22 June 2007

searching for role models - a woman of the village

My friend, who was my classmate in the grade school and who is now an accomplished writer wrote this piece: "...on one unusually calm dawn (a woman of the village), had gone out to the open bamboo platform of her stilt house to wash herself for the dawn prayer. She looked out to the sea and saw a giant tidal wave, like a glistening snake rolling across the horizon, approach the seaside village. Murmuring some prayers, she bent over to pick up a brittle stick, held it up at both ends, and broke the stick into halves. Before the giant seawall could reach the village, it parted and collapsed under the weight of dawn".

The story is one of magic and mystery but gives a powerful image of Faith in Allah. Will my daughter be mesmerized with this woman of the village as I was?

21 June 2007

searching for role models - Scheherazade

Perhaps, not many of us have heard of Scheherazade who was the daughter of the Grand Vizier (Chief Minister) to Sultan Shahriyar, who for three years had taken a bride each day only to be killed the next day. The killings were done out of revenge to his Queen who had betrayed him. One day, Scheherazade told her father that she wanted to marry the Sultan. Her father was horrified but eventually yielded. With the connivance of her sister, Dinazad, she survived each day by telling the Sultan tales up to their most interesting point but would suspend the finale for the next day. These tales were eventually called the 'Arabian Nights'. Scheherazade's stories were told in a span of 'one thousand and one nights'. Finally, the Sultan convinced of her greatness spared her the gallows. It has been said that by telling her stories, Scheherazade saved herself, her people and also the Sultan from becoming a monster.

Scheherazade might prove to be a controversial role model, but she imparts a powerful image difficult to ignore.

20 June 2007

spiritual golf

Today, after eleven years (my daughter's age) I played golf with my husband. I have forgotten how I enjoyed playing this game. To completely recapture this almost forgotten bliss, I searched my diaries and found this entry which I wrote on 18th August 1994: "Friday mornings are for spiritual golf, and more mystical is that Friday mornings are spent with my husband. A smile from him is all what I need for the days ahead."

05 June 2007

searching for role models

Excerpts from my diaries (Dec. 2000)
My four year old daughter is easily entranced by those Disney heroines. At this age, she gullibly takes it all - the antics, the magic and the charmed lives of Mulan, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle and Ariel. These characters are her role models at the moment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with them if one views them as they are, except that I worry a bit about the cultural and racial impact they have on a very young mind. Besides, Disney has been accused of distorting history as in the cases of Mulan and Pocahontas. It would have been ideal if my dear daughter had an inspiration from women in our own culture.

01 June 2007

from the babe's mouth

My daughter at the age of six when asked to switch off the lamp light:
"Mummy, do I look like Cinderella to you". "You're giving me tasks".