Eulogies are really praises made for the recently dead but isn’t that a bit nihilistic, a bit like a life insurance policy where the insured is entitled to collect his benefits after he passes? Thus, the insured spends his life making payments and the payouts he is entitled to goes to his beneficiary when he passes.
It is an established practice that we do not speak ill of the dead so when eulogies are made their intent is to praise in contradiction of Marc Anthony who went to bury and not praise Caesar.
Anthony being an exception, most persons deliver in their eulogy, the most transcendent praises of the deceased even when in life they never had a good word to say about them. Wouldn’t most persons have preferred to hear those same words when they were alive rather than when they were no longer here?
Wouldn’t Kamla and Rowley like to hear it now rather than sometime in the future when it no longer mattered? That to their IQ-challenged, undiscerning sycophants they were gods incarnate who pissed champagne and defecated ice cream and who drank the run-off water after they washed their cursed feet and thus could do no wrong.
Suppose, the eulogy is delivered by Marc Anthony and he is at his honest worst and speaks the most brutal truths; that Kamla was no Mother Laxmi but in her life of drunken stupor and permissiveness, she identified with enough of the population whom she made believe that she was one of them; that she conned such persons into worshipping her because these followers were in her likeness and image and therefore confirmed the proverb, show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are and that birds of a feather flock together and he who is without sin cast the first stone.
She liked to rhetorically ask the sycophants who loves you more than Kamla and in the coziness of that blanket statement, they wrapped themselves with glee. She had annihilated Panday, not because she was special, not because she was superior to him in any way but because he had become passe’ cassava, and people wanted a change, anybody, and Kamla had the testicular bravado to fight the one who claimed he could triumph over a lion in a fight between them.
Having got to the top, she proved it right that getting there is not as hard as staying there and so made all kinds of faux pas – from hiring an underqualified woman to head a national security agency only because she had become her blue-eyed bedfellow to edging out all those who added credibility to the image of the partnership, simply because she had become the classic definition of the political curse called hubris.
And so while her bedfellows said the things she wished to hear, that she was another Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher, she did not hear what was said by the commuting school girl say in a taxi when, during the midday news, the name Kamla was mentioned: “I hate that woman,” was what she spat out and made one realise that dislike for Kamla had actually grown into hate and that she had access to just one side of the coin shown to her by her bedfellows.
And so her political death came to pass while she was glorying in her delusion that she was greater than Williams and Panday Keith Rowley took over the reins of power even though his predecessor warned citizens to never give him power. Manning, the predecessor, had made Rowley but not in his image or likeness. Manning came from oil rich San Fernando and went to the prestigious Presentation College in that town.
San Fernando had old wealth as the origin of its world renowned refinery went back to the eighteen fifties, and when thereafter to say one worked at the refinery was like saying one had the key to King Solomon Goldmine while to say one was from Tobago like Rowley was to admit that one had a third class bushong education and that one was really equivalent to being a washed ashore number plate from some prehistoric vessel used by Neanderthals.
While Manning came and saw and endeavored to conquer, Rowley came, saw and has been hell-bent on destroying what he saw Trinidad has/had. Manning read Rowley’s jealousy of Trinidad and warned us but PNM people saw in Rowley what they are – one made in their own image and likeness.
And now to be interred with him is the balisier which is his final act of destruction.
L. Siddhartha Orie
(Author of 17 books)