You’ve heard of the wrong turn? I took the wrong turn, and it was never the same again.
That is life. You got one shot at it. You miss it, and you risk procrastinating for the rest of your life.
I watched the movie “Blinded by the Light (2019 film)” and it sent me back in time.
I mean my life is not worth a movie or even a book. I never led the kind of struggle in life that will become iconic. But this movie made me revive my squabbles and struggles at 17.
There are similarities, there are some moments where I felt like ‘Dancing in the Dark’ with the opposition to what I wanted to become, the jealousy, the acrimony…
The Spinning Wheel
All this was coupled with the wrong turns in life.
At the beginning of this entry, I said I made a wrong turn. But truth is, I made several wrong turns and now I realise that my life is a spinning wheel.
I do not know how many times it turned around and got stuck in an unending and useless spin to nowhere.
But a spinning wheel will gather moss, become heavy and make a creaking sound. This is when you realise that wrong turns may not be that bad.
In Port Louis, there was no one who would understand my narrative. Everybody was busy running after something.
Before Independence in 1968, it was the rejection of the Independence and the ‘Blue’ supporters wanting to ‘remain’ with the UK.
I was among the ‘Red’, supporting Independence and winning it with the greatest desires to make it in life glowing in the dark.
I got mugged by 10 ‘Blue’ kids at my first day at the Coeur Sacree De Jesus school at Pamplemouses Road. It was not Sir Abdul Razak Mohamed road yet, because Sir Abdul was still alive.
My life and my struggle at 17 was not about university, songs or culture clash. It was not like what Javed in the movie went through. At least, he made it in the end.
I did not meet my ‘heroes’ Muhammad Ali or Muammar Gaddafi. I visited Libya and understood the reasons why Gaddafi is iconic. I wrote a poem on Muhammad Ali on his death.
This is me. The man behind the scene, with a by-line that nobody really cares about. And I am comfortable with it.
In my life, there were kindness, goodness, sharing, caring but there was also acrimony, jealousy and a complete misunderstanding of my thoughts and desires.
Yet, what kept me going on this journey is the desire to acquire knowledge, to gain my independence which I treasure more than anything else.
The independence of mind that was so taboo in my childhood, that is.
Did you know that it was hard to embrace change and bring change without being accused of many nonsenses?
It was the frame of mind of the society. It was like you do not have a pet; you have animals that you eat.
You are Muslim, you can’t have a dog. I got myself a dog, Rocky, and I kept it for a few months to learn what a dog is about.
It is under peer pressure from some quarters— perhaps now I know from where— that I gave it away to a Church.
But my life’s motivation was the thirst for knowledge and independence of mind, which was a tough one in a conservative society.
If my life was not about songs, university, it was about football and family, kids and people. It all unravelled with the time. That I cannot trust people and no one is like me? It is a fact.
Not A Movie Making Struggle
My life is not a movie making struggle and there is no value to write a book about my life struggle.
I mean it was never the kind of struggle that will become a movie or a book. But this movie made me revive my squabbles and struggles at 17.
I started well. I got a poem published in Advance, the Red tabloid and propaganda paper.
That got me a letter, written by Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, then Prime Minister of Mauritius.
He had hopes! His last line was “There will time when you will have to compromise in life, but keep your integrity and principles.”
Well, folks, at least I got a Prime Minister to write me a letter, a letter which the paper’s editor kept jealously. He never gave it to me. This is the trick in life I never learned.
He gave me to read it, ponder on it but took it back from me. I let it go just like that into his hands, not knowing he would trick me into keeping the letter for himself.
END OF TIME
Now that the end is near, I must say my teen struggle never had the ending Javed had.
He earned, and he made amends and got embraced. I was not given the chance to make amends. I did not get the embrace until today! And I do not give a damn!
Yet, I liked the fact that Javed met Bruce Springsteen. I met with Dr Mahathir Mohamad. I met Anwar Ibrahim. I met Francois Mitterrand, I am glad I did.
I messed up my career and my future. I am a virtual unknown. The newspapers in my own country do not understand who this guy is and why he writes about Mauritius.
Do you know what they say about me? Read below:
This is where I come from. A place where the Journalists, my counterparts, are such idiots and bigots!
Now can you tell me why my life is just another open book that is not worth reading about?
I messed up my career. My life, maybe. But I did not mess up that of the people who needed me to be there with them when I had to.
Time will tell.