Poetry: Anoucheka Gangabissoon

The Island of Flavours

Mauritius is like a huge connected town
In the middle of the Indian Ocean,
It being so open and welcoming
Not only to its inhabitants
But to people coming to visit it
From the rest of the world!

We do have borders, towns and villages here
But it makes no difference whether you
Are in the northern part of the island
Or in the south
As the smiles, the twinkling of eyes
And the warmth is the same!

Seafood abounds and the people enjoy
Nights out eating fresh fish, crabs
Or even lobsters cooked in several ways
By local fishermen on the open beaches,
Under the light of the stars and that of the moon!

Each and every man who lives here
Has bells of faith ringing in his heart,
Each in his own way
As the various forms of God
Are all revered
Regardless of what name is given to Him!
And here, feelings of solidarity and companionship
Laugh all day long
As if they were the island's monarch
Making us all feel like
We are safe,
Even in the difficult times that we are living in!

But my favourite flavour,
That which I indulge in and still crave for more
Every single day
Is the mystical aura with which the island is dressed!
Here, there is the story of a blessed lake,
Inhabited by divine fairies
Who turned a milkman  into a mountain!
Here, there are tales of werewolves, so different
From those told elsewhere
But so unique to Mauritius
And here,
Lies the power of the Mother Goddess
As she sits in a temple in the south,
Where we flock to,
Each time we can
To ask for forgiveness, for guidance
And for boons!

The island is multicultural
And so is its indigenous flavour
Blessed do I consider myself
To have birthed in such a place
And someday, I know,
As I shall fly to the other worlds
I shall look back, feel the hurt of separation
And miss,
This beautiful place!

Anoucheka Gangabissoon is a Primary School Educator in Mauritius.  She writes poetry and short stories as hobby.  She considers writing to be the meaning of her life as she has always been influenced by all the great writers and wishes to be, like them, immortalized in her words.  Her works can be read on poetrysoup.com and she had also appeared in various literary magazines like SETU, Different Truths, Dissident Voice, In Between Hangovers Press, WISH Press, Tuck’s Magazine, Blue Mountain Review, among others.  She has also been published in Duane’s Poetree and also in two anthologies for the Immagine and Poesia group.  Her poems are often placed in free online contests.  She has been selected to be among the Most Influential Women in Mauritius for the 2017 category Arts and Culture and she has also been awarded as a Promising Indian for the year 2017 for the same category.  In 2018 and 2019, she was again selected to be among the Most Influential Women of the island for her contribution to the literary field and in 2019, she was one of the three nominees for the National Awards organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Mauritius.

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