Monday, May 5, 2008


Cowabunga! (And it needs to be followed up with a deep low throated du-ude.)

I have tried this on for size quite a few times, but unfortunately it just doesn't seem to fit. In my head you either have to be a scraggly blond wearing flowery-Hawaiian surfer shorts (or/and surfing) to say it.
Or you could be a teenage mutant ninja turtle.
I'm neither of the two. So I've given up now.


I never understood the context in which one could use this word. Is it a greeting? Or an exclamation? Is it an exclamation of surprise or of joy? Or of anger?
I once said "Yowza" in response to "Aren't the tea and scones lovely today?". I got the timing wrong that time too.


I often confuse booyakasha with shabooyayaya (which, incidently was the cheerleading chant in bring it on.) If you're with real Jamaicans, they'd never let you live it down.
But there's something fundamentally wrong with the way i pronounce the word. I say it like an old English dignified gentleman would say it. "Boo-yah-kasha" Similar to "Well hello to you too. What a lovely evening it is"
Funnily enough, the root of the word is English/Irish. It comes from "Buíochas" (pronounced bwee ah kuss) which mean "glory to" "or praise be" as in "buíochas le Dia" which means "thanks be to god". Oliver Cromwell sent thousands of Irish to the plantations in Jamaica, and a lot of Irish (or Gaelic as non Irish people know it) words made it in to Jamaican patois. Hence Booyakasha.

Rastafarian Maan!

Okay. So Bob Marley did impact me considerably.
This one was a personal invention. 
It was meant to mean cool, in a Rastafarian way.
I only realised later that the word I invented, nobody understood. 
And the word i was looking for was Rastafabulous!
Rastafarian refers to the religion/movement/dreadlocks.
So i stopped saying it, but i stuck with the "ya maan". 
But that didn't work either because people thought i was incredibly interested
in the political/economic/any situation in Yemen.

So I've stopped saying all these things. Yes, I no longer fake the funk.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunny Afternoon

The Dalai Lama came over for lunch the other day. The day was sunny, but not hot. A cool breeze moved through the open courtyard.
The smell of food cooking wafted through.
He wasn't too pleased with the colour of the walls though. The custard yellow clashed terribly with his outfit. I was quite apologetic for that. I don't like angering world spiritual and political leaders. It was awfully silly of me to not have thought about repainting them. I guess I really need to work on my planning.
I served him tender wild duck in a piquant sauce. 
The chunks were rather succulent, 
and I knew I had truly outdone myself this time. 
He served himself.
I was waiting for his face to light up and for him to turn to me and pat me on the back and exclaim to the Gods.
He didn't. He hmmed instead.
A hmm can be interpreted in many ways. It could be satisfied, far from satisfied, and sometimes even angry (well, that's if it sounds more like a harrumph). I was confused.
But he is a man who truly understands his people, and he caught on.

"The sauce..Its missing a hint of dijon mustard..I had the perfect damson in new york. I can't remember the name of the place for the life of me.. But it was shiny. 
Minimalistic, i believe is what they call it nowadays. 
It was one of those michelin star places. Oh you should go there."

"Quite an epicurean you are Dalai" I laughed it off.
He leaves his haven of momos and suddenly he's a food critic.
I was in a bit of a dilemma now. I knew i had to rescue the afternoon with some pleasant conversation. I'm not very good at it. 
I decided to discuss politics and to get him a bit riled up about the world situation. 

"So, Mr. Lama.. Politics..huh?"

"Oh no, dear. Who's interested in saving the world nowadays. It's certainly not my concern. Hahaha. But.. Let me tell you about Paris.."

"Paris! Its lovely in the spring time.."
I was hoping my little witty intervention would make me sound cleverer to him. And then he, too, would indulge in some witty repartee.

"She, dear. She really is. Such glowing skin! That's one person quite intent on saving the world, I say. And what a job she's doing at it! A pat on the back for her, and two thumbs up too!"

"That Paris. Right, Of course." I mumbled this though, so he didn't hear it. He doesn't always catch on.

"Have you heard of that new director? He's casting Paris! I'm rather overjoyed for her. I believe he's poised to become the new Antonioni. Or Bergman. Or perhaps a combination of the two! I loved that film.. The sixth.. no, no Seventh Seal, was it?
What skill with the camera. A real delight! Sommarlek, That was quite a gem as well.."

"Oh really?"
"Oh phenomenal! You have to watch.."
I was lost by now.
The sauce was piquant enough for me. 
Perhaps a touch of dijon mustard could have added that little bit of zing. 
I'll have to work on that next time. My thoughts drifted.
I have John Lennon coming over next week. He says he wants to give peace a chance. Let's see.