Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tao of the Banana - a berryful contemplation of gratitude

A river in Janda Baik Village (The Good Widow)
I woke up in the early morning, took my morning ablution and later found myself in the balcony. It was still drizzling a little, and the birds and crickets were making an awful lot of noise. I said stuffs which people have been saying for centuries, I took posture, facing in the direction of the setting sun, raising myself and prostrating myself in the exacting manner that my people have done for more than 1400 years. People often call this praying, I like to call it getting in touch with my roots and taking an active part in the unfolding of history.

Before (just a fruit)

As I sat there later on the balcony, I contemplated the banana. It was a fine banana, called locally here, 'Pisang Mas' (The Golden Banana). Before I peeled the yellow soft skin, a realization came to me - "Dear boy, what have you ever done in your life to deserve this fine specimen of the fruit world. Observe the elegant contour, the delicious white flesh that is promised within. Forget the entire world. Forget the magnificence of creation. Just focus and observe this individual banana you have in front of you now... Think, and tell me, what have you done to deserve this?"

I answered myself that, to be absolutely honest, I have done nothing to earn this banana. All of my existence have been in a singular pursuit of self-interest. I am neither very charitable nor very pious. I thought over this long, before finally I ate the banana. And I also ate the meaning in the banana - that God has been granting us life, love and happiness, the resource and choice to be good or bad, to earn joy, to suffer sorrow, to exalt in this mythical world of ours as if it is all real, as if it is all meant to last forever. I consumed this meaning and pray that perhaps, it will flow in my blood and become part of my flesh - To be grateful always...

After (Moses's intervention, now a berry)

Have a lovely day, sunshine. I am, 1,860 feet above sea-level.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

PostScript - Before we left for home, Moses and myself had a debate about fruits and berries. And after an absolutely useless discussion, Moses finally brought out his fire-power and wikipidea-ed the question which was threatening to unhinge our solace - What is a berry? Well, you can find the answers yourself, but at least for the mighty Banana, botanically speaking, it is actually a berry. So, excuse my ignorance, and the title of this posting should thus read - Tao of the Banana - a berryful contemplation of gratitude. There, sorted. Now don't complain that I never share any useful information here in this almanac. Hehehe. Bye, sunshine.
Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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