Between my shadow and my soul

Our Stories are Singular but our destinies are shared

This is a post about stories. The stories our parents told us to make us finish our food . The stories we tell ourselves when the world falls apart and the one thing we were hoping to make everything right does not happen. Whether it be entry in to a course, or our dream job, or a salary increase or an amicable settlement in zimbabwe...And also the stories other people tell us about themselves. Like Obama says, in my title, there is one huge overriding shared story. Even in the Qur'an, the punchline is Tawheed. It underlines and highlights and brings to life every other ayah.

Going back to the stories we share publicly. Like on blogs. The story that inspired this post was published in the Laudium Sun. Now, I grew up in Laudium. I will be the first to criticize the materialism, love for wealth, extravagance and judgementalness that goes on in my community. They are stories I have lived since birth. But there is also a huge sense of ubuntu in the community, of Ikhwaan. When someoen passes away, or there is a funeral or a function, or any joyous or sad or particular event, people will show they care. Also, having worked with community organisations in the area, there are loads of people who are generous when it comes to a good cause. I digress.

The Laudium Sun started a while ago to publish a Punchaat column. Words are insufficient to explain the childishness of the writing, or the absurdity of the issues that are raised here. Here are some excerpts of the latest edition. I don't read this column, although a lot of people in my community love it. I heard about this story from Safs in the work kitchen and decided to make a stand about it here:

Wife Makes Brother turn against parents

My heart bleeds when I see how so many married women show disrespect to their in-laws and pull their husbands away from their families. My sister-in law Mrs SSS who stays in MMM Street in Erasmia is one typical example.

OK I can't type any more of this drabble.
She then goes on to include details of her brother and sister-in-law, which in a small community like Laudium would identify them immediately. She insults her sister in law's behaviour at musical shows, for not cooking for her husband for not buying her in laws any gifts. She then curses her sister in law with a daughter in law that treats her badly.

f we are all part of the same story, is this the way we want it written. Would you not want to say, on the day of Judgement, I treated my parents well without having to point fingers at those who did not. Are we not advised to cover others' faults so Allah SWT will cover our own? This is perienent as well because of some of the cheap personal attacks aimed at and by bloggers. Allah tells us so beautifully about the story of A'isha, and how quickly the rumours flared about her. He says to the ebelievers at that time, and for us to apply today:
And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Every week stories are published in the Punchaat column. Some of my friends and I wanted to make a petition against it, but lots of people told us that they enjoy reading it so we shouldn't. Like riba, both parties are to blame.

8 shared ideas:

Sameerah -the storyteller- November 5, 2008 at 1:58 PM  

A very good white friend of mine recently went to work at the Laudium Sun. She didn't last two days. She came back to me and said she has never been more disgusted with a community in her life. We should question the perceptions portrayed about Muslims (indians) in the Laudium Sun.Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an: O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God (24: 15)

Tabloid papers disgust me. They stoop to any level to get a readership. I sometimes wonder if Mr Editor of Laudium Sun ever thinks about how many marriages/relationships he destroys with the rubbish he entertains.

The same friend of mine went out to cover a story. When she submitted it for publishing Mr Editor added a whole lot of comments which were never said by that person. When she asked him what he was doing, he said, "I am Indian and he is Indian, so I know this is what he should have said".Its sickening. Then again, if society is sick and we are society, we have major issues.

qk November 5, 2008 at 4:29 PM  

I guess gossip - and cheap publicity - is one of the pains of living in a small 'town'.

I'm constantly amazed at the extent of Muslims' cruelty and kindness.... both are immeasurable.

Nafisa November 5, 2008 at 8:17 PM  

Are you serious?! I'm in disbelief!

My sister used to live in small town on a farm with 9 houses, all rented out to Muslim families. They were just the same. Everyone gossiping about each other - looking through curtains to see who has visitors etc. I wouldnt be able to live like that.

Its so pathetic. Yet people thrive on gossip.

PS long time no twitter see. Hope you're well.

Crimson Shimmer November 6, 2008 at 8:02 PM  

Punchaat column. thats the king of gossip columns rite?
I spent a week in jhb last year and that place makes me sick. I hate it.
The culture, the mentality. the entire charade.
If anyone wants to take offence, be my guest and take some more.
I encourage that petition and if u serious i’l be glad to help in anyway.
shit like this gota be stopd, its starts ther then it spreads, the means keeps being justified.
And People njoy reading it. Really
like wtf?

Anotha thing, nooj.
Last year i was told about this OMO box thing.
tell me, is it true?

Trinity November 7, 2008 at 9:09 AM  

Brilliantly said. It not only in small towns its everywhere…I mean the way people talk about each other at work! Its crazy!! End of days people, end of days!

Nooj November 7, 2008 at 2:04 PM  

sam heya long time :) yeah it's a vicious cycle tho. the editor makes money out of the advertisers who make money outta the ppl mindless enuf to love reading this stuff....

qk- yeah altho laudium ain't that small. and most of the ppl are educated and have been exposed to the world. even scarier...

nafisa aw thanks for coming to check up on me :)

CS- i'm not sure if the mythical OMO box of lust was real. But i do know that the punchaat column does include details of real affairs, family feuds, and business deals that ain't kosher. so yeah maybe if society gave them nothing to write about...

trinity hey welcome!! yeah its a sign for us to clean up our act or else!

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