherwise the world will turn turtle – upside down – and moving from one house to another in saying goodbyes! And perhaps few would even venture to build or invest? Or could it be the opposite? I do not know – I am just like you – not knowing either these secrets!

Then he says – please tell them to come and see him! Then I ask him – Uncle why they do not want to come? He goes silent – you can almost hear the debate going on! Then he goes Religious – about talking on someone – backbiting – and he is not there to defend himself!

Prayers 1

Prayers 1

The real reasons are not important. But let us say they may be at least 60% strong reasons for not wanting to do so! There is still 40% – being your parent – and your blood too! The East Africans say continuously too – blood is thicker than water! Would one still be very angry with your parent – that he is dying and being looked by others – even if related – but you related – and even more related – do not want still go and see him – even as he is dying – he has begged you to forgive him – and see him before he breathes his last?

Where are our hearts now – all turned to stones! I have heard of these things happening – but never realised that they are real – and can happen in real life too! That is why our Religious Leaders should talk more on our everyday lives – and its aspects – and how to live in this world with the others – even from different faiths and places too!

That family and child that ended in you being insulted by your boss – suffered all kinds of insults and ridicules – subjugation and controls – yet there is simply no guarantee or security for you in the future – especially if you become very sick – and dependent on others – as a pariah and as a parasite!

The problems that the world is facing now are this determination and will to impose one’s measurements and outlooks on others! So-called Religious people have become Politicians – and the Politicians have become religious! Everyone is correct, ethical, The other is ‘branding and name-calling’ of others – and as if ‘butter will not melt’ in themselves of their mouths fiascos – ‘angels, good and nice peoples’ – whilst others are not!

That is why we are in so much troubles and problems now! The situation has gone so bad that materialism, individualism, subjectiveness, consumerism and selfishness have stepped in. Hearts have just turned to stones – solid ones too! Including lack of care, feelings – touch and humanity even! That is why as I had said before – Let Us Pray! Amin Amen!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Posted at: www.majidall.com and at www.majidwrite.com