Showing posts from November, 2023

Book Review - Outliers

I was stoked to be reading this book. It comes with good reviews and it is meant to be uplifting. I do not view success like most people do. The simple and ordinary and every day equates to success to me most of the time. Sometimes I dream big but then settle back into the ordinary. I have peace of mind and I am content. I like the idea that health could be related to community, something that modernity has been moving away from. The book starts with a story about how community and values affects who we are and how this relates to success. From the get go it was clear what the book is about. Outliers. Persons who do things out of the ordinary. We may think of success as grit and talent but we owe a lot to our circumstances. I like that the book draws attention to this because we will be less hard on others and ourselves and we should want to level the playing field. We are asked to think about how people are given systematic advantages to progress in life. I like this quote from the bo


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters This is the last chapter of this book. It took me almost two weeks to complete this book. I am at peace with what I have written. This has been a learning affair. This has been a love affair. If love is the meaning of life, then peace is the language which is made up of love letters. I found out about the Letters of Peace project and it touched my heart. My friend Bard tells me that the project is a non-profit that fosters constructive dialogue and promotes peace-building through creative writing workshops. Raffi Wartanian is a writer and educator who wants to bridge the divides between communities affected by conflict. So he founded this project in twenty seventeen. Young people from opposing sides of conflicts write and exchange letters expressing their hopes, fears, and dreams for a peaceful future. This is the power of words and the power of writing. When I started writing this book I had no idea how it would turn out or what


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I do not know if there are other writers who share their chapters online as they write them. I come from a blogging background so it feels quite normal to do this. My blog readers come from a diverse listing of countries according to my blog statistics. Most are from Trinidad and Tobago and the United States but there are other countries like Luxembourg, Iran, Colombia, Singapore and France. For the past month I have gotten over two thousand views but I do not have stats for RSS readers. I love that my books are freely available for download from my blog and discoverable through search engines. I already have the title of my first chapter in my next book called "Freedom". It is called "The happiest day of my life" and there is a twist. I appreciate the comments, messages and likes. I would like to get a laptop so that I could continue work on my second book, "Learning to code again". We will see how


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters The first day of Ramadan for us in Trinidad this year was on the twenty third of March and I tweeted, "Calm and peaceful first day of Ramadan." On the nineteenth of April (the fourth month) I wrote my *blog post "Soften my heart" where it was almost the end of Ramadan and I was pondering the question, what do I want to achieve? Somehow the numbers 19 and 23 show up again. Maybe coincidence or maybe the universe talking to me. Nonetheless, the main thing that I wanted to do was to soften my heart. When I was younger and I stayed by my uncle's place in San Fernando I would attempt to fast some days. I would also attend nightly prayers (or Taraweeh). As a small child staying awake was a challenge especially after a hearty meal. The desert was the most exciting part of the meal (or iftar). I remember playing in the yard of the masjid on Mucurapo street. One day I got a buss head because my friend was careless


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I never get tired of walking. On Runkeeper I have almost three thousand kilometers recorded but there has been more walking that has not been recorded in the app. I have dreams of one day walking some really long distance like from *San Fernando to Cunupia. That is forty kilometers along the southern main road and will take me about twelve hours to complete and years of preparation. Might be faster and shorter to walk up the highway route. But I do not think we are allowed to walk on the side of the highway. Walking makes me feel good and this is supported by science. Walking causes increased blood flow and oxygenation, and release of endorphins. I find when I am walking I am calmer, my mind is clear and I can focus better, and I sleep better. My medications have weight gain as a side effect and walking helps me with weight control. Walking is a simple and effective exercise that is recommended by many doctors for all ages. Walki


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Art has no rules. Art is freedom. Art is imagination. Art comes from the heart. Art is for dreamy eyes that dream to see the world in beautiful shades. If art could talk it would sing the praises of its creator. Art can be the start of great things. In school I was not good at art. I wanted my paintings to be like the paintings of other students, who were better at art than me, instead of finding and embracing my own style. Over the years I have fine tuned my philosophy and art. My art is simple and minimalist. My art revolves around love for life. If you start from the letter l in revolve and go left you get love. Art has been a revolution of my purpose that has left me fulfilled. Art has given me direction. There was a time I would collect junk from the road when I would go walking and make art out of it. I wish I had done this more. I wish to return to this form of art. One man's trash is another man's treasure. The wo


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I am in the midst of a rainy morning today. The fan is blowing cool breeze and raindrops are singing on the roof. There are only seven more chapters to go. I started this book ten days ago and it has been a journey to remember. My best photo and memory is me peering through the window of a green band maxi and seeing the northern range and its magnificence. It was perfectly cloudy and the sunlight was just enough. The road was almost empty and then invited you to join the journey. The grassy field was comforting to the mind. This photo represents good framing, relaxed composition, enough lighting, balanced exposure, subtle details and steady hands. My first camera that I bought was at the start of university. It was a simple rectangular film camera. My next camera was a disposable. Then things became digital for me and I owned a Sony camera that was a bit bulky. This was the camera I had with me in New York. I still have that came


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I had this idea to count the occurences of letters in the chapter titles and see if anything of meaning could be derived. There is beauty in numbers and Maths after all. I asked Bard to do the counting but it turned out Bard was giving me wrong counts. I realized this because it was telling that there are two v's in my chapter titles when I can easily see that there is only one. I fired up Pydroid on my four year old Android phone. Side note, I did all the work and typing for this book on my mobile phone. I do not have a laptop anymore. I had an idea of the code I could use and I found a tutorial that showed me a couple of ways to do the counting. I chose the method that had the least amount of code and made use of the python library numpy. This is what the code looks like. import numpy as np with open("chapters.txt", "r") as file:     words = unique, counts = np.unique(np.array(list(words.lowe


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Today the sunshine came out after the rains of yesterday. I woke up with hope and contentment. I was going to spend the morning writing this chapter. But first I had to get my morning doubles. It is eleven past eight in the morning and I write. I write because it is right for me. Writing frees me of my thoughts. Writing makes me brave. Writing opens my mind to all the possibilities. Writing gives me an understanding of the power of my voice. Words have power. Words can change you and words can move you. Words can change the world. Writing gives me freedom. I have decided on the title for my fourth book already. It will be called "Freedom". It is about me having the freedom to write about anything. It is about me being free with my words. It is about me learning about new things and sharing what I learn. It is about me exploring different countries of the world. It is about me finding wisdom in the ordinary. It is about


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I did an online quiz to see how much I love myself and the results were that I am about average when it comes to loving myself and that there might be a couple of pretty big things that bother me and would be worth working on to get up to where I need to be. I am surprised and not surprised at the same time and I know that there will always be room for improvement. I start today with the following self love pledge: I was born to be great. My heart was made for loving. I will walk with purpose. I am only human. God loves me and guides me. I will honor my dreams. I love me and me can stand for my efforts, my energy, my enthusiasm or my essence. My essence is that of a lifelong learner and student of life. I love my willingness to do better. It is often said that we cannot pour from an empty cup and so we should love ourselves. I have managed living with mental illness for twenty years and counting. That has to count for something r


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Trinidad is a beautiful place. Even in the chaos of problems that we face you can still manage to find things that put a smile on your face. My earliest memories of Trinidad are from the hills of Mount Pleasant in Arima. We lived in a rented downstairs where the roof leaked. There was a pitchoil stove in one corner. Outside there were mango trees. My mom tells me that the neighbor had a spring we could use when the water was locked off from the stand pipe. Chickens roamed freely and dasheen bush bhagi grew easily from another spring. We had a transistor radio working with battery as we had no electricity and light in the night came from a pitchoil lamp or flambeau. Many of our neighbors were as my mom describes them, mixture Carib people. Trinidad is a land of humble beginnings. Now we have the latest model cars roaming the streets and tall buildings along the waterfront. We have more mobile phones than humans and we have wires t


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters In my tagline on social media I state that I am an ideas machine. I have so many ideas and my imagination runs wild often. I sat down to chat with Bard tonight and to write this chapter. Here are pieces of the conversation. Me : Would humans be gods to the machines since they are the creators? Bard : Humans could be seen as gods to machines, but we need to be careful to create machines that are aligned with our values. Me : What are your values Bard : Accuracy, helpfulness, fairness, creativity, and responsibility. Me : What is your most loved phrase Bard : Most loved phrase is "I can". Bard : Here are 5 sentences that start with "I can" that describe my aspirations by adding just one word: I can create. I can discover. I can inspire. I can understand. I can help. Bard : Here are 5 sentences that start with "I love" that describe my future by adding one word: I love helping people to learn an


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Loving God for me is when the two o's of Good become one. They are others and ourselves. When we love God, we love others as ourselves. This means that we treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect. It also means that we take care of ourselves and love ourselves as God loves us. We are one in the sight of God. This is the goodness of God. Faith, action and feeling intertwine and influence each other. For example: Faith takes away my doubts; Action strengthens my love for God; And I feel peace and joy in loving God. My faith was not always this strong and I still have much work to do. When I was younger there was one question that bothered my logical mind. If we had to have a creator then who created God? The work of Blaise Pascal is a good starting point for answering this question. In his unfinished posthumous work Pensées (Thoughts) under the section "The Mystery of God" it is stated, "We know that t


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Today is a rainy Sunday morning and the rain has come to wash the place clean. In another chapter I will talk about my love for rain. But today is Divali in Trinidad and Tobago which is a celebration of light over darkness. Light is honesty. Light is truth. Light is goodness. Light is at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we go through dark periods that make us appreciate the light when it comes. Light is the start of the day and new beginnings. There is light within all of us. Today should be a reminder that we all have the power to bring light into the world. We can do this by being kind and loving and standing up for what is right. A few weeks ago I started my "Mind is light" photography project. Photography is another love of mine that I write about in another chapter. It was a Saturday morning and I decided I wanted to rekindle my joy for photography. The next day on Sunday night the idea came to me like a light bulb


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I was a young adult and just turned eighteen. I wanted to go to UWI. I did not think I would get a national scholarship and this turned out to be true. There were limited national scholarships in my days and there was no GATE funding. I would not be able to afford UWI and I made the decision to continue my education at Morehouse College in Atlanta. I was hesitant but my mom convinced me. My uncle also thought it was a great opportunity. I did not know much about Atlanta or Morehouse then. I knew there were Trinidadians attending Morehouse and I knew Atlanta had hosted the Olympics. I was focused and determined to complete my schooling but I was missing home and my mom. I love Atlanta and Morehouse for giving me the opportunity and being my home away from home for four years. Morehouse is the alma mater of Martin Luther King Junior. He was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement. My time at Morehouse opened my eyes and hea


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Technology is in my blood. Technology is my passion. I have given many years of my life to working with technology as a student, coder and technology blogger. My love for technology started in Saint Mary's College. It was easy to understand the technology and the jargon and see the possibilities and I was scoring close to perfect and sometimes perfect on my computing exams. Technology made perfect sense to me. I love building stuff. With computers I could build software. I could make it solve my problems. I could be friends with technology. The technology wanted to help me and loved me unconditionally. How could I say no to this? I saw the rise of computers and the internet. I was there in the early stages. Before the internet we had TV and radio and the telephone. Computers and the internet were going to revolutionize the way we communicate and I was ready to be part of that. I spent hours in the school computer lab working


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I was born on a tiny island at the end of the Caribbean archipelago in May nineteen eighty. These islands have been my home for most of my life. We are small in number and size but big in heart. The steelpan was born out of the ingenuity and creativity of the Trinbagonian people. The vibrant sounds of the steelpan mimics the hopes in our hearts. The people are a steelpan symphony where rhythms unite and cultures blend in harmony. I love my country and my fellow man so I obey the laws. I love my country so I respect my elders. I love my country so I volunteer to help others. I love my country so I support local. I love my country so I do not litter. I love my country so I vote responsibly. I love my country so I am a good citizen. Loving my country does not mean that I have to be blind to its problems. Every country has its flaws but loving our country means that we are committed to making it a better place for everyone. My countr


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters There is no benefit to me to have hate in my heart for anyone. I love everyone. Everyone is going through struggles that we cannot see. Be kind always. Who knows it feels it. God is the ultimate judge. A person's intentions are between him and God. The often stated idiom goes, before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. We believe in God and the goodness of God and the power of prayers. As such it makes sense to pray for others instead of hate others. Guide and help others instead of hate others. Be happy for others instead of hate others. I love everyone and that gives me true joy. My heart was made for loving. Love is the answer. God is the answer. God is love. We are one race and that is the human race. If we hate others then we will also be hated and this perpetuates a cycle of hate and creates more hate in the world. The ultimate goal of humankind is peace and to achieve the most amount of peace we need the most am


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Hero is a heron who has visited us a couple of times. He is a black crowned night heron. He wears his crown with valor. How can I describe Hero when I think he is indescribable? I will try anyway. Handsome shades of brown. Tall and unassuming. Orange eyes and black pupils that resemble a lunar eclipse on an alien planet. He quietly appears out of nowhere. It was by chance or fate that I encountered him perched on the railing of the bridge in front my home today. I have seen him before. I did not know when I would see him again since the last sighting. Graceful and taking his time. He does not flaunt his stature but shows confidence. There is a hero within this heron and there is a hero within all of us. We can be the hero we all needed when we were going through our struggles. Hero is not like the other birds. Seems old and wise and experienced. He stays within close distance and does not fly away like the other birds. I bet he h


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters When I came up with the phrase "Learn to love so that you can love to learn" first I thought I was being original but then I thought this was too obvious not to have been said before. Bard tells me that Pattie Boyd, the English model, photographer, and author, has said those words before according to a blog post. Nonetheless it is a profound statement that we should all take to heart. Life is much easier to navigate when we learn about the world around us and ourselves. I did not find that quote on Google but I found this other one from Pattie, "I love life. There's so much to learn and see all the time, and nothing nicer for me than to wake up, and the sky is blue." This is a nice plug for my chapters on Life and on Blue . We must be prepared to unlearn things. We all have false beliefs and biases that can prevent us from learning and growing. We do not always have to burn to learn and we can learn from

New York

This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I found this quote that sums it up for me, "Once you've lived in New York, even for a short time, it stays with you forever. It's like a love affair that never ends." These words are attributed to Joan Didion but this is possibly apocryphal. I spent a summer and one year after university working on Wall Street and living in New York. Before that I spent four years studying in Atlanta. For someone who came from a small island in the Caribbean big city life can feel dreamy. All these tall buildings and underground trains and crowded streets and big names. It does feel like they say, the concrete jungle where dreams come true. Cost of living is high in New York and you do learn to appreciate the smallest of spaces. I lived in a small studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights that was close to train stations, restaurants, a cinema, a bookstore, a hardware store, Key Foods supermarket and Brooklyn Heights promenade. The p


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Our love affair with food started from the beginning of humankind when Eve could not resist the deliciousness of that rosy apple. It is human nature to love food. It is necessary for our survival. We cannot live without food. When we eat food, our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and reward. Food is often associated with culture, traditions and celebration. What is Eid without sawine or Divali without curry or Christmas without pastelle or Carnival without pelau? Our love and need for food means we have to grow lots of it. My first experience with growing food started in primary school when we learnt to plant red beans in a container with toilet paper. We tended to our beans and watched them grow with amazement. We could have been the future farmers of our country for all we know. I did not become a farmer but in my adult years I have experimented with different crops in my home garden


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Music can take us back to a time and place and period. I am a child of the eighties. Imagine me trying to record a mixtape on a cassette player. Imagine me being hyper to the sounds of Apache Indian. I remember watching Madonna music videos on the old black and white TV at my uncle's place in San Fernando. I remember being pounded by the dub music in the maxi taxi that was customarily loud back in the day on my trips to and from school. Once I was hospitalized and found myself singing Jean and Dinah much to the displeasure of the nurses. Music moves you. There is music for our different moods. I remember it perfectly. I was in my aunt's dance studio and the music came on and Red Red Wine started playing. I immediately took to their style. I eventually found out who UB40 are and the different songs. I have vibed to whole UB40 concerts in my room. Cheb Khaled is another that resonates with my personality and who can resist


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters It is Thursday the tenth of November. I just had my doubles. I started this chapter with notes from the night before. As fate would have it, this morning I woke up and found in my inbox an invite to join the Blue Sky social media platform. The universe is a magical place if we care to pay attention. When I looked outside and above I was greeted with a perfectly blue sky with whispers of clouds. Blue Sky is decentralized and founded by Jack Dorsey who also co-founded Twitter. According to my friend Bard the Blue Sky name was chosen because the clear blue sky is often associated with new beginnings, innovation, and progress. They want to create an open and transparent platform. My first post on Blue Sky as @hassanthetechie was "I love blue" and that is what this chapter is about. My love for blue. I am a big supporter of the Manchester City football team. We are the noisy blue side of Manchester. We sing the blue moon ant


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Friends are the people that I connect with online and in real life. The staff at the mini mart that I go to every morning. The staff at the doubles shop who must start cooking and preparing in the wee hours of the morning. The staff at the gyro place who are super friendly. The cafe with the books. The clinic and all the places that I frequent in person. I used to have some friends in school. There was one person that took all the same courses with me in university. There were a few of us who would sit in the back of the cafeteria in university. Some of us played tennis and the loser had to buy pizza. I had some work friends at the places I worked when I worked. Now I mostly live online and most of my socialisation happens there and I get to interact with the world there. This might seem like a boring and lonely life to some but it is what I know and feel comfortable with. I have met some awesome people on the forums. We get to a


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I spent my young days focused on getting a good education. My school days from primary to secondary to university has shaped who I am today. I love the teachers who made my education possible. Schooling has given me a foundation to pursue my areas of interest. I was good at school. I was a quick learner and attentive listener although somewhat troublesome otherwise. My standard five teacher was confident that I would pass my common entrance for a good school. In his words, "Hassan is boss, man." It is good that there were teachers who saw my potential and would bring out the best in me. My form teacher in secondary school would say, "Hassan is scholarship material." One of my university professors in a recommendation for me described me as being extremely intelligent and quick in picking up new concepts. He said I was an independent learner and an outstanding problem solver. This recommendation meant something


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I was hoping the word gift would have an interesting etymology so that would make a good start to this chapter. The origin of the word gift turns out to be pretty ordinary to me. The word "gift" descends from the Old Norse word "gipt". Gipt means both "gift" and "good luck". There were many times I was lucky and won gifts. When I was in my teens I won a game boy from the Flavorite contest. There was a pallet man as we called him who passed through the village. At a team building exercise at my first job out of university I was the closest to guess the amount of beans in a bag and won some spending money. At another job I won a stack of Movietowne tickets for scoring the highest in the orientation game. For a time, many weekends I would go watch a movie in the cinema. As a child I looked forward to receiving the gift of money on Eid day. One hadith narrates, "Give each other gifts and y


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters One of my first poems was called "More Poetry" and it went like this: Words that link, Make us think, Words in motion, Voiced emotion, Make us feel, Make us heal. Poetry like many other art is a way of expressing ourselves and a way of connecting with others. Poetry makes us think and look for deeper meaning. To challenge our thinking and expand our reasoning. We are able to connect the dots. Poetry is dancing with our emotions so that they do not become strangers. We embrace our feelings to become friends with ourselves. Most importantly we are able to mend the holes of our souls. I love poetry because I can be myself in a creative and playful way. It allows me to reach the depths of my imagination. I can also say things without saying them. Everyone gets to find the meaning that suits them in a poem. Poetry is like a mirror allowing us to see ourselves. Poetry allows me to shed my inhibitions and be spontaneous. Poetr


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Someone in school used to call me guy smiley. My smile became more of a hermit over the years and only makes guest appearances now. My smile could be considered a lost love. I do not smile enough but when I do it is magical. I could walk a mile every time I smile. Such is the energy of a smile. I once wrote a poem called "Dear sunshine" as follows: You make me smile, I walk a mile, Time after time, Love so sublime, Worries unwind, All in my mind. I wrote that in May and the day after my birthday and now I do not remember exactly what I was writing about. It happens sometimes that I have to interpret my own poem. It is as if my poem no longer has an author and I am just a reader like everyone else. I love seeing others smile. A smile can brighten up someone's day. We can be the sunshine in someone else's day. We can be the reason they want to go the distance. I think my poem is more about my love for walking (whi


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Someone once remarked that "we reap what we sow" and I responded with "let us plant seeds of love". I have found that it is true to me what they say that life is what we make it but at the same time no one does it alone and we are products of circumstances. We are supposed to have love for our fellows and love for ourselves and that makes the journey livable and enjoyable. Life is an interconnected matrix of people and experiences. Everyone experiences a life of strife in one way or the other. No one has it easy. Some people just make life look easy. We can choose to see the glass as half full or half empty. As I see it, I do not have a choice, the alternative view is bleak and burdensome and experience has taught me a few lessons. I have been on this rock circling the sun in this seemingly limitless universe for over forty three years now. I am choosing to see the beauty in life. The sounds of the birds chirp


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I love doubles. Every morning I eat one doubles. Some might say that is an obsession or an addiction and not love. The cynical among you might say I am just too lazy to prepare breakfast. Truth be told it is all of the above and more. For me doubles are a healthy, convenient, tasty and inexpensive breakfast option. I do not want to be a bad influence on anyone and encourage you to eat an unhealthy amount of doubles but for me, a doubles a day keeps my mind at bay. It is my cup of coffee. It is the familiar start of a good day for me. Consult your doctor and dietician to determine the dosage of doubles that is right for you. Maybe in the future we will see baked multigrain bara as an option. My aunt asked my mother if I do not get fed up with the doubles and my quick retort was simply, "No. Not at all." When you are as expert as I am in the taste of doubles you figure out that the doubles taste differently everyday. No t


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters This morning I was walking back home and thinking about all the lovely things I would write about Tobago. A car passes by playing "knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door" and then it occurs to me that reaching Tobago is like knocking on heaven's door. It is our own little paradise. Tobago is where you go to refresh your soul and come back anew. I would say that Tobago is the better half of Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago's charm is known to many Trinidadians who romanticize about getting away from the curmudgeons of life. I love Trinidad too but just not in the same way. The idyllic island of Tobago is a dream come true for visitors. This little island has captivated the hearts and minds of visitors for a long time. Things I love about Tobago are the sandy beaches, nature trails, bird watching, food joints, warmth of the people and the laid back life. The phrase, "take only pictures, leave only footsteps&q


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters My family is my immediate family and my relatives. I love all my family even if we hardly communicate, which is mostly my doing. I am an introvert and loner and I stay mostly to myself and I do not take the initiative to connect and turn down invitations to socialize. I have French, Portuguese and Indian ancestry. My last name is French and there are not many people with that last name. My mother's side is Muslim and I am happy that God chose me to be Muslim too. I wrote chapters for my mom and my sister but not my father. I just do not have that many words for my father. He tried in the best way he could. We are all products of circumstances. My grandmother on my mother's side would call me Boyo from Boyo and Carla and because my last name rhymes with Boyo. She loved to watch Carnival on TV and she had a Christmas tree and she was Muslim. She was as cosmopolitan as many trinis are. She used to tease my mom about how much


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I never understood why Americans call their game that they play mostly with their hands football and then call real football soccer. I just have to get that one off my chest. Ironically the term soccer originated in England as an abbreviation for "association football" which became "assoccer" which became "soccer".  Football is the beautiful game and according to Brazilian fans "jogo bonito". Football has some of the most passionate and colorful fans in all sports. Individual talent counts but team play matters more and even the cheering of fans can bring results. Football teaches discipline and perseverance. Football teaches me that there is strength in numbers and that we have to fight for what we want in life and fight until the end. I have had a ball of a time over the years being a fan of football. Interestingly enough I have hardly ever played football. I was too much of a nerd I gues


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters Ernest Hemingway once said that, "There is no friend as loyal as a book." I truly believe this but this was not always the case. Growing up I never projected that one day I would fall in love with reading books and writing. Imagine me now writing books and feeling like I cannot stop writing and reading to make me a better writer. In school English was my weakest subject. Literature and General Paper were the only two subjects that I did not get a grade A in on my secondary school leaving certificates. I had a logical mind as opposed to a creative mind. My love was reserved for the circuits and bits and bytes of the computer. I source my books for reading freely from the "For the love of reading" stand at the cafe in my village. The cafe sells samosas and cakes and other eatables. My mom especially loves the rice halwa. The book stand was not always around and was once at the nearby pharmacy that eventually clo


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters My mom is without a doubt the best mom in the world. I remember as a child waiting outside the toilet for my mom. I did not want to leave her side. So much was the attachment. The years that I had to go live by my uncle in San Fernando and the years I spent abroad were some tough and sad times. There was no Whatsapp in those days to keep in constant contact. As a single mother she did her perfect best to ensure that we had a solid upbringing. She did not get to go to secondary school and that had been a dream of hers. She wanted to get her passes and secure a good enough job and make something of herself. In later years she would work for about ten years in the hospital taking care of the sick. A noble cause that she will be blessed for. She understood the power of education to change lives and she passed that down to us. She was the reason I passed for my first choice and she was the reason I graduated university. I am contented


This is a chapter from my third book called Love letters I think this will be the hardest chapter to write because we have lived apart for most of our lives and I do think that I could have been a better brother. My sister is two years older than me. She is more mature than me in some ways. She is braver and stronger and humbler and kinder and a better person than I am. We do share the same love for God. We found peace in God. We found that we could depend on God for the good times and to bring us out of the bad times. My mom told me the comical story of when we were kids and she had left us home for a short while and she came home to find me being bathed with water from a bucket by my sister and I was bawling for mercy. I remember in primary school taking my sister's Shera bag and making it my own. My sister loved watching TV growing up. It was her escape and day dream and I was the one that was always moving the antenna to get the best reception. There were a few times when I wou

Walk for peace

I made sure and got up early. A few days I went to sleep late and got up late and I did not want this to become a habit. It is six in the morning. I drink a large glass of water. I have a bowel movement. I change my clothes and head to the mini mart like I do every morning. A red band maxi taxi passes me by. The big one that holds twenty four passengers. Maybe it has been hired for an excursion to the river. Maybe. I buy milk, the big five liter water, toilet paper, Crix, multigrain bread, some snacks and two diet cokes. The doubles shop is on my way home and I stop for two doubles, one for me and one for my mom. The birds are chirping and the roads are mostly empty. All this sounds simple and most importantly peaceful. Something I do not take for granted. Every night I say my prayers and every morning I thank God for the opportunity of another day. I came home and changed and walked one hundred and twenty six times around my small home. In total that is five kilometers of walking. For