Who was Captain Nunu ‘Sunchild’ Ramone?
She was a combination of personality traits and pop cultural references the young version of me wanted to be. An image to live up to. She was positive and energetic, fierce and funny, loud and unashamed. A leader, an inspiration. The ‘anti-girl’ in a conservative all girls school situation in Dubai. But she was also a cry for help and for attention.
The ‘Captain’ was to signify what she feels was her sole achievement – becoming captain of her school house. The ‘Nunu’ was a nickname a friend gave her, a term she viewed as a product of endearment, a glimpse of intimacy. That friend probably just found it funny. After spending years of awkwardness over a 4 syllabic name she could herself barely pronounce, ‘Nunu’ just sounded like a great way to shorten her name and to seem loved at the same time. The ‘Ramone’ was an attempt to seem edgy, stolen from a band whose music the girl barely listened to but whose image incited great excitement. ‘Sunchild’? Well, the younger me thought hippies were really, really cool. So there you have it. Captain Nunu ‘Sunchild’ Ramone.
The younger me was a scared, sensitive child who was ashamed of her own cowardice when it came to confronting people and events that frightened her. She wanted to be the brave champion of the free voice, but that ‘voice’ was relegated to making snide comments about what was ‘mainstream’ and ‘boring’. Real emotions, genuine feelings and vulnerability were stupid phenomenon that were best repressed and ignored rather than honestly dealt with. This eventually lead to me having low self esteem and throwing out my negativity on people around me, my ‘friends’. (One thing I have to admit- the friends I made in school were probably the truest friends I’ve ever made. They always encouraged me and complimented me for the most part, even if I was behaving like a total dickhead. Out of us all, I was probably the most passively abusive yet these people stood by me. Even when I skipped one of my best friends birthdays just to go to some shitty party, even when I used to berate them for talking like ‘Indians’ and listening to shitty music, even when I would plump up my own ego my trying to point out how ‘popular’ I was in comparison to them, they never really left me. Even when I came back from my first year of college and insisted they were all ‘children’, they never left me. And I know, even today, if I approach them with heartbreak, they will still be there for me, even if its just virtually. I am a very lucky girl.) Captain Nunu ‘Sunchild’ Ramone belonged to a child who wanted to be forever happy and strong, to be able to shine out from the abyss of depression. She was the epitome of ‘punk rock’ – trying to rebel while at the same time, keeping everyone else around her happy and amused. Of course, she failed at both. But the girl tried. And eventually, Captain Nunu ‘Sunchild’ Ramone died. Gone was the stoic individual who would try to hide her alienation and depression with loud, crass humour and alternative internet trends.
This post is to hit the final nail on the coffin, to shut the incinerator door. Captain Nunu ‘Sunchild’ Ramone is dead. And now something new must arise from the ashes, like a phoenix. Someone who will take all the positives from the Captain- her energy, her positive attitude, her strength and her love for all things unusual and offbeat.
I salute you, Captain Ramone. You took me through some of the hardest years of my life and somehow kept me from spiraling into darkness. You made me laugh when all I wanted to do was crawl into a dark corner and kill myself. You literally saved my life. For that, I will always cherish you. All things must come to an end. But you will always be remembered, Ramone.
Rest in Power.