Tuesday, July 01, 2008

To Durban... Thank You!

Lunar Blu is by far the best pizza ever on the shores of Durban. Of course, there’s a whole shoal of other such wonders lining the trendy spaces of this vibrant coastal city; but then there’s also smatterings of art galleries, craft places, viewpoints, malls and yes, even people. Essenwood fleamarket is a delight. Kizo is my favourite gallery from the scant few I have had the pleasure to visit. And Whilsons Warf tops my list of places with good ambience. And so, I will leave this place of many wonders with a smile on my face and little thoughts of farewell… because I can now say that Durban feels a bit like home, since home is wherever little bits of the heart have been left scattered somewhat. Here, in as few words as I can muster, is my vote of thanks:

(Words are insufficient as it is…and it terrifies me that I might forget a name; but the wealth of gratitude is multi-dimensioned as the people who have carried me along this journey.)

To my Aunt, for being a pillar of maternal beauty and strength;
To my Uncle for being her smiling collaborator..
To Abdur Rahim for being an erstwhile bodyguard
To Hishaam for being a bundle of fun and my partner in many criminal endeavours…and for bouncing into my office every once in while with a huge hug and an elaborate smile.
To Fati… for being a sea of love; and to my gran for being so much more.

To Lubna Nadvi for teaching me the values of keeping your head about you when everythings chaos and havoc; and for showing me with great skill, what ‘fun’ really means! To Sultan, for being a king of a big brother figure. By the way, I did the bunny chow thing, finally.
To Sana Ebrahim for being a source of powerful innocence in making sense of life.
To Niel, Rob, Vanessa and all at UKZN’s department of Sociology for making my working life memorable. To Azad, Aisha, Bianca, Nadine and Nomkosi at IOLS-Research for 'challenging' me and for allowing me a seat on the joyride. And for being so tolerant of my tourist antics! And again to Azad, for reminding me, inadvertently, that life is free.
To Shabashni, for inspiration! And for the soul-to-souls that have enthused in me a thirst for better things.. And for holding up the mirror for me as I ranted and raved. And for sometimes being that mirror!
To Mala and the guards at the entrance to the University who find the time to chat to me every so often as they go about their work. I hope you lot will let me in with prospects of good parking when I visit without a staff disc!
To my eccentric ‘grandfather’ Champak Soni, for being a barrel of laughs and a wonderful agent of choice, for believing in me, and for sharing me with your extensive underworld! The family tie goes back before my mom was born, and so I am grateful to inherit the benefits of such love.
To Uncle Aziz, for humouring the demands of your childhood friend, and for believing I am capable of grand things.
To Humza D, for scouting the city for my car every so often and making me feel like I had a ‘Brother’ watching me :P
To Pick-n-Pay Hyper by the Sea for making postal service sweet and simple, and for allowing me to return your brand of weird stuff everytime we made the mistake of buying it. And for regular supplies of TimTams!
To Aneesa @ AMS for the invigorating chats and facials.
To MJ and Seraj, the Voices; and the rest of the peeps at Al-Ansaar for thinking of me as some sort of celebrity.
To Shubnum K for visiting me and adding a spark to my day with your inspired notes regards writing, life, etc.
To Qdee. For being sweet.
To Rae, for the colourful welcome.
To Megan Kleyn for reminding me what free-spiritedness entails.
To Prof Wade at Media, for looking so very inspired as I chatted about this and that.
To Prof Meer, for chiding me for not challenging my mind beyond my assumptions.
To Cedric and the team at Adams for celebrated bookish things and keeping me in the loop.
To Robin Banks and team for the painful exercises at enriching the mind, and for teaching me to acknowledge the power of thoughts.
To Sonu Nigam and Himesh R for visiting Durban.
To cousin Mo for being a first time bunny chow adventurer with me.
To Aunty Luthfiya and the ladies at La Lucia bookclub for being such stars!

To the stars that remind me, always, from when I was too little to think too much nonsense, that wherever I am in the world, I am always under the same umbrella of enthusiasm. And to the ocean, for whispering to me in its every movement, that real love is as endless as the drops that flow through its being. All it takes is believing and being.

To Durban. For being a beautiful medley of life.

And to the Almighty Allah, for endless Mercy, and for the flaming torches of inspiration and the fragrant joys that accompany me on my path.

Oh, and again to Durbs. For planting one souvenir accent into me. I think that got twisted somewhere. Sigh. I like the way the French say it: Au revoir… Until we meet again…