HOW long is the day?


How long is the day? How much longer is the night?

Not knowing how to use time and to fill the day and night meaningfully people have been posting on social media as if the Second Coming is at hand. Instantly when the beeping became to intense, the cell was put on silent and set aside as an orphan in one corner of the house and the recollection of the Quranic ayah (an evidence stated in the Quran) ‘ By the passing of time verily man is in state of loss’ stemmed the tidal wave of frivolous pass time into this engaging piece of reality.

It was the further enhanced when I reflected on my visit to Palestine in July 2014 for this LOCKDOWN to sink into my heart, body and soul to truly underpin it as a humanitarian aid to stop the rapid infection of COVID – 19 and; the actual lockdown of Gaza from 2010 onwards is one of oppression in keeping with an Apartheid state. The army presence in South Africa at the moment is one of hope and usefulness to establish a President’s decree aimed at saving lives. The army in and around Occupied Palestine are not there to save lives in the main but to enforce a President’s decree of curfews, checkpoints, house demolitions, human right violation and abuses in the main. When I set these two startling scenarios side by side, I concluded that I am in a heaven on earth.

For me to go through the checkpoints in Occupied Palestine more than a dozen times in the brief time spent there is something I could not internalise as a norm and a routine. However, for the people there it’s an everyday occurrence with a great possibility of facing denial of entry, harassment, detention without trial or…. Then this lockdown in South Africa became embedded differently as I saw our army intent on saving the nation and the army of the Occupiers in Palestine as an army intent of maintaining a lockdown. Gaza is in lockdown and they have been at it for more than a decade. What did we do to make the world aware of Gaza. From memes to videos we are all in sync with COVID – 19. CLICK on the link below and extend your knowledge and ask yourself how much of that you know.

Do you know the journalist of Al Jazeera, Mahmood Husein who is incarcerated without being charged for more than 1192 days and will be there for a long time if the world does nothing. His LOCKDOWN is now a constant message on the banner below the newsreader on Al-Jazeera. My mind is still trying to reconcile why Dr Aafia Siddiqui is still in LOCKDOWN when a fair trail has not taken place. The thoughts of these two brave hearts renders me gasping for breath to note that Mohamed Morsi died in LOCKDOWN on 17 June 2019 followed by his son in tragic circumstances too. I played all three scenes and could not place our LOCKDOWN on a parallel line with them save the word: LOCKDOWN!

DAY 2 LOCKDOWN in South Africa was nothing extraordinary. There were few arrests because people defied the LOCKDOWN to buy booze or to have a swim or to walk the dog. The army stepped in to stop these violations while the army in Italy battled through the day to bury hundreds, to give life aid to thousands and to help because the whole nation is on a knife’s edge. The careless behaviour of us here in South Africa will be costly if we don’t mature up. Our loss of lives will not result because of our soldiers’ rapid rifle fire rather it will be a consequence of our sheer stupidity and; our army will have the painstaking task of burying us bereft of any ceremonies and singing choirs or solemn rituals.

Day 2 for me was reflective and appreciative of all the favours. It was apt to cite Shakespeare’s sonnet 114:

Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,
Drink up the monarch’s plague, this flattery?
Or whether shall I say, mine eye saith true,

Simply put the octave explores whether the mind and eye are in sync with is seen, heard or felt. It is like both are involved in some sin and the puzzling thing is which do we rely on more heavily. This is not a deep analysis the sonnet but used to give deeper insight. Abu Bakr (r.a), the first Caliph of Islam said that one should consult his heart for it will not lie, rings true each time we have to make a choice. The English proverb, ‘Seeing is believing and hearing is deceiving’ has been challenged greatly in this time. Therefore, reflect with your heart, mind and eyes for a fair judgement on matters. Leave watching series and movies for a while and give your heart, mind and eyes a chance to absorb the world around you and the world beyond you and; then you will find what you truly think, feel and have worthwhile opinion on. If you don’t , then your life is just ‘..full of sound and fury signifying nothing…’

I leave you to think and about DAY 3. What are you going to do that is going to make you think beyond the average Joe out there. Live out DAY 3 and the rest too because millions are in LOCKDOWN worse than yours.


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