ON LOVE

‘Love’ is a much-used word and it may mean a lot of things. It is a feeling, an emotion, a special liking for someone or something. It is associated with heterosexual and homosexual relationship. It could be something negative if it becomes self-love. On the other hand, there is elevated love known as ‘prema’ by Hindus or ‘ishq’ by Muslims. It is the unconditional and selfless love of God. For Christians ‘GOD IS LOVE’, a very explicit message found in the New Testament which extols the virtues of love and forgiveness. In a letter to the Corinthians, St Paul wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Today, William Blake’s Garden of Love has become a field covered with tangled thorny thickets watered with selfishness and greed. Love is perceived as a disposable commodity which can be bought and sold. Selfless love has been replaced by self-love and selfish love. Can we stop this downhill fall? Do we have time enough. A report by French scientists published on SEPTEMBER 17, 2019 predict a sharp rise in temperature by the end of this century accompanied by horrendous climatic conditions worldwide. Earth is warming more quickly than thought. By 2100, average temperatures could rise 7.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if carbon emissions continue unabated, separate models from two leading research centres in France showed.

Science and Pope Francis are warning us that grave danger looms ahead but we prefer to listen to the denial industry funded by the great polluters of this world. Only love which generates care, solidarity and sharing can stop this moral decline but we prefer to listen to promises of increased wealth.

Will we be touched by works of art or by beautiful songs such as this one by Jean Ferrat?

C’EST BEAU LA VIE
Le vent dans tes cheveux blonds, le soleil à l’horizon
Quelques mots d’une chanson, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie
Un oiseau qui fait la roue sur un arbre déjà roux
Et son cri par dessus tout, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.

Tout ce qui tremble et palpite, tout ce qui lutte et se bat
Tout ce que j’ai cru trop vite à jamais perdu pour moi
Pouvoir encore regarder, pouvoir encore écouter
Et surtout pouvoir chanter, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.

Le jazz ouvert dans la nuit, sa trompette qui nous suit
Dans une rue de Paris, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.
La rouge fleur éclatée d’un néon qui fait trembler
Nos deux ombres étonnées, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.

Tout ce que j’ai failli perdre, tout ce qui m’est redonné
Aujourd’hui me monte aux lèvres en cette fin de journée
Pouvoir encore partager ma jeunesse, mes idées
Avec l’amour retrouvé, que c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.
Pouvoir encore te parler, pouvoir encore t’embrasser
Te le dire et le chanter, oui c’est beau, c’est beau la vie.

LAVI ZOLI
Divan dan seve frengan, soley pa rod paravan
Parol enn sante lontan, li zoli, lavi zoli
Enn zwazo lao-lao ranz so nik lor pie koko
So sante pa konn defo, li zoli, lavi zoli.

Tou seki bouze, vibre, tou seki zame kile
Tou seki dan mo krwayans zame pa pou retourne
Tank lizie ankor trouve, e zorey ankor tande
Tank kapav ankor sante, li zoli, lavi zoli.

Kan lamizik Ernest Wiehe pe soufle ler prefere
Dan lari lavil Porlwi, li zoli, lavi zoli
Kan rouz boukiebanane dir nou pa dekouraze
Parski lavi kontinie, li zoli, lavi zoli.

Tou seki mo finn perdi, tou seki mo finn gagne
Zordi ape revini ler soley pe al kouse
Kan kapav ankor done, mo lafors ek mo lide,
Kan lamour pa pe boude, li zoli, zoli lavi.
Kan ankor kapav koze, ankor anvi anbrase
Dir tousa ar melodi, li zoli, zoli lavi.

18.09.19

WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?

Human beings believe that the world is theirs for the taking. It is the privilege of intelligence. Consequently, the land, sea, air and space (the whole of creation) is their God-given patrimony for their enjoyment. This is how they read the holy texts. Is there a different way of looking at our so-called rights? Yes, there is.

According to great visionaries, luminaries and intellectuals we have more duties than rights.

According to the old mindset which still determines behaviour, ‘might is right’. The strong tribe has no qualms about subduing and exploiting the weak one. The powerful country has no qualms about invading and pillaging weaker countries. The macho has no qualms about harassing, bullying, raping, molesting and killing weaker people, especially women and children. Intelligent creatures should use their intelligence to behave more intelligently. They should know that all over the universe, intelligent species have clear duties to perform. The first duty is to know ‘oneself’ and find out how it all started. Did the Big Bang start by itself or was it the product of a will? Are we here to enjoy the fruits of creation or should we consider ourselves as stewards of creation? What are the main duties of Earth stewards?

The economic system which now dominates the planet with its Trump, Xi Jinping, Putin, Netanyahu, Modi, Bolsonaro and other devotees of Mammon spells ruin and desolation for 99% of the world population and opulence and luxury for 1%. In Mauritius, all main political parties are agents of greedy and selfish Mammon and Mauritian big money is tied up with world big money.

God gave us a garden and now it’s turning into a graveyard. This was the message of Pope Francis and not ‘Keep Mauritius clean to attract tourists’ but our political, economic and religious leaders chose to hear the latter.

Instead of singing the praise of power, I prefer to sing with Bob Dylan and think of the new world of solidarity and sharing we have to build for our grandchildren.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, ‘n’ how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, ‘n’ how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

I can also sing it in Mauritian: So repons Pe Santé dan Divan

Komie mil ki nou bizen krazé
Avan ki zot rekonet nou
Komie brizan nou bizen traversé
Pou ki nou kapav repozé
Ki kantité bom nou bizen zeté
Avan ki lapé triyonfé
So repons matlo pe santé dan divan
So repons pe santé dan divan

Komie letan enn montagn dibouté
Avan ki bann vag aval li
Komie letan dimoun bizen soufer
Avan ki bann lasenn kasé
Komie letan nou pou tourn nou lizié
Fer kwar ki nou pa pe trouvé
So repons matlo pe santé dan divan
So repons pe santé dan divan

Komie letan nou bizen get lao
Avan nou dekouver lesiel
Komie zorey ki nou tou nou bizen
Avan nou tann zanfan ploré
Komie disan ki nou bizen versé
Pou ki nou kriye for “Asé!”
So repons matlo pe santé dan divan
So repons pe santé dan divan

16.09.19