Wintry Weather Comes to Curepipe

By Dr R Neerunjun Gopee

On Wednesday morning I plucked my courage, and decided to brave the wet and the cold, and take my morning rounds at Trou-O-Cerfs. I had been up about an hour, from shortly after four am, after tucking in earlier the previous night because it did not lend itself to sitting up in front of the computer.

Instead, practically immediately after dinner, the bed beckoned – and there was no reason to refuse the call! Under the blanket therefore did I slide, daring to leave my arms out for a while and hold a book to read a few pages. Ere long, the eyes started to close, and it was time to do the natural thing: switch off the bed light and enter slumberland, a journey that did not take long at all, in fact it was effortless.

I would be wrong to say that it was very cold: no, it was just cold. Cold enough to want the warmth of the light quilt, and to wear a light jacket or woollen on going outdoors. As I stepped out at about 5.30 to get into the car, there was a fine drizzle, and a very light breeze. It had calmed down from the previous few days, when warmer protection had been required. There was nigh a soul on the road stretch to the crater, and barely a few cars around as I drove in, finding plenty of space to park mine.

The drizzle was continuing, and I began my walk in earnest in the dark, picking up some speed to break the reluctance of the body, and I was on my way. I never used to do it before, thinking it was rather silly, but I picked up the habit from wiser friends: using an umbrella when it rains. So I unfolded mine, and well that I did it, because otherwise I would be soaked through pretty fast.

I had taken off clockwise. This took me past the kiosk as the road slopes slightly downwards. It was wet, and the reflected light from the lamp post on the left created a mirror-like appearance. The rays of light fell on the leaves of an overhanging tree branch, giving a diffuse shine to the green colour. As the light spread in the surrounding space, it made the drizzle look more like a thin mist, tinted a faint yellow that faded outwards. That scene looked almost magical, so beautiful it was. I drank of the moment and thanked nature for granting us such beauty and serenity.

No, it did not matter that I had to carry an umbrella, that the road was wet from the rain. And so it will be in future too: we need all the elements – air, space, water, fire (the light) and earth of which after all we are made, and that is why the resonance is so strong as we identify with all five simultaneously and collectively.

Whether it’s climate change or some other phenomenon, the fact is that winter has been delayed in Curepipe. I do not know how other denizens of our small island have felt, but certainly we of les hauts have noticed the distinct change in the season. Nobody is grumbling about the rain – why, given our water problem, we are even wishing for more, most unusual of Curepipians who otherwise complain about too much of it under ‘normal’ times. Perhaps the normal is shifting?

Only time will tell, but at the rate things are happening, we may not have to wait too long for a new pattern to be established. All part of the cycle of nature, which the sum total of our humanly activities, amongst other things, is affecting. Suffice it that we must learn to appreciate whatever comes our way under given circumstances, much of which is beyond our control. But some are, and I would like to share what a friend posted me recently – for that also has some general resonance! So here goes. The title is ‘Man O Man!’.

Some simple truths

When he is without money, he eats vegetables at home;
When he has money, he eats vegetables in a fine restaurant.

When he is without money, he rides bicycle to work;
When he has money, he rides bicycle to exercise.

When he is without money, he walks to eat food;
When he has money, he walks to burn food

When he is without money, he wishes to get married;
When he has money, he wishes to get divorced

When he is without money, his wife becomes secretary;
When he has money, his secretary becomes wife.

When he is without money, he acts like a rich man;
When he has money, he acts like a pauper.

He says share market is bad but he keeps on speculating;
He says money is evil but he keeps on craving for it.

He says high positions are lonely but he keeps on struggling for it;
He says gambling and drinking is bad but he keeps on indulging in it.

Man O Man !

He never means what he says and never says what he means!
He simply can’t tell a simple truth!

Thanks for Foxy

I am grateful to the numerous friends and acquaintances, all faithful readers of the Mauritius Times, who have felt touched by my obituary of Foxy, the fox-terrier who left me recently after many long years of joyful companionship. Their appreciation of my article and their commiserations have helped to lessen the sadness of the loss. It is beyond me that from time to time I still say ‘Foxy’ when I mean Simba…

* Published in print edition on 22 July 2011

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