I now believe in the proverbial saying that you can never book an appointment with fate.
It never occurred to me that the last season of the purple jacarandas was the last we could have Lyton Bloodfull, LB, as we affectionately called grandpa.
His voice of remonstration continues to equal with an insistent resonance in the ears of my memory when we met in August. He accused me of not paying him a visit up there across Lukonkobe to Mzimba. The bottle of his favoured Coca Cola I promised to buy him now freezes in some shop somewhere perhaps wondering where when the owner will come.
I know the world is a lesser place without him, even though I take solace in the fact that when he took his final leap beyond the last sky, God gathered him in his hands and softened his fall. And as I write to you, heaven must be delighted by his presence there.
Victoria, I know the trials and tribulations of this age have submerged that genie-like beauty you exuded. But to me dear Vic, age shall never take away the adoration I have for you.
I envy your age, I often wonder whether this generation of ours will see creases and grey hair as you have done. Not that we are careless, but the times we are living in are too harsh grandma, too harsh even for the strong hearted to survive.
There are sad tales I wish I could tell you while we roast maize on the bonfires in between, listening to you singing your favourites chiTumbuka hymns as you used to do with LB (May his giant soul rest in peace). But I cannot travel for that will cost me an arm and a leg.
But grandma, there is this fiend that our government has unleashed on our already shallow pockets. They call it the Zero-Deficit Budget. I know you cannot understand how fierce it is for it is all veiled in esoteric jargon that people like you cannot understand.
I do not know where this monster reincarnated from. But tales are all over here that some old man quarrelled with those lighter skinned people from the west. Instead of settling his scores on his enemies, this senile man known for his verbal diarrhoea and a penchant for ranting decided to unleash the monster on his people.
Anarchy has been loosed upon us here grandma. As I am saying now they have decided to operate everything upside down. Imagine we have become a country without courts and justice. Only the innocent are arrested while thugs are given the freedom of the city to parade machetes right at the heart of town, go about torching people's houses, and when they are caught they are quickly whisked away and given some VIP treatment at some plush hospital on government's bill. I am afraid, very afraid.
People are crammed in our reeking prisons for two months now since the closure of the courts. What country, grandma, can be so inhuman to tax its people heavily, keep them in stench filled prison, and when they complain they are likened to chicken?
But please remember grandma that, even though the doors to justice are shut, there are some people who are more equal and will get the courts opened just for them. So please, tell my nameless uncles that this world is not for us. If they mess about they will be locked and we will forget them while they rot, rot and rot trapped within the furious walls of our prisons.
We have become a nation of liars and I fear for our children. There is this woman and a man government has employed to paint us with lies. You know they are comic every time they parade their faces on Television lying without an iota of shame. But we have now gotten used to them. We listen to them attentively and conclude that the truth is always the opposite of what they are saying.
Grandma, I am sorry I may be pricking the scars from the wounds that the demise of grandpa caused in your heart. But, when I noticed that grandpa might have been walking the last mile of his faded lime green linoleum I had expected him to lose some threads of sanity; but he never did. He was as perfectly rational and calm despite living over a third of a century.
But some old men really never cease to perplex people. How can the whole chief shroud his life in mystery while lowering himself to a laughing stock? Who would understand the whole President to stoop so low as to be booed by some disgruntled students? And if that is not even he decided to play hide and seek with the nation reducing himself to cargo at some airport. Grandma, I pray age should not reduce you to such a victim of ridicule.
You might not believe it but everything now is driving fast forward in reverse to those days of death and darkness. They want us to live in fear and force us to look the other way when things are wrong.
Truth is we are brave men. We shall never be cowed by threats of some ruling cabal that knows it has mismanaged this nation we all fought to be free two decades ago while some of them were away having pricey dinners in Washington, Dehli or London.
You see what grandma, my head is saturated with the myriad of crises that are sitting on the back of this fragile nation as Satan is said to have sat on our leader sometime back such that I even forgot to tell you my personal crisis: my wife left me some months ago grandma.
I had noticed a change in her after she started complaining that I was spending most of my time queuing for fuel, forex, soft drinks, medicine, maize and everything. She said she was feeling lonely like a widow. Then next morning after spending a night at a fuel queue I found she had packed her things and left. I know you may want to blame her. But she was a good woman only that sometimes it takes unbearable situations to bring out the bad in us.
Grandma, politically, economically and diplomatically we have become a badly written script, some sort of an anthropological doggerel written by an inept playwright called the Democratic Progressive Party.
But hope, like the warming light of a rising sun (not a fully blown scorching sun) springs in me knowing that as all bad spells reach an end, and this too shall pass.
I hope this letter finds you in good health grandma, Victoria.