Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Saturday, 30 June 2012

MENTAL RE-TUNING

We all know what to do; we just don't want to do it. I am referring to relationships. We can all do it; we just don't want to do it.

I am in the office working myself off and why is that? Because I have a deadline to meet and I surely don't want to upset my boss. And a lot of people are currently doing over time without pay because they just want to meet their deadlines and targets and avoid trouble.

I am asking myself; what distance will we be willing to go just to avoid confrontations and problems in our relationships? If our boyfriends or girlfriends asked us to wait an hour for them at a location, or drive through a thick traffic in the opposite direction just to pick them up, would we do it without them literally having to beg for it? If we have to rush home to put stuff together just so we can please our partners would we gladly do it? Nope! If we have to give something that takes our time, our freedom to be...something that forces us to change our schedules momentarily....would we do it?

I realise that when it comes to work, we are suddenly short of excuses; we do anything and take anything without a wince. When your 30 year old boss dresses you down, you forget to inform him that you are of the same age so he better watch the way he talks to you. Your boss gives instructions once and you act it out with haste. Even when you are not sure, you fear to ask for clarifications because you fear being branded as a 'slow person.'

When your colleagues give you up to your neck, you simply smile and walk away so you can keep up appearance. You are the Mr. Sweetness of all the ladies; you don't mind carrying their handbags and nkuku nsaka to their cars.

Oh as for this lady...c'mon... Ne ni ebie... (she is well cultured) The way she even talks; she never talks back at anyone no matter how right she maybe. Always with the smiles. You serve your male colleagues like they own you. If your boss even requests, you might want to go and cook for him in his house.


So why can't this translate at home...in your relationships? Is she not worthy of all the treatment you are giving to the other ladies? Then why don't you let her go? Maybe you have pointed out a few things to her and she is still adamant. Probably you have come to a point where you find pleasure with everyone but her. Fine, save her the future heartbreak and walk away right now because someone might make her happy. And even if no one does, well that is your back case because she would have been miserable with you anyway.

Why can't she get the best of you; all this you give to other ladies? The Best
that a woman deserves! Do you know how frustrating it is?

Why can't you treat your man the same way you treat other men? Why can't you fear to ask certain questions for fear of displeasing him? Why can't you take whatever he tells you without arguing it out...without letting the world know you also have an opinion? Why must you always do something only after a heated argument; an argument you know from the start, it is not really important? Is he not worthy of that respect you give to your boss? We both agree your boss is just but for a moment; If you treat him like a king, why don't you treat the one you are saddled with for the rest of your life as such? 


Or you want to be honest with him? No I don't call that honesty! Besides, what you do for your boss is better than honesty; it is sacrifice. Do it for your man! Doing what costs you so much; something you won't do on a normal day. Do it for him.

Look at all these ' sankwas' men you are killing yourself for; is any of them better than him? And if yes, why are you sticking and killing him? Why don't you cut him loose so you can go and serve your other precious king.... Or it is a bad case of cowardice?

I think we can all do better. In the end we must realised that just as it is not easy to lose a job for fear of not getting a better one, so it is to lose a partner. The only difference is that whereas what is good or terrible about a job is easily quantified, same cannot be said of a partner. Whenever human emotions are concerned, it takes time and a lot of committment to really establish the authenticity or otherwise of a person. So Partner changing is more risky than job changing.

We can give a little bit more of whatever it is we are currently giving to our partners and relationships. We can. We can take without arguing! We can get genuine feedbacks from our partners without crying 'disrespect' because we feel they are bullying us with their age.

You can serve them without asking why you have to; you can carry their handbags and their other nkuku nsaka (how best can I describe nkuku nsaka in English - Accoutrements hehehehe). You can still pass nice compliments...you can keep the flattery coming so they can go through hard times.

You can. You can do it all. I think most of us take in more at work than we take in our relationships; but it's all in our heads and in our hearts. Just say I will do it: No emotions and no attachments... I will do it... As a duty if possible.

Take the heart out because it makes you do crazy things.... Positively or negatively....and over what? Trivial things.


~PG Sebastian 2012~

Sunday, 24 June 2012

MEMORIES FROM THE 8Os: THE ONES THAT MAKE ME SMH



I LOVE this weather...this whole June weather. It reminds me of the 80s; not the PNDC revolution or the 83 famine; gosh where were you during the famine? I was in Tadi; where else could I have been. Bloody experience I wouldn’t want my children to have. It’s not even about the hard times that made people work two or more jobs to make ends meet that this weather brings to mind. Ah but those were the good old days when America and England came to Ghana... for once these bloody lazy bunch of 13 million cowards ruled by a lost Scotish actually really seriously worked their lazy behinds off before they could eat. Ah but that is not what this weather reminds me of.

This weather sublimely reminds me of my childhood. Yes. But there are things you need to know about this boy. 

First, there was a discontinuity between my height and the distance on the ground. In simple English, I was too tall for my age that the actual width of a gutter or culvert appeared smaller when I looked down at it. The next thing you would hear was someone screaming out to my mum, 'Madam your son has fallen into the gutter again!!! Can’t he see the gutter?' I damn well see it!!! But it looked more like a backyard gutter than a 2feet wide drainage!!!!! So up till date, I still have scars on my legs to show for the 2x per week gutter drops...Any gutter; from the gutters in the estate to the Zongohoods. Yea. I could smell a stench and tell you which gutter it was coming from. Yea, I was falling that much into them.

Secondly you must be acquainted with the fact that I had a big head They used to tell me, if a plane was flying overhead and I looked up, I will fall over. Luckily anytime a plane flew above, I was mysteriously in my father’s hall so that theory was never proven.

Thirdly, you must also appreciate the fact that from a very tender age I did not like my name. Somehow people sensed it and always had one different name for me or the other. There were those who called me by different derivatives of my original traditional name. Yes. Egya Bowuah. To some people, Bowuah sounded like Gunshot. Smh. They better get their ears checked. So depending on an individual's level of sophistry, I was either a pistol or a shotgun or a machine gun. Pistol went like Bohuuuaaa!!! Then I would start crying! But Pistolers never shot my name to my face. They hid in their rooms or behind trees and shot at me when I passed... Bohuuuuaaaa! Then the Shotgun. Gosh, the sound freaked me out! Kik3, kra kra (Sound of the cocking gun - can you imagine) Boooohuuuuuuaaaawwaaawaaaawaaa! That was when I start looking for a stone. But I could run too...so depending on who was holding the gun, I could run and catch up and give you a dirty beating or I will hurl a stone at you and run away. Aaahh My favourite... the Machine gun... kkkrrrrr... then the silence... and the person would actually walk to my ears and shoot it in... boohuaagagagaggagaggagagagaga! Obviously these were grown men and women who would beat me as well if I opened my mouth...so I would fume and give them some hand gestures...behind their backs... of course.

There was Mister Kwaw who for some strange reason chose to call me Oldman! Why meeeee?????! But then Egya Bowuah was my grandfather’s name!

But I had a name for myself. Captain! Outstanding! I remember on Saturday mornings and school vacations when kids came to my house to play. How many of you remember the pushing of tyres on the streets? Yep, we had a commercial car, so we kept piling the worn out tyres so we could either play with them or burn them when we spotted a snake in the hood. Snakes hate the scent of burning tyres. We also had guns...guns made from wood and exhaust pipes of cars... Please don’t park your car for more than a month, we will cut the exhaust pipes and use them for guns. If we had guns, then our mums were in trouble because we needed their match sticks to fire the gun. The miracle of a full Matchbox getting finished over night and yet no fire being kindled in the house.

All I am saying is, all the games took place in my house and I kept all the play things... the kids would come around to play. Good morning Daa. My dad would nod in response, Please we are looking for Captain. Then my dad will give them The Look and then ask them who this captain was... But then I would be lurking in the shadows....invisible to my dad...but very visible to the kids...and the punishment for mentioning my name was being sent home without playing the entire day... So they would rather turn back and go sit behind our fence till my dad went to work, than risk mentioning my real name.

Oh and I owned the football. So I was naturally the goalkeeper. If you scored me, I kicked you out of the game; if you were on my side and through you, they score me, I kicked you out of the game. Aside that, there were no rules.

And then there was Allan. We all called him Ellen. That’s how he pronounced it with a French attitude - Ellen. He had two other brothers. They all had bicycles. I had the crowd and the Loyalty of the boys. Allan was rebellious because he thought they had Bikes. I was the merciless Mafia Boss, and for his punishment, I banned the boys in the hood from riding his bikes. Can you imagine? Which kid wouldn't want to ride a bike? The guy could line all the three bikes in front of his house to entice the boys to switch allegiance... but nope. I beat them, insult them, humiliate them in front of girls... but still, they were faithful. I could teach some politicians a few tricks in faithfulness, people, I could. There were times some of the boys really got enticed...but there was always someone who will say, 'I will tell Captain.' That was enough. Around this time I was in my early teens... But for shagey and bully reasons all my friends were under 10. Simple. 

I also had a gym. I was 12 years or so when I started it. Yes, even at that age I was conscious of my abs...and the Johnny Bravo Looks. Don't hate. Do you think I slept overnight and got this 6-pacs of steel that sets off metal dectectors any time I am at the airport? I worked for it people... Since 19 kojo O o! And I was not the only one in the gym... The kids were there too... Did I forget to mention their ages? My right hand man, I can't mention his name, for good reasons, but I can describe him as best as I can, 'B.O.T.O as in Boto - Uncircumcised. He was 7 or so. He was more concerned with his Abs than his... well... not soo cute little man. Aye, finally they had to zap the bloody flesh off after he could not stand the taunting anymore. So I learnt he now shows it off more frequently. Friggin Perv!!!

Oh you also need to know about my entrepreneurship. Before ya'll got this craze about one preneurship or the other, I was! I was the kind of Bongreys Builder. Don't ask me what is Bongreys. Is it ball wheels or Ball Rails? I dunno know... and I don’t wanna google it. It kills the magic, don’t you think. Now we used these metal wheels as tyres for our cart... just a little similar to a skating board, only we sat on this one and got pushed.. And my favourite part, I had a girlfriend called Baaba; Allan's cousin, (Can you imagine - even she was loyal to me...boy, Gussman, The Mexican Kingpin, could use a crash course in Loyalty from me, I tell ya) she was half Ghanaian and half Italian? I suspect. Who Christens anyone and name them Ann-Maria if not the Italians? But she was tall, fair (of course she was biracial) and pretty...well that was then, I have not seen her since 1998.

But the point I am making is, I would sit on this Bongreys with my girlfriend and the small boys would push us on what was left of the asphalt road in front of our house. Me and Baaba. Captain... can we also ride? They would ask. And she will go like, eeii you people don’t respect eh - typical Ghana English. (Oh shut up bronyi p3t3 -white vulture- they would mutter). And they would push it to and fro from 2pm till 4pm in the scorching heat of the cruel afternoon on empty stomachs because their parents were either not at home or they didn't simply have food at home. Did I tell you this was in the 80s? Yea I guess I did. The period the IMF and world bank forced Structural Adjustment Programmes and Economic Recovery Programmes on the Military Regime that ruled us from the Castle. Ah But I mentioned the Scotman right? Good.

Then there were the Acquaahs and the Twenefuors and the lots... aahh plenty girls... I guess that is one attribute I have grown up with...surrounding myself with ladies and the beauty thereof, if you are a lady reading this; stop, look into the mirror and say to yourself  'I am beautiful,' and then come and continue. I will pause for you. There! Refreshing wasn’t it. And there was the wanderer who had no place to stay, so Sister Bea gave him her Kitchen so he could sleep there at night and go get his hustle on at day. That was the birth of The Legend Of The Kitchen Man. While he was away, his Vono (or however they call it)Mattress was ours to do anything you could imagine kids would do when no one was watching. Oh yea... We started that early.

There was my No.9 friend. You know what I mean by No.9 don't you... The only house on the entire street with Colour TV and Video Deck in the early 80s. Dad was a UN Peace Keeper; From Cambodia to Lebanon. And there were the other kids...the Zongo Kids who had 'Sysy' Films. Porn I mean...dammit! Let us leave that one here. Let us not talk about the fact that He had to be inside showing it, while we peeped through the windows at the same time watching out for signs of approaching adults. Now Just a button and kids are streaming it on their phones. Gosh I hate the internet right now.

We had our sanitary facilities going well. A neighbour had his broken down and had built a KVIP. Is it Kumasi Ventilated, Improved Pit-laterine? I guess. The irony was that he was a mason cum plumber...why didn't he fix his WC? Does it beat your mind that we all (kids who did not have Water closet problems at home) decided we wanted to use Mr Mensah’s KVIP? We were not there for that purpose at all... Why else did we always go in there when we were playing Maame and Papa...and why else was it that every day it was maame or Paapa who has a running stomach and the other has to take him or her to Mr. Mensah’s KVIP and the children locked out?

There was Christmas; well we still celebrate it. But nothing like then. We had Me, Ewusi, Akakpo, Kojo, Okoto (as in Crab) and two dreaded twin nephews of the Assembly man. But these were not just us; there was Siboglass. Man, the guy had special teeth that cracked glasses anytime he drank from them - Si Bo Glass. He and his Horde and the Zongo boys. And the Dada bees who wanted to be Hardcore- Ampy, Allan and Agya Atta. 

Before the government banned the use of Fire crackers, that was the good old days, I had a dog called Cyborg, named after Jean-Claude Van Damme's Classic Movie - Cyborg. Dogs can shiver out of fear, and panic too...and pee on themselves too... And Cyborg did shiver and ran into my mum on just hearing the crackers go off. He died at age 9...out of fear for everything rather than old age. May his dog spirit rest in peace. On his tombstone I insisted we write, Herein lies the castrated quarter-caste dog, Cyborg. Yea, don't hate, his grandfather was an Alsatian. In your face! Oh we haven't done the tombstone yet.
But the peak of Christmas was the building of our Christmas huts... Once again...area boys and girls... kept their silence in these huts..when no one was watching. That was when we tried out stubs of unfinished cigarettes dropped by the roadside by chain-smokers created by the mass redundancies that came with the revolution. The bad old days! 

There was Mr. Appah. He was reputed for being the toughest in the area; carrying out night patrols and chasing robbers off and all. Dude was the Marvel character in our lives. We can let them create a character like that right? Appah! Dayum!!! Well this particular Christmas came and we were doing our thing. The thing was an unripe pawpaw, cut from the top and the seeds removed, eyes and nose and mouth incised on it and a candle placed in it. Boy, that was some Dracula head you are looking at in the dark. So we put it in a footpath close to his house...around 8pm on the 24th December. He stepped out and was leaving his house for church... Then he saw this monster’s head in his path... eyes blazing, nostrils spewing fire and mouth burning brimstone... he paused, took a step forward...another and stopped. He looked left and right and bolted! 

Ah but there are so many stories of my childhood. Loads and loads of'em I can't tell in a decade. But it was nothing Computer, or goodie goodie story books and turf and pitch life. I read Geography and history books for leisure; Oh and African Authors too - Weep Not Child (Akodaa gyae su). By age 13, I knew the history of the world like the back of my hands and every country and its capital was entrenched in my head...until the Soviet Union broke up and the countries of the world suddenly became uncountable!!! What is with the Uzbekistan and all the stans? The Lithuania and the rest gave me the creeps; I couldn't even pronounce them let alone spell them. I gave up.

Childhood was about filth, dirt, fighting, teasing, beating, exploring, experimenting, building, significant others disciplining you as if you were their kid, climbing and falling off trees like ripe mango....oh and stealing mangoes. Now I don't know how to call these under 10s again...are they also kids? I bet if iPad were in my days, we would worship them and dance around them if our parents brought them out. Now an 8-year-old kid can make me uncomfortable when the two of us are given iPad to manipulate.

Oh before I forget. hahahha how can I forget this bit. My mum used to lock me up in the kitchen so we cook together as punishment. I will single-handedly prepare and bake cake or bake bread. But the highlights of my childhood would not be complete if I do not talk about my spiritual life. I was Baptised as an Anglican and my dad was and is still the church Organist. So naturally I had to be a Mass Server. I was twisted, the chief server, Uncle Mensah was super duper twisted. I quit the noble Order as quickly as I had entered. We had our irreconcilable differences!
 
Ah there are so many things about this weather that is cruelly sending me on a mind race through my crazy childhood of stubbornness, fun and free-spiritedness. If there was a way I could pay to time travel to my childhood even up till I finished Secondary school... I would. 

Let the rain come cus I love the memories on it pearly drops.     

~PG Sebastian~ 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

GRACEFUL EXIT


You don't fight to try on a size 5 shoe simply because you love it, if you wear size 7. It simply won't fit; and if you force it, you would hurt your feet and destroy the shoe in the process. You simply have to look for the one that fits. The shoe is perfect and soo are your feet, but they might not be for each other.

He is a good person as he stands and you are a good person in your own merit; but the two of you don't fit each other. No hurt feelings no demonizing; Just bow out gracefully. Do it now because you will, somehow, some day. I only pray you don't take that decision when you are off the shelf; when you have nothing left to lift your head up to.Graceful exit.If you have to do it, do it! Graceful exit. I know YOU want to do it, but you are afraid. Unfortunately you cannot blame fear in the end. 

Graceful Exit!


PG Sebastian 2012 

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Thursday, 14 June 2012

HOW CAN YOU BE LONELY IN THE MIDST OF 7 BILLION HUMANS?

There are over 7 billion people in this world and a Lady or a Guy can decide to go mad or depressed or traumatized and change their mindset about relationships and marriage because one or two person left them... or disappointed them.

You are very shortsighted and limited in reach... until it is marriage, don't die over a broken relationship after you have tried and given your best! If they are willing to leave now, believe me, they will emotionally leave when you marry them...Let them leave now...body, mind and heart than for them to stay in body and have everything else going to someone else because they got trapped in Marriage! 

DON'T CRUSH YOUR SHOULDERS TRYING TO FORCE A CLOSING DOOR TO STAY OPEN...REMEMBER THERE ARE OVER 7 BILLION PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD...7 BILLION DOORS...7 BILLION OPPORTUNITIES... Look at the Bright side of life...After all dying single is also a RELATIONSHIP STATUS!

PG Sebastian 2012

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IN PRAISE OF THE WOMEN WHO KNOW THEIR WAY TO THE KITCHEN NO MATTER HOW HIGH THEY GO



 Mothers, do not treat your children like they are kings and queens who cannot go to the kitchen. Teach them some basics and create the interest in them. Just because you don't see the need (as it applies to you) does not mean they might not appreciate it when they grow up (And there are ladies who say they don’t know how to do this or that because they were not taught at home - and they say it with pain or embarrassment).

House helps will always be there, friends who can cook will always be there, oh and the restaurants too; but a woman who can put food on the table for herself first and then for her children and her husband adds value to herself in the eyes of her household.

Have you had that embarrassing moment when your children go like, ‘Mummy we want to go to so so and so's house because we love her mum's cake? Or Mummy can you prepare some of So so and so's mum's salad for us?

There is something about eating your mum's/wife's food, I tell you!

A man who is kitchen wise is always a delight to his wife and children. It makes the burden easy on the woman and adds spice to the lives in his care.

What glorious sight is it to behold a woman fixing the rice and stew and the husband fixing the salad and the chicken and the kids scoring them...

Remember it is the little little things that make the home complete and less boring. Food for the table is one of the major components of the family... And the one distinguishing factor between a good family and a poor family is where they eat. Eating outside even in the most expensive Restaurant in the end is a cheap way of living and building a home.


PG Sebastian 2012

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

BOOBY TRAP!!! ARE MEN MOVED BY WHAT THEY SEE?



When we say ‘men are moved by what they see’ what do we REALLY mean? This is perhaps one of the most critical existential questions widely debated upon. From a very simple and almost elementary perspective, I attempt to consider that question and see if we can get around it and possibly (saying it cautiously) attempt a squeeze out of it. 

First, I think I have the whole answer, but I know for a fact that I don’t. But this one thing I know; seeing goes beyond just a normal perception through the physical eyes. Fact! 

Beyond the physical looks, a man can also be moved by how he SEES a particular woman's behaviour and her lifestyle in general - her net worth. Haven’t you ever wondered why the prettiest ladies get their guys cheating with some ladies who, with all due respect ‘don’t look as much pretty? Haven’t we all at one point wondered what a guy saw in a particular lady for which he dumped his fine girlfriend? 

Well he was looking alright… but maybe... just maybe he was looking at this other lady beyond the front and back 'bumpers' and the fine design…crafted on some solid wheels; something beyond the glitz and the glam! He was looking at something far more satisfying; something that promised a brighter future.

Have you wondered why as we grow up, the prettier ladies who had all the guys chasing after them at some point in time, USUALLY (not always though) are left at the lower stratum of the marriage ladder, while the 'regular looking' ladies, the ones even the Christian brothers – who should not discriminate – wrote off, rather getting married? As we men grow older and get closer to settling down, as logical as we are, we do our calculations and realise that the time for the games and the flex are over and that we need real wives (an all encompassing type) for ourselves and real mothers for the children that will be evidenced in that marriage. 

I could be wrong, and it could be something that happens only in my world, but I think when they say men are moved by what they see, ladies must be careful in interpreting it because we may not be watching where you all expect us to be watching and be seeing what you expect us to see. Where we look varies with age, maturity and long term expectations. So while at a younger age, the physical appeals to us, as we grow up and the needs and expectations of life stare us in the face, we refocus our attention on what is most expedient in our relationships and which lady, when attached to us, will bring better returns. Yes, men also look for good marriages.  

As I said some time back, be relevant as a lady and grow up along your man as you court each other, the same way every man is expected to be relevant and grow along the woman he is courting as she grows (in a complete sense). If you don’t, and choose to stay in the same ‘Looks Mode’ of the 20s you risk being reduced to the role of a girlfriend, while another one of your kind comes along to assume the role of a wife. You don’t want to babysit that diaper dandy (no hating on my fellow guys...but some of us are real thumb suckers!) for some lady to come for him just when he was coming around as a real man, do you? 

By growing and being relevant, I have in mind an all compassing view. Women (though applicable to men) need to grow;

  • Emotionally by getting to a point where drama, reality and Disneyland are all clearly sorted out and compartmentalised, and marked appropriately. The ability to see life from a pragmatic view point, knowing when to pull the emotional card and when to pull yourself together and face life through the lens of reality.  
  • Intellectually by being able to hold very objective and mentally stimulating conversations, arguments, debates and having a just and a fair opinion about life and its happenings. This point is where most African men are found in a quagmire - we want it, but too much of it is too much for the African man to handle.
  • Physically, where you can't be in your late 20s and early 30s and still appear dressed and behaving like a high school cheerleader and expect to be taken serious. 
  • Economically, which encompasses a measure of financial independence, the propensity to be helpful in times of need (which is key to the survival of every family) and the willingness to see beyond yourself as far as financial provisions are concerned (though this is not a green light to any woman to spend on a man she is not married to. That simply skyrockets the suicidal tendency when you are dumped eventually. It also drives your way, vulturing men, who are all about the money) 
  • Spiritually for men who are spiritually minded. 
  • Socially by having a measure of social skills which gives you the ability to survive and thrive in a fast moving world without being dependant on people all the time. 

Interestingly, though I must admit I can't explain why, yet I will attempt to, mainstream men end up marrying women who are primarily good at heart (and the ones who meet the above criteria), dump the fine ones who might not be too good at heart (according to these men) and then end up leashing these same wives at home, and go to play around with the finer women; the same kind they do not intend to marry or have any lasting relationship with. Why is that so? The multimillion Dollar Question.

Well I think in solving it, the finer versions, need not get ahead of themselves (because of their physical looks - Make ups, hips and Lord...all the rest) otherwise they will (most likely) only be consigned to the role of Sex and Money objects. They should, however, work on their inner qualities and the qualities a woman going somewhere in life (whether for a man or for herself) need to have. In that sense, when a man sees you, he sees beyond the now, and desires you beyond transient experience into something more permanent (especially for women who seek such permanence in their relationships with men). There is a name for that - BEAUTY WITH BRAINS

On the other side, if you are the kind of woman who got married (out of the long queue) and yet anytime you see your husband’s ex, you genuinely wonder why such a beauty was dumped for you, well it is time to go beyond the edge you have over the other woman with your inner beauty, and step up your game in the areas of your looks and appearance. If he dated a hottie, he will always have an eye for them. If he dumped a hottie, then there is something about you that he so desperately wants. So you move from just being a resourceful brainy woman to being a fairly beautiful (or attractive) woman with brains. Be a bit of the two – Good at heart and total worth, and good in appearance. 

Yes yes, we all have our strengths and all that, but we are better off in life if beyond what we can do, we attempt to learn something in the regions where we are not so much in control, just for the all-rounder effect. 

They say men are moved by what they see… I say it is so true…except what we see is not always the booty and the booby traps! 

PG Sebastian 
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