Three weeks into the New Year and there had been no visible signs of winter.

The nip was somehow missing and I thought that perhaps it had slipped by. A case of the nip slip, what? And then Zeus, the God of Rain in Greek mythology and Lord Indra, the God of Rain in Hindu mythology, joined hands and decided to slip in the nip and…how!

Talk about turning tables…from the clear blue skies to them turning fifty shades of grey (oh ok, if not fifty then at least three distinct shades!) and then opening up their bosom to let the rains come down accompanied with gusts of wind (or was it gale or perhaps squall?) howling like banshees, uprooting the trees that dared to come in its way and literally deflowering the gardens that had the temerity to bloom, while the wadis gushed down angrily, devouring whatever had the audacity to cross its path.

Am reminded of Kelly Deschler’s poem, After the Storm:

Lightning flashed, blinded my innocent, trusting eyes. Thunder ravaged my soul, and forced out my cries. Destructive winds threatened, ripped me all apart. raindrops, the tears that ever flooded my heart. dark clouds were ever-present, in turbulent air. yet, no winds could stir the flowers in my hair. No longer waiting for that storm to pass the hill. I left it behind, and walked away by my own will.

If one had walked away during the rains, no longer waiting for that storm to pass, one would have got caught by the fury of the wall of water which hurtled down the wadis or would probably still be stuck in traffic, amidst the sea of metal.

Instead, thankfully one watched from the safety of one’s balcony, the wet and the wild world go by, drenched to their bones. The storm now seems to have blown over and it appears as if the tempest was a mid winter’s night dream that somehow turned into a nightmare. And what a nightmare the past fortnight has been.

While some of you were going through the 123rd article of the TT on January 7, the Kouachi brothers were planning an attack on the offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspapers in Paris, in which 12 people were eventually killed.

Ever since the Charlie Hebdo attack, one has seen and read how everyone was showing solidarity with the “freedom of expression” and the right to publish what it considers to be right, and everyone is proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie.”

While my heart goes out to the victims and their families and like rest of the world one denounces the senseless and dastardly attack, I, however proclaim, “Je Suis Charlie Brown!” or “I am NOT Charlie Hebdo but Charlie Brown!”

Essentially, because I am brown and like my cartoon character, I am wondering why everyone is not also denouncing as vociferously, the massacre by Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgent group otherwise known as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which killed as many as 2,000 people in the northeastern town of Baga on January 3.

As per CNN, “The attacks of the past few weeks – Boko Haram’s biggest ever in terms of casualties on Baga, and on markets using children to detonate devices… are not new – they are an intensification, a next step in a crisis which has steadily worsened since Boko Haram’s 2010 re-emergence. “And they raise a number of questions about the trajectory of the insurgency and the response to it.”

Boko Haram (which literally means “Books are Haram” but imply that Western education is anathema for the group) kills because it can, and because it’s likely that those who are not core loyalists or ideologues are expendable resources for the movement.

“The international community could do more to speak with one voice and coordinate better amongst itself to galvanize further and faster action in Nigeria” and yes, Je Suis Charlie Brown! Got carried away, didn’t I? But then, these double standards always rile me up. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and you cannot tell me that it’s alright for you to use ketchup with your fries but the others have to use Tobasco!!!! And before I sign off, a few random thoughts:

Do you know that you should never miss a good chance to shut up?

Do you know you should always smile? It’s the second best thing you can do with your lips!

Do you know that a chameleon which does not change colours has a reptile dysfunction?

Till next fortnight…meanwhile, welcome Hemant to our side of the hill with your 60th, and welcome Soma and Dr Alok Roy to our side of the ocean with your visit to our Paradise!

SOURCE: Muscat Daily