NOSTALGIA

O mystic traveler!

As a warm gentle waft,

You’re in thro’ the secret doors of my alcove;

Snuggled under the red satin quilt,

In gentle strokes you caressed

My thirsty body;

Whispering musical words,

In the naked voice of silence,

You stole my soul,

Left behind a sorrowful corpse.

Anita Bacha

Fistful of Sand IMG_7643

Sing a Song 

O! My foolish little bird!
Why are you perched on this desolate twig?
The leaves have yellowed and fallen,
The leaves have drifted away;
Your feathers as soft as pain,
Your silence drowns in rain;
O! My foolish little bird,
What love do you seek?

Anita Bacha


 
 
 
 https://m.facebook.com/Ani.Bacha/

SPRING FRISKIES

The fall forays my garden as a sorceress,

The sky covering the morning sun with thick dimness;
Broom sweeps, leaves and flowers fly off in a maelstrom,
 Cold downpours freeze the subterranean thunderstorm;
Birds flee up in the skies with a scream;
Trout hide under the stones of the stream;
I look full of hope, my love, at the radiance in the horizon;
No matter the rain, the cold, the melancholy of the autumn season,
Whatever the absence, the long days of waiting, the starless nights,
Whatever the tears, the suffering and the frights,
I wait, mad lover that I am, for your return in spring;
 Pining for the promised kisses, the delirious frolics in the field,   
 I dream of the elating scent of the rose on your tanned skin,
 Of poppies, crushing on your mouth my stolen longing.
Anita Bacha

https://m.facebook.com/Ani.Bacha/

The Apple of My Eye 

 The Apple of My Eye

I am reposting this poem and a short story ‘The Scent of a Woman’ which I wrote for my mom, after I read the post ‘Cancer’ on Word press. A very moving story, it left me flabbergasted for days. Cancer is definitely a killer disease, so is ‘stroke’. I was nine years old when my world collapsed. My mother had a stroke; it left her a living vegetable for the rest of her pathetic life. She died after years of suffering at the age of 42.I still wonder how I grew up without her tender care.

 

The Apple of My Eye

She was walking on the beach,

A long skirt hiding her knees;

Dotted with tiny blue florets,

A white linen blouse flattened her bosom,

Prude,

She never wore a swimsuit;

 

Immaculate as the sunset,

Pretty as a picture,

Mysterious as the sea,

Smiling to herself,

Poetic, in love, sweet,

A dreamer,

She fell in love only once,

People said,

The blessed day was her wedding day;

 

A long trail of footsteps,

She left,

Printed in the moist sand;

In joyous innocence,

Behind her I walked,

Placing my steps,

One by one in her wake,

She was the apple of my eye!

She was my mother!

🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀

 

 

 

The Scent of a Woman

 

 After the Second World War, there was a shortage of food stuffs in the island. In those years, Mauritius was a colony under the British rule.

Nonetheless, our family did not feel the immediate pangs or the aftermath of the war, as we were quite well off. My mother, I fondly remember, splashed herself with Yardley Eau de Cologne every morning after her tub bath. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and, I could follow her around the whale of a house that we had, sniffing her perfume like a little dog.

My father was a whole sale merchant and he was bringing home our share of ration rice. It was our basic food and also the basic food of the whole population of some 500,000 heads.

 A hard, little, yellowish pearl, unpolished and unrefined, my mother told me that this grain of rice came in its husk during the war. In those days called ‘le temps margoze’ (the sour gourd days) by the local people, the women folk had to pound the rice in a mortar to separate the husk from the rice. They used to call it ‘di riz pousse femme’ (the rice that drives women away) because it was a real nightmare for women to pound the rice.

We were fortunate, I gather, because we did not have to pound the rice. But once a week, in a ceremonial manner, my mother sat on a small wooden bench; surrounded by the maid servants, they would busy themselves at cleaning the rice. The rice was placed on large aluminium trays in small heaps. It was winnowed and then the grit was separated from the grain. In a small tin, my mother kept the small black pebbles to throw away and in her lap, the broken rice to feed the birds.

Close to her, on a smaller bench, I sat down to be with her. I felt like a big girl because I could pick out the stones from the broken rice in her heap. The foreign traders were crooks, my mom told me; they added pebbles to the grains of rice to cheat on the weight.

After she had finished and filled a big iron container with the clean rice, I had the liberty to hide my head in the warm and loving lap of my mother. I breathed in the intimate scent of a woman interlaced with the perfume of eau de cologne and the smell of ration rice.

Years after she passed away, this scent still filled my whole being with the sweet memory of my mother.

 

Anita Bacha     

http://poetryofanitabacha.com     

 🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀

KRISHNA

 

KRISHNA, one of the many gods of Hinduism, is the embodiment of charismatic love, immaculate beauty, celestial joy and eternal youth. He is an incarnation of VISHNU, the Preserver in the triad of Gods Brahma Vishnu and Maheswara.

KRISHNA is so beautiful that he is often referred to as a doll. Many can’t make out from his overwhelmingly refined looks whether he is a man or a woman. Also known as being the perfect union between man and woman or between God and his devotee, he embodies the pleasure, emotion and everlasting rapture that is derived from love making.

In every incarnation, VISHNU meets up, adores and caresses his beloved wife LAKSHMI, the goddess of wealth, beauty, prosperity and knowledge. In His incarnation as KRISHNA, he finds LAKSHMI as his beloved RADHA, the embodiment of the perfect woman and lover.

KRISHNA is also known as the flute player. His enchanting music is known to make his devotees crazily fall in love with him.

KRISNA opens the heart to the pleasure of love. Wherever KRISHNA is installed, love beckons, love sings and dances; the soul is uplifted to celestial summit.

KRISNA is also known by other adorable names- Murali Gopala (the flute player), Chitchor (the stealer of hearts), and SRI (God), Shyama.

It is believed that if we see a statue of KRISHNA, we touch him, and we love him, we must take him and keep him.

‘Those who worship gods, become gods; those who worship ancestors become ancestors; those who worship the elements master the elements; and THOSE WHO WORSHIP ME GAIN ME!’- Bhagavad Gita 9.25

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ODE TO MY BELOVED

You are born again and again

Like a flame in my heart, my Beloved!

My eyes marvel and rejoice at your sight

In the darkness you are my light!

In the void your voice is rapturous music

When you are with me nothing is amiss

Every droplet of rain is a cup of bliss

Every thorn is a budding lotus flower

Every woe is over and done forever!

 

http://poetryofanitabacha.com/

 

 

The Sandal of Rosemay

Writer’s note

My prose is mostly autobiographical. They are the memories of my childhood that I cherish the most, of real – life events, people and places. I was born in Mauritius before the country won its independence from the British Rule in 1968. I was fortunate to be born in a wealthy Hindu family. My Papa was a big sugar magnet in the North of the island, having inherited from his father, 200 ‘arpents’( units of land area as measured by the French when they occupied Mauritius before the British).
Mauritius was an underdeveloped country. The huge disparity between the social classes was horrendous. The rich were very rich and the poor, very poor. Hence, promiscuity was rampant in the country.
THE STORY
Radhika married a very prosperous landowner. She was merely sixteen and she had no choice but to succumb to the will of her father. She fell in love with her husband, Seelall, on their wedding night. He was six years her senior and as handsome as a god. She bore her husband many beautiful and healthy children. She was proud to belong to the class of high society women. She learnt how to drive the luxurious imported cars from Britain, to perm her hair, to wear expensive silk saris and elite handmade sandals brought from India by Punjabi merchants. Her mansion was run by maid and man servants as labour was very, very cheap.
Behind the house, there was a large open space where the washing of dirty linen was done by hand, with foreign soap and tap water, on big slabs of stone. Then hang out, on strings of bamboo, to dry in the sun. Collected in huge raffia baskets when dry, the linen was brought in a special room, adjacent to the house, for ironing. This was a routine process involving the task of many washerwomen, locally and commonly called ‘dhobis’.
A washerwoman could be a woman of any community yet, there was, prominent in those days of illiteracy and ignorance, the existence of the caste system. The dhobis belonged to their own caste. The Hindus were very conscious and very wary about the caste system, brought over from India. So was Radhika.
The ‘dhobis’ were not allowed in her kitchen or to touch the food.
Other people and those who could not afford tap water at home sent their washing to the local dhobis.
There was one reputed dhobi, by the name of Salsa. She was a widow and she raised two young daughters, Rosemay and Mimine, by her own sweat because widows were not allowed to remarry. Often they were found on the streets, pushing a wooden cart, packed with big bundles of customers’ clothes which they washed at a neighbouring river; then brought home for ironing with the heavy steel irons fuelled with burning charcoals.
Rosemay, the eldest daughter of Salsa, was a fine-looking young woman. She had long, black, crimped thick hair, a flawless complexion colour olive, captivating, bewitching black eyes and a mouth of extraordinary beauty. She never wore make-up, except for ‘Kaajol’, eyeliner which was made at home by placing a spoon in front of a lighted oil lamp. To add to her blessings, she had two gorgeous breasts, rounded and firm like two green apples. She never wore a brassiere under her blouse. Brassieres were a luxury for the rich.
One critical day, Radhika received a phone call from an anonymous informer. Her head reeled at hearing that her loving husband was keeping Rosemay as his mistress. She nearly collapsed but insisted on getting a proof of this devastating rumour. She was promised a proof by the informer, who added that he only wanted to see her happy.
Two days after, she lifted her phone. The informer was calling again. He told her to go immediately to such and such address. Her husband was there with Rosemay. She asked, Jalil , the chauffeur, to bring out her Rover; she was trembling all over; she asked two of her children to climb in the car, on the rear seat, beside her. Jalil drove her to a remote village which was bouncing with joy and music. The car of her husband was stationary on a side road which led to a cluster of ragged huts made of corrugated iron sheets. She alighted and went straight to a one room hut, pushed the door open and entered.
Followed screams, howls, cries…then Radhika returned to the Rover and Jalil drove silently home.
Later in the evening, and after a refreshing tub bath, Radhika found an ugly surprise awaiting her, by the side of her bed. An odd sandal was staring mockingly at her. She realized her blunder. During the scuffle at the place of her rival, she had lost the left sandal of the ‘Kalighata’ exclusive footwear which her husband had offered to her on her birthday. Moreover, in trying to bring her husband home, she had slipped, in her anger, disappointment and confusion, her left foot in the left ‘Kalighata’ sandal of Rosemay and brought it home with her.
Radhika howled with pain. Maid servants and her children all rushed to her room. She pointed to the sandal of Rosemay with a shaking finger, speechless. Her complexion had become completely white. In her eyes, there was a spark of madness. One of her daughters, a pony tailed girl of eight years, had the insight to lift the sandal of Rosemay from the bedroom floor and to throw it out of the balcony, very far in the wilderness. Somehow she knew that it was not her mother’s sandal. It was the sandal of Rosemay.
Anita Bacha