Monday, 7 December 2009

End Of Days

WARNING: Parts of this post contain spoilers to the movie 2012!!!

I often think of my Great Grandmother, who incidentally out-lived my Grandma and only passed away a few years ago when she was in her early 90’s. Her name was Leah Brooks, the daughter of an Irish/Scottish immigrant who changed to her name to Zuleikha Khan when she married my Great Grandfather in the 1920’s. She was a very spunky feisty lady, quite healthy throughout her life, very rarely sick, and generally very active even until the end. She was always up before dawn and could always be found sipping her tea, staring out at the horizon, deep in thought.

I remember her last days on earth. She had a flu that she couldn’t shake and was just laying on the bed in Mother’s Aunts house. Mother still told her not to be so melancholic and morose, that she couldn’t just lay there and wait to die. She replied by saying that she was tired. I can still see her blue eyes, soft pale skin and her coarse hands acquired from decades of hard physical labour. She was a real gem. After she passed away, I spent many months wondering where she was…where she went to. And every now and then I still dream of her, or I’ll see her face smiling at me in those drowsy moments before I fall asleep.

So it’s dawned on me that I’m kinda fatalistic about life. Well I interpret fatalism as equal to optimism + realism, but many will disagree. I was trying to explain to a friend the other day and he thought I’m depressed. I had to clarify that I’m NOT suicidal or depressed, that I just see life differently. See, while most people are preoccupied with their cars, houses, brands, gadgets, relationships, and other mundane details of their lives, I’m always (and I mean ALWAYS) thinking of the bigger picture. I wear the inevitability of death like eye-shadow, its breath constantly grazing my cheek; and every time I get into my car or step into a shopping mall or fall asleep at night, I’m well aware that everything could end in an instant.

Sounds so morbid and dark I know, and I can see how people would interpret that as being depressed, paranoid or even suicidal…but I can assure you it’s none of that. I’m just constantly aware that each moment could be my last. And it’s not really the actual dying part that keeps me fixated; it’s more the where-do-we-go-to-from-there. Afterlife. I’m in awe. Fascinated. Obsessed. Terrified.

I haven’t always been like this, just the last 5 years or so and I reckon I’d snap out of it if I had other things to worry about, like a husband and kids. So this weekend, I went to watch 2012 (just to cement everything I believe in) and while the audience sat wide-eyed, some ooh-ing and aah-ing; I just sat there, having actually imagined worse many times before. The CGI was still spectacular though and I’d recommend that everyone watch it, just to see how insignificant most things are in the face of impending doom. It is also very disturbing to think that many aspects of the movie are real and accurate.

Unlike other similar scripts or story lines, this one is based on fact. The Mayans really did predict that the world would end on the 21st of December 2012; my Anthropologist sister can confirm that. And world temperatures really are rising on a year-on-year basis, thanks to global warming. And Geologists have confirmed the continental shifts that occur every year by a degree or two as well as the shifting polarity of the North and South Poles. So the probability of something as devastating as 2012 occurring is very real. However, if you had to ask me if I believed that it will happen, my answer would be no. I don’t think the world will end as we know it in 2012 simply because as a Muslim, I still believe that Jesus (Isa AS) has to come back to earth to slay the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), after which he will live on earth for a number of years (some reports state 40 years).

I often wonder how Jesus’ presence on earth will be made known to the world. Like will it announced on Facebook as a global Facebook status update or will Twitter send out a mass tweet saying the messiah hath cometh. Or will it be headline news around the world. Perhaps all of the above. Think about it, with the amount of communication platforms available today; will the Anti-Christ use social networking sites to relay his devious messages? Will Jesus even know how to use a computer? I ask not out of ridicule or scorn, I’m dead serious.

I can’t help feeling though, that people still prefer to sail down that river of denial and have this attitude that “it won’t happen to me”. Like Aids or Cancer, the apocalyptic end remains a myth until it actually happens to us. I wonder then, how we would react. Will we be in that state of perpetual shock, paralysed by our own fears, ignorance and stupidity…wishing we believed the day would come and that we did more with our lives on earth? Or will we try to outrun the hands of death, fighting to survive, wondering why we wasted our lives with bigotry and hypocrisy, contemplating the consequences of our actions? Suddenly your precious iPhone is just another useless mobile device with digits that can’t shield you from the terror, and your car can’t take you faster than 200km’s per hour over stretches of land that no longer exist.

Personally, I would elect to say my Kalima and the Shahada and die the fastest way possible. I don’t see the point in going through all that shit, running away from the earth caving underneath your feet and flying to China in a desperate attempt to search for that modern-day-state-of-the-art Ark, built by exploiting an over-populated nation, just so that you could survive long enough to see that the world as you knew it no longer exists.

I did find the ending hilarious though. They all lived happily ever after as South Africans. Ironically, every other report that postulates the destruction of the earth through global warming has the same conclusion; that Africa, well most of South Africa in particular, will be one of the only regions not wiped off the map. So the way I see it, we have two options. We can either get married and die, or move to the Drakensburg Mountains.


  1. I haven't seen the movie, and don't think I will - but i love disaster movies like that - where we SEE such cataclysmic events...of course, if I'm alive to see that happen in REAL life, i probably won't be so enthralled....

    Anyway, it is good knowing the series of events that are to come. If we don't know the story, it's easy to be drawn into all these crazy predictions and theories....but the reality is we don't need to worry about any of those things, because we know the events of the future - as scary as they are. And we didn't need any crystal ball or astrologers to tell us that...we have it from the most reliable of sources :)

    For the end note, I opt for the Drakensberg...we used to go there a lot on holiday when I was young; and I love the mountains :)

    BTW, have you seen "The Arrivals" series?

  2. I hear what you say, and yeah we know the series of events to follow...but I still feel that for many people its taken on a mythological quality...its like they know, but they're not conscious of it. To many its not 'real' or they believe that it may never happen to them.

    I'm forever mindful that no matter how much we supposedly know, we don't really know anything. We believe the stories told to us by our teachers about whats going to happen etc...but we'll still never really 'know' y'know. Allah's SWT's word is not set in stone. ;)

    If you can watch the movie. Its very long though.