Blog Getting Personal

Filling the gaps of time with happiness

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” Robert Frost

“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.” Helen Keller

Happiness is no certainty. There are people who wait at life’s station expectantly only to one day learn that happiness takes another route. And yet simple forms of happiness do exist. Bringing joy to others must rate as one of the easiest ways to be fulfilled in one’s self. There’s a certain form of happiness, a basic satisfaction that can be deduced from making others happy. The craving to be appreciated is, I think, one of the most understated of human inclinations but beyond what pleasing others may earn one the act of making happy alone is a unique form of happiness. Then there’s the happiness of self, the single-minded pursuit of things the way we’d like them to be. The problem lies in the very real possibility of the grand monarchy-in-the-head being just that, nothing more than a highly convoluted idea- you may never find the world to play according to your standards, and certainly the older you grow there’s a rapidly dwindling chance of the world being more malleable. And other times the twin possibilities of happiness exist in conflict. Choosing the future happiness of others above one’s own supposedly-future happiness pits self against others. There is no doubt that the over-emphasis of the individual has led such a vast percentage of Western society to claim abject loneliness. I don’t want to fall into the group of people who take up yoga because they crave human contact. But I don’t want to give up too big a chunk of me either.

“Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.” Russel Baker

Have you ever been woken by the sound of a ticking clock? And not just a single clock a chorus of clocks ticking away furiously; cruelly refusing sleep. And listening to the cacophony of time running away ; I’m reminded that the Creator has made our bodies vessels with which to mark time. Our hair, our nails, as soon as we become negligent of time they are the first to let us know that time’s course is indeed charted.

So where to, Darling?

Satellite navigation will take you as far as Darling-but there’s no telling if happiness is safely ensconced there. Happiness is too filmy, too transient and altogether too selfishly driven to occupy the prime real estate as a whole life’s objective. So we mask it over. We call what we seek contentment. Contentment concedes happiness to be fleeting and flimsy. It proposes instead a state wedged loftily above unadulterated joy; a state that pre-disposes you to happiness and melancholy alike. If contentment was a place it would be a room where triumphs, simple joys, moments of bliss and ample reminders of His blessings are bolted to the walls; and through this room’s window is the rest of the world experienced.

Blog Getting Personal

LIFE be not proud.

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne

All roads lead to Johannesburg. Rome had its day and the other half have their helipads. It’s Johannesburg that’s captured the direction of the physically mobile; the gridlocked will bear testimony. Roads from Johannesburg are altogether another matter, why they exist is the bane of all philosophy. The road to Vereeniging, for instance, stretches interminably long. Frustratingly so. It’s not the type of road given to inspire a need to press forward exhilaratingly. Instead, it juts out from underneath the car, mile after mile, inspiring a fierce rhetoric against purpose and direction, “Why am I here?”, is the adult gloss of, “Are we there yet?”Just a few metres ahead of the board boldly pointing the way to Roshnee, a place of darkness if ever there was, a patch of land has been ravaged by a veld fire. The pine trees and bushes fencing that land have been exorcised, exposing a cemetery, lonely in all its overcrowding. The stark, blunt reality of a cemetery, on a road to Nowhere Slowly is roughly jolting. At first glance, from a moving car, it seems some boor chose to dump a truck’s fill of litter on the graves. The desecration is about to incite an indictment on society until another look proves the colour not to be Coca Cola red; but rather deep carnation red. The flowers on the graves, their colour, seem altogether out of place between the grimness of death and the black remnants of the fire.



It’s life that should not be proud. There’s little sense in fencing away death.


Blog Getting Personal

On being a spoke in the third wheel – A clarification

This was not meant to be an exercise

in self pity, nor even a window into any piteous state I may be in. But I’ve received some concerned feedback so I’d best clarify what my thinking was. And because I’m lazy, it is a Saturday night after all; I’m copy-pasting my elucidation to Kimya:


ur spoke in the wheel post is sad
u ok?

you’re the second person to ask me that
i must clarify
it’s meant to be a metaphor for growing up, independance, standing on two feet without a supporting wheel….



means balance has been perfcected

but is it really, sometimes dont you feel like you could do with that extra wheel, to be carefree…

but extra wheels can slow u down

very very true
i din’t think about that

like a crutch
dnt get too used to it


at some pt, kno to let it go

And from Lady Kim, words from the Mevlana to put it all in perspective: “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”

That’s all for tonight folks, tune in next time for more off-the-cuff entertainment from the life and wiles of the distant planet that is Khadija.

Okay, that was vain but au revoir mes amis.


Blog Getting Personal

Ten Things I’d like my unborn child(ren) to know


I come from a family who regard reading just one newspaper a day an affront to literacy. Granddad reads three, or four on weekdays and up to six on Sundays. My mother becomes irritable if her subscriptions are delivered after the crack of dawn. When I was a baby of just a few days old, my grandfather took it upon himself to read the newspaper to me, so says my uncle. It’s something of a family tradition this reading business. I get the headlines peppered to me all day on Twitter which allows me to sound well versed in the wiles of the world, but the reality is I’ve been reading less, less frequently.

I’m eagerly seeking a remedy to my ADDHD ways, starting with an attempt at regaining some semblance of my old self, especially that self’s concentration levels. I took up an old habit of reading the Sunday papers with Monday breakfast. I particularly enjoyed the Mother’s Day feature in the Sunday Times Lifestyle, seven writers shared tips we should all give our children before they enter the world.

I enjoyed it so much, I’ve decided to make a list of ten things I’d like my unborn child(ren) to know:

  1. Life is hard.
  2. Money is the root of all evil and should therefore be dispensed with liberally, preferably in the acquisition of material happiness.
  3. Happiness that is the result of material acquisition is transient.
  4. Travel as often and as far as your purse and legs can take you.
  5. Always be humble enough to learn. Your greatest lesson may be taught to you by a potato farmer in the deepest Free State.
  6. Do not compromise yourself in an attempt to be well liked. You will find people who like you as you are, no matter how dotty you are initially perceived.
  7. Political boundaries are to be challenged, not passively accepted.
  8. The apostrophe is not a plural marker.
  9. The greatest contentment you will feel is in prostration to your Creator.
  10. When you’re climbing your personal Everest, don’t look up and despair at how far off the summit is; look down to see how high you’ve already climbed.

Aasia, Waseem, Shafinaaz and Antonio – what would you impart to your unborn spawn?