THURSDAY, 22 MAY 2008
The children are now visiting their friends’ homes without Mama tagging along.
H went to play with his best friend N, and H+ had her friend M over to play.
With the kinder weather they have moved their games and many toys into the back garden. Distracted in the kitchen trying to prepare something delicious, nutritious, quick and with no visible greens for the children, I did not notice what they were doing until I heard the crashing noise, followed by her yelp then the scream. I rushed out to find her on the ground wailing as her brother fussed around her, bright eyed and red with guilt.
Her red hands and the two sharp splinters of wood from the fence embedded into her palms needed immediate attention, and after wiping away blood stains and tears, and lots of hugs and kisses their story was told.
They wanted to go next door and play with the children and decided the shortest way was over the wood fence, and so had moved the plastic chair close to the edge to climb on.
When the height was not enough decided to give each other a helping push and H+ was to go first.
When I eventually went next door to collect them an hour later, and was invited in for some dosa I remembered another set of childhood friends
Within a week of moving into the house my brother had met the boy next door, and through Allawee I met the girls and my mother got to know Um Allawee.
Initially there was some confusion. Like us Allawee’s dad was away a lot, unlike us Allawee’s mum had two sisters who would regularly come to stay, at least one of whom seemed to be there all the time. Mama Nabeeha and Mama Sabeeha took care of the children and went out with the children and for a while my mother would wonder which one exactly was Um Allawee?
We started by playing in the courtyard in front of the house, racing down the road on our tricycles, and then chasing each other into the first front door we came across. With time we devised ways of getting into our neighbour’s garden.
Jumping over the tilted red bricks that marked the boundary of the lawn into the carnation and snap-dragon flower beds, between the orange trees, sprinting up the lower branches and hopping onto the wall, a careful wiggle later and we would slip into the “sandpit” next door.
They had workmen in the house and the back garden was full of mounds of pebbles and sand, and in the corner an old cement mixer. We spent hours making all sorts of “food” from the mud, and “cooked” it in the mixer.
At lunch time the mothers would start recalling the children, and most of us would willingly return for sustenance. Most that is except my brother, who would repeatedly refuse to return, arriving home after protracted arguments and many tears. It later transpired that this was only partly due to his attachment to Allawee, it was mainly because of what Um Allawee was offering for lunch, a sample of which was brought across, with instructions on how to make the meal.
The next time we had white beans in tomato sauce in our home they were served, not on toast but with meat and rice.
I am still waiting to meet an "Um Someone" who will one day transform my cooking in such an enriching way!
POSTED BY 3EERAQIMEDIC AT 09:44 3 COMMENTS
I liked this title alot, it is so clever....Beanz Meanz Friendz....It could be a title of a wonderful drama familly movie talking about relations between family and their neighbour...
Thank you 3eeraqimedic for giving us such nice posts that help us contemplate our life...Beanz Meanz Friendz....yes you are right 3eeraqimedic cause Beanz Meanz Friendz....
02 June 2008 16:38
And you knoww what 3eeraqimedic, it is me who need someone to teach him how to cook...because I cook so bad dear...
02 June 2008 16:40
He he he Sami.
I am afraid it is from my "thaqafty il ingileezya" it is based on a very well known advert for a particular brand of tinned baked beans which ran in the sixties (yes yes last century)which went "Beanz Meanz Hienz". Glad you liked it.