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Life seemed always amazing to me when I was a kid. I got friends, I got food, I got love as well as a lot of affection from my family. However, the only thing that never worked out for me at that stage of my life is that I couldn’t accept that my actual family was not my real family and I had some other people as my parents. It was like hurting me so much everytime I hear people talking about my story or sometimes they will just come straight to me and tell me that. I is really painful but with time I didn’t care about it anymore.
Instead I focused all those energies into sports activities. The first sport that I did in my life was football which American people refer to as soccer. My family is a huge fan of soccer. My mom is a Liverpool football club fan as well as my dad. However on my side, I was a Manchester united fan die hard since the very beginning due to the fact that I was born during the era where there were players like David Beckham.
Almost every weekend if not every weekend, I will sit down with my cousins who happen to be my neighbours as well as my grandmother and my parents just to watch football. I can still remember my dad talking to the television set as if the players can hear what he was saying. He loves football so much and at that time he was still playing in completion level before converting into a football coach.
However as my cousins were older than I got influenced a lot by them in many aspects whether it is in sports, lifestyles and education. My childhood memories are still in my head as crystal clear water. During holidays, we spend a lot of time all together. As their father had a lot of beef, everyday at around one o’clock, we would go to the pastures to bring the cows to the river to drink water and bring them to a part of the pasture where there is sufficient grass for them to eat. It was like their duty. At that time they did not enjoyed it due to laziness but I was enjoying it because I was no more alone or bored.
But the part that I enjoyed the most are the funniest ones. The brothers were not really fond of each other and there was always a kind of rivalry that often tend to end up into a fight. Sometimes, we will all get back home with one or two injurded because they had a fight and sometimes they tend to fuse stones and cow poop to each other. But on my side, they never attacked me because I was the youngest and the protected one.
When I think about it I do realize that I was having the best moments of my life. Despite all these we were still able to play together everytime. We always brought a ball with us and the game was very enjoyable everytime on the grazing pastures. The time that it was more enjoyable was when the football prodigy of the family came home for holidays and bring our game to the next level and he was younger than me and football agents were already after him.
After the match we would all go to the river and swim but naked so that our parents don’t see the mud onto our clothes which was not that clever because at the end of the day they knew we had a swim because our eyes were red. After the swimming, we would all collect some guava straight from a tree and eat it instantly. You can imagine that most of my childhood was spent into the forests of Rodrigues island. When it was the season of mangoes, we would bring salt chilli and sugar with us to eat with mangoes that are not ripe yet and we had some good times with ripe mangoes as well. We would climb the mango trees or we would simply use stones to hit them down which very often happened to hurt someone who was just passing by. It would also happen that while climbing the trees someone with break his arm and get biten by wasp and bees because their shelters just happened to be near the most beautiful ripe and delicious mango. It was a really funny time when everybody on the way back home will be laughthing at due because your eyes or lips are swollen because of the bees.
Talking about back home; back home was the real deal. Now when we reached home we had a lot of things to explain such as how did one of us got injured or got a swollen face or anything of that sort. Sometimes we will just try to make up a story which most of the time has no beginning and has no ending. As you can imagine, it was a real mess as everybody were trying to talk at the same time and it just get noisy everywhere. The good thing is just that we would just get scolded and that’s the end of it. The brothers had a kind of love and hatred relationship which happen to be still there until today.
After one or two years, I started to detach myself from them because most of the were in high school already and I was in my final years of my primary school. From there I got some new friends from the neighborhood from my boxing club. After every training session we would have a football match going on and then proceed to our homes.
At that time I met one particular friend whose name was Andy. Andy was really a fan of fishing. But when I say fishing during that time it was not like fishing in a boat or something like that but it was like fishing near the seashore. Eventually after a few weeks knowing Andy, I develop that passion for fishing as well but the problem was that my family don’t really like the idea of me going near the sea by myself because they have lost a lot of closed one in the ocean because my family before lived near the sea.
However, almost every Saturday morning at around four o’clock early morning I would prepare my food, my drinks and take some of my grandfathers’ fishing lines and hooks and sneak out the house. I would then proceed to my friends’ place which is just like five minutes away from my house. He would be waiting for me outside with a hoe to dig for bait later at the seashore. We were only two of us walking in the dark early morning with a hoe and we were like ten years old. That sounds unrealistic but it is true without forgetting that the sea was like forty five minutes away from our place. After digging for bait we would just take a little rest and drink something until the high tide start to show itself. While fishing, we will share our food and drinks and have a good time chatting about everything from here and there. It was like my secret garden. It was just a pure moment of evasion for me. After we get tired of fishing we would stop and pack our things. After celebrating the catch of each fish, we would share the fish or sell it to people who are will to buy and share the money equally. It seemed to be a real moment of accomplishment, freedom and independence for us. But the disadvantage of it was that we would walk back home and reach there at around two to three oclock afternoon.
And most of time back home again my family was waiting for me with fright because they were scared and didn’t know where was their lonely son. But after few weeks they got used to it despite the fact that they didn’t like it. Every Saturday was something new for me. I would met new people with all kind of personalities. I would met tourists passing by and willing to buy our fish, I would met an old man fishing who refuse to share his bait with us when ours is finished and so many more people. If I list all of them, it will be a story that will never end.
At that particular moment of my life everything was perfect in my life until the very sad day that my grandfather passed away. It was really hard for me personally because I turned out to be very close with him. He was a little bit of a drunkard but still a hard worker. We never lacked of anything and all of this thanks to him and my grandmother. He was the first person whose close to me that I lost a that time. Frankly speaking I was sad but I didn’t know how to react and what to do. I remember he was not talking anymore I was holding his hand and one of his friends who paid him a visit because he was sick told me that my grandfather does not belong to this world anymore. I was shocked but I was not scared coward as I were. After a few minutes I let go of his hand I went to my father and told him about the situation and my poor grandmother was already crying in her bed.
I just felt useless because I was confused. I didn’t know where to go and what to do. Everybody was busy making calls asking about a cook, a coffin, calling relatives and so on. My prodigy cousin and I were sitting there and looking around not knowing what to do. Then my dad came to us as we were sitting on the sofa and asked us to go and collect some candles in another room. Our house ‘tends’ to be a little big. If you understand what I mean then you will understand that my prodigy cousin and I are kind of cowards. We were scared to go to that room because it was at night and the light was still off in that room. But still we managed to go to that particular room and rushed back to the living room where everybody were busy helping out.
When we reached the living room my dad realized that my cousin and I were out of breath. I will never forget that until the day I die; he was us whether we were scared to go there in a very suspicious way and when I think about it now its kind of funny. Inside my own house I was scared to go to a room but I was not scared to walk in the dark early morning to go fishing.
Next to this I saw relatives start coming home to help. Some of them it was the first time I saw their face. They all knew me and greeted my by saying my name and told me their condolences. More over after few hours, I just saw a bunch of people from the neighbourhood and a lot who I don’t know inside and around my house. There were really a lot of people and I kind of disliked it because it was too noisy.
This is the one thing that I don’t understand with my hometown by the way. When someone passed away it is only the family friends and relative who have to be around his house but back home everybody will just come uninvited. There are those who come for free food and drink because the family of the deceased has to provide the food as long as the deceased body is still inside the house. Then we also have those who only come to play cards get some money and leave your place. This is a tradition but at the beginning the money was supposed to the family to help them with their financial expenses but nowadays it just turned out to be like an open casino.
Next to the gamblers you will have the section of those who just came with their alcohol or they are already drunk sitting down talking to people and eating something. It is like an environment that is more enjoyable than a fancy fair. That’s what really made me very uncomfortable during that time. Despite being kind of uncomfortable with all these, that didn’t prevented me from helping my family with serving the food to the people or providing them with cards and giving my room to some ‘strange’ relative of mine to sleep.
The night was gone and I didn’t have a single moment of sleep with serving people food, people crying out loudly and picking up my uncles from airport with my dad. I really did not have much time to even consider about getting some free time to sleep.
It was like few hours away from the burial and people would still keep coming and I had to get ready and prepare a speech for a last goodbye at the church during the ceremony before his burial. And damn! I had never talked in front of a large audience before. I was just thinking about how am I going do that and why did they choose me to do that speech. But I managed to do it and I was pretty much comfortable while doing it. Frankly speaking, I really surprised myself.
When I reached back home I was like thank god I can sleep properly now but to my surprise, there were still people back home consoling my grandmother as well as some guys who helped to prepare everything for free were waiting patiently for my dad to come back to honor another tradition that we call as ‘ the king of drinking’. In that tradition you have to give all the man who helped for the preparation alcohol until they get drunk and of course some drunkard will join uninvited. That was the worst time of my life at that time. Its hard to say that but I think that when it will be my funerals I would have already prepared my invitation to invite people that I want to be in my funeral. The next day was really a touching part of my childhood as well because it was one of the rare time s that I could have my whole family around me. All of us sitting, talking and comforting each other. I really felt that family ties do really exist that day.
It was even more nice for me because it is very hard to see a family composed of mostly male sitting down and having a nice chat.
With all these done after one month everybody gets back to his usual activities and some even travel back home because they got to work and take care of their wives and kids.
After the first months it was time already to start moving on and I was going towards my last year of primary school. But before moving on there is one last primary school memory that I have to share is our educational trip where I will spend like one month with my classmates and teachers night and day. It is one of my school tradition which allows us to visit museums, historical site river gorge and water dams. This is among one of my best memories as well. I can recall all of us at the airport wearing our traditional hats and clothes. My best friend and I were taking the flight at night so which made it more awesome.
When we reached Mauritius island, we stayed in a school because it was holidays and much more cheaper for us. We use classes as large dormitories where girls were sleeping on their side and boys into another class. Every afternoon again here we would play football all together until the teachers call us back. Sometimes we would hit peoples’ cars, hear the alarms and run away because we were scared as we didn’t know what kind of car was outside or whose car was outside. So, it was really fun during that time I have a lot of small stories that I want to share as well. At night before sleeping, we will all sit down in the boys dormitory and listen to creepy stories and what happens afterwards was that as soon as the light were switched off because it was time to sleep, everybody would be scared as hell and it was really funny. During the day while brushing our teeth and waiting for our turn to take a shower someone would just come a tell a story that now I realize was a total and complete lie. I remember one of the guys said while he was sleeping at night he got an ancient manuscript written on a leaf which stated that someone whose half wolf and half human will be coming at night to attack us. During that time when he was telling his story it was a total panic in the bathroom.
I remember another part of our trip where there was a quiz which was girls against boys. I was the captain of the boys’ team and another girl was the captain of the girls’ team. The questions asked at that time were based on the places that we have visited at that time and the prize was like one sweet for the losing team and a bag of sweet for the winning team. I can recall that I answered the last question of the list correctly and all my fellow friends rushed to me because we won all the sweet. The girls’ captain was crying but during that time I had no fair play because instead of consoling her, I was laughting at her. Despite winning the quiz it happened that I didn’t get a single sweet to eat because at night some of the boys woke up and ate all the sweets and to my astonishment in the morning there was no more sweets and everybody was accusing each other and until today we don’t know whose the guilty people.
Nonetheless, we really had a great time where we were able to tease the girls who were taking shower. While they we taking shower we would go on top of their bathrooms and shout or pour flour on them. After that we would also get scolded and punished by the teachers. There is also the time when we got free ice-cream and yoghurt from their company which was really amazing. I must admit that it was really a good time.