Perfett, Eżatt u Preċiż

Domt kważi sagħtejn infittex par ingwanti tas-suf.l Ridthom kbar u bojod, sempliċi u bla tiżjin. Ħassejtni qisni qed infittex id-duwa tal-Maddalena. Tal-ħwienet kellhom tal-ġilda, tal-ħarir, tad-drapp, roża, suwed, bil-fjuri, bl-antaċċjoli u tal-bizzilla. “Ara dawn! Dawn sbieħ ukoll, Sinjura…il-Ħajta ħoxna u l-bizzilla folta hafna, kważi kważi perfetti kif tridhom int…”

Imma ma kienux – għax jien ridthom tas-suf, kbar, u bojod, sempliċi u bla tiżjin.

F’wieħed mill-ħwienet li żort, in-naħa ta’ ġewwa, kien hemm tfajla tillima difrejha. “Idħol”, għajtitli, b’ħanġra daqshiex.

Plaqq! Ħoss kważi ta’ terrimot. Ħarist warajja biex nara kienx hemm xi trakk li tela’ fuq xi tappiera u sfrondha. “Għedtlek idħol!” reġgħet werżqet. Plaqq oħra. It-tfajla ġiet tiġri għax indunat li ma kenitx tellgħet ix-shutter biżżejjed, u l-kienet qed tieħu skoss mal-bieba tal-ħġieġ kull darba li tasal kważi eżatt fuqnett.  

Cyntha ħxienet. Billi n-neputija stednitha biex tkunilha xhud fit-tieġ, qalet bejnha u bejn ruħha li aħjar tixtri libsa ġdida, biex toħrġ ta’ nies. Mela, għogbitha waħda pistaċċa; imma ż-żipp ta’ wara ma kienx jitla’ sa fuq. Jasal sar-rombli, u jeħel, bħax-shutter tal-ħanut.

“Tibżax,” qaltilha sidt il-ħanut. “Hekk jew hekk, ikollok il-ġakketta, u biha tgħatti kollox, u tkun tidher perfetta.” “U mela, żgur; l-iżjed meta nkun dari lejn il-bqija tal-kongregazzjoni, fl-ewwel bankijiet tal-knisja. Ħallini minnek, tridx.” Libset u telqet ‘il hinn.

Pauline rat ġakketta fl-armatura tal-ħanut. Daħlet biex tippruvaha, iżda l-kmiem ġewha qsar. Il-ġuvni li kien qed jaqdiha taha sew x’tifhem li kien ħa biċċa xogħol papali biex neħħieha minn fuq il-figorn u li jekk tħalli l-buttuna tal-pulzier miftuħa, mela allura, il-kmiem jiġu twal biżżejjed, preċiz mal-polz.

Kathleen tefgħet post fuq facebook. Staqsiet minn fejn tixtri hoover. Xi erbgħa ħelwin qabżu fuqha, u qalulha li jekk riedet vacuum cleaner, mhux bilfors kellha tkun Hoover, u jekk riedet propja Hoover, kellha tiktibha b’ittra majuskola, biex il-kliem ikun eżatt.

Tant intqal kliem vojt, li fl-aħħar Kathleen spiċċat biex neħħiet il-post. Ma qalitx jekk xtratx vacuum cleaner ta’ ditta oħra, jew Hoover.

Janice iddubbat ir-riċetta tal-mili tal-qassatat mingħand il-kunjata. Billi ma tħobbx il-kappar, ma użatux. Minflok, mat-taħlita, tefgħet ftit kapunata, u ovvjament it-togħma ma kienetx eżatt bħal tal-oriġinali. Kull min b’kumbinazzjoni daqhom it-tnejn qal li ta’ Janice ferm itjeb minn ta’ omm żewġha; u kien hemm min qal li kienu perfetti.  

Josephine u sħabha marru Tas-Sliema. F’daqqa waħda waqqfithom ħesrem u ssuġġeriet li jmorru jieħdu kafé. “Inħallas jien!” qalet. Hi qagħdet bilqegħda darha lejn il-ħajt. Meta kulħadd kien mehdi jmaxtar il-pastizzi u jsefsef fil-kafé, qamet, daret, u ddrittat l-inkwadru li kien hemm warahja, li kienet ratu mxattar minn barra l-ħanut. Ġietha għalja, imma kienet kuntenta u sodisfatta, għax issa kien preċiż invell.

Kollha kemm aħna nagħtu tifsiriet differenti l-kliem perfett, eżatt u preċiż. Aħna l-puntiljużi nsostnu li dan il-kliem ma jfissirx l-istess. Il-mili tal-qassatat, għal uħud, kien perfett iżda ma kienx eżatt bħal tal-kunjata. Il-libsa li rat Cynthia kienet tkun eżatta, skont tal-ħanut. Imma ma kienetx… U l-kmiem tal-ġakketta li xtaqet Pauline kienu jaslu preċiż sal-pulzier… kieku ħalliet il-komma miftuħa.

Il-verità hi kwalità assoluta, iżda l-prinċipji bażiċi nnitfuhom jew nirrakmawhom biex isostnu l-fehmiet tagħna, u juru li aħna dejjem għandna raġun. Imma l-obbligi morali tagħna ma nistgħux nilagħbu bihom qishom biċċa plasticine li ngħaġnuna kif irridu. Għalxejn ingiddmu minnha minn hawn u minn hemm biex inġibuha taqbel ma’ dak li għandna f’moħħna.

Il-verità hi perfetta, eżatta u preċiża.

Santa’s Blog 6

Friday, December 11, 2009, 10:27

She caught me practicing in front of the mirror. I am going to be the star turn at… (Ah! that would be an unpaid advertisement…). But the Missus says that my career as a stand-up comic is over before it’s begun.
I don’t agree. These’ll sleigh them for sure and all:
What do reindeer have that no other animals have? Baby reindeer. What do the reindeer sing to Father Christmas? Freeze a jolly good fellow. What does Santa get at Christmas? Santapplause. Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas? Santa Jaws! Why does Father Christmas have three gardens? So he can ho ho ho. How do you make a slow reindeer fast? Don’t feed it. What do they call Santa Claus in Australia? Sandy Claus. Why did Rudolph wear sunglasses at the beach? He didn’t want to be recognised. Why do reindeer have fur coats? Because they would look silly in Macintoshes. What do you call a reformed burglar? Saint Nick.

She said I sound silly. Well, frankly I would rather sound silly than look it. Not that I mean anything by that, of course, but, for example, let us imagine someone who likes to cook, well, stuff.

Today, this person who shall not be named decided that breakfast for us would be something called supoesi. It sounds like some kind of exotic soup, the word does, and that is exactly what it is supposed to be. A hot soup that is traditionally eaten for breakfast in Samoa, made from coconut cream and pawpaw (did I tell you that They sent us a box of tins of coconut cream that are nearing their expiry date?).

Instead of cereal, this morning we had fausi – traditionally it’s made from dasheen, but tell me where we are getting it at this time of the year. So she made it from pumpkin… and, you guessed it, served it with a caramelised coconut cream sauce. You lick your fingers after you eat it not because it’s good, but because it’s sweet and sticky. This is one experiment I did not like.

Nothing silly about cooking Samoan food, you might say. Oh no. But imagine wearing a lava-lava in winter. To get into the spirit, she says. I would have thought we ought to be getting into the Christmas Spirit, actually, not be South Sea spectres. Think pareo. Think sarong. Think gooseflesh.

At this point, I recalled the Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? of The Simpsons – the one where Homer is a restaurant critic with Lisa as his ghost-writer. The French chef concocts an éclair dripping with chocolate so dark that light cannot escape. It has over one million calories, 25 pounds of butter per square inch… and a dash of poison. The dénouement is that he didn’t eat it after all because someone told him it was low-fat.
I guess I must thank my lucky stars that she didn’t go the whole hog – or rather, the less delectable portions of the sea slug. The drink, called Sea for some obscure reason, is made from the innards of this creature. If push came to shove, I’d rather have Kava, made from the ground roots of pepper plants… with a mild tranquilising effect.

My Shadow

Prompt: Which Poem Would You Ban from the School Syllabus?

Tanja Cilia

http://www.bartleby.com/188/119.html

One poem I would most certainly ban because it will have a lethal effect on young impressionable minds is “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson.


It is clear that this poem will unhinge the minds of children, because it will make them as obsessed with their shadow as the poet appears to be, and they will not be able to walk straight along the road if, as in the Irish Blessing, their shadow falls behind them, because they will be forever turning around to check whether it is still there.


They will also do naughty things like throw stones at windows and climb walls, to see if their shadow follows suit.
Indeed the poet knows that the fixation with his shadow has taken over his life and challenged his mental stability. He insists that he can see the shadow jump into his bed before him. Now we all know that this is ridiculous because there is no shadow that would willingly go to bed at night when it can have so much more additional fun, accompanying the Sandman out on his Darkness Rounds.


The poet says his shadow is alive – what nonsense! He says it grows longer and shorter as he feels like. It is clear that the poet was sleeping during his geography, physics, biology and chemistry lessons, because he would have known that an shadow is only the product of one’s imagination and as such will only grow fatter and thinner and longer and shorter and wider and narrower and bigger and smaller according to how much the imagination feeds it and I have run out of breath so I will stop here.


He does not realise, by the way, that the shadow sticks close to him because it is his, and no one else wants it.

BAROQUE BEAUTY, MODERN MARVEL

http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/cities32.html

 
Valletta, Malta
by Tanja Cilia

Forza Valletta City
Minn qalbna dan l-innu nkantaw…
Fil-grawnd xi briju nqajmu
Kull darba li gowl niskurjaw…
Forza Valletta City………

Listening to this raucous chant that ardent citizens – of whom I am proud to be one – learn practically while still in the womb, it is hard to believe that the official name the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta gave to the City was Humilissima Civitas Valletta, indicating it as a ‘city bound to humility’.

Truth to tell, however, Valletta, a city “Built by Gentlemen for Gentleman”, has received the ultimate accolade. It has the distinction of being known by the Maltese, as Il-Belt. Where else in the world does one find a UNESCO World Heritage Site, christened Superbissima by the rest of Europe immediately it was built, being referred to as ‘The City’ in so laid-back a manner?

After the Great Siege of 1565Jean Parisot de la Valette, the French Grandmaster of Order of the Knights of Saint John, decided that the Gholja (Hill) Xebb ir-Ras, on a strategically-situated peninsula with one of the finest natural ports in Christendom, was the ideal site for the new Fortress City. The rest is, as they say, history – literally.

Not one of the nations that had occupied Malta before them – the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Saracens, and Normans – had ever thought of this before. The plans for Valletta were innovative for the time; built on a grid-iron pattern where they streets criss-cross one another at right angles (except along the coast in the peripheral areas, where this would be impossible). It is hard to believe that the construction took place within a time-span of 15 years. And this makes the still-derelict state of the Opera House even more galling.

The plans had another purpose besides aesthetics. Fresh air from the Grand Harbour and from Marsamxetto Harbour would provide the natural air-conditioning breeze. Laparelli, with his carte blanche, could also project fresh water supplies being piped in all the way from Citta’ Notabile (Rabat), and sanitation; concepts obtaining in very few cities of the time.

Plans for the construction of a fortified city had actually been in the offing since 1530, when the Knights of Saint John discovered that what they deemed the omphalos of the world was, moreover, a pearl.

The Turks, under Grand Turk Suleiman the Magnificent, had long been dubbed ‘a thorn in the side’ of the Order. Malta was, as it has ever been destined to be, the axis upon which the tide of the battle turned; and when the coffers of the Knights flowed over with the rewards for vanquishing him, they could afford to lavish the spoils of battle upon the building of a masterpiece… on a hill that had to be levelled before the works proper could commence.

Both Antonio Ghislieri – Pope Pius V, and King Philip II of Spain helped with the finances and also lent human resources; master masons, sculptors, engineers, painters, and other artisans… a veritable Who’s Who of the time, including Francesco Laparelli, whose work was later taken up by Gerolamo Cassar.

On a walking tour of Valletta, one is spoilt for choice. Will it be the Auberges and the Cavaliers? Will it be the multitude (about 32) of churches and chapels, including the Anglican Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Greek Orthodox Chapel? Will it be a whistle-stop tour practically at every street-corner, in order to photograph the votive statues or niches, fountains that decorate them?

Or will it be the one-in-a-million edifices such as The Manoel Theatre, the Bibliotheca, Casa Rocca Piccola, the Grand Master’s Palace, the War Museum and Lascaris War Rooms, the National Museum of Archaeology or that of Fine Arts, each magnificently imposing façade vying for attention with the other…followed by chilling out at one of the eateries or, perhaps, eating a packed lunch at one of the Barrakkas?

Perhaps one could opt for a ‘surprise tour’… a random up-one-street-and-down-the-other voyage of discovery, taking in “Down the Gut” (slang for a walk along the formerly notorious Strait Street), and what remains of the three slums – the Manderaggio, known colloquially as Il-Mandragg; the Archipelago l-Arcipiergu, and Le Due Palle, id-Duwwi Balli.

It is interesting to note that the slums were a sort of ‘internal spill-over’ from the area originally situated in the area just outside the bastions and just this side of Floriana, intended for those who could not afford to pay for lodgings within the ramparts. The Manderaggio, in fact, was originally planned as a man-made creek for housing the Order’s Navy.

This glorious gem, truth to tell, is also a medley of traffic, pedestrians, business concerns as well as the historical monuments we all take for granted, not even affording them a casual look as we go about our business…. echoes of the yells, bells and smells label. A time-travelling Knight would however have his sense of déjà-vu tempered with a feeling of uncertainty. The British rule left their mark by widening gates, altering or downright demolishing certain buildings, and commissioning other infrastructural projects. Added to this, there are the changes perforce wrought after the havoc caused by the two world wars.

On a lighter note, it is exhilarating to note that Valletta was featured in films and several television serials; I remember being present when scenes from Remington Steele, with Pierce Brosnan as the eponymous hero, and Stephanie Zimbalist as Laura Holt, were shot in the Lower Barrakka area.

The final chapters of V, Thomas Pynchon’s 1963 debut novel, describing the adventures of Benny Profane, a discharged United States Navy sailor, also take place in Valletta. The initial may however stand for a mysterious entity, or a woman killed in an accident, as well as the City itself.

That having been said, it is indeed a pity that residents and visitors sometimes have cause to grumble about certain aspects of the City… beginning from the monstrosity known as City Gate, through which one can view the ruins of what used to be one of the grandest edifices of Europe, nay of the world… the Royal Opera House. There are currently plans to rebuild this monument – and they have attracted much controversy.

There may be a dearth of street plaques – but there is a fey charm in the extant ones, being as they are in a jumble of styles and materials that owes more to mix-and-match than panoply… as are the street surfaces. The place could do with a few more strategically-placed waste bins, too; and the olive trees along Saint Barbara Bastions desperately need sprucing up. The general area of Victoria Gate, and the bridges of East Street, appeared in Munich, in which Valletta doubled for Cyprus and Greece.


If You Go:

L-Ghodwa t-Tajba! (written before Covid-19 restrictions came into force).
Getting to Malta couldn’t be easier. Most major European Airports – as well as those in North Africa and the Middle East – have direct flights to Malta. You may opt for either scheduled services, or chartered flights offered by Air Malta, the National Airline, most major carriers, or low cost airlines. Approximate flight time from London is 31/2 hours; from Rome it’s just 1 hour, and Malta is two hours away from Frankfurt.

It is good to note that the Maltese Archipelago, being practically in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, is included in the itineraries of the major cruise lines; it is also the place to be when one needs a port of call while sailing in the Mediterranean.
Malta is a part of the Euro-Zone, and this makes everything easier for everyone, since it does away with exchange rate worries. Banks open until early afternoon on weekdays, and until midday on Saturday. ATM machines abound. However, hotels, and many business outlets do accept payment in some international currencies.
There are well over 100 hotels from which to choose in Malta & Gozo; these are mainly concentrated in six areas on the islands. Valletta is one bus ride away from everywhere else in Malta, the main island, and an added ferry ride away from Gozo.
For additional information, as well as where to stay during your holiday, please visit:
Malta Tourism Authority: www.visitmalta.com
Malta International Airport: www.maltairport.com
Air Malta: www.airmalta.com

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Bħall-Erbgħa fost il-Ġimgħa!

http://www.inewsmalta.com/dart/20140803-all-erbg-fost-il-img

Inzertat ġurnata tal-Erbgħa u ħsibt li la ma kellix daqstant x’nagħmel, nitla’ sas-suq ta’ Birkirkara.

Mela kif ħriġt mill-bieb eżatt, iċempel it-telefon; kienet ħabiba li kont ilni qatiegħ ma niltaqa’ magħha. “Ġejt f’moħħi!” qaltli. “Għax ili biex inċempillek. Naf Ii mhux ħa tieħu għalik jekk ngħidlek li għandi biljett żejjed għal High Tea…”  “Meta?”  “Illum – jekk trid, nofs siegħ’oħra ngħaddi għalik għax sejrin minn hawn bil-Coach. Tibżax, nerġa’ nwasslek id-dar wara…”

Bdejt nidħaq, u għedtilha li għal ftit sekondi laħqitni.

Sakemm wasalna fejn il-Coach, ma waqafniex intaqtqu. Il-familja, ix-xogħol, nies li konna nafuhom it-tnejn… għax din waħda minn dawk li m’għandiex paġna fuq Facebook. Insomma, f’kemm ilni ngħidlek irrakkuntajna bi tletin sena ġrajjiet.

Introduċietni mal-ħbieb tagħha; u hawn aħjar ma ngħaddix kummenti iżjed għax kulħadd ikun jaf għal min qed ngħid.

Ħabibti qaltli li dan l-avventiment kien għall-ġbir ta’ fondi (għax issa hekk moda), u flok Coffee Morning sempliċi, għamluh iżjed elaborate.

Wasalna fil-Hotel, u lanqas domna ħames minuti b’kollox nistennew, għax mill-ewwel bdew ġejjin dixxijiet  kontra dixxijiet imburġati bl-ikel delikat u delizzjuż, li ssoltu jittiekel fis-sular ta’ fuq waqt dawk l-episodji ta’ Upstairs, Downstairs.

Kien hemm xi ħames tipi ta’ tè, u tlieta ta’ kafe. Sandwiches ċkejkin, gidma kollox, mimlija bis-salamun affumikat, jew ħjar imqatta’ trasparenti, jew taħlita ta’ isfra tal-bajd u mustarda; pasti żgħar bil-ġamm jew bil-krema; kejkijiet liema bħalhom… u kulħadd induna li kien hemm min ma kienx bi ħsiebu jiekol f’nofs inhar… u kien hemm min deher ideffes xi ikel f’borża tal-plastik, ukoll… u ħabibti ċċaqlaq ħuġbejha, u bla kliem tindikali ‘l dik u lill-oħra.

Kienu qorbu l-ħdax u nofs… u kien sar i-ħin għat-tombla. “Hawn aħna…” Iżda ġara li dik li organizzat il-ħarġa qalet li min ried, seta’ joħroġ barra jagħmel passiġġata… u ħabibti qaltli li kienet tippretendi li min jagħmel hekk jagħti donazzjoni ta’ almenu kemm jiswa’ ġog wieħed.

Ħallasna – u tlaqna ‘l barra.

Mela ġara li nzertajna funeral ta’ “xi ħadd importanti” li sa dak il-ħin ma konniex nafu min hu, f’waħda mill-kappelli. Għedt importanti għax kien hemm għadd ta’ nies li isimhom u wiċċhom u leħinhom huma familjari mal-maġġorranza tal-Maltin.

Ħabibti qaltli li kieku għadhom moda, kienet toħroġ l-autograph book – u fis timlih (għax din waħda li ssegwi d-dinja tal-medja sew). U bit-twila u bil-qasira, billi l-coffee morning kellu jdum almenu siegħa oħra – “Filkas żgur iċempluli…” – sibna postna fuq il-bankijiet.

Fit-tnedijiet tal-imwiet, tisma’ kultant li hu mitlub li ma jintlibisx iswed għal waqt il-Quddiesa. Iżda hawn, kulħadd assuma li l-iswed huwa sinjal ta’ rispett – u li kellhom iswed, libsuh. Jekk kiex ġins; libsa trasparenti jew imqaċċta (minn dawk ta’ bla ċingi li l-ħin kollu trid tirranġahom għax inkella ikollok wardrobe malfunction); dublett qasir; libsa qisha tal-baħar, b’żewgt ixquq l fuq mill-irkoppa fil-ġenb… kien hemm varjetà sħiħa. Imma stenna’ ftit – forsi libsu dawn i-ħwejjeġ għax huma nies li jżommuha, u saħasitra f’funeral riedu li ma jidhrux qishsom sejrin funeral?  Min jaf. Forsi għalhekk dawk it-tkaken, ukoll.

Inzerta li ta’ warajna ġew tard. U dehrilhom (kif smajnihom jgħidu) li kienet għarukaża li aħna ħadnilhom posthom; każ ta’ ‘injoranza grassa’.  Kemm domna hemm, sirna nafu min ma kienx hemm għax kien imsefer, u fejn, u għaliex;  min qiegħed ma’ min; x’kienu ser isajjru; kemm ġabu t-tfal fl-eżamijiet, eċċ, eċċ.

Lanqas il-qassis ma ħelisha. Meta beda jirreferi għall-mejjet b’ismu (kif kien fuq is-santa li tawna wara), waħda minn dawn qalet “Imma kemm hu ridikolu… ma jafx li kulħadd [#] kien isejjaħlu…”

Ħriġna mill-knisja, u x-xufier tal-karozza bit-tebut iddejjaq jistenna’ (għax it-traffiku kien ġejn min-naħa l-oħra u ħadd ma ċeda, għalkemm kien qala’ kemmxejn).

Mela, fettillu joħroġ ftit iżjed, u f’daqqa waħda isib trakk daqshiex qudddiemu, li kieku ma ġibidx il-brejk, probabbli li kien iħallih tal-kolp. Dawk li kienu għadhom hemm għamlu kjass. Min jgħajjat max-xufier tat-trakk għax imissu jistħi għax dan funeral; min ilum lil tal-karozza tal-mejjet; min jgħid kemm żdied it-traffiku…

U aħna? Għaġġilna lejn il-Hotel, għax cemplulna ħa jaraw fejn konna ħrabna

Il-ħares li jħares

http://www.inewsmalta.com/dart/20140128-il-ares-li-ares

man standing inside building

Kultant jiltaqgħu skoss nies li ma tantx ikollhom x’jagħmlu, u mix-xejn joħolqu diskursata li, billi ssir fuq l-internet, iddum għaddejja jiem sħaħ, jekk mhux ġimgħat ukoll.

Mela dan l-aħħar, Adalġiża fettlilha titfa’ għajnejha fuq dar, kemxejn antika, f’tarf ta’ raħal li għal-lum ser insejħulu Wied Ġenoveffa. Ratha b’kumbinazzjoni, u għalhekk iffissat li “suppost” tixtriha, skont il-loġika kemxejn oriġinali tagħha. Imma ġieha ħsieb li taqqlilha moħħha.

Adalġiża tagħna ħadet drawwa li tmur xi mkien, ikun fejn ikun, bil-karozza, tipparkja, u tmur tiġri dawra mar-raħal jew belt li tkun. Darba minnhom it-triq kienet tieqaf ħesrem, mhux għax kienet sqaq iżda għax kien hemm ħajt għoli faċċata li “xi darba”, skont xiħa li kellmitha, kellu jaqa’ u “…jitla’ wieħed minn dawk is-supermarkitijiet”.

Fettlilha tieħu parir. Mhux mingħand perit – għax kieku kien ikollha tħallas. Qabel ma ċemplet wieħed mis-sitt numri li kien hemm imniżżla fuq it-tabella ta’ wara l-bieb, tefgħet mistoqsija fuq Facebook. “Hemm xi mezz kif tkun taf jekk f’xi dar, l-iżjed jekk tkun antika, ikunx hemm xi ħares?”

U kif jgħidu, billi hawn min ma jħallihiex ħelwa għal melħa, irċeviet erba’ suġġerimenti mhux ħażin.

Ma jistax jonqos li kien hemm min qalilha biex tqabbad lill-Ghostbusters jagħmlu r-riċerka, u billi hawn min ma jafx x’inhu sarkażmu, qabżu u qalulha li dawk mhux vera jeżistu, u biex tkun taf sew kellha bżonn tqabbad perit u nutar u avukat.

Hawn qabżu għadd ta’ nies li sostnew li l-kappillan u l-ġirien, jew saħansitra l-pulizija tal-lokal, jew fil-ħanut tal-inbid l-iżjed antik tar-raħal, tal-ħanut tal-merċa, jew forsi l-pustier ukoll, iżjed ikunu kapaċi jgħidulha minn avukat u perit u nutar, li meta jagħmel ir-riċerki suppost li jfittex dwar sidien u djun u mhux fuq l-iħirsa. Għax wisq probabbli min ikun ser ibigħ jew jikri ma jkunx irid jgħid, li ma jmurx jitlef il-flus.

Ħaġa żgħira biex l-għajdut jibdieh xi ħadd li wara li x-xerrej prospettiv iħassar il-konvenju, jiddeffes biex jixtri l-post hu. Jew forsi xi ħadd li għandu għas-sid beda l-qlajja’ biex jisfida.

Kor sħiħ ta’ referenzi għal films u kotba – What Lies Beneath, The Others, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Evictors, u oħrajn.

Tħallew ħafna referenzi – għall-parapsikologi, dawk li suppost ikellmu lill-erwieħ tal-antenati tagħna, u saħansita tal-psikjatri.

Qamu għadd ta’ mistoqsijiet dwar il-mistoqsija – allura din kienet qed tistaqsi għax rat, semgħet, jew ħasset xi ħaġa? Riedet tkun taf għax tgħarrfilha xi ħaġa xi ħadd?

Hekk jew hekk, jekk ikun hemm xi preżenza malinna fid-dar, din jgħidu li tkun tinħass, bħal meta min-naħa l-oħra, tidħol xi mkien u tħossok fil-paċi. Jgħidu li l-klieb “jaraw”, u għaldaqstant tajjeb li tieħu kelb miegħek – jekk m’għandekx wieħed, issellef – meta tmur tara dar bil-ħsieb li tixtriha.

Kienet tagħmel differenza jekk il-mewt kinetx waħda naturali jew xi traġedja jew xi qtil? Jew jekk mitetx persuna waħda jew tnejn jew iżjed? Din mid-dehra kienet qed tissuspetta li hemm xi ħaġa għaddejja minn taħt u li ħadd ma ried ikun hu li jikxef il-borom.

Kien hemm min qalilha biex tikri d-dar għal ġimgħa, biex tara tħossx xi preżenza, tajba jew ħażina, fid-dar. Oħrajn qalulha li kulma kellha tagħmel hu li ġġib qassis biex ibierek, u jekk ikun eżorċista tant aħjar. Għax hija ħaġa minn awl id-dinja li la Malta ilha abitata minn żmien il-preistorja, bilfors li hawn u hemm u fil-post l-ieħor xi darba miet xi ħadd; iżjed u iżjed meta ma kienx hemm oqbra u ċimiterji u kienu jħaffru ħofra mal-art u jitfgħu lill-mejjet fiha biex l-ispirtu tiegħu jistrieħ u l-ġisem tiegħu jirritorna lejn l-art u jiffertilizza l-uċuħ tar-raba’.

Ma jistax jonqos li kien hemm ħafna u ħafna li lil Adalġiża qalulha li trid tibża’ mill-ħajjin u mhux mill-mejtin – għax il-mejtin jagħtuk qatgħa imma l-ħajjin jagħmlulek il-ħsara.

U int – tmur toqgħod f’dar li fiha l-ħares, forsi ssib il-boqxiex?

Kif iddejjaq lil kulħadd

http://www.inewsmalta.com/dart/20140203-kif-iddejjaq-lil-kul-add

The art of politely pestering. There's no rhyme or reason when it… | by  Stevie Rowing-Parker | We Know A Great Team | Medium

Għamilt esperiment. Għamilt ġimgħa nitfa’ links bl-addoċċ fuq Facebook – diski, artikli, proverbji, siltiet minn kotba… kollha fuq il-paġna tiegħi, iżda nehmeż lil ħaddiehor, skont l-interessi tagħhom… ikel, politika, reliġjon, sport, annimali…

Kien hemm min għadda kumment. Kien hemm min ma qal xejn. Kien hemm min immarka li għoġbitu… u kien hemm min għandi nifhem li ma ħax gost biha, għax jew neħħewha jew ħbewha.

U din tatni idea oħra. Staqsejt li ċorma nies liema huma l-iżjed affarijiet li jdejquhom fuq is-siti soċjali. Ktibt il-mistoqsija u għamiltha copy-and-paste lil min kien qiegħed online, dak il-ħin, u tassew dħaqt bil-pingpinging tal-messaġġi dieħlin kollha f’daqqa.

Hawn min jaħseb li kulħadd jgħir għalih għax sabiħ, jew għax sinjur, jew għax intelliġenti. U hawn naraw li jew jiġu b’ħafna umiltà falza – ngħidu aħna, ritratt ta’ kejk imfattar u l-kumment “Kemm nixtieq kont naf insajjar daqs Dorothy #fjask #froġa”, jew inkella, ritratt tal-karozza l-ġdida bil-kumment “il-bejbi (sic) il-ġdida tiegħi”. Hawn ta’ min ifakkar li ma jaqbilx li tgħid li sejra ħmistax il-Karibew. U bilħaqq…. Ma nieħdux gost naraw affarijiet li aħjar isiru wara biebin magħluqa. U anqas nieħdu gost naqraw kemm tħobbu lil ħaninek.

Twitter għandu limitu ta’ ittri li tista’ tuża f’kull messaġġ. U hawn min juża Facebook bħallikieku kien Twitter. Sejra x-xogħol, xi dwejjaq. Kemm hawn min iħobb jitkessaħ, ajma. Illum ġurnata oħra – ħa naraw x’ġej. Xtrajt ħames kotba, issa naraw kemm ġejjin faċendi… eċċ eċċ.

Hawn min hu mdeffes f’elf ħaġa u waħda – u l-ħin kollu jgħidilna fejn għandna mmorru u lil minn għandna ngħinu.

U mbagħad hawn min dejjem għandu raġun; jikkmandana x’għandna naħsbu dwar il-veġetarjaniżmu, l-omossesswalità, in-Novus Ordo u l-iskejjel tal-Istat. Min jgħid li ma jaqbilx, jew jitneħħa minn “friend” jew jitwaqqa’ għaċ-ċajt minn sid il-wall u sħabu, tant li jista’ jkun li jispiċċa jitlaq hu minn jeddu.

U l-fotografi? Kull platt li jsajru, tarah sponut biex aħna ngħaddu xi kumment dwar kemm hu sabiħ jew min jaf kemm hu tajjeb. U hawn oħrajn li l-ħin kollu jiġbdu r-ritratti ta’ trabi, qtates, bini, sħab, toroq, membri tal-familja… u jitfugħhom wieħed f’wieħed u jħalluna bla nifs. In-narċissisti jitfgħu miljun ritrattt tagħhom stess, bejn dawn li semmejna.

Nies li jridu l-attenzjoni jagħmlu xi ritratt tagħhom, u jgħidu “ma ġiex tajjeb xagħri”, biex inti tgħidilhom kemm humma sbieħ. Inkella jġibu ritratti tagħhom u jgħiduek: “Ili sitt snin immur il-gym imma ma narax li għamel differenza,” biex int tgħidilhom kemm jidhru sew u b’saħħithom.

Inkella jagħmlu status dwar kemm huma mtaqqla u mdejqa, biex int tistaqsihom x’ġara. Kultant iżidu xi kumment dwar li huma twajba ż-żejjed, jew Ii daħħlu lifgħa f’ħobbhom.

Kultant niskanta kemm hawn min għandu ħin… żejjed. Kull logħba li jkun hemm, mhux talli jilagħbuha, talli jistiednuk biex tieħu sehem fiha magħhom. Oħrajn jivvintaw il-memes u jgħidulek biex ixxerridhom mal-erbat irjieħ tad-dinja.

Ta’ kull ġimgħa, ssib min jistaqsik x’tela’ Lottu, jew jekk hemmx Farmers’ Market, jew minn fejn tixtri l-ġelu lest, kemm tirrumblah. Issib min jistaqsi mistoqsijiet banali dwar kemm suppost (!) ikollha żmien tifla qabel ma ttaqbilha widnejha.

Kummenti krittiċi ssib bl-eluf. Ħa naraw issa x’ser jgħamel dak il-gustuż. Min ikun midħla tas-sitwazzjoni, ikun jaf li Kathleen qed tgħid għall eks-raġel tagħha. Għedtilha li kelli ngħdilha u ġibtha żibel. Mhux kulħadd ikun jaf li Fiona marret tkellem lill-Kap tal-Iskola.

Issib min irid iwaqqa’ kollox għaċ-ċajt, u ma jimpurtax jekk biex jagħmel hekk iżarrat xi żewġ ċajtiet doppju sens. U hawn l-intellettawali li jikkoreġulek kull sentenza li fiha tkun irrakuntajt fatt mhux eżatt kif hemm miktub fil-kotba tal-istorja.

Hawn min, meta isir famuż, u f’daqqa waħda jibgħatlek xi nota li tgħid “qed innaqqas in-numru ta’ ħbieb għax għandi wisq, imma jekk trid tista’ ssir Fan tal-page tiegħi…”

U xi ngħidu għar-ritratti personali? Xagħarhom perfett (meta anqas għadu l-istess kulur). Snienhom perfetti (meta fil-fatt m’humiex). Ġilda perfetta (u fejnhom il-felul u n-nemex?). Hawn min jitfa’ ritratti li jkun ħa ma’ nies importanti jew famużi, jew ritratti ta’ meta siefer.

Hemm il-moda l-ġdida li isem ta’ “persuna” jkun fil-fatt l-isem ta’ koppja mwaħħda (Maryluke, Annathomas, Paulakeith), u kutant, żewġ kunjomijiet. Qishom “ixtri wieħed, u ħu wieħed b’xejn”. Jgħidu li dan isir biex juru li m’hemmx sigrieti bejniethom… imma jista’ jkun li hemm mottivi oħrajn.

Int, ma’ liema kategorija tagħmel – ma dawk li jiddejqu, jew ma’ dawk li jdejqu?

Kif Issir Qaddis…

Lehen is-Sewwa 16 ta’ Frar 2014

The pride of fake holiness | scrapbookwithtony

“Is-sema pajjiżi,” ngħidu, filwaqt li naqilbu għajnejna u nagħtu tbissima mqanżha.

Imma biex tmur il-ġenna, mhux lakemm taqta’ biljett one way u tittama li ma jkunx hemm xi terrorist li jitfilek ix-xemgħa qabel ma tasal.

Illum  ħsibt li niġbor ftit ħjiel minn hawn u minn hemm dwar kif dan jista’ jseħħ. Niftehmu, kultant ikun hemm bżonn iddaħħal idek fil-but ukoll. Dan mhux biex tikri s-siġġu, kif kienu jgħidu qabel għas-sitt ħabbiet li tagħti lis-sagristan, iżda għax “hekk hemm bżonn li jsir”.

Hi ħaġa minn awl id-dinja li tiftakar fl-Opri tal-Ħniena jekk trid pultruna komda għall-eternità.  Għaldaqstant hu ovvju li trid tagħmel ħafna u ħafna karità.

Imma ma tiqafx hemm.  Trid ukoll tiftaħar b’dak li tkun għamilt, tgħid kemm tajt, u lil min ukoll. B’hekk, imkaxkra mill-eżempju tiegħek, in-nies li jisimgħuk jagħmlu bħalek!

It-talb huwa importanti wkoll.  Mela int trid tgħid lil kulhadd biex jitlob għalik. B’hekk, il-karus tat-talb tiegħek jimtela ferm iżjed malajr. Tinsiex li min ikanta, jitlob darbtejn. Mela kanta, kanta, u kanta… l-iżjed fis-sagħtejn ta’ wara nofsinhar, biex tpaxxi bil-vuċi melodjuża tiegħek lil dawk li jkunu qed jistrieħu. Wara kollox, la r-radjijiet jagħmlu programmi tal-mużika f’dawk il-ħinijiet, sinjal li qed jistednuk tkanta mad-diski li jdoqqu.

Tinsiex li trid tmur il-knisja bilfors, almenu nhar ta’ Ħadd. Hawn min jgħidlek li jħobb hekk għax jibqa’ barra għall-ikel.  Imma għidli int, mhux aħjar tiffranka ftit flus u tixtri takeaway, jekk vera ma tkunx tiflaħ issajjar wara ġimgħa xogħol? Jekk tagħmel hekk, tkun tista’ tmur il-Quddiesa tal-parroċċa tiegħek, u kulħadd jarak – l-iżjed jekk tidħol tard u timxi lejn il-bankijiet ta’ quddiem, li x’aktarx ikunu vojta, apposta għalik. Li tkun se tiffranka mill-ikel, itfgħu fis-sassla, imma qis li min jiġbor, li x’aktarx ikun xi ħadd li tafu, jara kemm tfajt.

Ixtri Bibbja oħra. Din id-darba ixtri waħda b’ħafna stampi kbar u sbieħ. Hekk ma jkollokx għalfejn taqraha, għax meta tħares lejn l-istampi, tiftakar fl-istejjer tagħhom… u jkollok iżjed ħin biex tilgħab logħba darts iċ-Ċentru – għax kollox irid ikun. U ngħiduha kif inhi, min jarak iċ-Ċentru jammirak għax isir jaf li ssib il-ħin għal kollox daqskemm int bil-għaqal.

Kull meta tisma’ priedka, f’moħħok dur l-ismijiet ta’ ħbiebek u tal-kollegi, u ara għal min jgħoddu sew il-kliem li jkun qed jgħid il-qassis. Hekk, meta tarahom, tkun tista’ tgħaddilhom it-tagħlim li tkun ħadt int. Ikun aħjar jekk tieħu karta u lapes miegħek il-knisja, biex tagħmel xi noti, li ma tmurx tinsa xi ħaġa importanti. Kemm hu sabiħ li tkun tista’ thenni lin-nies bil-kliem ħlejju tiegħek.

U bilħaqq, tinsiex tmexxi l-kelma dwar il-ħarġiet sbieħ li torganizzaw – ġbir ta’ fondi, Arċikonfraternità, Terzjarji, Grupp tan-Nisa, Klabb Soċjali… dejjem hemm fejn tmur, kieku. Hi ħasra li hawn tant nies li jipretenduha, li   jitolbuk tħallilhom il-biljett, imma ma jiġux għax imsieken jinqalalhom xi ħaġa!

Jekk ma jkollokx aptit tmur il-ħarġa, ċempel lil xi ħadd u qis li ġġibu f’pożizzjoni li jgħidlek kemm jixtieq jarak… u mur arah. Hekk għandek l-iskuża/raġuni lesta.

Ixtri ħafna u ħafna kotba reliġjuzi, biex meta jiġi t-tberik tkun tista’ turihom lill-qassis, u tistaqsih għandux dan, dak, u l-ieħor. Itfa’ xi santa ‘l hawn u ‘l hemm fihom, biex bħal timmarka l-paġna, biex jekk issellef il-ktieb lil xi ħadd, dan jara li almenu int qisek bdejt taqrah.

Trid tkun taf almenu sentenza jew tnejn minn dak li qalu San Atanasju, San Bażilju l-Kbir, San Girgor Nazianzju, u San Ġwann Kriżostmu, u tara kif iddeffsuhom f’kull konverzazzjoni li jkollok.

Jekk jorganizzaw xi safra għall-parruċċani qis li tmur, tkun fejn tkun id-destinazzjoni għax b’hekk turi s-sapport tiegħek lejn il-parroċċa.

Tbissem ħafna, biex in-nies ikunu jafu li int ta’ qalb ħelwa u umli… imma meta ma tkunx qed titbissem, tinsiex iżżomm ħarsa ta’ piena u tjieba fuq wiċċek, biex issaħħaħ din l-impressjoni.

Abbona fir-rivisti kollha li taf bihom, u saħansitra f’dawk li ma tafx bihom, u meta taqrahom, jew anki qabel, ħudhom il-knisja biex igawduhom l-oħrajn. Kif tkun fiż-żifna tista’ tixtri ftit santi bil-Kurunelli wkoll, u tqassamhom lin-nies.

Bi ftit sforz, int tista’ ssir qaddis. Jew qabar imbajjad!

Tiċħdu, Inti, Lix-Xitan?

FreeBibleimages :: Jesus is tempted in the wilderness :: Jesus faces  temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-14)

Kulħadd jafha l-istorja ta’ meta x-xjaten għamlu laqgħa tal-Kunsill, u waslu għall-konkluzzzjoni li jekk aħna ma nemmnux li huma jeżistu, ikunu rebħu l-battalja.

Daqstant ieħor kulħadd jaf li x-xitan darba kien anġlu msejjaħ Luċifru, u li bil-qżies u l-kburija li kellu, tilef postu fis-smewwiet. Ġesù qalilna li Hu ra lil Satana jaqgħa bħal sajjetta mis-sema, u qalilna wkoll li l-missjoni tiegħU fuq l-art kienet biex jegħleb l-opri tax-xitan. U l-helwa hi li hawn minn jinnega dan kollu u jgħidlek li x-xitan ma jeżistix.

B’hekk, ikun qed jiċħad lix-xitan mhux għax ma jagħmilx il-ħażen, iżda għax jinnega l-eżistenza tiegħu.

L-Arċisqof Fulton J Sheen darba qal li filwaqt li l-isem t’Alla huwa Jien li Jien, ix-xitan jipprova jmaqdrU u jgħid “jien li m’inix”.

L-għadu tal-erwieħ irid ifixkel. Għandu tattika, li hi, fil-veru sens tal-kelma, ta’ barra minn hawn. Irid iġenninna, jirrabjana, jiffrustrana, jirritana… basta nitilfu l-paċi ta’ moħħna, ta’ qalbna, u ta’ ruħna. Iridna inkunu agressivi, egositi, u passivi fejn tidħol il-Fidi. Din hija r-rejalta, u iżjed ma nifhmuha malajr, iżjed ngħarfu nikumbattu l-ħażen. Ix-xitan irid jostakola l-ħidma tal-Ispirtu s-Santu fil-Knisja.

Fis-servizz tal-magħmudija taċ-Church of England, tneħħew ir-referenzi kollha għax-xitan. U ir-raġuni, jew aħjar, l-iskuża għal dan hi li ċ-ċerimonja b’hekk hija issir “iżjed sempliċi”.

U bilħaqq – ser tpaxxi wkoll lil dawk li kienu qishom jieħdu għalihom meta l-Pastor jirreferi għalihom bħala “midinbin”. Il-kleru, mhux jiġbed lin-nies lejn il-knisja jrid, wara kollox? U jħassra. Mhux kisra li tkellem lill-parrini u tgħajjarhom li huma midinbin, iżda li għa ndhom jagħmlu sforz u jgħinu lill-ġenituri jrabbu lit-tifel “sew” – mhux iżjed “fil-biża t’Alla”? Iżjed faċli tgħid kiem ħlejju li ma jfisser xejn.

Għax daż-żmien, hawn min ma jarax il-għala għandek taħli l-għodwa tal-Ħadd tara l-Quddiesa fuq it-televixin. La ma tistax tmur il-Knisja, mela, ħeqq… hemm id-dispensa, hux? U għaldaqstant, aħjar li ma tordnax lill-parrini biex jaraw li t-tifel jiffissa fuq ir-Reliġjon… basta jgħix ta’ bniedem tajjeb. Basta jgħinuh isaħħaħ ruħu; għax din hija knisja progressive u liberali, fejn m’għadx hemm bżonn li jirrikonoxxu l-ħtieġa li jirrinunzjaw lil Satana. Ngħallmuhom l-etika, għax aħjar milli ngħallmuhom il-Katekiżmu.

Minn-naħa l-oħra, il-knisja trid tkun “post ta’ merħba, fejn il-kleru jagħti sehmu biex jiggwidak tul it-triq tal-fidi.” Ngħidu aħna, meta mill-Belt trid tmur il-Blata-l-Bajda, u ma tridx tammetti li teżisti l-Floriana… u tgħaddi minn ħdejn Ta’ Liesse,  taqbad ġirja waħda bla nifs, u la tħares ‘l hinn u l-anqas ‘l hawn, tgħaddi minn quddiem il-Waterfront, sakemm iddur għal Spencer Hill, sfinit, u tgħid… ara, mill-Belt wasalt il-Marsa u ma kienx hemm għalfejn ngħaddi mill-Floriana.

Għax daż-żmien moda li kulħadd jimxi skond il-kuxjenża tiegħu… u jekk din tkun bla limitazzjonijiet, daqstant ieħor jaġixxi, dak li jkun.

Il-kunċett ta’ dnub ma jibqax jeżisti, u int tħossok tajjeb għax, ngħidu aħna, tmajt lill-qtates tat-triq, u allura għamilt il-karita, u gibt ruħek ta’ nies. Imma jekk tiġġakbina lil xi ħadd fuq ix-xogħol… eh, ruħi, dak business. Mhux kulħadd hekk jagħmel?

Meta nħarsu lura, naraw xejriet simili hawn Malta wkoll. Dejjem tikber ix-xewqa ta’ liberazzjoni f’dinja sekulari; għax i-bniedem għandu bżonn jistrieħ… u dan isir billi wieħed jixrob, jew ipejjep, jew insomma jirrikreja ruħu kif ifettillu.

Naraw kif il-Qdusija tiegħu Franġisku I jgħid li Satana hu l-Prinċep ta’ din id-dinja, u missier it-nasbiet. Iwissina li l-frott tiegħu huma l-qerda, il-firda, il-mibegħda u l-kalunja.

Ħobb lil għajrek bħalek inniffsek… u mill-bqija, agħmel li trid.

Obon Festival

orange paper lanterns on black metal frame

Houses squeaky clean

Plates piled high with scrumptious foods

Fifteenth of Seventh//

Spirits re-unite

Let’s pray for repose of souls

It’s Mukaebon time//

Rose petals in bowls

Orange blossoms on the tree…

Scented drops of life.//

Chouchin and flowers

Butsudan laden with fruits…

Okuribi flames.//

Make your offerings

Inhale the scent of Senko

Dance Bon Odori//

Down to the ocean

Float your Toro Nagashi

Along the river//

Silly Yukata

Dance to tako drums’ rhythm…

Yagura turret.