Posts Tagged ‘Giovanni Falcone’

  • Sardinia’s Alcatraz

    A prisoner playing with Franca's children During an official visit in Asinara

    Cala d'Oliva Sardinia's native donkeys

    There are certain places which are hard to forget since somehow they leave a distinguished imprint on one’s memory. One of these is the island of Asinara which forms part of the territory of Sardinia in Italy. Renowned for its Albino indigenous donkeys from which the name of the island is said to have originated, this particular land is also notorious for its melancholic fate, since it has often been used as a place of seclusion, and was even turned into a penitentiary institution during its last inhabited years. Recently Asinara has been declared as a protected natural reserve and one can only visit it in the company of a licensed guide. Without any more human intervention, the island seems to be turning back to its ancient origins as nature is reclaiming back its rudimental landscape. Tourists who visit the island claim that now this zone has become a delightful gem and yet a previous inhabitant of Asinara questions whether in reality the island has been simply abandoned and left to deal with its own destiny. Surely, a visit to this island will not leave anyone untouched.

    Asinara is located off the north-western tip of Sardinia. Its territory is about 52 km2 and it belongs to the government. The island of Asinara can be reached by a boat from the nearby coastal village of Stintino which is located in the province of Sassari. Guided tours can take you to visit the island through a selection of means which include bicycles, landrovers, touristic trains, kayaks and boats. Considering the heat and the fact that we were going to spend almost a day on the island, we opted for the comfortable and colourful tourist train that was scheduled to take us to the most prominent areas of the island.

    The island’s vegetation and climate are typically Mediterranean but on some rocky coastal areas, one can also identify an endemic plant species of Sardinia known as Fiordaliso Spinoso. Asinara is also famous for its native Albino donkeys, most of which are regularly observed roaming freely around the island and feeding on shrubs. Yet here visitors can also have a glimpse at the typical Sardinian donkey which is generally smaller and has a brownish colour with a black stripe on its back. Other fauna includes wild pigs, sheep, goats and horses; the latter having been liberated on the island by Asinara’s prison guards once the penitentiary institutions were closed down.

    Traces of human habitation on Asinara go back to prehistoric times as the site of Campu Perdu confirms. Moreover, due to its strategic central position in the Mediterranean, the island has formed part of the history of the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans. Asinara was also habitually frequented by pirates, and a legend narrates that the granite castle which to date dominates the highest point of the island, had served for some time as the residence of the famous Barbarossa. In the 17th century, the island was inhabited by shepherds. However in the 19th century the island became government property and on this land, it was decided to construct a lazaretto for victims of contagious diseases. Soon after, Asinara was also selected as a place of exile for a number of prisoners. Eventually, these arrangements led the shepherds to leave the island and most of them formed the nearby village of Stintino on the mainland.

    During World War 1 Asinara was turned into a prison for about 24,000 Austrian and Hungarian soldiers; 5000 of which died on the island. Then, some years later, during the 1970s, the prisons on the island were restructured to become high-security prisons in order to detain within them some of the most dangerous criminals, such as those that formed part of the Brigate Rosse, terrorists, and mafia members; the most infamous of which being Totò Riina. It was on this island too that the magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino had resided as part of the security measures that were taken during the prominent trials that were taking place during that period. Finally, in 1997, Asinara was declared as a protected nature reserve and nobody else, except the few guardians who take care of the island, were allowed to live there.

    A tour around the island will reveal several of the constructions that have once served various functions during Asinara’s history. Some structures have been completely abandoned and are in ruins, whilst others such as the high-security prisons, have been restored as tourist attractions. In these prisons, visitors can experience the conditions in which the prisoners used to live wherein they were always under the supervision of the prison guards. A chamber where the prisoners could take a break from their cells was securely covered by a thick metal net. However this served to provide a view of the beautiful blue sky which though it could have offered some sort of relief, at the same time it probably increased the painful realization of living on such an idyllic island and yet being confined within those punitive walls. In the meantime, although these prisons have been unused for some years now, visitors can’t help reacting when they enter into Totò Riina’s cell. A similar strong emotion is felt on entering the building of the old prison of Fornelli wherein one can also visit the high-security cells whilst also view some old photos of a number of ‘trusted’ prisoners which used to be allowed to work in the fields and to take care of the animals on the island under the guards’ surveillance. Eventually, visitors were also led to Cala d’Oliva; the small village where Asinara’s workers used to reside.

    Indeed, 92 year old Franca Fadda Silvetti still remembers the time when she used to live at Cala d’Oliva with her family on Asinara. In her autobiographical book ‘La mia Asinara: ricordi di una maestra’, she describes her 33 years residing on this island where her husband Vindice had been appointed as the prisons’ doctor and where she worked as a primary school teacher of the other workers’ young children. Interestingly, Franca has many positive memories of Asinara even though it was a penitentiary island. When I asked her whether she ever felt afraid or in danger on such a remote place inhabited by prisoners, she adamantly insisted that this was never the case. To make her point, she confirmed that some reliable prisoners were allowed to work outside the prisons during daytime and one of them used to take care of her house and to baby-sit with her young children while she was at work! Now that Franca is widowed, her nostalgic memories of the island’s beautiful environment are even stronger and yet she has never found the courage to return to Asinara from the day when all the island’s inhabitants were ordered to leave the place. Franca wonders whether the decision to leave the island in a state of abandonment was better than having allowed it to remain inhabited by a ‘strange’ population as it was back in 1952 when she put her first steps on that land which had remained so dear to her. She conceded that she decided to write her book in memory of the delightful moments that she and her family have enjoyed on the island so that even today’s readers could get a glimpse of how Asinara used to be.

    Certainly those who visit Asinara will also get the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear blue sea of three particular beaches which have been selected for the use of tourists. Impressively, various sizeable fish swim confidently among the visitors as if aware that they are protected in this nature reserve. In the background, from time to time, the magnificent silence on the island is pierced by the shrill neighing of Asinara’s donkeys.

    Once the visit is over and the rented boat takes you away from Asinara, you can easily feel Franca’s nostalgia for this land which can overwhelm you with different sensations. Should you desire a longer stay on this peculiar sanctuary, there is a small restaurant and a basic hostel.

    (An edited version of this article was published in the Travel Section of the Times of Malta dated 6th October 2013)

    2013.10.06 / no responses / Category: Times of Malta


    Alfred Mifsud“Twelidna mhu xejn ħlief il-bidu tal-mewt tagħna” kiteb il-poeta Edward Young (1681 – 1765). Ħsieb pjuttost negattiv u anki kemmxejn makabru…. imma reali. “Xi nies tant jibżgħu li għad imutu li qatt ma jibdew jgħixu” innota l-awtur u saċerdot Henry Van Dyke (1852 – 1933). “Kulħadd jgħid, ‘Kemm hi diffiċli din li rridu mmutu’ – ilment pjuttost stramb meta ħiereġ minn ħalq nies li kellhom jgħixu” irrimarka l-kittieb Mark Twain (1835 – 1910). Min-naħa l-oħra l-ġurnalist Norman Cousins (1915 – 1990) sostna illi “Il-mewt mhiex l-agħar telfa fil-ħajja. L-agħar telfa tikkonsisti f’dak li jmut ġewwa fina meta nkunu għadna ħajjin.” B’mod aktar pożittiv l-intraprenditur u filosofu William Penn (1644 – 1718) ikkummenta li “Il-mewt mhi xejn ħlief il-bidla tagħna miż-żmien, għall-eternità.” Fehmiet differenti ta’ nies li għexu f’ċirkustanzi diversi. Daqstant ieħor huwa ta’ min jixtarr dawn iż-żewġ kummenti ħerġin minn fomm nies li kienu jafu sewwa li l-mewt kienet wara biebhom: “Il-mewt taf tkun waħda mill-aqwa barkiet tal-bniedem” Socrates, filosofu (c. 469–399 QK) u “Dak li ma jibżax mill-mewt, imut darba biss” Giovanni Falcone, maġistrat (1939 – 1992). Madanakollu, jingħad x’jingħad, ħafna jibqgħu tal-opinjoni li l-mewt m’hawnx agħar minnha u jekk jistgħu, lanqas isemmugħa biss ma jridu. U allura, staqsejt, x’jgħaddi minnu deffien li biex jaqla’ l-għixien tiegħu jeħtieġlu jmiss mal-mewt kuljum?

    “Hu xogħol li tidrah bħal kull xogħol ieħor,” qalli Alfred Mifsud li sa ftit taż-żmien ilu kien jaħdem bħala deffien. “Il-familja tagħna ilha ‘l fuq minn mitt sena tagħmel dan ix-xogħol. Beda din il-linja z-ziju ta’ missieri Lukardu Pace li kien iġorr il-mejtin bil-karrijiet taż-żwiemel. Huwa miet meta ġie mtajjar waqt inċident tat-traffiku fil-Wied ta’ Birkirkara u warajh kompla missieri Fidiel li llum jgħodd it-93 sena. Missieri rawwem lili u lil ħuti f’dan ix-xogħol, għalkemm jien biss ħriġt bħala sewwieq tal-karrijiet taż-żwiemel. Ħuti qabdu linja oħra però żammu xorta waħda f’dan il-qasam fejn fosthom għandhom negozju tat-twiebet.”

    Sibt li Alfred kien bniedem ġentili u li jaf jilqgħek ħafna. Ix-xogħol tiegħu għamlu dejjem bil-qalb u qatt ma tmeżmeż minnu. Imrobbi sa minn ċkunitu jaċċetta l-mewt bħala parti mill-ħajja, għalih kienet l-aktar ħaġa naturali li ta’ tnax-il sena jaqbad ir-rota u jmur mill-Ħamrun saċ-ċimiterju ta’ Ħal-Qormi biex jgħin lid-deffien Pawlu ta’ Setti. Ta’ età hekk żgħira, kien diġà jmur jagħti daqqa t’id ukoll lil missieru meta kien imur ikeffen il-mejtin.

    “Qabel in-nies ma kienux imutu l-isptar imma ħafna drabi kienu jieħdu l-aħħar nifs tagħhom ġo djarhom stess. Għalhekk, meta kien imut xi ħadd, il-kummisjonant kien jaqla’ lil dak tal-karru biex imurAlfred qed iġorr tebut - huwa l-ewwel wieħed fuq ix-xellug jiġbor lill-mejjet. Dak iż-żmien il-mejjet kien jinġarr sal-kappella tar-raħal fuq l-ispalla u kien jiġi akkumpanjat minn purċissjoni ta’ familjari, ħbieb u fratelli ta’ fratellanzi bħal dawk Tas-Sagrament jew Tar-Rużarju. Magħhom ġieli kien ikun hemm ukoll is-sorijiet tal-kunventi tal-karitajiet li kienu jinġiebu fid-dar tal-mejjet biex jitolbu għalih qabel jittieħed għad-difna. Spiss dawn is-sorijiet kienu jieħdu magħhom ukoll lil xi tfal tal-abbatija. F’ċerti każi jien kont niġi mqabbad inkun wieħed mir-reffiegħa tat-tebut. Fil-kappella kienet issir l-uffizzjatura fejn titkanta l-libera u ssir funzjoni qasira għall-mejjet mis-saċerdot. Wara, it-tebut kien jinġarr sal-karru tal-mejtin u jien kont inwasslu saċ-ċimiterju fejn bosta drabi dfint il-mejjet ukoll. F’każi fejn il-mejjet kien jindifen f’ċimiterju tal-gvern, bħal dak tal-Addolorata, id-dfin kien isir mid-deffiena tal-post. ”

    Kollox kien isir fl-ewwel siegħat tal-jum peress li dawn in-nies kollha kienu jridu jmorru jkomplu jlaħħqu max-xogħol tagħhom tal-ġurnata. Għalhekk dak li kien jarma l-karrijiet, kien ikollu jibda jipprepara kollox mal-lejl… Kien hawn li beda jifforma d-destin ta’ Alfred u Mary, li l-quddiem kellha tkun il-mara tiegħu.

    “Inzerta li l-ġar tagħna fejn konna noqogħdu f’Santa Venera, kien jarma l-karrijiet tal-mejtin u ta’ xi 14-il sena, Alfred kien imur jgħinu. Imma niftakar li dak iż-żmien jien kelli xi 7 snin u kont nitwaħħax meta kont noħroġ kmieni għall-quddies u nsib dawk il-karrijiet qed jintramaw fit-triq wieħed wara l-ieħor biex jintrabtu maż-żwiemel suwed u kbar, b’rixa twila fuq rashom! Għal xi raġuni, mhux mill-karrijiet kont nibża’ imma miż-żwiemel. Għadni sa llum nitwerwer miż-żwiemel u b’xejn mhu ser tressaqni lejn xi wieħed minnhom.

    Nistqarr li fl-istess ħin il-karrijiet kienu jiġbdu ħafna aktar ir-rispett tan-nies għax kulħadd kien jintebaħ li għaddejjin b’xi ħadd mejjet u kienu jieqfu għal mument minn dak li jkunu qed jagħmlu. Niftakar darba minnhom rajt karru abjad qed iġorr tebut abjad ta’ tfajla ta’ 14-il sena li kienet fil-klassi tiegħi u qgħadna narawh għaddej u għedna talba għal ruħha.”

    Nassumi li apparti r-rispett kien hemm ukoll doża ta’ kurżità. Imma kontra dak li jiġri llum, fejn id-dinja tibqa’ ddur akkost kemm imutu nies, dak iż-żmien il-Maltin kienu jhedew jirrakkuntaw u jwasslu l-aħbarijiet ta’ min naqas minn wiċċ id-dinja f’dawk l-aħħar siegħat, u kien rari li xi ħadd jibqa’ minsi…

    “In-nannu kien l-ikbar raġel tal-Mellieħa: kemm mill-persuna u minn kollox,” kompliet tiftakar Mary. “Il-funeral tiegħu sar fis-17 ta’ Diċembru, f’ġurnata kiesħa b’bard ixoqq il-għadam. Kien joqgħod in-Funeral kbir fl-antiknaħa tal-Belleview ħdejn il-bandli u minn hemm ir-reffiegħa kellhom iġorruh fuq l-ispalla sal-knisja tal-Mellieħa! Kollox mar sew sakemm wasalna fil-knisja u kollha ngħatajna xemgħa tixgħel f’idejna. Imma f’daqqa waħda, wieħed minn dawk li kienu refgħu lil nannuwi t-triq kollha, għadda x-xemgħa lil ta’ ħdejh, tah attakk ta’ qalb u miet hemm sobtu! Naturalment kellna nkomplu bil-funeral tan-nannu fejn ħadnih ftit metri bogħod għad-difna fiċ-ċimiterju tal-post. U sakemm wasalna sad-dar ftit tal-ħin wara, kulħadd kien diġà jaf li miet wieħed mir-reffiegħa tal-Pirrex, kif kienu jsejjħu lil nannuwi.”

    Infurmawni li l-funzjoni tal-quddies għall-mejjet bdiet biss mas-snin sebgħinijiet.

    “Meta l-funeral kien jikkonsisti biss f’funzjoni qasira, ġieli laħħaqt madwar tlieta, erbgħa difniet. Imma mbagħad meta bdiet issir il-quddiesa, ma stajtx naħdem aktar minn tnejn. Kont naħdem f’diversi ċimiterji fosthom tnejn f’Ħal-Qormi; dawk ta’ San Bastjan u ta’ San Ġorġ, tnejn f’Ħaż-Żebbuġ; f’dak magħruf bħala tar-raħal u f’ta’ San Blas, u fiċ-ċimiterji ta’ Ħaż-Żabbar, tal-Gudja, tal-Birgu u tal-Imġarr.”

    Alfred ġabli xi ritratti fejn hu kien qed jidher waqt xogħolu. Iżda magħhom kellu wkoll xi ritratti li juru karrijiet oħra interessanti.

    “Ara dan hu l-karru li kont insuq jien. Innota ftit, għalkemm jingħad li l-mewt ma taħfirha lil ħadd u żżomm lil kulħadd ugwali, xorta waħda l-bniedem irnexxielu joħloq il-livelli anki f’dan il-qasam. Għax meta l-mejjet kien ikun sinjur, il-karru tiegħu kien ikun tal-prima, b’ħafna skultura kulur id-deheb u kien jinġarr minn erbat iżwiemel. Imma meta l-mejjet ma kienx daqshekk tat-tajjeb, kien jintuża l-karru tas-sekonda li kien ikun sempliċiment miżbugħ biss u kien jinġarr minn żewġt iżwiemel. Osserva wkoll il-karozzi li hemm fuq wara peress li f’dik il-ħabta kienu qed jintużaw iż-żewġ mezzi f’daqqa.

    Min-naħa l-oħra dar-ritratt b’serbut ta’ karozzelli għaddejjin mill-Ħamrun qed juri kif kienu jsiru l-funerali kbar ta’ dari. Issa dan ir-ritratt l-ieħor huwa eżempju tal-ewwel karru li kien jintuża għad-dfin fl-Il-karru li ġarr lil Nerik Mizzi, lil Dun Karm Psaila u lil Dun Ġorġ PrecaAddolorata; interessanti kemm kien differenti minn dak li kien jintuża fi żmieni. Ara, dan hu karru ieħor li kien ta’ wieħed Żejtuni li kienu jafuh bħala tad-Dmura u fih kienu nġarru Nerik Mizzi, Dun Karm Psaila u Dun Ġorġ Preca. Issa agħti ħarsa lejn dan ir-ritratt li qed juri karru barrani… id-differenza hija kbira ħafna għax sempliċi għal kollox. M’hemm l-ebda maestrija evidenti fl-iskultura u t-tiżjin tiegħu bħal kif kienu l-użanzi tagħna lokalment.”

    Komplejna nqallbu r-ritratti u fosthom rajt lil Alfred isuq wiginet; li kien bħal karozzin bla tinda u l-passiġġiera kienu jidħlu minn wara u joqogħdu bil-qiegħda fil-ġnub tiegħu (kif nagħmlu llum f’jeep). Imma din id-darba mhux mejjet kien qed iġorr imma lil waħda mill-parteċipanti ta’ Miss Malta ta’ madwar 50 sena ilu waqt festival tal-inbid. F’ritratt ieħor kien hemm il-parteċipanti ta’ Miss Malta qed jippużaw mal-wiginet u ma’ wieħed miż-żwiemel li soltu kien ikun involut f’xogħol ieħor għal kollox differenti. Tgħid kienu jafuh dan? Alfred urieni wkoll inkwadru kbir imwaħħal fis-salott fejn hu kien il-kuċċier ta’ karru.

    “Ġie żmien meta riedu jaqtgħu lil dawn il-karrijiet imma kien inqala’ xi nkwiet minħabba l-ħlas tan-nofs venda. Ġara li min kellu jaqsam l-ħlas ma’ missieri ma riedx iħallas is-sehem tiegħu u allura missieri sostna li ried jibqa’ jarma. Għaldaqstant meta miet wieħed mill-Ħamrun magħruf bħala Pisani tad-dawl u qabbad lilna, aħna morna għalih bil-karru imma magħna ġew ukoll il-pulizija. B’hekk konna aħna li wassalna l-aħħar mejjet bil-karru ġewwa l-Addolorata għax imbagħad missieri tħallas u l-karrijiet waqfu.”

    Ormaj intervistajt lil bosta individwi u kważi dejjem nispiċċaw imdawwrin madwar mejda naraw ir-ritratti għax il-viżwal jogħġobni wisq! Imma jkolli nistqarr li did-darbaAlfred isuq il-wiginet akkumpanjat mill-parteċipanti ta' Miss Malta kont qed inħossni kemmxejn stramba nqalleb ritratti ta’ xeni bħal dawn. Wieħed minnhom kien qed juri lil Alfred qed jerfa’ tebut. Impressjonajt ruħi kif hu kien kapaċi jiftakar il-mejjet li kien qed iġorr f’kull wieħed mir-ritratti. Imma nħsadt wisq aktar meta Alfred beda jirrakkuntali kif kien jiġi trattat minn ċerti nies fil-passat, sempliċiment minħabba t-tip ta’ xogħol li kien jagħmel…

    “F’ċerti rħula meta kienu jarawna ġejjin biż-żwiemel, xi ħwienet kienu jagħlqu l-bibien tagħhom sabiex ma nidħlux nieħdu xi belgħa tè minn għandhom. F’Ħal-Kirkop, f’Ħal-Safi u fin-naħat ta’ fuq ta’ Malta kienu jagħmluha spiss din. Mhux għax jibżgħu mill-mewt biss imma għax kienu jitqażżuna. Batejna. Immaġina tkun xi ġurnata kiesħa fil-għodu kmieni u tkun ilek ġej tul triq twila bilqiegħda fuq dak is-saldatur kiesaħ fir-riħ u fil-bard. Tkun tixtieq tixrob xi ħaġa sħuna u ħadd ma jrid idaħħlek. Ġieli kellhom jagħtuna mill-knisja biex nixorbu xi ħaġa.”

    Prosit kemm konna nsara! Martu kompliet tgħidli…

    “F’xi ħwienet tal-Mellieħa, il-parruċċani kienu jisħqu li n-nies bħal Alfred kellhom jużaw skutella jew makk għalihom għax ħadd ma ried jixrob minn warajhom. U darba l-kappillan kien widdeb lin-nies li jekk jibqgħu jagħmlu hekk, ma kien ser jifdal ħadd mir-raħal biex jidfen lin-nies t’hemm u jitilgħu l-barranin minflok.  U llum il-ġurnata hekk qed jiġri.”

    Anki meta ġie biex isib tfajla kellu l-problemi Alfred.

    “Ġieli ppruvajt inkellem lil xi tfajla u m’aċċettatnix minħabba x-xogħol li kont nagħmel. Kien jiddispjaċini imma kont nifhem għax kulħadd għandu dritt għall-opinjoni tiegħu. Nifhimha li hawn minIt-tfajliet ta' Miss Malta jippużaw mal-wiginet ta' Alfred jimpressjona ruħu b’xogħol bħal dan.”

    Ara Mary ma kellha l-ebda problema dwar dan. Mhux talli, imma biex żgur tkompli mal-andament tad-destin, il-laqgħa tagħhom li kellha finalment twassal għaż-żwieġ tagħhom seħħet waqt li hi kienet waqt funeral u Alfred kien qed jagħmel xogħolu!

    “Lil Alfred kont ilni nafu u dejjem wera li kien ġuvni bieżel u bil-għaqal. Ix-xogħol tiegħu qatt ma dejjaqni u bih għejjixna familja ta’ erbat itfal. Kont niddejjaq żgur li kieku kien xi wieħed għażżien jew bla xogħol!”

    Min ser ilumha? Fortunatament illum dawn l-affarijiet inqatgħu ħafna. Uliedhom is-subien ħadu x-xogħol ta’ missierhom u ma sabux problemi minn dawn. Barra minn hekk, bint minnhom iżżewġet f’familja miż-Żejtun li hi magħrufa ħafna għall-istess xogħol ta’ missierha. Issa Alfred fadallu biss il-memorji ta’ dax-xogħol li hu saħaq li qatt ma ried jibdlu ma’ xejn.

    “Ma konniex nitħallsu wisq imma l-ħobża ta’ kuljum dejjem qlajtha. Hemm mumenti li jdejjquk bħal f’kollox. Ngħidu aħna meta tinżel f’qabar biex tnaddfu mill-għadam u jitla’ l-wirdien għalik, tiddejjaqAlfred u Mary Mifsud le? Imma jien ma nibżax minnu, infarfru minn fuqi malajr u nkompli fuq xogħoli. Barra hekk, min jaf kemm ġieli rqadt iljieli  ħdejn il-mejtin li kienu jitħallew 24 siegħa f’kamra apposta fiċ-ċimiterju qabel jindifnu. Qatt ma bżajt u nassigurak li qatt ma qam ħadd.”

    Staqsejtu jekk qatt difinx lil xi ħadd jiġi minnu.

    “Iva. Lil ħija li miet ta’ 22 sena għax kien marid bil-kliewi. Miet madwar 29 sena ilu u għalkemm indifen fl-Addolorata, dakinhar kienu ħallewna nniżżluh aħna. Tħoss naturalment tarah nieżel taħt l-art. Imma meta tiftakar kemm kien qed ibati, għax dak iż-żmien ma kienx hemm kura għall-mard bħal dan, tagħraf li fir-realtà straħ u b’hekk tistabar.”

    Mary ftakret f’mument partikolari meta Alfred ġie lura mix-xogħol b’qalbu maqsuma…

    “Darba ġie u qalli ‘Mer, taf li qatt ma bkejt fil-funerali imma llum tifel żgħir ta’ erbgħa snin qasamli qalbi. Tilef lil ommu u ma setax jifhem meta raha nieżla fil-qabar għaliex qed tħallih u beda jgħajjat u jibki “Ma ejja, ma ejja!”

    Rakkont ġibed lil ieħor…

    “Snin ilu kienu jmutu ħafna trabi. Min jaf kemm ġarrejt trabi fil-karru l-abjad minn Lazzaret fejn kienu jeħduhom meta kienu jimirdu! Imma darba nqalgħat waħda li ma tinsihiex kif ġieb u laħaq. Inzerta liAlfred għaddej bil-karru tiegħu fl-istess ġurnata mietu żewġt itrabi bl-istess kunjom. Aħna morna għal waħda minnhom u tlaqna bil-korteo magħna. Iżda kif konna kważi wasalna biha fiċ-ċimiterju, tant li konna ħdejn is-shipbuilding, ġie jilħaqna l-kummissjonant biex jgħarraffna li kienu tawna t-tarbija żbaljata! U kulħadd kellu jmur lura għall-katavru tat-tarbija proprja.”

    Smajt bosta rakkonti oħra għax Alfred għamel snin twal jaħdem f’dan il-qasam. Biex nagħlaq xtaqt inkun naf jekk dan ix-xogħol biddlilhomx il-perspettiva tagħhom dwar il-mewt u jekk kienux jibżgħu mill-mewt wara kollox?

    Bdiet Mary, “Ma tistax ma tibżax mill-mewt għax anki Kristu beża’ minnha meta waslet is-siegħa Tiegħu. Imma ommi dejjem għallmitni li bħalma ħadna l-ħajja hekk irridu nieħdu l-mewt. Hekk jew hekk inutli tibża’ għax xorta trid tiġi.”

    Min-naħa tiegħu Alfred għalaq hekk “Jiena nirraġuna li l-mewt hija parti mill-ħajja tal-bniedem: hekk kif tgħix taf ukoll li trid tmut. Ma nħossx li nibża’ wisq mill-mewt. Inqis ix-xogħol li kelli bħala mera jew ritratt ta’ dak li rrid ngħaddi minnu. Imma nemmen li l-aqwa li tgħix sewwa u l-bqija tħallih f’idejn Alla.”

    Forsi ta’ min jixtarr dak li qal il-poeta William Ross Wallace (1819 – 1881) “Kull bniedem imut. Mhux kull bniedem jgħix tassew.”

    (Nota: Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat fit-Torċa tas-6 ta’ Novembru 2011)

    2011.11.06 / 1 response / Category: Torca - Perspettivi