trick or treat, homestyle
This was a hell of a Halloween party. The masks were unique, the costumes impeccable, the theme and atmosphere absolutely fantastic. And it lasted for six years.
For six consecutive years, the children of God on this island kept knocking and asking: trick or treat? But they didn’t figure out what they are actually receiving.
Were jails empty of political detainees a trick or a treat?
Were homes unbroken into in the middle of the night trick or treat?
Was the most favourite mask, the Charter, trick or treat?
Was the top performing costume, the Reforming Democrat, trick or treat?
Did talk of sure but gradual reform, mean changing things for the better, or a re-form, old ways taking another shape?
When it was said that the most beautiful of days are yet ahead of us, who were the “us” therein? The Riffa-based lot only or the dwellers of towns and villages as well?
When it was declared that things would never go back to bad old days, did this mean there will no longer be deaths under torture, or that the island's air, taste and smell would be irreversibly changed beyond any possible recognition?
To be fair, the thrower of the party himself thought it was practically over when promises given (at the heat of the party) became promises licked a year later. But due to popular and partying folk’s demand, he yielded. It was bad decorum and costume to upset everyone's mood by a cold shower. And the party went on.
Until it came crashing the way it did. And by whom? A man of a unique costume, mask, and misbaha himself. That was no doubt a cause of regal consternation. The party should have ended, but not in this crash-landing way. The masks are supposed to be removed when everybody went home, not in the middle of the party.
. . . . . .
If you watched this last Eid service, you’d reckon a silver lining to the affair,a bit of answer there. Less burdened by mask and costume, the familiar power-projecting smiles are back. Chins are up. There was even an air of serenity and peace, perhaps for being true to self. They seemed walking a lot lighter this way. Hell. What’s wrong with the grandfathers' ways anyway?