Tuesday, July 29, 2014 @ 7/29/2014 04:42:00 PM
The gods have descended. One after another. No hold on, only one of us has to go, she said and waved him away without further ado. Nimble quick footsteps proceeded, taking charge with grace. Her shiny blonde hair was twisted up neatly into a bun –the uneducated must be taught, and it was a noble task that she found herself willing to embark upon.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The clouds were evenly spaced out, not too close to one another to cause rain yet far enough to shelter summer’s heat. The air felt cool against the skin. An old lady stood next to a copper bin, the fire inside had started. Peering inside, it was as if the bin was a tunnel to hell itself, a bottomless pit of darkness and fire. Her tiny frame shook violently as she inhaled some of the ashes but such discomfort was the least of her concern. She had a mission. The gates of hell have open today and the fire was set. Offerings are a prerequisite for a long and peaceful life. The living show gratitude with humility, and in return, the dead bless us. She stuck her wrinkled hands into a red plastic bag and removed a fistful of shimmering gold paper, scattering them into the ravenous licking flames.
“Excuse me, excuse me! Could you not do this right here? You’re polluting the air where we are having a BBQ just above. Excuse me?”
The old lady did not understand English but she could grasp innuendos and intentions quickly. The blue eyed, golden haired creature was spectacular to look at. Her gestures were elegant, highlighted by her fingernails which were painted in a light brown colour as they move to rise and fall of her voice. Her choice of words suggested some form of pleading urgency, but her tone barely concealed harshness especially when she repeated the word “excuse me” three times. The old lady turned away from her. It was worse to provoke the ire of the hungry ghosts than the ignorant.
She could smell the stench of burning animal flesh wafting from the BBQ pits above. They had a fire starting too. Sounds of merriment and smoke filled the air as everyone above began to pile their plates with sticks of meat, they live like deities here. For many years, the old lady had been a vegetarian and the smell of barbequed food sickened her but she had to persist. She has a mission to complete.
The gods showed their displeasure and sent a messenger. Ahad, the security guard of the day was summoned. Tomorrow was Hari Raya, and he reminded himself to only think positive thoughts. He saw from the corner of his eye what the problem was and groaned internally. Why couldn’t the day end faster and why was he brought in for this? He did not like to deal with stubborn old superstitious ladies neither did he like the demanding foreign expats. For all he cared, they were both restricting humanity's source of clean oxygen.
Ok haha the above is a fictionalized narrative I wrote based on what I saw today. By today I meant on the eve of Hari Raya and the first day of Hungry Ghost festival. That is a young Caucasian women was showing much displeasure with some Chinese lady who was burning incense "cash" paper outside the condo. The Malay guard was struggling to communicate to both parties and stop the Chinese lady during her prayers. Obviously I am a biased source but I meant no offense...everything else was made up. I actually found the exchange very funny.