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“ONCE AGAIN LOVE” Sarita Mathur. (online interview)

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Once Again Love tells the story of  Sarita’s journey towards recovery as she rediscovers the inner peace that love can bring. She emphasizes the transient nature of the ups and downs of life through her “V for Victory” model: Many times we begin life on a high or “up” swing, only to eventually plunge down into the depths of despair as our hopes and dreams seem ever further out of reach. Through the “V” model of thinking, however, Sarita emphasizes the inevitable upward motion of victory, of finding triumph and joy in life once again.

Sarita always considered herself a happy and content individual. However, when she awoke from a routine surgery to correct a painful back ailment, she instantly knew something was very, very wrong. For the first time in her life, Sathur felt depressed, even contemplating suicide at times. Doctors told her that an unforeseen side effect of the surgery had led to severely low serotonin levels in her brain, causing this debilitating state of depression.

Readers will find inspiration, empathy, and encouragement within the pages of

Once Again Love. Mathur helps audiences of all ages find strength within themselves, in part through her “My Own Natural Energy Yields” (MONEY) philosophy. This idea, that an abundance of love and positive energy that resides within oneself will naturally flow outward and attract more of the same, can lead to an immediate increase in overall life fulfillment. Mathur emphasizes the idea that we are not only human beings but spiritual beings as well, beings that feed off the central emotion around which everything else revolves: Love.

Not your typical motivational self-help book, Once Again Love not only contemplates an individual’s reconnection with love and all its power, but also touches upon other global themes such as forgiveness, corruption, selflessness, and sound healing. Through its unique combination of poetry and prose, this book will introduce readers to the metaphysical aspects of life through instances of both science and spirituality.

Sarita Mathur has dedicated herself to a life of helping and healing, becoming a visualization and motivational expert specializing in Reiki and emotional intelligence. Her Reiki CD’s, including “Hand in Hand with Reiki” and “The Caterpillar Has Become a Butterfly,” have become critically acclaimed hits within the healing community. Mathur’s writing has also garnered her worldwide attention. Her experience with depression inspired her to write the poetry prose compilation, Once Again Love.

She was a semi-finalist in the Lentswe Poetry Project and has had poems featured in Unbreaking the Rainbow (an anthology of South African poetry), The Hudson View, and a Haitian-themed poetry anthology. She has also been a guest speaker at the Live Poets Society in Durban, South Africa, featured on the South African television program Eastern Mosaic, and profiled for a newspaper column titled “Women Who Made a Difference.”

  We are spiritual beings living in a physical world.

What connects us to each other are our emotions. Whether rich or poor, young or old, everybody goes through cycles of joy, sorrow as well as the emotions which are between these two.

However, all of us know that we can find “Once Again Love” and we are all capable of “Reconnecting with our  Heart”.

So take heart and live life joyfully and embrace change .There is no time like the present. The present is a gift. Accept  it  and enjoy it.

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Biography: Sarita Mathur.

I was born and brought up in Delhi ,India.

Studied at a boarding school in exotic Jaipur and later went on to do my Honours in English Literature.

I had the good fortune after marriage to travel and stay in Lagos ,Nigeria where I was part of a book club specializing  in African and Carribean Literature.

This also helped me to get to know about the culture of the place plus meet many authors, poets and sculptors.

I came to South Africa in 1995 and am really happy to be living in this beautiful country (Rainbow Nation).

I taught Reiki and Emotional Intelligence for 10 years as well as sound healing and courses called “The Caterpillar has become a Butterfly”

Also Art therapy with mandalas and infusing reiki symbols in paintings to create peace and good energy.


After my back operation ,I was diagnosed with clinical depression due to anaesthesia and drugs, administered at the time of the operation.

However,Reiki and positive thinking helped me recover quickly after initial consults with a psychiatrist who labelled my depression as a “brain attack”.

I am forever grateful to her as she took the stigma out of the disease ,saying that people with depression need compassion and  “it’s not their fault”

I love Life and feel that the  Life we lead is the result of Love and Relationships.

Good Relationships with ourselves, our world and the people around us bring us abundance.

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Lets Talk About The Presidency, Loyalty and Incompetency. By Devi Rajab

If one is a President of a nation; where should ones loyalty lie?

Should it be with ones political party or with the nation?

What is more important a government or the people?  

Should loyalty be an overriding emotion in the ambit of feelings or should responsibility and sound leadership be the qualities of a leader?

Our President has just declared that the ANC is more important to him than South Africa!

With one lisp of his tongue he has orphaned a sizable proportion of the citizens of his country making pariahs of them and declaring democracy and diversity of political opinions null and void.  What does this statement mean for nation building? The implications are dire. It is the basis on which sycophantism will be fostered. Anyone and everyone will be declaring their support for the ANC in order to get tenders and other benefits.

As President Zuma and leaders of this sort grow in stature in their omnipotence, the masses will begin to idolise every aspect of his demeanour. They will embrace his ethnicity, his life style of opulent living with many wives and his preference for a one party state over the vibrant political multiparty politics and his partiality towards his buddies.  Now we in SA know the dangers of loyalty as an attribute especially when it applies to unquestioning support for dysfunctional leadership and yet we will continue to elect leaders who will never quite fit the mould. “We have begun our descent” warns Justice Malala in his latest book which outlines strategies to stop South Africa from losing its way.

If we had to compare our President Zuma with leaders of colour like Barak Obama we find a situation of (inedible) chalk and (delicious) cheese.  Obama rose above his colour to embrace every American stating that there is not a liberal America and a conservative America-there is the United States of America. In the SA context we would have to say and act on the principle that SA is a product of its sum total of all racial groups if we had to harness the power in the words of Obama to “rescue, rebuild and restore”.

 But is it fair to expect Zuma who had served so many years in prison with no formal education to rule and lead a country in the same way as a Harvard educated  first world raised black man?  Certainly not. Political stalwarts don’t necessarily make the best leaders though they may have been great in the movement using expediency, guile, violence, espionage and all other attributes that warrant a win in a war situation.   They needed to be rewarded for their sacrifices in areas concomitant with their expertise. Instead we fall into the rut of assuming that their competency in one area may be easily transferable to others.

In 1969 a psychologist by the name of Lawrence Peter described a principle which was later named after him when he alerted organizations to their own folly. When we promote someone who is doing a good job in one area to a higher position we could create a situation in which he or she rises to a level of incompetence. In our case when ANC cadres are given positions for their loyalty and dedication to their party they are almost invariably set up for failure. So is it fair to blame Zuma for his incompetence or should we blame ourselves for expecting too much from him?

The Peter Principle explains why life could be so maddening—and why everyone around us seems, or is doomed to become, incompetent. It can be argued that in our case the people who ran Home Affairs and other government parastatals  don’t  intend to do such lousy work. They are simply victims of Dr. Peter’s immutable principle. They had been promoted inevitably, maddeningly, absurdly to their “level of incompetence. Dr. Peter also alerts us not to expect the few competent bureaucrats and managers that we may encounter to stick around for long, as they would soon be promoted to a job that they were unable to perform properly. In his analysis of his principle Peters describes behaviours of wastefulness, corruption, ignorance and indolence where “no estimate could be trusted, no contract adhered to, and no check was enforced.” To these behaviours he delighted his readers with pseudo jargons such as Tabulatory Gigantism” (an obsession with having a bigger desk than other colleagues or the “Teeter-Totter Syndrome” (“a complete inability to make decisions”) or “Cachinatory Inertia” (“the habit of telling jokes instead of getting on with business”) And we know how true this is in the case of our laughing President!

“Incompetence,” he argued, “knows no barrier of time or place.” Dr. Peter observed that one reason so many employees are incompetent is that the skills required to get a job often have nothing to do with what is required do the job itself. For example the skills required to run a great political campaign may have little to do with the skills required to govern.  Of relevance to us presently is the levelling or ‘dumbing down’ effect found in most hierarchies where super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence. Ironically extremely skilled and productive employees often face criticism, and are fired if they don’t start towing the line and performing worse. Their presence disrupts and therefore violates the first commandment of organizational life: the hierarchy must be preserved. These observations remain true for us in the new SA as they may have been in the late 60s because human society regardless of race or colour is essentially predictable under certain circumstances. In the light of these findings are we still surprised at our Presidents folly?

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The Kings of Durban – Started in Durban….Ended in Infamy by Deepak Panday.

Screen shot 2015-11-01 at 9.04.58 AMOld School legends are brought back to life in Durban’s rapper Deepak Panday’s debut novel titled the Kings of Durban, influenced by personal involvement in the underworld, Panday relinquishes a quantum leap into a world very few knew existed, UNTIL NOW!

“Before I was old enough to know about gangs, I found myself already in one. Growing up during the post-apartheid era in Durban built my character.

Going through the trials and tribulations of a rough and tough livelihood, I found myself been shot at and imprisoned thus calling for a three year long gang feud to cease became eminent.

A settlement was reached between my loggerheads and me, the day we shook hands a young revolutionist was brought to life. Unlike many other great rappers, actors and writers my story is somewhat different.” Said Panday.

For the first time in 155 years since the adoptions of Indian’s into South Africa, has the aura of the underworld come under such detailed scrutiny were the story depicted in this novel explores a legendary time period when the likes of yesteryears, greats ruled supreme.

“This life should not be spoken of let alone lived again”- Chotoo Bana

The streets of Durban Central were certainly alive in the forties and fifties. I was not there first hand, but given the opportunity, relatives and associates were ever willing to regale me with colourful stories of gangs that prowled the streets day and night.

After paying close attention to many fearless guns blazing escapades one thing remained remote about the gangsters of this era.

They did not prey on the innocent passer-by and the residents of ‘Town’ as we labelled central Durban. They had demarcated areas and protected them ferociously from rival gangs.

Territorial rights were sacred and thus were guarded with their lives. As we hear in top-notch mafia movies,

“It’s all about honour!” Unfortunately, it was just their gangster pride worshiped as honour.

Some of the cadres that ruled the streets of Durban, East Coast of South Africa were as follows: the Salot Family, which consisted primary of brothers.

The Salot’s dominated Overport and later moved their operation, which involved taxis near Kapitan’s Balcony Hotel in Durban Central.

The Dutchins laagered around Old Dutch Road and the notorious Warwick Triangle.

However, to a man, all the members of these notorious mobs quaked with fear, an equal part, respect, when the mere name of the Capo was mention, the Crimson League!

This Grey Street gang ruled with an iron fist and operated from the vicinity of Simons Café and near Victory Lounge and taxis as well as other illicit crimes fell under their cover.

There were other smaller factions but the above roll of well-dressed thugs consisted of the main players. Indians usually made up the core of each crew and there were a sprinkling of Coloured and a few token African hoods.

What was common to each gang was their leader, who was always the most feared member, and he had to maintain his reputation of being the ‘mastermind’ in holding the unholy alliance intact.

The gangs did not harass residents that lived within their domain although they had a host illicit businesses and enterprises.

The Crimson League Gang had its genesis in a vigilante group that was formed in the late forties to eradicate a prominent India based Mafia known as the Pathan Mob who was instilling terror in the lives of shopkeepers in Durban Central.

Extortion that veered out of control necessitated the businessman getting tough and so the nucleus of the League was formed.

The call to ‘Turn the streets Crimson’ with the life blood of the parasitic worms gave the League the well-earned adjective that secured their reign in Durban’s history.

Open war was declared between the Crimson League and the India based extortionists and many battles were fought because the latter refused to back down.

The League retaliated with weapons as well as intelligence, because as soon as the strong arm of the law showed an interest in the war, they protested that they were firmly on the side of justice and was actually assisting the men in blue.

After reigning victorious in a final blood drenched battle against the Indian Mafia, it should have been mission accomplished.

However, instead of disbanding, they saw an opportunity of rich pickings. After a regrouping ceremony, they established an official cabal and went on to become the crime honchos of Durban’s renowned underworld.

One very infamous incident that happened in early and middle fifty’s was when the Salots Brothers and Crimson League clashed with each other causing mayhem on the streets.

Running gun battle landed both gangs in court. In those hallowed corridors of justice gang affiliates indulged in a bit of,

“How’s your boss?’’ or maybe more appropriately,

“How’s your Capo.’’

What is noteworthy is the similarity of the evolution of Durban’s Underworld and that of the Italian Mafia.

The Mafia was formed in Sicily in feudal times to protect the estates of absentee landlords. In addition, just as the Italian’s bosses from the 19th century, The Crimson League had become a network of criminal bands that dominated the coastal side.

In speaking to much older folk who were in their teens during these gangs sovereign, one fact stands out. The Capo made provisions to protect ordinary Indian folk in the then Durban CBD against defenceless attacks from other organized gangs in the city’s underworld.

Recalling the year of 1949 Indians were subsided into a bloody riot with African counterparts and informal gangs colluded under the League in efforts to safeguard their people. In no way this justifies any nefarious activities they were involved in!

. ‘This masterpiece does not intend to lionize past gangs or to glorify their illicit livelihoods but to deny their existence would be to repudiate a very real chapter of Durban’s notorious history’ – Ravi Govender- Post Newspaper Editor and Radio Lotus FM Presenter

‘To relay the events of the past I had to thread very deep into South African history and that is just one of many aspects the reader can take away’

Driven by the synergy created by greats such Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, both Nobel peace prize winners, for the first time in South African book culture has a campaign ever been institutionalized to head the most anticipated saga of all time, The Kings of Durban.

After researching deep into past events as they occurred, Panday has been touched by the Indian contribution to the liberation movement of their adopted country to an extent that, it should be recognized as a public holiday

‘If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children’-Mahatma Gandhi

‘The prophecy that lies in the arrival of Indians in South Africa on November 16th 1860 is explored in the legacy, there is no part of our painful history that Indians hasn’t, wept, shed or gave their lives for to prove their loyalty to the cause. Besides all that has been taken or sacrificed for the sake of our young people, this day should be set aside to celebrate our unique and diverse culture.’

‘To make peace with an enemy, one must work with that enemy and that enemy must become ones partner’-Nelson Mandela

Follow our master plan on

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The Story Of Aziz Hassim. By Ravi Govender.

Screen shot 2015-03-05 at 4.38.17 PM Screen shot 2015-03-05 at 4.37.35 PM It was Thursday, June 30, 2013, not too far from his beloved Casbah, up on the hill of Florida Road, and acclaimed author Aziz Hassim was pacing the pavement outside his upmarket duplex.

It was the day for one of the fortnightly meetings of the league of writing gentlemen who met every second Thursday at Britannia Hotel. He waited for the ‘lightie’ to pick him up. Hassim was self-sufficent and drove his car daily, but this was a fortnightly treat, because his beloved Zohra sometimes needed the use of the family car too. So ‘lightie’ drove him there and his childhood friend Sam Naidoo or retired editor Dennis Pather would take him back home.

It was around 11.30 am and a police car with two officers pulled up on the pavement across the road from him, outside a Consulate. A black (African) cop alighted while an Indian officer remained in the car. He noticed the elderly man pounding the pavement and walked across the busy road to him. The black cop shouted harshly to Hassim: “Hey, what are you doing hanging around here? Who are you waiting for?”

In typical Hassim form Aziz retorted: “Your sister”. There was nothing lascivious in the reply, but it was an instinctive one. The black cop shouted at him: “Don’t act clever. Just move it okay?”. The author was by now consumed with anger, but fortunately Hassim’s sharp eye caught a gesture the Indian cop in the car made to him. The officer put his finger to his lips, indicating that the author should not verbally retaliate. He then called the black cop over and away from Hassim.

As the offending officer went down to the Consulate, the Indian cop approached the fuming Hassim and apologised. He said thanks for not retaliating as the offending officer had a history of racial provocation and it could have turned out rather ugly.

By the time, I, the ‘lightie’ arrived, Aziz was seething. He related the entire incident to me and naturally I could commiserate with his anger. “But lightie, I was on my property. I worked my butt out to live in a quiet decent area. What right does anyone have to question that? It’s my land.”

He went on that he appreciated my punctuality, but for just that one time he wished I had been earlier as the cop would have seen him being picked up and know he was not loitering. I placated him by saying he had no reason to justify being where he was. Throughout that afternoon I noticed he was seriously shaken by the incident. A few days later he was admitted to hospital and a week later he died after suffering respiratory and related problems. I believe it was also a broken heart!

Durban’s never going to be the same without Hassim. A retired accountant, he longed to write a book and when he was seventy he produced The Lotus People. Very few authors can say they wrote their Magnum Opus with their first outing, but it remains arguably his finest work. Awards testify to that. Two more books followed and a fourth was completed at the time of his demise. He was busy tweaking it and it goes by the working title of The Song of Shoba. It is the third part of the Lotus trilogy – The Revenge of Kali being the second part. Be assured the book will see the light of day.

No-one knew the Casbah area as well as Hassim did, having gained his rite of passage to adulthood there. My knowledge of that Grey Street area which I wrote extensively about in my newspaper columns was gained through research. Hassim had the Casbah in his blood, he felt it and tasted it. As a result, whenever I was contacted by overseas and local television producers to discuss Durban, I put them on to Hassim. Leave it to the expert I felt.

He suffered no fools, but was rude to no-one. He could walk down the street regally with kings or straggle along with a beggar if it made the person more comfortable. He spent time speaking to waiters enquiring after their families and their health and they loved him.

His memory for names, years and incidents was prodigious. Hassim could keep you enthralled for hours with his stories of Durban and the Casbah. Names like Goolam Boxer, Sunny Morgan, Mohan Govender tripped off his tongue as he made their stories “tasty” – an expression he enjoyed using.

On different occasions he would repeat some stories, but you never told him so, because he related them in such a way that you wanted to hear them again.

We met about ten years ago at the annual Time of the Writer Festival. I was introduced to a tall, noble looking man and the first thing he did was to hug me. He did not know me previously, but such was his warmth. He enveloped me in that warm embrace till his end.

He was my mentor in the writing my books. I often teased him that he was my tormentor too as he continually nagged me to bring out the next book just as one rolled off the press.

I saw deterioration in his health in the past two years. However, he never turned down aspirant writers who asked him to look at their writing. Often he set aside his busy schedule to engage with them and nurture their talent.

He leaves behind a devoted wife, Zohra, four children and grandchildren. He was at his happiest when all of them visited at once and took over his home. “What to do lightie?” he would tell me when I phoned, “they’re family”.

He hated injustice and recently vented much about the sad goings on in our politics. The Gupta farce was a disappointment to him. The incident with the racist cop is an indication of brimming tension in this country.

I believe as I said, among other complications, Aziz Hassim died of a broken heart. His country, his city, failed him. Reverse racism exacerbated the death of a prolific writer, an intellectual, a thorough gentleman.

It’s been a difficult year for this ‘lightie’. I lost my dad and also my mentor in the first six months, but I am proud to say as did 12th Century author John of Salisbury: “I can see further, not because of good sight, but because I have sat on the shoulders of giants.”


Sibling Loss and the Scars That Wont Heal. By Nanda Soobban.

Sometimes, in spite of everything one achieves in life, there always seem to be a tinge of sadness and regret.
Most people think I must be on cloud nine or doing wheel spins given some of my achievements.
How I wish I could attain that ultimate joy.
I thought I did when I was in a winning football team. That always seemed to be the ultimate joy when I was growing up.
I guess my problem stems from the fact I am still grieving from the death of my two siblings under tragic circumstances in the prime of their lives before the advent of “freedom” and who did not have the same opportunities that I now seem to be getting and which they could only dream of.
After all we shared the same dreams.
I choked and cried during my Doctoral speech, thinking about how proud my brothers would have been to share that moment with me.
Mrs Ela Gandhi who was the Chancellor of the University at that time came over and gave me a glass of water before I started again.

Thank you mam.
I think my Ultimate Joy would be, if I could play football with my brothers again.
I can only dream.

Living Memorials From The Casbah. Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

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History judges people through the contributions they make to make the world a better place especially against political blockades that often are erected.

We know so much about Luthuli,Gandhi,Tambo,Sizulu, Yusuf Dadoo et al.

History somehow inadvertently shrouds those who stayed out of political activism and who,rather quietly went about their way far from the spotlight to make a difference to coming generations.

Recall that in 1948 the Nationalist Party under DF Malan wrested political control of SA from the United Party under Jan Smuts and fine tuned the colonial legacy of whites controlling levers of power to become known as apartheid.

In the jaws of that dominant narrative we find visionaries such as ML Sultan who refused to be treated as inferior citizens and decided to do something about the future.

This was what Philanthropist, humanist and humanitarian Hajee Muluk-Mahomed Lappa Sultan, who was the founder of M.L. Sultan Technical College,now the flagship of the DUT, was all about. Of course, he was not alone in this enterprise for the likes of PR Pather feature in this unsung narrative.

Unschooled himself ML Sultan must have looked around and witnessed the arrogance of colonialism the forerunner to apartheid and astutely knew then that the only road to freedom was though education. He must have seen that colonially imported Indians could be seriously hamstrung and confined to become serfs to the colonial masters and that he had to engage.

Hajee M.L Sultan, as he became known, founded the M.L. Sultan Technical College as it was initially know. In today’s monetary value, he donated the equivalent of R300 million for the founding of this institution.

This institution lies close to the epicentre of my beloved Casbah.

The college was officially opened in 1956 with an enrolment of 240 full-time and 4 760 part-time students. In 1979 it became known as M.L. Sultan Technikon, which now forms part of the Durban University of Technology and, in this writer’s estimation is its historical torch bearer.
He arrived in South Africa at the age of 17 and despite humble beginnings, he persevered and became a successful and prominent business man.
He took on several menial jobs, such as a being a railway porter at the Durban station and a waiter on tables at a well-known Johannesburg hotel.
Historical records show that M.L. Sultan gave all his wealth to establishing schools in KZN leaving hardly anything to his family but his legacy of selfless service.
Travel around the province of KwaZulu-Natal, and you will learn that he contributed to establishing schools and tertiary institutions in Pietermaritzburg, Merebank, Colenso, Ladysmith, Kranskop and Stanger.

We and future generations owe more than a honourable mention of the people of an era who would not baulk at the apparently insurmountable challenges that confronted them.
The Casbah was the granary for activists who took the leaf from the manuals of the likes of ML Sultan and this we should always remember……