Sunday, May 12, 2013

Les tomates mûres | Ripe tomatoes

Je n'ai jamais été une enfant difficile à nourrir  Comme la plupart, j'ai essayer d'éviter les croûtes de pain à une certaine époque et je ne suis toujours pas amatrice de macaroni au fromage -- que voulez-vous je suis une enfant bizarre. Mes aliments favoris ont toujours été et seront toujours les légumes et les fruits, de préférence frais du jardin, sauf les tomates. Je haie les tomates. Ou devrais-je dire j'haissais les tomates?

Ma grand-mère avait l'habitude de faire pousser des tomates dans des pots sur son balcon. Ses tomates, elle nous les apportaient lors de visites. J'aime énormément ma grand-mêre et ferais n'importe quoi pour la rendre heureuse. Alors quand elle me suggérait de manger deux tranches de tomate à chaque repas, je le faisais, à contre coeur, mais je les mangeais. À une certaine époque, je me souviens ne pas vouloir la visite de ma grand-mère aux heures des repas car il s'agirait sans doute d'un autre repas à saveur de tomate. Ma mère s'est aussi ajouté au réjouissance, me rappelant à chaque repas que ma grand-mère demandait que je mange deux tranches de tomates par repas.

Tant bien que mal, au fil des années, plusieurs centaines de repas plus tard, mon goût pour les tomates s'est développé. Je ne déteste plus les tomates, je n'en mange plus à chaque repas, mais je ne les détestes plus.

À un repas familiale il y a quelques années, ma grand-mère, ma mère et moi nous sommes retrouver autour d'une merveilleuse tablée. Bien sûr, des tomates mûres y furent servis. Lorsque mon assiette fût vidée de celles-ci, je demandai une deuxième ration de tomates juteuses. Ma grand-mère répondit aussitôt: "Ah oui, manges-en des tomates! Je hais les tomates!"

I've never been a picky eater as a child. Like most, I tried to avoid bread crust for a time and I'm still not a fan of macaroni and cheese -- I know, I'm a strange child. My favourite food growing up were fruits and vegetables, garden fresh if possible... except for tomatoes. I hate tomatoes. Or should I say, I hated tomatoes?

My grand-mother had the habit of growing potted tomatoes on her balcony. She would bring her tomatoes to us every visit. I love my grand-mother very dearly and I would do anything to please her. Thus, when she would advise that I should eat two slices of tomatoes per meal, I would reluctantly do so. I even remember, at one point, hoping my grand-mother would avoid visiting us at meal hours because I knew she would bring some of her ripe tomatoes along. My mother joined in by reminding me, when my grand-mother was not around, that I was to eat two slices of tomatoes per meal as per her directions.

Through the years, I eventually grew out of hating tomatoes. I don't eat them with every meal but I don't dislike them.

At a family dinner, a couple of years ago, my grand-mother, my mother and myself found ourselves before a beautiful spread. Of course, amongst this spread were beautiful, juicy, ripe tomatoes. When I cleared my plate, I asked my grand-mother for seconds on the fresh vegetables, including tomatoes. My grand-mother quickly said: "oh yes, please, eat as many tomatoes as you would like. I hate those things!"

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ain't No Hollaback Girl!

The sexual harrassment of females at the hand of males is nothing new and far too often, women are told that they are to the ones with the ability to control the harassment. Even worst, women are recurrently told that they should take harassment as a form of flatery. That is unnacceptable!

Would you accept that your mother, sister or wife be harassed, touched our catcalled in your presence? Of course not! Then why is it implied that we should take it as a compliment when the comments are turned towards us?

Luckily, the Qu'ran and multiple hadiths speak of modesty, of lowering one's gaze and keeping from commenting on each other's allure. Unfortunately, cultural subjugaison and maintenance of the male status quo puts once again the burden of modesty on women and far too often, the men disregard the similar verses that apply to them.

I've been donning hijab as a form of modesty and I've simply had it with pseudo-Alpha males who in a show of machismo to their dimwit buddies decide that yellow, hollering or cat calling will win them any form of favour or amusement on my part. If you are a Muslim man reading this, be warned: the next man to howl or holler at me, will get a very vulgar piece of my mind!

Keep your hands, eyes and thoughts to yourself! Astagfurillah!