Li bon, li bon, li bien bon!

 Mind Your Language

Dr B Foogooa

Sometime between August and September of last year, the new Wooton-Quartier Militaire (WQM) road was opened to the public after nearly one year of upgrading and widening works.

At a function held at Quartier Militaire, Prime Minister Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, after a 30-minute speech, declared the road open to traffic. In the evening, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) featured a newsreel in its main news bulletin of the happenings, which included a few interviews (in Creole) with some people who are regular users of that stretch of road.

MBC reporter to truck driver: Please, sir, how do you find the new WQM road?

Truck driver: It’s very nice and practical, much safer for motorists and the public at large.

The reporter put the same question to a young man on a motorcycle.

Motorcyclist: The new road is much better. Since the bridge has been made wider, even two oncoming heavy-goods vehicles can pass through rather easily. This was impossible before. Minister Baichoo is doing a fantastic job!

An Indo-Mauritian lady, waiting for her bus at the nearby bus stop, was keenly following the reportage when the MBC man quite unexpectedly approached her with the same question. The lady had heard all the questions and answers and did not have much to add. Moreover, being a Bhojpuri speaker, she was not too fluent in the Creole dialect.

So, she was very brief and evasive with her answer. “Li bon, li bon,”1 was all she said.

MBC reporter: Is the traffic safer and more fluid?

The poor lady did not have a clue as to whether the traffic was more fluid or more solid. So, she gave the same reply, “Li bon, li bon, li bien bon!”2. From her body language, one could see
that she did not want to be harassed any further.

MBC reporter: Aunty, will the new road…?

The lady: Li bon, li bon — Ramgoolam même poor revine Premier ministre!3


Dr B Foogooa 

  1. It’s good, it’s good !
  2. It’s good, it’s good, it’s very good!
  3. It’s good, it’s good. Ramgoolam will definitely become PM again

* Published in print edition on 21 January 2011

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