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Sunday, 29 September 2019 13:35

A Tribute to my Best Friends- Risshy & Parth

We all met three years ago at the prestigious Sp Jain School of Global Management. Three very different lads from two extremely different continents. No one ever had a clue that three years down our friendship, we’d have some of the best memories with each other. From the Home of the “World cup of Wildlife” or better known as the wild beast migration phenomena (one of the seventh wonder of the world) Kenya, schooling abroad was one of the things I had looked forward to.

In Mumbai, India during my first year, I was skeptical (don’t know about my mates) if I’ll fit into the stringent Indian culture. I guess it’s safe to say that I had my own concluded assumptions traveling to Bombay. My mates, on the other hand, Rishhabh (Risshy) and Parth (Gary) seemed to be right at home and at peace with everything. I mean why not? They were from India though from a different town but nonetheless, this was their home.

I still remember our first conversations funny thing is we bonded over the most minuscule of issues. Risshy (as I call him) is part of a caste in the Rajasthan culture. I got to know this over an introduction session in class as part of the orientation process for the freshman class. Somewhere in my mind, I heard he said that he was a Pakistani. Over my few short weeks in the country, I got to know that apparently Indians and Pakistanis have this ancient rivalry. Over our lunch break, I got to talk to him over the issue and when his eyes widened, I knew I had definitely overstepped.

As I waited for this 6’1-foot dude to confront me over what I termed as a vile invasion of his cultural and unspeakable privacy, He sat me down and explained to me in detail, I mean in DETAIL my error. That was the birth of an awesome friendship/ bro love between the Gentle giant and an ignorant David Yes me!

For Parth, we bonded more over food. He just bluntly approached where I usually sat in class and wanted to know about Kenya since he hadn’t traveled to any country in Africa. Then he offered a piece of whatever home cooked meal he had brought from home to showcase why I need not deny his invitation for a lunch hangout the next day to explore the “wonders” of Indian food. Boy, I’m glad I accepted his invitation!

Fast forward to three years after we met and weirdly got introduced to each other, Just a month ago we had a “bro vacay” to Goa. Some quality bonding time away from all the fracas in the world. I just want to say thanks to the universe for introducing us to each other. I’m personally grateful to have friends who despite all the world racial bullshit and difference in cultures figured a way to bypass all that and blossom a wonderful friendship. Through my highs and lows both in the past and future, I’m glad that I passed through all that beside you guys and cheers to us!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BOYS! I LOVE YOU!

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My little sister Jasmine is getting married this weekend.

 

Sisters are special, regardless of their age. They hold our hands and drive us to be better every day. I cherish the relationship I have with you, my little sister. I remember how excited I was when my mother came back home, holding you in her arms. I threw away all my dolls because I had gotten a sibling to play with. We have grown together and created a bond that cannot be broken no matter what. The things we have gone through have made us closer and tighter than before. I still cannot believe it that my little sister is getting married. The little girl I used to torture and tease around now has a new last name. We are both getting old Jasmine!

 

We played behind the small incomplete building with our friends, making mud pancakes and houses. We shared our little secrets that we could not even tell mummy while holding our little hands. As we grew older, we shared the growing pains and challenges of boarding and high school. How can I forget the times we clashed with each other during the holidays when you wanted to watch your favorite cartoons. Remember the days when daddy punished us for fighting over the remote? And we would take our porridge or tea without sugar for fighting? It taught us to agree even when our opinions or desires varied. I believe this has contributed to our strong bond even in our adult years. I cannot forget the library days when I got hungry as soon as we entered the library doors, and you used to get angry at me. I would force you to go out for lunch a few hours after.

 

Remember the hours in your campus days when we sat in the night talking about our lives and dreams. About the guy, you would want to get married to and the number of children you wanted. And, we would laugh at the many kids you wanted to have. We imagined a focused, kind, caring, and loving man to share your wedding day and marriage. My little sister, I am so happy that you got the kind of man you have always dreamed and prayed for. Your wedding is an indication that some things will eventually end. But, you are excited and happy, and I cannot help but extend my sincere best wishes to you two. I love you, my little sister, and I am thankful to God for blessing me with a sister like you!

 

Tears run down my chin today when I saw you in your wedding dress. And, as you walked slowly towards your husband, I saw you walking into your next life sister. I want to say that I am happier for you than you can imagine. My little sister, I want you to know that marriage works as long as you commit to working through the small or big fights. You are going to argue over little things as you get used to the new arrangement of marriage. But, that does not mean that you are doomed; it is normal. Remember to practice empathy and avoid going to bed angry at each other. You should never forget the things that made your husband fall in love with you and work towards making them better by the day.

 

Congratulations on your wedding, my little sister! I cherish you!

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Today is my mother’s 53rd birthday, and I wish nothing but more blessings and good health in her golden years. God blessed me with a loving and supportive mother, and I could not ask for more. Even if I am married and with children of my own, she still supports and advices me like her little girl.

 

Fifty-three years ago, a little girl was born in Meru, Kenya. The little girl was hardworking and brilliant in school. Her father invested in her educated for her empowerment, and though she did not join her dream career-law, she became a teacher. She met and married my father while working as an intern, and she soon bore her firstborn daughter. It was no longer about you the moment you welcomed your first daughter. The little girl born 53 years ago is my beloved my mother! No words can match up the sacrifices she has made to bring up her three daughters. We love you, mum!

 

I am a woman of 28 years, and I owe everything that I have and am to my mother, who today will be turning 53. Raising your three daughters besides all the hardships meant working twice, if not thrice as hard. My mother hurts when you hurt, and she prays the rosary each day for her two grandchildren and us. My mother’s love is beautifully irrational. She looks beyond my mistakes and flaws, seeing the best version of not only me but all her three daughters. She has always been there for all of us, day and night. Mum, Ma. She has taken this role dearly and never relented, no matter what. No one shapes lives than our mothers. You have taught us to work harder beyond our current circumstances to become a better version of ourselves. It is from you mum that I have learned to love my babies selfless and dedicate my life to them.

 

I cannot go without acknowledging the challenges you have gone through mum. I look back at the events, and I am sure beyond doubt that you are the strongest species on earth. The biggest challenge being the loss of your father. It was tough for you mum. How you gathered the strength to pick us from school to attend the funeral, without saying a word to us about it, and coming up with a lie to protect us from the emotions is something I still do not understand. You remained calm throughout the 3 hours’ drive, without getting emotional. I know the divorce was draining, emotionally, and financially. I am still baffled by your strength throughout this trying and stressful time of your life. This was a hard time for us as a family, financially and emotionally, but you still held our hands.

 

I thank God for blessing me with a mother in my childhood. I enjoyed the new clothes you bought us during Christmas and New Year’s Day, the road trips, the holidays and your delicious pilau and chapos. I will do my best each day to say, “Thank you, Mummy” I want you to know that I could not be anywhere close to where and who I am today, were it not for your love, support, and counsel.

 

Thank you for being strong in broken circumstances. I love you! Happy 53rd birthday mummy.

Published in Tributes
Monday, 23 September 2019 12:58

In memory of my great and late Grandpa

It was the year 2002 and I lost my grandpa he was very close to me. My grandpa was a really kind, simple and inspiring people I'd known. He wasn't only my grandpa to me in growing up he was certainly one of my best friends ever.

I'd a difficult time in my childhood and my grandpa was always there for me. Along with his love and guidance that time I'm who I'm today. As a result, he is a true hero for me personally and gave me the important values, fame and respect that I owe today.

Since childhood when I needed to keep in touch with someone I talked to grandpa all the time as he was always there. He always seemed to learn precisely what I needed.  I would often ask “Have you been OK, Baba?” or “Have you been comfortable?” or “Have you been all good, Baba?“ And each time he replied, “I'm alright.” Many of us in the family members were truly inspired by him to learn his far-sighting thoughts, his works, his prayers and obviously his great personality.

During my college days, I made plans to visit his farmhouse with my grandpa. Unfortunately, on second day we were to meet, Grandpa called me to inform me he had to cancel as a result of bad health and the cold. No matter. I told him to obtain well and remind me once he started feeling better.

The next morning I woke up to my phone ringing repeatedly. I was informed that my grandpa have been taken up to a hospital nearby for treatment.  I rushed quickly to a medical facility to see him. When Grandpa wasn't able to put up a chat, I let him rest, but I wanted to be sure he wasn't alone. And day continued; he has been the past four days. And then very next day he was discharged from a medical facility and I was overjoyed to see my grandpa with my own personal family.

As I get older he explained he was worried about my education and finding the right person for me. He was worried about that. That's why I was so saddened when he died suddenly of an enormous attack and then realized that I didn't have my companion anymore to hear my words.

Eighteen years later, today I still think of him, I still remember and think about the great times we had with him. I still cry over him, sometimes without any reason, I just cry. My grandpa could be happy that I have found someone very special. I still miss him and I wish my son (Ridhaan, 9) had the chance to know him as I did.

 

I certainly miss my grandpa and it still hurts whenever I think of him, but I'm glad I knew him and I'm more proud to state I'm a part of his family. In memory of my great and late grandpa, many thanks for all you did and earned for all of us and many thanks for always being there when I needed you.

 

From the whole family, we like you! We miss you! You're a real hero!

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 Mrs. Rana was warden of my high school from the full time I was five before the time I completed my school. She was a fatty woman with a hard voice, strong presence, and a great heart that embraced his staff and students. Mrs. Rana was a leader in every aspect.

 She was a lady filled with the entire guardianship of a small school in the centre of Birgunj, Nepal. And she was a lady who did her job with full effort and grace. Over time, my small school, primarily composed of visionary kids, experienced almost anything that a large high school in Nepal would.

Because she was our great warden, I often called her “MOM”. We were all like extended family and sometimes the auntie words were used most of the time. I needed something extra guidance and the auntie name put more responsibility onto us.

Mrs. Rana was also my Nepalese literature school teacher during my high school. I would probably not refer to that, because my understanding and knowledge of Nepali are appalling. I just saw no need to learn it, but I really do remember so it was a remarkably fun class.

I still remember bunking the English literature class and not attending the school period. Bunking was strictly forbidden, since it is in most high schools, and I'd stolen my friend's small radio and I listened most of the time. As the very next day continued, she caught me red-handed in my own hostel. Being a lady of wisdom, she asked the proper questions and quickly knew that radio was not mine. She then gave me a punishment and asked me handy the things to my friend as sooner as possible. I never stole anything, more importantly, this was the last time I was ever in the principal's cabin.

It had been a great year. I completed my 10th standard and had to leave my school. On the last day of my school, tears rolled down seeing Mrs. Rana.

Now then 3 years later, I met with my school warden gathering with Montessori kids. She wanted to understand how I was, how engineering days was opting for me. I asked her about the school, a spot I'd spent every single day since I left. She added that the school staff and students are becoming along better than they ever have. She smiled and her eyes were watery as she talked.

Thank you for providing us with new knowledge and discipline. Thank you for respecting us and taking into consideration our previous experiences in the training process and building them into new learning methods.

I swear flowers on earth are not enough to get a bouquet for you. I wish you a sound body; want you to own many milestones, happy, beautiful and bright days in your life. I miss you “MAM!”

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Friday, 20 September 2019 07:58

A Tribute to my Super mom

Everyone loves their mother and here is my tribute to express my love and gratitude towards mine. I am aware of what mothers go through to raise their children while having their own issues. Giving a selfless love to make sure their children grow up to be the best version as they want them to be. Going through so much issues right from her childhood, i see a person whom i love and respect selflessly. Sure, we have our little and sometimes huge differences, but who doesn't? I see a strong woman who has raised me to be the kind of person i am today and i owe everything to her. From raising me through school and supporting me in every way possible, i am immensely grateful to my mother to be the kind of person who does what she can to help me.

She is more than a best friend and more than a supporter, she is the backbone of my life without whom i would not even be typing this. Words truly fall short when you are trying to appreciate and tribute someone who has this kind of presence in your life. I have seen her go through hard times and bring me through and provide everything i wanted and needed selflessly and through sacrifice. My mother still is working till date and we help each other through our issues, but to me she is the one person who has been an idol of strength, inspiration, sacrifice and selfless love. Raising two kids is not easy considering what she has been through in her life right from childhood and seeing her positive behavior even today is nothing short of godly.

I am writing this tribute to my mother as a form of token of appreciation and to express what i cannot in person. It is hard to say all these things, but one thing i am sure of is her place in my life and her importance in my success. She is the one person i can turn to in times of need whether small or big and i would like to believe it is likewise. Raising and shielding me and my brother from our family issues, external factors and life altogether could not have been an easy feat and i applaud her for that. She is the torch of light i turn to when i am lost completely in my life, even though i cannot express it straightforward.

Today i am a self dependent person to quite an extent and i do support her also, but not as much as i would like to. To how she has raised me with love and protection, she deserves everything in life and i am hopefully going to do that for her soon. I conclude this tribute with the feelings of immense gratitude and respect i have for her and hoping i can continue to provide and support for her as she has done and is still doing in my life. I love you mom! I don't express it as often, but hopefully this tribute can summarize and bring out what i feel for her.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:33

Tribute to My Late Grandmother

I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of a very good and caring grandmother to cancer. My grandmother died while she was 70.

She really fought a very big battle for 3 years but cancer could not give her a chance to get better. She used the take each day in stride, she never complained anything about her health condition. Every day she gave herself to hope that one day the treatment would work and finally get on with her life.

However old my grandmother was, she still looked very beautiful. Everybody from the village used to admire her and that is the reason why many children from our neighborhood were named after her.

She composed traditional songs to us and also made wonderful stories every evening before we get to bed. I remember one day when she told us the story of ‘Abunwas’ a very cunning person. She told us that Abunwas could borrow something from you but he won't return it back, When you try to follow up on your property Abunuasi ould tell you that your property died or gave birth. The story was very funny

I pray that she forgives me for the many times I brushed her off when she talked about the possibility of dying. The reason why I did this was just but to keep her spirit up so I told her not to worry because she would be ok.

My grandmother used to love me so much, I remember many times when she gave me food period when there were hunger and famine in the country. She never lacked food at her place.

In everything she did, my grandmother was very real. She laid a very strong foundation for all her children and even grandchildren. She was very funny, I remember one day when I wanted to give up with education, she took time and encouraged me never to quit in life. She even went ahead and danced a traditional song which she composed herself.

I remember and I were discussing something that I was struggling with, she raised my head high and said, “Look at me." I never knew what these three words meant but one time while I was meditating I remembered what she meant. What she meant was; you never know in life so make a change however tough it is and do the things you want to do and dream about it before it's too late. Those words were very clear

Her beautiful spirit still lives on her generations, and everyone will always know how much she loved them.

I know the things that kept my grandmother going. The things are her children and her strong faith. Otherwise to face another day could have been tough, and I know how many days she must have been like that. No one imagined that she would survive with cancer for 3 good years but she managed.

Now I hope that her soul rests in eternal peace knowing that she played her part very well and that her children together with all the coming generations on her lineage will be fine.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:21

A Tribute to My Mother- Caroline Wafula

A Tribute to My Mother

Caroline Wafula is a mother and the first woman I have ever loved. It's because of the woman she is and the example she has set, that I can love women with passion and appreciation.

I really love my mother so much and this is something I cannot hide from anyone. I believe I did not enter this world through the body, but instead, I entered the world through her heart. The bond that my mother and I share is unlike any other connection.

Mum, I love you for an uncountable number of reasons. I always feel blessed to have you as my mother and I'm thankful for the wonderful life that you have given me. In honor of mother's day, I would like to celebrate you as my hero, loyal, devoted mother and a true friend indeed.

My mother has been so good to me since day one I entered this world. She always worked hard to make sure I have a good uniform to school and also to have a good life in the future. Whatever I am is because of my mother's struggle.

The truth is that I was born in a very poor background in one of the villages in Kenya. Putting food on the table during that time was something that was perceived to be hard. Though I had my father at that time, my mother played a 99.999% role in making sure that our family is good.

Every day she walks up 5 am and headed to work in one of the white man's land. She used to walk a distance of 8km every day for work. All this so that I have a good education and good clothes to wear.

Your love to me is unmeasurable, even times when I have wronged you you always forgave me and advised me never to repeat the mistake again.

I will never forget the day that I came home very late in the evening from watching a movie in the market. I was very worried when I was coming because I knew you would flog me. When I got home I remember very well how worried you were and how dad was harassing you to come and look for me. You just hugged me and thanked God that I was alive and you warned me never to come home very late like that day. This thing made me think so much why you never preferred punishing me but instead, you warned and encouraged me

I know the life we went through was not very easy, but you tried your best to make it look very easy in my eyes. Every time I entered your room and found you sad, you always pretended like everything was fine and always told me not to worry. Indeed, mum, I will never make fun or joke with and I will never let anything hurt you when am around

I just pray that God gives you many years on this planet so that you can enjoy the fruits that you sow long ago.

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Wednesday, 01 May 2019 01:16

Daddy's Girl

I admit. I am Daddy’s Girl. And I am proud of it.

But being Daddy’s Girl comes with expectations and standards. A lot of expectations and very high standards. Especially when your daddy is the Reverend Joey Umali.

As a pastor’s child, I was expected to behave appropriately (some even expected me to be holy). No clothes too revealing, no accessory too daring, no things too fancy or flashy. I had to be courteous, kind, understanding, compassionate. I had to bite my tongue and choose my words. I had to be a good example — an excellent student, an obedient daughter, an active member of the church.

When dad became the lead broadcaster for the famous radio program “Hardin ng Panalangin,” I was in for lots of surprises. Somebody always recognized him everywhere we went — at the mall, at the drugstore, in gatherings, even at a quiet resort we went to for a family outing. And of course, we were always recognized as his children.

Being dad’s daughter gave me opportunities I never would have otherwise. I had editing and translation projects not only for his books, but for other authors as well. I was invited to speak on his behalf, or with him, in lectures and seminars. People recognized my talents because they knew I was following his footsteps (just in writing, to be clear).

Just this week, I was introduced as the daughter of Pastor Joey three times in three different settings. When I introduce myself, people nod politely, but when I mention that he is my dad, their faces light up and their lips smile. There were even times when people took a photo with me, so they could tell someone else that they met the daughter of Pastor Joey. And I am proud to be able to make people a bit happy just by being my father’s daughter.

My dad taught me many things just by doing them. He never instructed us directly to be this and to do that. But somehow we knew because we saw him do it. He is an obedient son, a good brother, a great father. He is intelligent, firm, a good decision maker, a disciplined person.

He taught us respect by always treating people fairly. He taught us punctuality by always being ahead of time even when others were not. He taught us love by being faithful to our mom. He taught us principles by always sticking to what he believed in. He taught us obedience by following the path God chose for him, even when it meant giving up comfort and many other things. He taught us humility by never lifting himself up, but by always giving the glory to God. He taught us faith by being a man after God’s heart.

And for all these, I thank him. For what I have become because of his example. For what I have accomplished because he believed in me. For what I hold in my heart because he planted that seed of faith there ever since I was born.

Thank you Daddy. I am prouder everyday to be your daughter. I am blessed to have you as my dad, my role model, my Superman.

I love you.

Published in Tributes
Sunday, 17 March 2019 15:45

A tribute to my father

It has been three years since my father took the last breath of his life in this cruel world which took him away.

I held the cold body of my father with tears in my eyes and cried.

I still feel the touch of my father and I still remember the unbelievable feeling of that moment.

When thinking about the words to say at his funeral I thought  "What tribute can you pay to a man whose whole life was a tribute. A tribute to goodness, a tribute to kindness, caring and generosity."

There is really no need for words because my father's life spoke loud and clear.

My father Nicholson was born in 1975 in New Delhi , a developing area of India. Family circumstances were worst when he was under eighteen, but my father was a visionary person among his 4 siblings.

At the age of 23 he met with my beautiful mother in Calcutta and and married her. He tried his best to make her happy. I remember once it was a boring day and my father had an important meeting related to business in California.

I knew that it was my mom's birthday on that day and at 12 o'clock the bell rang and i opened the door. It was a birthday surprise for my mom. A new luxury BMW was waiting outside the door and on it was written "A sweet Happy Birthday for my Love". He left the meeting especially to come home for my mom's birthday.

He was unique among his siblings. Our uncle and aunt were never as generous he was.  He was everyone's favorite friend , everyone's favourite neighbour, favourite uncle, and favorite employer. He didn't have an enemy in the world. I don't think anyone who met him didn’t love him.

We really miss him. We pray every day that he will come back one day. 

Once I broke a precious gift which had been in the family for generations. I think it was a pot from my father's grandfather. After doing this crazy thing I was afraid of being beaten by him and  I hid myself but he found me, kissed me, hugged me and ignored what I had done.

I still remember today as  I realize that he was a blessed shadow upon us. the hospital he made for the poor and needy peoples was a blessing for them. they all praise him. I wasn't aware that father was not just kind-hearted to us but was really like a backbone for whole family, he made the whole family stable.

Last night I found a card from my birthday where it was written "A happy birthday that you will never forgot". I remember that it was an electric car which was more than our family budget to buy but he still gave it to me.

I know your kind soul is walking on paradise and you have been rewarded for your life. I know you are seeing us. I know you feel our happiness and sadness. I know you loved us more than yourself.

God keep you under the shadow of his blessings.

 

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