Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mothers always in control


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A girl at the pharmacy was on her tablet, waiting for some pills. I, having nothing to do, began to “maco-read”. She was de-leafing an e-book, A Child Called ‘It’. (By the way, I was making a purchase of cough syrup, just in case people like RH get frightened). I could only get through a page before the girl realised I was staring over her shoulder and into her iPad.
But there was a line I caught: “You must always love your mother. She is the fruit that bore you.” It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. Our mothers create us in more ways than one; for when that hand is unsteady, so is the child who becomes an adult. Some mothers can rock to the wrong rhythm.
I saw a police officer reprimand a youth yesterday; and the youngster started behaving like a bad M&M: a mix between Miley Cyrus and Michael Jackson – sticking tongue out and grabbing crotch – while expatiating expletives. Personification, similes, metaphors, even onomatopoeia . . . this teen had serious cursory skills. But his mother started cursing too. As a society, we perhaps need to just cool it. Take it down a notch. Listen to some Brass Soul instead of Bounty Killa and see . . . no, feel the difference. Music is a powerful thing; and mothers are powerful people.
Wild, wild west
I remember sitting in the car one day, my grandmother riding shotgun while my uncle drove. It was the wild, wild west – the ZR drivers were chasing commuters like cowboys corralling cattle. One driver, aggravated by my uncle’s adherence to the speed limit, pulled alongside and shouted, “Yuh mudda . . . !”
Not missing a beat, my grandmother retorted, “Thank you son, the mother is right here.” Ever hear a ZR driver apologise? I was not only amused, but impressed. Mothers have a lot of clout; and could give hard ones, too. Are we mothers exercising our power efficiently, though? I wonder about the mothers of some of our societal brothers and sisters. While adults must take responsibility for their own actions, a tree usually grows the way in which it was pruned, right?
A mother-figure in my life was Dana Seetahal. She was fearless, intelligent and fought tirelessly for justice. It feels strange to use the past tense when referring to my cousin. She was a role model who first stirred in me the desire to write for a prestigious paper. Her simple advice to my 12-year-old self was, “The pen is a powerful weapon.” Unfortunately, the weapons used to end her life were less sophisticated but more lethal.
Two days before her murder, I heard Nappy Mayers singing, Bring Back De Ole Time Days on 94.7 FM. Indeed, it takes time for such ruthlessness and callousness to be ingrained into a society. Killers aren’t born murderers. Theirs is an evolutionary process and evolution in some ways is good, but in others, horrible. As Alison Hinds would say, “Control it, gyal!” The way mothers rock determines how society rolls.
Veoma Ali is an author, actor, broadcaster, advertising exec and most importantly, a karaoke lover.


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