Mullah Mchungu Speaks His Mind
I am, in my relationship with Mullah Mchungu, at a crossroads of sorts. I humor him when he calls, and take the time to listen to him, grin and bear it when he calls me by unpleasant tags like ghadeero (ass) and mwenda wazeemu (crazy). I know he is very lonely and frequently depressed in Dar es Salaam, having nobody to talk to except his African caretaker all day. His son Ali here in Orlando pays scant attention to him and his daughter in Dar, although more caring and loving than Ali, has her own family to tend and take care of. I feel sorry for him, but he calls at very ill-times of the day, when it suits him, seven hours ahead of me. So he does it again today, when I am about to sit and continue my memoir, Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir getting it ready for print by December 2019. Alhamd’Allah, $55,000 has already been raised from its presale and I am anxious to hit $100,000 this time, this my 4th publication, 100% of the proceeds supporting CAI’s 600 plus worldwide orphans.
Although the Mullah is getting on in years and failing in health, his mind is sharp and astute, and his knowledge about the current affairs of our worldwide Khojas and the wider global political affairs of the world we live in is, uncannily on the mark. He is bored as usual and wants to talk and vent his opinions.
I begin with the regular salutation, but he either does not hear me or ignores it. So I ask about his health.
Kisukaali, he begins, you don’t care about my health and even if you remotely did, you’d be put off to hear about an 80-year old’s bodily ailments, about my blood pressure, arthritis, constipation, indignation, and flatulence…
True, I do not want to hear about his unsavory disorders so I quickly shut up.
Listen to me Kisukaali, because I’m the only one who speaks his mind, and doesn’t worry about the consequences. I mean what is anybody going to do to a loudmouth 80-year-old man with loose lips at both ends? Shoot him? Jail him…?
I crack up in laughter. This man can be a hoot sometimes. At both ends, indeed. I can’t stop laughing for a few minutes, wiping tears of mirth from my eyes.
I’m glad you find my words amusing, Kisukaali, because there is nothing funny with the way our world is, spinning out of control. We have the important month of Muharram coming and we’ll all do our ritual majalis and maatam and consume niyaz like there is no tomorrow, feeding already overfed people with meat that is taking a toll to our world. And then we’ll pick up from where we left off and continue with the craziness around us.
Aw, come on, Mullah saheb… I interject, but as is his unconventional style, he does not let me continue.
You know what is going on in Kashmir, Kisukaali? Genocide. The only word to describe the events there over the last month or so. And nobody cares an ant’s ass about it. Certainly not wayward or ignorant or arrogant, or all these combined talents rulers, masha’Allah, who confer the highest honor on a man who has the blood of thousands of innocent lives on his hands. And while the medal of honor is being placed on his najees neck, his country’s troops are raping and pillaging through homes of defenseless people.
Now Mullah, I protest, shocked at the wild assumptions in his outrages accusations…
You shut up and listen to me, Kisukaali, for I speak the truth. Not a single country, except Pakistan, but we can discount them because they also have the blood of Afghans and the minority Shias in their hands, the so-called Muslim countries, or people with a shred of legitimate conscience speak up in protest. Not Saudi Arabia, but since when did that country have any decency? Not Turkey, not even Iran farted anything. Are you listening to me, Kisukaali? Not even Iran, when you Khojas cry crocodile tears at the mere mention of her name. Cowards, I say. Not even you Khojas uttered a peep. Shame on you.
I want to ask him what exactly does he thinks we can do that’ll remotely help the Kashmiris, but the venom in his voice is so palpable, I feel it’ll come and sting me if I open my mouth, so I remain quiet.
So, let us cover ourselves with the blanket of piety, call them beecharaas, click our tongues in sympathy, fold our hands and do squidgy squat. Then, when these Kashmiri children and women ask us on the Day of Judgement what we did to help them, you answer them that we wept over the sorrows of Imam Hussein (a), we did maatam and we ate niyaz, taking the literal message of the great Imam (a) and buried it in rituals. Ignoring the very values the Imam (a) gave his life to defend. That of dignity, of honor and the reform of a meandering ummah, away from the path of Allah and his final Prophet (s).
With that said, Mullah Mchungu slams his phone down and there is silence across our great divide. He leaves me with a reflective and dark, somber mood.
Dorian creates a hungama of sorts for us in Florida; not coming, coming, maybe coming, turning, not-turning, maybe turning, stalling…I’ve never seen so much interest from Maaha Zainab or Tasneem glued to their screens watching the cone of destruction playing cat and mouse with us. After pulverizing the poor people in the Bahamas, it pulls away, alhamd’Allah, leaving only her stink for us to breathe.
Abbas Jaffer from London is at HIC for the first ashra this year. Ah, what a refreshing, intellectual change from the rants and screams of other speakers. Maaha Zainab is right, why do these other dudes scream so much from the pulpit? Perhaps because Abbas has done his homework and speaks using the intellect to make his easily digestible points and not try to disguise and hide sloppy material in rantings? Allah hu ya’llam, no?
I so look forward to Alihussein Dattoo at Al Hayy from today.
Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir
$55,000 has already been raised from the pre-sale booking of Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir. It is a recount of a memorable life of a Khoja Muslim with Gujarati genes, born and reared in E. Africa, migrating to the Middle East and then to the US. A frank and self-critical account, funny yet somber and very telling. A not to be missed read insha’Allah. You can read a brief preview here.
This will be a limited print issue, only 320 copies (221 already booked). All proceeds, 100%, benefit CAI’s 550 orphans worldwide. Please purchase a copy or more for $50 each? For legal and administrative purposes, the donation is not tax-deductible and must be purchased online at bit.ly/VividImaginations. Allah bless.
Please note this book will be published end of the year 2019 or first quarter of 2020 and mailed immediately thereafter, insha’Allah.