Monday, January 17, 2011

Chronicles of the Fatherland...Chapter 5

"Book Review"

"Where are u, where can I find u"
"Oh Lord, I have been very greedy...I need you now, I need u yeah, I need u everyday"....Asa "Preacher Man" from Beautiful Imperfection

Travelled with 3 books for my vacation, the first one was "Secret Supper" by Javier Sierra. I'll launch into the review of the book later on. The second was Chimamanda Adichie's "Half of a Yellow Sun". I had always planned on reading it but for some unknown reason I had never had the chance to do so. I have to admit that I am one of her admirers after reading her profile and watching her presentation on "the Danger of a one-sided story" as shown on TED TV. I was struck by her poise and confidence. Anyway, I did read the book and it was excellent. She definitely has a style similar to Achebe and her portrayal of the characters was sublime. I am fascinated by art and the science of words, the images she painted of life in the 60s was enchanting. I don't want to delve in to the finer details of the book, though one thing I learnt was that the concept of war should never be revisited. Looking back at history, I am more convinced that Nigerians are a unique breed of people. How else can u explain our still being together after all the strife? Absolutely amazing. The third book in my collection was Stephen King's latest offering, "Full Dark, No Stars". Pretty interesting, the grand master never ceases to fascinate me with his work. Someday, I hope to write. I think about it often, and people tell me that I should, but the truth is that I wouldnt be able to write fiction. If I was to write a book, it would be a book about my life, not necessary an autobiography but something similar to Wole Soyinka's "Ake". I believe that our personal lives are more interesting than any work of fiction we can conceive of if we can put it into words. Let me give u an example, I fell in love for the first time when I was 5! You might laugh and call that foolish, but to a 5 yr old, love was the reason why I decided that I wouldnt go to nursery school anymore, instead I stayed at home till my parents realised I was serious and yielded to my demands, which was to join the girl of my dreams in primary school...I broke a girl's heart when I was 8! I never saw her afterwards...Interested? lol...believe me, there are alot more stories and the scary thing is that I can still recall them as vividly as if they happened yesterday, down to the very words that were said! People say that I have a scary power of recollection, I don't know why, but I hold on to memories...they are the pages of life...I still remember the scent of "Yesterday, Today & Forever"...

"Memory Lane"

"Everything changes..." Staind
" The way we are is how itz gonna be, just as long as ur love don't change"... Musiqsoulchild "Dontchange"

Was going through old pictures at home and felt a whole range of emotions. I don't know why, but some made me laugh and some brought tears to my eyes. I looked at my pictures and could barely recognize the boy that stared back at me. Sigh...How time flies...I had a beautiful childhood, filled with pleasant memories. I tell u a little story! When I was about 5 ( I can't remember the exact age), back then we lived in Enugu, my sister told me I was going to get married! You'll probably be laughing by now but I am dead serious. She looked at me sternly and said, " Emeka, you will get married to Ify on friday". I agreed instantly. I worshipped the ground my sister walked on and if she said it was time for me to get married, then I'ld gladly do it. I had no clue what marriage entailed, but I could recall that my brother had gotten "married" to a girl in the estate a few days ago and he grumbled a bit about it but didnt protest. For your info, my sister was about 9 then. She was more or less the ring leader of the girls in the estate and their hobbies had advanced from cooking sand in empty milo and bournvita tins to cooking rice and now marriage! I was her personal assistant, tasked with the chore of hijacking the necessary ingredients for cooking from the kitchen. Espionage was an easy task for me, I looked harmless and angelic, so my mother never suspected that I could sneak maggi and a cup of rice out of the kitchen faster than 007 could blink! Anyway, the "marriage fever" sprung out of the blues, all the girls were in support of the new trend but I doubt the boys were kean on the idea. Since my sister was the ring leader, my brother was the first ox led to the altar. I was next! The wedding day was a sunny and beautiful friday afternoon and I had worn one of my favorite shorts. My bride to be and the other girls were already waiting under the mango tree in the playground and the older boys were busy playing soccer. You may wonder why i wasnt playing soccer with the boys, twas simple, I was too young to appreciate sports then and the older boys didnt want "little kids" disturbing their game, so I was at that heavenly age were I was resigned to play with girls! Anyway, back to the wedding. I was eager to rush to the wedding venue and get married, such was my excitement at the thought of marriage, even though I had no clue what was involved. On my way to the wedding with my brother ( I presume he was my escort or best man), he looked at me mournfully and said, " Don't get married, the boys wouldnt let you play soccer with them afterwards". I stopped in my tracks and for the first time I was scared silly. I had always dreamt about finally playing soccer with the big boys, so the news that my marriage would destroy that opportunity was a huge shock to me. My brother continued walking to the wedding venue, I turned and fled! I ended up hiding somewhere ( I can't recall exactly where) but about 10 minutes later, I heard my sister and the other girls yelling my name in anger! "Emeka! Emeka! Emeka! kedu ebe i no (where are u)?", they called out. Hearing my sister's voice, I was torn in 2, part of me wanted to respond, but a part of me longed for soccer. I remained in my hiding place and cried. I later came out and went to where the boys were playing soccer, my sister did find me later and was reasonably upset that I abandoned my bride at the altar ( I presume she married some other unlucky dude the same day, lol). I cried more, and she consoled me and forgot that she was angry ( yeah, I was a sissy, lol). I learnt 2 lessons that day. The first was "follow your heart", and the second was " tears are an emotional weapon". Well, I didnt learn them that day though (lol), I guess it filtered in years later. I am looking at pictures of my sister, brother and I when we were kids and all those memories are flooding back in...The innocent years...

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