The beauty of La Gare Victoria

25th February 2013

15:30 PM to 1600 PM

I walked to La Gare Victoria in Port Louis  in a scorching sun of 15:30 PM and I was thirsty. After few minutes of walk I saw an oasis, it was the 174 Rose Hill Transport Express bus to Rose Hill. I rushed to the red bus and found myself the best window seat. Of course, I had to sit on the left side in the sun.

No matter how much I was sweating but the view was awesome. For my 29rs window seat, I could smell the perfume of “pistache griller”, the one with red skin. The peanuts seller was the one only shouting with that typical  folklore hawker accent…“pistache”… no, actually it was “pistass” . Next to him there was a pudding seller, which many loved to eat because the little hand made aquarium was already empty and only pieces of coconuts were left.

My bus started to move and I could see another hawker selling fake golden jewellery, it was so shiny that you needed sunglasses. How can i miss an “ebeniste” buying a piece of home made pizza?

Behind this scenery there was first train station found at La Gare Victoria Port Louis made of rocks and  standing strong since 1865. Today, in a pitiful  state. The rocks started to shout in my presence. The rocks stood strong, proud of a royalist past. Each of them had a story to tell, a story to tell me, a A story to tell you and a story to tell the world. Tailor made rocks who held secrets. Unsaid and Unseen. The rocked shouted for renovation and said no to change. The rocks shouted for independence. A masterpiece.

My bus continued to move in the crowd, people were sticking to each other and and none were scared to get crushed under the bus tyres. It is a question of habit or “mode de vivre”. It goes like this:-

….”15rs ene pair savate, 5rs orange….donne mo risse ene coup” ..madame missier grand promtion kot bourgeon”. Local slang language mixed with the sound of motorcycle, bus engine and scorching sun. The best liquid is a cold orange juice in aquarium and full of chemical products.

In a few minutes,  my bus reached on main road next to caserne headquaters. Now am going to a place where civilized and educated people meet.  To think and ponder about society.

La gare victoria is full of life, even though someone was missing. No one felt his presence…a hawker was no more shouting…” cornet plastique”…no one noticed…no one even remember apart from his colleagues. None of the educated and civilized people saw the difference. Let me tell you people…he is no more. No surprise  due to HIV. Sir, hope you are in a better place.

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Port Louis Flood

08 February 2013

15:35 PM to 15:48 PM

Looking at the desolated sight of Port Louis  after the black Saturday of 30.03.2013 caused by the flash flood. I closed my eyes and remembered the afternoon of the 8th of February 2013. I wonder how many do remember this Port Louis which I saw.

After a stressful day at work, I was dead tired and walking on way back home. I passed through Jardin Compagnie and heard someone shouting, it was Jeff Lingaya  shouting for a cause he believed in. I was too tired or maybe just saturated of too much sophistication to grasp the words in the air. I continued my way to John Kennedy Street to get an air con bus. Yeah… An air con bus please! There was a long queue like hell.

I could have waited but the sound of bees attracted me. I was mesmerized by that bizarre sound and I  continued to walk.  I reached a few steps ahead and it was breathtaking,  hawkers were shouting all around, the newspapers seller was already standing under the Body and Soul Boutique veranda  there was the smell of sweat mixed up with the perfume of kebab and “poisson saler” . Everyone were in rush and we were no better than bees.

I reached the taxi stand and I saw 3  women from Agalega sitting on red plastic stools with their colorful umbrella selling “brede”.  The ladies seemed to be in heaven. The amazing part was that even though there were sign of fatigue on their wrinkled faces, I felt satisfaction in their eyes.

I continued to walk…and that day I returned home in an old crappy bus.