Archive for ‘Shivani Mohan’

May 25, 2008

Time Capsule


Well it was another day of mayhem in Trinidad with five more overnight murders and ( by our count) 194 murders for the year. Between those killings and the latest reactions by the PM to acquiesce to the demands of most of the population for a Commission of Inquiry into UDeCOTT it was a pretty full newscast. After work I made my way home to drop off some groceries I had amassed earlier and then picked up Robin in order to venture beyond the pale to the land beyond the Port of Spain lighthouse. The reason for the trip was to see my cousin Peggy and her daughter Shivani who are staying at my Uncle Clifford’s house and are here for the launch of Peggy’s book Jahajin on Wednesday. Robin was necessary for company and for directions since I am not the best night driver and anything outside of Port of Spain is likely to inspire me with a high level of confusion.


As much as I dreaded the drive it was interesting to see my uncle Clifford again as I hadn’t seen him in decades despite the fact i have carried his fine dental skills in my mouth for most of my life. It is lovely to see someone after such a long time and to realize their personality and charm can remain intact despite the passage of years. Peggy was her usual ebullient self and shortly after arriving and the requisite hug and kiss from her and Shivani she was engaged in an animated chat with my Uncle discussing ancestors I never knew I had. I get lost after first cousins and the fact my Great Grandfather had four siblings was news to me. After about 10 names I had never heard of I was completely at sea but I was pleased to see that Shivani shared my bewilderment and she sweetly assured me that she couldn’t keep up either. I will say, though, I was endlessly bemused to hear that two of my family members were named Stalin and Lenny. Apparently a sense of humour is not a rare event in my family history.


A little later on we braved the crowds at Movietowne to get something to eat at an odd, loud and garishly lit place called Zanzibar. Normally, any place that seeks to explain its raison d’être via an entire page on the menu would be shunned like a blackened banana in the supermarket but it was 10pm and we didn’t have much choice. The food wasn’t bad. With Peggy flagging and Shivani resigned to having to return at a reasonable hour we made a quick pit stop at Sky Bar to see Alvin ,who also hadn’t seen either of our visitors for a decade, had a quick beverage and then headed past the lighthouse once again to drop them home.


I am not known for making forays outside my normal zone – especially after a day at work – but it was an entirely pleasant experience. Peggy may have seen a few years fly by but she is still her usual irascible and insightful self and Shivani is turning out to be quite an amazing young woman. So for the next little while the author and the up and coming industrial designer will be gracing our fair shores and I suspect my life will be all the more interesting . I am looking forward to the local launch of Jahajin on Wednesday.


February 1, 2008

Nose Breathing

Generally speaking, my reflections on work are of a happy nature full of musings about bonhomie and getting news out on time. Today I had one of the worst days I have ever had at work and it is in no way related to the newsroom staff. Given I have been producing news since Moses was in nappies I am not in the habit of taking criticisms of my judgement lightly and I am especially not fond of being found essentially faultless but having to now face the prospect of working even longer hours in my indefinite 7 day a week work schedule. Were I living in an option free world i might be in an even worse mental state than I have been in since earlier this evening. I will not give the details of my experience here but, while I recognize that others may be under stress, there is no need to spread the stress to innocent bystanders. Enough said…I am a professional and will handle my problems in a professional manner.

Moving on to other subjects. I am now counting the hours for Carnival to end and get the hell out of my face. The traffic, steelpans parked in the roadways, flocks of JCBs ( just come backs) and hordes of tourists clogging my HiLo is driving me crazy. I almost want to say “welcome to Trinidad now hurry up, sleep around and go the hell back where you came from”! I have been feeling a bit down this evening because of the aforementioned and my general mood lately so I think a list would do me good. Let’s talk about my list of things I don’t need in my life of is Vern’s list of things not needed on the voyage:

  1. 1. Condoms or anything even remotely related to sex.

  2. 2.More soca music

  3. 3. Another peep from the Mondeo

  4. 4. Anybody new in my life under the age of 30. I am still dealing with the slew I have.

  5. 5.More junk in my condo.

  6. 6.Drama of any sort not related to a film or theatrical production.

  7. 7.People who think that pondering what fete to attend is really an intellectual pursuit.

  8. 8. Freeloaders.

  9. 9. Jesus freaks explaining to me why I have to be saved.

  10. 10.More work.

That has me feeling much better already. Someone should write a book on “Blogging as Catharsis”.

Other than that in news of  friends … Robin is off to Guyana and Brazil for Carnival ( the Amazon not  Rio), Omar/Grommit is in Tribe fete, Astrid is in bed, Binky and Muz are home ( I assume), Steve is also in Tribe fete and Peter and Naz are in places unknown..though they are in Las Vegas for Carnival.

I hope tomorrow is a better day and i must say thanks to my cuz Peggy for making more sense than I have seen in a long time.



December 30, 2007

Blue Sky Mine

Today was quite good by my standards. I stumbled outside into the usual Arctic temperatures for a ciggy this morning but, for the first time since i got here, I actually saw blue sky on the horizon. I had no idea that seeing the sky was so important to me but apparently it is. On second thought I think I have a thing for the sky. I remember my first night in Nairobi looking up and thinking the African sky is somehow magical and so different from anything I had seen before. It was at that point I realized what a horrible lie the whole “Dark Continent” thing was…the sky showed a land of mystery and wonder that was beckoning. One day if I am lucky I will explore Africa more…not the South…that leaves me cold…but central Africa and the North seem to be calling me. I think I need to see the Congo and walk the streets of other places.  The weirdest thing was I felt completely at home in Kenya from the second I arrived. Yes, there was an ugly incident involving me and a taxi driver that the police got involved in..but I handled it like a pro…including a lot of cursing.

Today I cheerfully walked the streets of Toronto ( that I can get around blindfolded still) and, having seen the sky, I had a little pep in my step. I went to the DVD store downtown to get an Absolutely Fabulous DVD that I know will have Omar and Astrid in stitches, I bought a couple of CDs that Astrid wanted but could not find in Trinidad and I took a few pics. The pic taking was a bit difficult since it was really cold and my hands were shaking but I managed. I think I am addicted to photography. I was looking at cameras today and though there are new cameras with more megapixels for what I do my Z612 is still my fave…I will keep her for quite a while.

In other contacts today I heard from Omar..aka..Grommit who is in the Grenadines but amazingly has wireless access though no phone credit, I heard from Peter Police via Skype and I chatted with Gal Pal Astrid who has now been christened Iggy ( for It Girl..thus IG…and Iggy). Better still…my 2nd cuz ( I think) Shivani is now on my facebook list of friends. In her case..being Peggy’s daughter…I am hoping the breadfruit didn’t fall too far from the tree..which I already know it didn’t. So I have many interesting conversations in my future.

Yes, there was more family drama with Vic involving Police reports and his wife ripping the lock off the basement door…am I worried..nope..I saw the sky today and the world is a better place.