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Tuesday, June 22, 2021


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Kirubai Brian
Learning, unlearning, relearning bkirubai@jujamaica.com

Music has this ability to reveal a man’s true nature. Show me your playlist and I’ll tell you who you are. Bumping into my sixty-year-old neighbor listening to classics; a faint attempt to move his body in sync. I’m sure in his mind he is executing it perfectly but it also seems like he is having a minor seizure, all a matter of perspective I guess. He wears this warm smile as he dances that portrays to some extent a sense of vulnerability in him. The vulnerability of memory with a side dish of hindsight bias.

Classics remind me of the old days, they take me back to the grass-filled fields where we played as children. Our major concerns in life being in anticipation of the chores ahead or how I am going to sneak off and play some keram. Days where holidays were holidays. We’d wake up early and prepare for the slaughter of the cow. I’d be full of sympathy as father would slit its throat wide open in one slash as I held the calabash to its neck and harvested its blood. Blood we’d later cook and eat with some traditional dish. Nothing personal to the cows of course but looking back they did make a good accompaniment to Mama’s famous fried rice. Yet to find her a challenger.

This particular lyric takes me back to the time I had my first love. I was unstoppable, king of the world but apparently the king of the world was no match for the class prefect. I remember finding the ‘love of my life’ in his arms behind the washrooms and feeling like my world had ended. Surprise, they got married and have kids all grown up. I guess it was I who was in the wrong place, matter of perspective I guess.

“Papa said don’t you worry, yeah yeah…” takes me to when I first held my son Junior. This is the only feeling that can beat falling in love. Tried and tested. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything but I did right as a father by him. Helped shape the man he has become and I hope he does right by his own too. That is a father’s greatest joy.

There’s this kid neighbor who keeps staring at me as I’m dancing. I’m sure he is wondering what on earth I’m doing, he probably thinks I’m having a seizure but back in the day these were the moves for the grooves. All a matter of perspective.

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