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Shed a tear ...
volume 15 : issue 03 : march 2001

Editorial: Nisar Keshvani

I shed a tear, as I write this month's editorial, having just attended to my mom's funeral.

She was in hospital for the last three weeks, and this morning, I was first to arrive to watch her last few moments. As I sat next to her, I realised I had never felt this alone before.

Memories of her walking me to kindergarten, taking care of us siblings and her occasional harsh word came to mind. Though doctors had forewarned us, no amount of mental preparation can ever be enough - its just hard.

Within minutes, my brother and sisters, arrived and so did close family friends. As we kept busy working out ceremonial arrangements, I met family friends I had not seen in years, as they lent their support and helped us along.

By the end of the day, we had performed all our Islamic rites. As everyone offered their condolences, suddenly I realised the uncountable number of people, my mom had had an impact upon. All of whom expressed my mom's generosity and kindness. And somehow, it was the little things that people remembered.

A young couple who recently migrated from Pakistan, told my sister, how my mom had looked after them especially when his wife was expecting. A neighbour came over and recalled how my mom took care of their toddler while they were away. Strangers spoke of her in glowing terms. We were aware that she had helped others, but didn't realise that she'd leave her mark on so many.

I realise that its not about achieving great things or trying to change the world. Small gestures to your capacity suffice. Its more important to help others, the community, especially those around you.

Today, there are many others who share our grief and loss. And suddenly I do not feel alone any longer. Moving back from my catharsis to fAfland, thanks to OLAT News, here we feature Italian philosopher and theoretician Mario Costa's speech at ISEA 2000, "For a new kind of Aesthetics" (In French only). Read Jinna Tay and Benjamin Spooner's website review of Soulbath and Katbot respectively, the World-Information exhibition, Maree Kimberley's review of Fresh Cuts 2001 (Institute of Modern Art), and Beth Rainbow's review.


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