Small Things Go a Long Way

Diamond 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… Eekle Broom

Eekle Broom

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
[Qur’an 24:35]

1240154_585586904816826_1845823737_n 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.”

😉

21

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.

False values.

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 1 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.

Sheikh Imran Nasr Hossein http://www.imranhosein.org/

Sheikh Imran Nasr Hossein
http://www.imranhosein.org/

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:

Assalaamu alaikum sheikh,  RE: Lessons Learnt From Khidr By Sheikh Imran Hosein (Youtube)   Why a fish? What about fish having sixth sense – Ampullae of Lorenzini http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini  Just a suggestion.  Salaams,  Sona  Hajiani Sara Sona (Brock) Barnes   ABOUT: http://about.me/sonabarnes  WEBLOG: https://middlepathofmoderation.wordpress.com/

Assalaamu alaikum sheikh,
RE: Lessons Learnt From Khidr By Sheikh Imran Hosein (Youtube)
Why a fish?
What about fish having sixth sense – Ampullae of Lorenzini
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini
Just a suggestion.
Salaams,
Sona
Hajiani Sara Sona (Brock) Barnes
ABOUT: http://about.me/sonabarnes
WEBLOG: https://middlepathofmoderation.wordpress.com/

He responded:

wa 'alaiki assalaam!   Excellent insight. The Khidr of this age must develop that 6th sense (of the fish) which we know as INSIGHT.    We need to pay adequate attention to the life-style, diet, attachment to the earth and to water etc, constant recitation of the Qur'an, etc. necessary for the development of INSIGHT.   Thank you very much. May Allah bless you with continued insight. Ameen!   with love,   INH  Website: www.imranhosein.org

wa ‘alaiki assalaam!
Excellent insight. The Khidr of this age must develop that 6th sense (of the fish) which we know as INSIGHT.
We need to pay adequate attention to the life-style, diet, attachment to the earth and to water etc, constant recitation of the Qur’an, etc. necessary for the development of INSIGHT.
Thank you very much. May Allah bless you with continued insight. Ameen!
with love,
INH
Website: http://www.imranhosein.org

Ameen, all praise is due to Allah. Tell me about being tickled pink!

😀

Wizard Chess  

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.

BISHOP: June 1981 (L-R)  Ravi Barnes (Bass Guitar),  Sona Barnes (Rhythm Guitar),  Michael Selverajah (Vocals/Keyboards),  Rifaai Thowfeek (Drums),  Lakshman Gamage (Lead Guitar)

BISHOP: June 1981 (L-R)
Ravi Barnes (Bass Guitar),
Sona Barnes (Rhythm Guitar),
Michael Selverajah (Vocals/Keyboards),
Rifaai Thowfeek (Drums),
Lakshman Gamage (Lead Guitar)

I did other things too. A few years later, I fell in love with Stan the Bus Conductor – the leader of the band.
Why?
He was the Knight Bus blessing in disguise and this was his song  –

Listen:

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.
Sixth 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.
Head on.
Heart beating.
Life surging.
Night and day.
The only way. 

Braggart?
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 opinions1382203_681370978542838_2133297912_n

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.

Listen: Stardust

Small things go a long way, isn’t it?

😉 May Allah bless you!

😀

Hajiani Sara Sona (Brock) Barnes

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13 thoughts on “Small Things Go a Long Way

  1. Pingback: Don’t Steal My Thunder | The Unlettered Bard

  2. Dear Sona, I am so proud of you. Why do you need a Masters Degree? You are doing so much better than those “educated” ones. You are sincere and one can be sure that you will never
    discriminate a person for his or her religion, colour or race, like the way your teacher did…she is educated!!. Keep up your good work and thanks for sharing your life with all of us.
    You are an inspiration. God bless you. Love Deva

    • Darling girl Deva…
      Thank you for dropping by and leaving your heartfelt comments and views. This is how I knew you all along. This is how I will remember you. 🙂

      This is a very delicate subject. I hope I’ve handled it well.
      I let the inspiration guide me.
      😉

  3. Sona, so proud of you. You have done what most cannot. Your ability to forgive your Mom is a great inspiration to me. It was nice that she too took a step towards reconciliation. Thank you for being an inspiration to me little sister. Love you. XOXO Roshani.

    • Hey Roshani…
      Need I say how honoured I am at your visit?
      Full bonus points to you 😀
      I feel warm and nourished by your love and appreciation. Glad you see mine 🙂
      With loving kindness,
      As always,
      Sona
      XOX

  4. Dear Sona,

    So sad you have undergone such pain at such an early age. I am proud of you, you are able to confront your demons head on. Glad you are able to forgive your mom. As a former teacher and mother, I am shocked by the behaviour of your former teacher, but agree teachers need to rethink their approach to their pupils – their job is not only transferring book knowledge, I have come across many such instances that you have gone through. The approach and language we use on the young has to be changed. Sorry to say, some of the worthless trash taught in school belongs in the dustbin. Ex. my son was given seven pages of notes on “SOIL” in grade 6, when will he use this knowledge, unless he becomes a soil specialist. Be strong. May Allah help and protect you. Eid Mubarak Sona!

    • Miffy girl!
      Thanks for dropping by…
      Syllabus is another matter. This is harsh RACISM we’re talking about!
      Look at the consequences that arose as a result of it… look where it led and why it led here.
      This post touches on a variety of deep subjects… each a science by itself…

      I had been told throughout my life on so many occasions by various people to write a book about my life.
      It became a burden to me.
      I cannot write the most wanted book. It has already been written.
      I can only give a collection of short stories through doodles, poems, quotes and songs…
      In other words;
      I’ll share my private moments with you.
      This blog is written very personally – on a one-to-one level with the reader – I am thinking about specific people when I write a post. One post may address a selection of many – much like a loud statement made at a gathering, whilst others speak to you down a corridor in a private chat 😉

      😀

      Eid Mubarak to you too Miffy!

  5. I dont know what to say……cos your life has been an inspiration to me since i got to know you. May Allah bless you and make you a means of guidance for the whole of mankind….. Aameen!
    Z

    • Wow… ameen… subahanallah – how perfect is Allah! AMEEN! – So be it – in the name of Allah – Bismillah! 😀
      Peace be upon Allah’s Messengers and Prophets and those rightly guided.
      Jazakallaahu khairan – may Allah bless you!

      I feel the vibe
      😀

  6. Pingback: Jumbo October Fest | Reaching Out

  7. Pingback: The Stirring | Reaching Out

    • Hey Dilani, thank you – all praise is due to God! What delights me most and makes the effort worthwhile is that it has inspired someone! 😀
      God bless you! 🙂

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