I’m posting this because, when I was 11-years-old and my formal education ended at grade-five, my mother ground her teeth and snarled:
‘God does not exist!’
She then whacked me with her umbrella at the main gates of what had just become my alma-mater – Ladies’ College Colombo 7– in front of everybody: parents, teachers, passersby and peers…
I was brought home pronto and thrust naked under the shower for a second thrashing.
This time – the toilet eekle broom and her fingernails…
Mom hissed: ‘All my hopes are dashed’ and turned away from me in disgust and returned to her hole beneath a stone.
Stinging welts sprang up on my bare skin…
I wasn’t a child.
I had attained puberty one-month prior to my ninth birthday.
I had been a young woman for two years.
It was an epic performance on the part of my mother.
“Those, whom Allah guides, none can lead astray.
Those, whom Allah leaves astray, none can guide”
All praise to God, I always wanted to be a genius. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Only a Hatter would choose that. I am the Sona Talking Hat. It’s ‘Simon row the boat ashore’, I said. I made the Right Effort and eventually reached enlightenment through Right Understanding of the meaning of love and compassion.
I forgave myself, by the Mercy of Allah.
Allah is the light of the stratospheres
I understood why mom had tied her hopes to me.
I began forgiving my mother in my late twenties and declared the job more or less done a few months ago, in my mid forties.
It was a tedious process:
I sang the blues…
I wrote and composed my first song – Don’t Steal My Thunder – a rock blues ballad on
9 February 2004. It’s a Janis Joplin guttural wail against a backup of solid, smooth and soothing harmonies. A laid-back swinging rock blues on D 7th. More accurately, a drag back from D# 7th.
Yeah… that’s exactly how I felt.
I was wailing in great harmony.
I was 35-years-old.
By the way, I will be saying hi to the beginning of my 45th year on 24 October. Please drop by. I may have some sort of food-for-thought cake going around, in sha Allah, considering the ingredients at hand.
As Big Ben said to the Learning Tower of Pisa:
“If you have the inclination, I have the time.”
Why did my schooling end?
The teacher abused me in racist language. She said she didn’t want an English-speaking shit-Burgher in her class. I should stand naked at the top of my road for not knowing the Tamil language.
I responded that it was she who should be standing naked at the top of the road.
She blew her top like Harry Potter’s aunt Marjorie Dursley.
I was ordered out of class to stand in the midday sun. I observed her for a while – studying the pattern of her security glances in my direction and crouched and ran out of her vision and climbed a tree on the grounds and shared very intimate moments with that tree.
We couldn’t study in the English medium, because racism is prevalent in Sri Lanka. Only Moors, Malays, Burghers and mixed breeds and so on could join the English medium. The rest had to study in their own language – the great divide – Sinhala or Tamil.
Dad was an *LBW Burgher case who bore the name of his stepfather – Barnes, registered in Paradise Island Sri Lanka as Tamils.
*LBW – cricket – leg before wicket: out of wedlock.
We spoke English at home. Likewise, our relatives.
No school would accept me into the English medium.
I was clueless about the Tamil language and developed a dislike for certain aspects of its culture and traditions.
My aversion to false deities was always high, maasha Allah.
A few months ago, mom cried over the phone and asked if I could forgive her.
I said: – Already done.
She said: – I’m proud of you.
I said: – All praise to God Almighty – Allah!
She said: – Yes. I now know: God exists. My prayers were answered.
I said: – I know why I was born to you.
We burst out laughing…
Mom became the first patron and donor of my blog Reaching Out Why Am I Tickled Pink?
After a period of no less than 3-4-years, I was accepted as a student by Sheikh Imran Nasr Hossein last month, alhamdulillah.
Yes, maasha Allah – my very own darling Guru Pathik! He has an established unbroken chain of narration that traces back to the Last Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad. Allah’s peace, mercy and blessing be upon all Allah’s Messengers and those rightly guided.
I emailed my Sheikh yesterday 14 October 2013:
Ameen, all praise is due to Allah. Tell me about being tickled pink!
When mom thrashed me and turned away, I stepped out the following year in 1981 to set my own record in Sri Lanka. I was the New Kid in Town and soared like an eagle:
I became the first 12-year-old professional female Lead/Rhythm Guitarist with the rock band Bishop. It remains unchallenged.
Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Mine was Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
“To be a rock and not to roll”
It made sense.
My mother hardly reacted when I took a man ten-years my senior.
Yep, things were seriously Topsy-turvy.
I felt my may through life.
I didn’t think it through…
I took it as it came.
Night and day.
The only way.
I don’t walk my talk. I talk my walk.
I don’t have posh academic qualifications and letters before and after my name.
I am The Unlettered Bard!
I’m formally uneducated.
All I have are these small things…
… that have gone a long way…
I hope the message reaches you:
Believe in yourself, despite other’s opinions
If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
Before believing in God, you must first believe in yourself.
That’s the science of it.
Small things go a long way, isn’t it?
😉 May Allah bless you!
Hajiani Sara Sona (Brock) Barnes