Wednesday, 31 August 2011

LIVE (life) AND IN COLOR

I love art. I view life as an art. After one is born they are deemed to be artists of sorts. The world is an enormous art collection, with people busy putting up different works in their individual galleries. After their time here is done, their works live on showing all they did when they were alive.

Indeed, every single experience is artistic. Before it happens, you the artist: are the person in a position to control the outcome. Your mind holds an idea; you have a brush, pencil, charcoal or oil paint in hand. Your canvas is right in front of you, waiting for you to etch out the moment. Whatever you decide to draw defines who you are. If you let your creative subconscious take over and your meticulous sense with it, the results become amazing. Everyone will like to see your beautiful art; it stays there forever sweeping all who look at it with awe. It becomes timeless, all who know you remember. Then you become immortal.

But when you fear and lose control, you just fumble and scribble. Whatever you put on canvas is too grotesque for your taste let alone that of others. No one remembers what you did, and it remains just that: a bad memory. So learn to take control of your life. It never matters what you did not do, just what you did. Be generous with your gifts and talents. Give life your all, and make paintings that you and those who come after will love and hold dear.

Lastly, imagine you are a beautiful white sponge, and you came across these brilliant pools of colored liquid. There is a red pool of passion, a yellow pool of knowledge, a green pool of gratitude, a pink pool of love and a purple pool of fun. Go ahead, deep your sponge toe in each of these pools and your color will begin to change. Rather than being a plain white sponge, you will be a multi-colored sponge filled with passion, knowledge, gratitude, love and fun. That is how to live friends, live life and in color.

LETTER TO MY LECTURERS

Dear Mr/Mrs Lecturer,

First, let me commend your efforts so far in the year. You are mostly able to break from your busy schedule and show up in class and teach us. Even when you only change the background of last year’s slides and present them, I appreciate the many times you prepare and deliver knowledge to us students. However, there are a few issues I need to bring to your attention.

When I can’t avoid it, I skive your lectures once in a while. Stop looking at me that way now. Let’s face it: you skive too Mr. /Mrs. Lecturer. A few times I prefer bumming. Other times I just want to read on my own. It is a more constructive way to spend my time because I may attend lectures and end up not listening to you. The way you talk mostly hypnotizes me to sleep. I do not like sleeping in class as it is uncomfortable and the bad posture is contraindicated. So could you please spice up your lecture? I have a few recommendations.

For starters, you could make grand entrances; a drum-roll followed by a cat walk or a swaggerific bounce would do. Avoid regurgitating a Katzung’ or any other text book in class. Throw some candy or currency, depending on which side of the economy you woke up on, to those who answer questions. You might also want to walk around in class and pick on a few classmates (at your own risk). Also, bust some dance moves occasionally while teaching; example, pass a wave to demonstrate chorea, or ‘kadunga’ to explain akathisia caused by antipsychotic drugs. Feel free to perform demonstrations of clinical symptoms except those of vomiting, diarrhea and flatulence (biohazard!). I believe words here are enough to pass the mental picture.

Sometimes I feel you give us too much information. There are all these strange micro organisms like Chikungunya and Onyong’nyong’ virus, Burgia malayi, to mention but a few. These are things I will hardly remember or even encounter yet you still jam them into my cranium. Then come their vectors and transmitting agents. Many a time I'm sitting your lectures I feel part zoologist, part exterminator and part microbiologist: hardly a medical student. I also wonder why some drugs have side effects so severe that the patient would gladly prefer their disease to our therapy. Worse still you insist that when everything else fails to work, those are the drugs we should turn to. What sort of demented pharmacist had this evil idea of a practical medical joke?

When it comes to exams, lately you've become too harsh. The marks you give hardly translate to our efforts. Put in economic terms, sometimes they can hardly purchase an ugali and a decent accompaniment at the students mess. We take time to look at your questions and write whatever comes to mind, so please take time to look at our answers. I know we write gibberish at times, but please bestow thy mercy upon the humorous. A half a mark for comic relief and a longer life isn't so bad an exchange now is it? And before you ask us questions that do not make sense, teach what you require of us in such scenarios. Please look into this issue before our marks start economically depicting PK moments!

If you look at these issues and many others that my classmates might raise, I am sure we will all get along very well. Reply at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,
The Bush Doctor


Monday, 22 August 2011

MATTERS OF FAECAL IMPORTANCE

Most times you hear about human waste, it’s just figurative. When you are troubled we say you are in deep (sh!), we call a dumb person a (sh!) head, whatever annoys us is full of (sh!). Ever thought about the converse; what crap could actually do to you? Read on and get the idea.

A recent experience tempted me to put these matters in font. I was strolling on the streets of Nairobi when I got the urge to fulfill a small call of nature (note the word small). Thank heavens Iko toilets (zIko) everywhere nowadays and all you need is a coin and excreta and all your ‘calls’ can be conveniently ‘answered’. So I get into one to help build the nation with other Kenyans. First, the atmosphere of many ‘men at work’ in a small space is repelling. Then the urinal was a blatant abuse of personal space: the bowls too close and a tad bit too high. It seemed that the designer was totally oblivious of the fact that basket ball players are less than a minority in this country. Acrobatics seemed essential for shorter men if they were to have their private moments in comfort.

When my turn at the urinating bowl came, I was pressed almost to a break-dancing point. I went ahead to relieve my latest troubles amidst an applause of farts in the background. Mid stream, a disturbing noise rent the air: a phone ringing. It wasn’t mine and even if it were I wouldn’t dare pick up. But after a few uncomfortable seconds the owner in one of the water closets picked up with a very constipated ‘Aro…….., I'm ferry pissy, can I call you pack soon?’ I never had a chance to eavesdrop the rest of the conversation due to laughter echoes filling up my cranium. I wonder however how he sounded from the callers side. It even got me thinking of those times that 'matters of faecal importance' bring a funny twist to otherwise normal daily activities.

For instance, imagine you had an infection and you self prescribed strong antibiotics, curing it but leaving you with violent diarrhoea instead. The doctor explains that the drugs you took killed all your ‘friendly’ intestinal bacteria hence the bowel overdrive. Then he goes on to prescribe faecal biotherapy. The thought that you are so ill that you need poop from someone else to get better is disturbing enough. Whoever thought that a faecal transplant could save lives? The irony is that other body valuables such as kidneys are hard to part with and easy for patients to accept but when transplanting goes the crappy way, the converse applies instead.

This other moment most of you can relate to. It’s in the morning, you are in your favorite white shirt, and you feel confident, look good and smell good. Everything feels perfect until a big bird flies by and offloads on your white shirt. Worse still, the aim is accurate: right on your collar and shoulder, and the dump foul and sizable: large enough to make you reel back on impact. That’s when the music in your head stops playing, and the whole day grinds momentarily to a halt. Now that’s crappy is it not? It would only get worse if alternatively you were a realy tall fellow walking in hostile territory (read- area with flying toilets!).

Talking of faecally incontinent avians, I remember this film I watched way back where the king of a certain African tribe was chosen by the gods, signified by a bird taking a dump on his head. Perhaps our former colonial masters need to borrow a leaf now that their country is in turmoil. The comic relief could ease the political tension, and maybe that sort of change is what they need. Picture a number of monarch hopeful noble Britons standing in line waiting for a fleet of crows to fly by and dump. One ‘lucky’ guy lands a generous poop helping on his now half-grimacing-half-ecstatic face and proudly turns around to look at the people. Then the archbishop of Cantebury points at him and shouts in acknowledgement in a heavy british accent at the eager crowd below, ’Holy crap! Behold, I give yee Sir Dunghead Guthawker Winterbottom, all hail the king!’

Saturday, 13 August 2011

THE THERAPEUTIC BEAUTY OF SUNRISE

All the works of nature not withstanding
There is none ever as astounding
As the magnificence of the sun rising
The subtle tussle of the night giving in to day
The sheer wonder of rays tearing the dark away
In graceful strength and beautiful majesty
The sun stirs up all and sundry

Like a perfect symphony of an orchestra
So is nature’s daily mantra
First, the realization that the day is finally here
Then, the slow change of laze into an activity flare
With a gradual warming of the crisp morning air
As life resumes in the new day’s allure

Only in the pristine times of a morning
Is there embedded the epiphany of a chance at redoing
A perfect therapy for life’s past and painful misgivings
The end of nightmares and last night’s worrying
Perhaps a restart in the habits of hope and believing
Merged with a novel plan in the art of living
One thing however stays in remembering
The present is given in exquisite bow and wrapping
None else: but that of the marvel of the sun rising

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

WHAT IF SONKO WERE TO BE PREZZO..

Politicians and diapers have two things in common: they need to be changed frequently and for the same reason. Kenyan politicians however beat used diapers hands down. Right now for example, they are busy preparing for the 2012 race while most Kenyans are languishing in starvation and abject poverty. Kenyans have suffered under their leadership for long.

One young man Mike Mbuvi the Sonko stands out as a ‘man of the people’. His flamboyance and antics never go unnoticed as he goes on with his day to day business. In relation to this, I foresee the following in case he ever runs for president and wins: The swearing in would be in sheng’. This would stand as a sign of his allegiance to the younger generations. The term ‘His Excellency’ would be ditched for a more youth-like title. I suggest ‘His flamboyance’ or perhaps something more hoodlum like ‘His firstbodi’.

Charity begins at home and the new president would have to change a few house affairs. The white house would be renamed ‘Keja ya White’. After moving in, His firstbodi would throw frequent parties and give free unga and other handouts to the masses as a signifying solidarity with his electorate. The current presidential limo would be replaced with a ride that can roll on 34” of chrome. Perhaps a stretch H3 Hummer would suffice for His firstbodi and entourage.

Parliament would be more interesting. Young iced up policy makers would bring the chill in the August house making it impossible to sleep. Members would have to pass the ‘Sheng’ Act’. Article 1 of the act would declare sheng’ the third official language in the country. Article 6 would replace the legislators ‘Aye’ with ‘Wazi joh!’ and ‘Nay’ with ‘Zii’. The newly appointed speaker would swap the old woolen rug on his head with a white doo-rag and an occasional baseball cap worn in reverse. To top it all off, the national band would play Abass’ Chapaa after a good budget is read. The minister for finance would lead the house in cranking up and 'celebrating' the newly imposed heavier taxes they would later steal.

The presidential guard of honor and national festivities would be something else. The usual march would be upgraded with a swaggnificent lean in every left stride. During inspection, they would play His firstbodi’s own remix of Prezzo by CMB Prezzo. After an inspiring speech on how the government will cushion the mwananchi from the ever rising cost of living he would make it rain Sonko style. Every time he would fly out for government business and came back, the band would be ready to welcome him with Jaguar’s Navuka Border at JKIA.

Moral of the story; 2012 is drawing near. The political scene is wanting right now. Kenyans should be more vigilant and look for promising leadership instead of swaying to empty talk. However after such a long era of political ping pong sometimes I feel we could do with an entertainment break such as this one don’t you think?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

OF LOVE AND FAMILY



This homely feeling
Is more than healing
After a period of tough testing
With moments that left me weak
I drift off in search of solace
My conscience retires to the bush doctors premise
Rummaging through all my paraphernalia
In search of a strong cure
The perfect elixir
One strong and potent mixture
Of love and family in delicate proportion
A mild sweet and perfect concoction
To cure me of weary emotions

I drink it to all I hold close
Not only by blood
Also by love the strongest bond
Those who make me fly when I feel like falling
Those who make me walk when I feel like stopping
Those I'm here for, my life's meaning
Those who keep me close when I want to be alone
Those who stand by when the whole world is gone
As I take a gulp after another
I realise this, that and the other
This is what I am because of them
That I would give the world and more for them
Other things never matter if they are not about them

I take a sip to the times we fight
When anger takes over and with it spite
The special memories when everything feels alright
The golden moments and priceless heights
To the darkness behind we want to forget
And the splendid future we aspire to get

The last swing is even more to the person of my dreams
The apple of my eye, alone I'm blind
My thumping heart, alone I'm lifeless
Its for her that life teaches me love lessons
And with her that learning them feels beautiful
She is a gift forged from heavenly treasures
And if fate has it that I am most deserving
Then my gratitude knows no bounds
For with her the beauty of life is ever beyond words.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

IN THE NAME OF BUSINESS

It’s comical how businessmen go to any lengths to get you to move their merchandise. Take this guy Mutinda for example. He was a diligent worker at Patel’s general store. His business minded boss kept pushing him harder and harder to get things flying off the shelf. One day, the boss overheard him talking to a customer. The lady wanted black Kiwi shoe polish. Mutinda told her curtly that they did not have kiwi shoe polish and the lady walked on to the next store. Patel came up to him and told him, ’that is not how to do business Mutinda, next time customers ask for something and we don’t have it, give them alternatives; like Ric, Guinea, or Pop and Shine shoe polish for example’. So Mutinda dutifully took the advice. As if in testing, an old Indian lady walked in to ask for tissue paper which coincidentally was sold out. Mutinda politely answered, ’we don’t have toilet paper madam, but we have carbon paper, manila paper and sand paper. Which one would you like?’

To make it in business, one has to be innovative. Reading the market trends and getting a niche target is important. If things go well the benefits are worth the effort. Currently one of the most booming businesses in Kenya is funeral services. Helping the reaper in his 'life turnover' work seems quite lucrative. Those doing it have everything covered from the morgue down to six feet below. On a dark touch of humor, I sometimes wonder what the partakers in this morbid venture are viewing as a niche now that it’s quite flooded. Perhaps there is a guy who is thinking of employing people to collect ashes at crematoriums and pack them for sale as ‘instant people’ to cannibals? I wouldn’t really know…

A unique advertisement strategy is of the essence too. Business owners will wave wads of cash to all the creative and sometimes crazy people they can get to make their merchandise visible. Some personalities have been associated with varied products. The singing fellow in Nuru soap is the only guy I know who loves doing his laundry. Another fellow, Peter Marangi, is officially the face of Dura coat. He has been on the job since the days he made us stop asking Ronaldo to play football with a cabbage. And this guy loves his painting job for sure. He opened an academy for painters. Just to show how serious he is into his work, he actually made them to match to school. I bet on the day he gets a tattoo, he will ask the artist to ink a paint brush silhouette and ‘Dura Coat’ on his chest using, you bet, Dura coat. And to drive a point home he will parade his bare Dura coated chest on television and remind us to always ask the experts.

Lastly, there are slogans that consumers associate business entities with. Bus companies are notorious for these. One company started with ‘we lead others follow’. Soon however, another came up claiming that they ‘lead the leaders’. This went on for a short while until ‘the ultimate leaders’ came up. This new lot of leaders had a good time enjoying their newly acquired ‘ultimate’ position. Later on however, members of a western Kenya traveling company felt they could outdo these ‘ultimate leaders’ hands down. To prove they meant business this is what they wrote on their buses; ‘Our vision 2015: Every bus in front of you is Mafruits’. On that note let us all have a fruitful day, won't we?

SEVENTY YEARS A MAN IS GIVEN

The medical field has vastly grown in the past two centuries. There have been quantum leaps in curative medicine ditto preventive and alternative medicine. These changes have lead to an increase in life expectancy. Indeed, one Audrey de Grey a biomedical gerontologist postulates that there is a chance ageing could be brought under decisive medical control. He predicts that quarter a century from now a million centenarians will be part of the world’s populace. Keen followers of his longevity research have even theorized that at the current rate of medical advancement the first individual to live a thousand years might be born in about a half century!

A hundred years is a long time to live. A person has to endure a lot if they intend to live actively up to that age. By the time multiple joint replacements, dentures, grafts, implants, plastic surgery, prosthetic devices, hormone therapy, a crazy diet and a third leg (walking cane) get you to a hundred years plus you will be half man half machine. Seventy and a few extra years sounds reasonable enough. In fact here is one wise man's take on the life expectancy matter:

In the beginning, the creator made man and gave him thirty years to live. He then made a donkey to help him with work and a dog to protect him and bestowed thirty years to each. He gave them the world as a home and told them to make the best of their years on earth.

Soon after creation however, the donkey came back to the Creator with a problem. He complained that thirty years were too many to toil for man and asked the Creator to reduce his life span. The donkey requested for ten years only. When the Creator asked him whom the donkey wanted the other twenty years to be given, the donkey answered man. After all man didn’t labor as hard, he enjoys his time on earth while the donkey does all the work.

After the donkey left, the dog came to see the creator requesting for an age decrease as well. His reason was that sleeping outside in the cold for thirty years was too much for him. Ten years serving man as a guard was all he could handle. He then offered his other twenty years to man and the Creator consented to this.
Man was therefore endowed with a total of seventy years. His first thirty years are meant for him to find his dreams, establish his life and know his purpose. When he gets to donkey’s twenty years, he will have to work hard for his family. His children will grow, he will kick them when they fail to tow the line and it will be his duty to provide. Lastly, the dog’s twenty years are his final. His children will be grown, and he will lose control over them. They will pet him and he will only be able to bark at them when they go wrong. Security for the future of his family will be his concern before he leaves earth.

After that frailness will kick in. Weak and unable to fend for himself the man will fall under the care of his children or a home for the elderly. Unless he is willing to walk the medical path of longevity, the fullness of life gradually fades away and the wait for the next phase begins. It hence follows that seventy healthy years a man is given, more than that is merely a blessing.
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