“Suntou, you really never fail to surprise me.” Galleh
With hindsight, my first impulse was to ignore that above statement. Bearing in mind the way I found Baba Galleh’s materials. Not all of them entirely. When someone said, you surprise me, every critical reader will know that statement is an incomplete remark.
I surprise you in what ways? Can I be accorded the privilege to know at least how a giant of Gambian literati circle find’s me surprising. I was puzzled and bemused as to what Galleh found profound or distasteful to react the way he did.
I wanted to ignore the remarks for one main reason. From where I am reading from, Galleh exposed himself to be oversensitive, distant and aloof of critical observations. He exposed a side to him; I for one would have never attributed or associated to him in a long shot.
I have known a while ago that paying too much attention on Gambian related matters can created unhealthy atmosphere especially with complicated undercurrent of vibes few are able to do away with. Writing is complex, and readers can take from a piece what the writer never intended.
Galleh’s comment threatens a side which arouse serious fears in me. That is, see my writings the way I am comfortable with or else? From the many materials that Galleh place in our public forums, some of the topics or subjects have similitude with what other writers have observed in the past.
The Village Idiot for instance was perfected by Nostradamus many decades ago. In fact one would find some making insinuations that, the village idiot is George Bush, and other writers explain it otherwise. Therefore communicating to us ideas that Galleh intended to throw us all in whirlwind of deep thinking should not then be a problem when people have a complete independent analysis of such materials.
Galleh’s major writings are ‘innuendo pros’ so far as the poems and satires are concern. From the kingpins of satire writings, the French philosopher who perfected the art to Galleh and co today, we the readers are left with little options but to see observations in our own way. That is the liberty the writer is suppose to leave at our disposal.
Now coming to what I thought may have caused Baba to react the way he did. I suspect it may have been the statement I made regarding ‘you never know about the kotokes’. Since Galleh didn’t made clear what I did that often surprises him, I can only assume that could be the trigger for his incomplete statements.
Galleh is very familiar with Mandinggo terminologies hence he knows what ‘kotoke’ means. I used kotoke in a jovial jibe at Haruna who I have a relax informal relationship with. I am not close to Baba Galleh, never has been. I don’t have an informal relationship with him. That is why I always formally agree with his thoughts with no fuss.
I and Haruna discuss the code name Jawula on few occasions here (Gambia L). It was a part of that code that the light hearted remark emanates. kotoke here refers to Haruna not Baba Galleh.
“I truly don't want to believe what my senses are beginning to tell me. I hope I'm wrong.” Baba Galleh
It is human that we assume things of each other. Sometimes our inner suspicion of each other’s motives sends us spiralling to dark pit of wrong conclusions. I take that statement to mean, Is suntou trying to disrespect me? If so, not at all.
Kathryn Armbruster’s Poem ‘I AM’ she made a remarkable statement
“I understand not everyone has compassion for the mighty”. I for one respect the elders, but can also be critical if need be.
In Elsie Prettyman’s famous poem ‘Things not Said’ she said
“the time to say a word flies by, that time again will not come”.
And close to the end of the poem she also said “Harsh words can hurt but those not said leaves void, too, that can’t be filled”.
Finally, I will end my response with the poem of B. Begeman
“Cascade of thoughts
Images and ideas flowing together in a river of words
Only to be damned by a blank white pages
Leaving a stagnant pond in the bottom of a creek
Begging for a trickle or at least a drop”.
If i have anything to apologise for, is seeing Gambian writing fascinating and trying to celebrate the words from our little land. In the case of Gallehh, my fault was to find some of his materials educative and entertaining and doing the extra bit by expressing my own thoughts on them. Since this can cause offense and unexpected reactions. The best option is avoid materials and writers whose surprise packages at my thorny remarks has the potentials of damaging a non-existence brotherhood.