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A love of youth Chapter 7

24 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

 

PREFACE-ENGLISH.jpg

 

To discover my complete works ‘in French’ published on Amazon Kindle, please click HERE

 

 

 

A love of youth

 

 

 

 

 

 

I drove her to the station in the afternoon, and after we said goodbye to each other, shedding tears, we separated, the heart broken and a lump in our throat. While the train took away the only friend who was important for me, I saw this part of my life fly away with sadness. My son helped me carry up my pain thanks to all the distractions I had in his company.

The discretion of the daily life to which I was not used, made me have new aspirations. I found them in this lifestyle I had to live. However, waiting at the bus stop or taking the subway began to seem ridiculous and embarrassing to me. I refused to throw myself in high life; it may be a mistake. But I had to go out to try my luck. My son would be the victim if I failed in my life. I sweat it out to support all the pains that could fall over me. If it depended on me only I would have endured the pains and the sorrows? But I could not see my son suffer without being affected. When he was sick, I panicked and even dramatized the situation. I worried a long time until his health improved. I was ready to do everything for him!

The salary I hardly earned allowed me to lead a good life. I succeeded with difficulty in saving money to cope with the unforeseen expenses. But one day, something terrible happened to me. My son fell seriously sick. I had spent all my money. I was not able to cope with the situation. The idea to steal and kill did come to my mind. I stood next to the cradle to cry because I did not know how to take care of Akbar. I decided to empty the drawers, to search in the pockets of the dirty clothes, to look in the bottom of the wardrobe to find money. It was in vain. I had jewelry. I had not hesitated to pawn them so that Akbar could see a doctor and buy some medicines.

Early in the morning, as I was walking to the bus stop, a real dangling driver proposed to take me to my workplace. I had never accepted to get into a car of unknown people. I was indifferent to the cars that slowed down or to drivers who wanted to speak to me. I had good reason to be distrustful. Every day, I read in the newspapers about rapes, indecent assaults, aggressions, murders. Every individual appeared a sex maniac, a retarded person to me. I had not trust in men since the time I was at school. I feared men except if I felt I could face them.

The influence of the society in which I lived was stronger than my will to preserve some old sheer outmoded youth principles. After Devika’s departure, I felt emptiness in my life. I dreamt nights and days of fortune and imagined a life of splendor and pomp. The salary I earned was not sufficient to allow me to live correctly. However after counting everything that was necessary to improve my conditions, I came to the conclusion that I had to quadruple my salary to be able to live as I imagined. But how could I earn such a sum? I was part of these humble employees that had got neither diplomas nor experiences nor recommendations. The limit of my salary was so low that my chief ambitions and dreams vanished forever. I had no hope to improve my professional situation. I did not intend to remain doing nothing. I had many projects to let me surpassed by life. When I decided to fight, I was facing the world alone. My strongest enemies were the men, who were responsible of my misfortunes and to whom I began to turn my look. It was only in confronting me to them that I would succeed in defeating them. Otherwise I would be a loser forever. I did not want to fail. I was ready to make substantial efforts to survive. I had abandoned my family, left fortune and happiness to embark in these adventures because of a man's mistake. What happened home when my family noticed I had disappeared? How much my parents had suffered when discovering they had lost me forever? Who was responsible for such punishments, such torments, if not a man, a man not different from the others? How could I survive? I luckily met a middle-aged man with grizzled hair in a car exhibition. He looked like these Jewish American who often came to Marseille for their vacations. But he was a Jewish Polish who set up in France after the end of the Second World War. His Polish accent confirmed my thoughts and his pace let no doubt. I learned that his wife had just died. He confided me that he was at the head of a powerful car industry. He could make me benefit many advantages if I accepted to help him to forget his sorrows. I thought he was too old for me and did not want to relieve him. I told him I was not one of these prostitutes he was searching and believed he could easily have. He confessed he knew the area well enough to distinguish new faces from the old ones. He was interested in me because I had impressed him with my pace. I had changed my "look" for some time. I had cut my hair but I also wore sunglasses. I knew it looked stylish. The beauty products, the makeup and the colors completed this transformation and transformed me in a modern girl. It was not with an old man that I would take the initiative to face men. I had the presence of mind to stay as quiet as I could be so as not to let him see my heart, I preferred to say few words during this short interview that could have disastrous consequences.

In the meantime, I had received a letter from Devika that made me an immense pleasure. She wrote she had a pleasant journey to Delhi and had no difficulty. The best moment was when she met doctor Ajay at the airport. He welcomed her with flowers. A flock of children offered her flower necklaces. Her children were very well and often spoke about me. They drove to the house. The few things she had seen in India fascinated her. She got used to the new society where she wished to spend the rest of her life. “It is a marvelous country”, she wrote, “and I wish you to come to pay a visit to me one day”. She promised to write me a long letter when she would have settled.

This letter reassured me on her situation. I was happy she enjoyed her new life. I wrote her some days later to give news and to tell her how I did all alone. I did not stop telling her how I missed her and how I was hurry to see her again.

In the evening, I wondered what retained me in Marseille. I saw one thousand possibilities for the future instead of wasting my time in this area where I certainly had nothing to do. The idea of returning to Reunion often came to my mind. What would I tell my parents after my mysterious disappearance? After more than one year of absence, I would come back with a child. Gossips that would be told about me would be sufficient to make me regret such a decision. I was aware of how the people I knew for years will speak against me, will look at me, will give me an awful reception and treat me rude. Was it not sufficient to make me move away from this world?

I often liked to dream on my future. It allowed me to see things perfectly well. I enjoyed travelling in the future to guess the consequences of the actions I planned to launch. Therefore, in case I might decide to return home, the first thing I had to do was to announce them I was well and live in France. I imagined the joy they would feel. I did not need to explain what had happened. They would be more interested to learn about my situation than my misadventures. They would be impatient to see me again. How much value a lost object can have! I would be welcomed with pump and circumstances and a big feast would be organized in my honor. But when the feast ended, when the guests left, when I stayed alone with my parents, what explanations would I give to justify this long absence? Would I be obligated to hide the truth? Would I have the courage to tell my mistakes, my madness that dishonored me? And what did I hope for the future? My parents to greet me? To forgive  me, to tell me that the principal was I was with them, that I was alright, that they loved me and that I did not have to worry, that they would protect me and that life would better than before? How would my child be considered and what consideration would be granted to him? I was afraid that my parents may not recognize my child. I would be disappointed but what could I do? I would prefer not to think of it. It would be honest to inform them by letter that I was alive. My conscience would be clear.

My job allowed me to have contact with numerous people from different social conditions. I had the opportunity to talk to all those who wanted to tell me about their life. I was informed of the problems that existed in different ways. I could not stop from extracting the moral lesson of this and show me more circumspect in my relationship with people. The reversals of life have extremely unpleasant consequences. Parents and children do not get along well anymore, divided by their ideology. The fashion and culture of the new generation rejects old traditions. Parents impose, children use. This contradiction leads to deterioration in the relationship between parents and children, coldness in the feelings. It was the beginning of a long conflict that always finished in pain and to which other difficulties of life were added. The scathes caused by those fierce conflicts do not heal quickly and scars stay forever. The least upset open them and revive the pain. Living in such condition requires courage, will and strength. How painful it is to end his life in another way than imagined. It is in difficult moments that one feels alone, isolated. In that moment, everything seems as cold and dingy as a tomb. In reality, life is the way it has to be. I wanted to avoid my life to be a failure. I did not see how I could improve my situation. It was undoubtedly necessary I could do it. It was a time when I was monopolized, overwhelmed such as a patient who suffers psychic unrest. I asked Shenaz to stay the night to take care of Akbar. I sometimes heard at night strange noises and screams that made Shenaz hurry to my room to reassure me. I worked more than usually recently. I went home extremely late, burned-out. I lacked distractions. I needed to go out and meet people.

 

 

 

 

Original title : Un amour de jeunesse©Kader Rawat

Translated by ©Kader Rawat  April 2013 

 

Lire la suite

Un amour de jeunesse Chapitre 7

22 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

Preface-blog.jpg

De même auteur

 

Cycle

 

LES GENS DE LA COLONIE

 

Tome 1

La Colonie Lointaine

Tome 2   

L’épouse et la concubine

 Tome 3

Confessions sentimentales

Tome 4

La vallée du diable

 

Cycle

 

UNE JEUNE FILLE ZARABE

 

Tome 1

Un amour de jeunesse

Tome 2

L’entreprise familiale

Tome 3

Une femme d’affaire

 

Cycle

 

LES AMANTS DE L’ÎLE BOURBON

 

Tome 1

La fille de l’Intendant

Tome 2

Les évadés de l’Île Bourbon

 

Cycle

 

MAÎTRES ET ESCLAVES

 

Tome 1

Des maîtres et des esclaves

Tome 2

Splendeurs et misères des petits colons

Tome 3

Le temps de la révolte

Tome 4

L’instigateur

 

Cycle

 

CES PAYS LOINTAINS

 

Tome 1

La belle étrangère

Tome 2

Le domicile conjugal

Tome 3

Un ange à la maison

 

Le bon vieux temps

 

Les naufragés

 

 

Toute ressemblance avec des personnages réels ne peut être que fortuite.

 

© Kader Rawat Février 2013

 

Tous droits réserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Je cherche de nouvelles aspirations

 

J'étais allée la déposer à la gare dans l'après-midi et après que nous ayons fait nos adieux sans nous empêcher de verser abondamment de larmes nous nous séparâmes le cœur gros et la gorge serrée. Tandis que le train emportait la seule amie qui comptait beaucoup pour moi, j'apercevais se refermer cet épisode de ma vie avec la plus grande tristesse. Mon fils me permettait de remonter ce handicap par toutes les distractions que je trouvais en sa compagnie.

La discrétion de la vie quotidienne à laquelle j'étais si peu habituée, me faisait avoir pour l'existence des aspirations nouvelles que je puisais dans ce mode de vie auquel je devais me plier. En tout cas attendre sur l'arrêt-bus ou prendre le métro commençait à me paraître ridicule et même embarrassante. Mon refus de me jeter dans la vie mondaine était peut-être une erreur que je commettais. Je devais de toute manière sortir pour tenter ma chance dans le grand monde. Mon fils en serait la victime si ma vie serait un échec. Je me voyais armée de patience à supporter toutes les afflictions qui pourraient me tomber dessus s'il ne dépendait que de moi d'endurer les douleurs et les peines. Mais je ne pouvais pas voir mon fils souffrir sans que je ne sois profondément affectée. Quand il tombait malade je paniquais et même dramatisais la situation. J'étais angoissée aussi longtemps que son état de santé ne s'améliorait pas. Que n'étais-je pas prête à faire pour lui?

Le salaire que je percevais me permettait à peine de mener une vie convenable. Je parvenais difficilement à économiser de l'argent pour régler les dépenses imprévues. Une fois il m'était arrivé une chose effroyable. Mon fils tomba gravement malade quand j'avais dépensé tout mon argent. J'étais impuissante devant la situation. L'idée même de voler et de tuer ne me paraissait pas improbable. Je demeurais inerte devant le berceau à verser abondamment de larmes parce que je ne savais comment m'y prendre pour soigner Akbar. Je décidais de vider les tiroirs, de fouiller les poches des vêtements sales, de chercher dans le fond de l'armoire pour trouver de l'argent mais c'était en vain. J'avais des bijoux. Je n'avais pas hésité de les mettre en gage pour faire Akbar consulter un médecin et pour acheter des médicaments.

Tôt le matin quand je me dirigeais vers l'arrêt bus, un automobiliste bien Ballant me proposait de me déposer devant mon lieu de travail. Je n'avais jamais accepté l'idée de me voir entrer dans la voiture des personnes que je ne connaissais pas. J'étais indifférente aux voitures qui ralentissaient ou aux automobilistes qui voulaient m'adresser la parole. J'avais toute raison de me montrer méfiante Les pages des journaux m'apprenaient tous les jours sur les causes des viols, des attentats à la pudeur, des actes d'agressions, des meurtres. Chaque individu me paraissait comme un maniaque, un obsédé sexuel, un débile mental. La méfiance que j'éprouvais envers les hommes remontait jusqu'au temps où j'étais à l'école. Je craignais davantage les hommes quand je me voyais enclin de les affronter.

L'influence de la société dans laquelle je vivais était plus forte que ma volonté de préserver des vieux principes de jeunesse bien démodés. Depuis un certain temps, après le départ de Devika qui avait d'ailleurs laissé un vide dans mon existence, je ne cessais à tout moment de la journée et de la nuit de faire des rêves de fortune et de m'imaginer en train de vivre une vie de splendeur et de faste. Je commençais par apercevoir que le salaire que je touchais la fin du mois n'était pas suffisant pour me permettre de vivre convenablement. Or après avoir fait le compte de tout ce qu'il me fallait pour améliorer ma condition de vie, j'étais parvenue à la conclusion que je devais multiplier mon salaire par quatre pour pouvoir vivre comme je l'imaginais. Mais quel emploi me permettrait de percevoir de telle somme? Je faisais partie de ces employés modestes qui n'avaient ni diplômes ni expériences ni recommandations. Le plafond de mon salaire était si bas que mes grandes ambitions et mes rêves s'évanouissaient à jamais. Je n'avais aucun espoir de voir ma situation s'améliorer dans mes activités professionnelles. Je ne comptais pas rester sans rien faire. J'avais trop de projets pour me laisser surpassée par la vie. Quand je me décidais de me battre, c'était devant le vaste monde que je me trouvais et toute seule. Les pires ennemies qui m'attendaient étaient les hommes, responsable de mes malheurs et vers lesquels je commençais à tourner mon regard. Ce n'était qu'en me confrontant à eux, je me disais, que je parviendrais à les vaincre. Sinon je serais à jamais une vaincue. Je ne voulais pas essuyer un échec. J'étais prête à fournir de grands efforts pour survivre. J'avais délaissé derrière moi famille, fortune, bonheur pour m'embarquer dans ces aventures à cause de la faute d'un homme. Que s'était-il passé au sein de ma famille quand ma disparition fut constatée? Combien mes parents avaient dû souffrir en découvrant qu'ils m'avaient perdue à jamais. Qui était responsable de tels châtiments, de tels supplices, si ce n'était pas l'homme, un homme qui n'est pas différent des autres? Comment faire pour survivre? Je rencontrais par pur hasard un homme d'un âge mûr aux cheveux grisonnants dans un salon d'automobile. Il ressemblait à ces juifs américains qui venaient souvent passer leurs vacances à Marseille. Mais lui était un juif polonais établi en France depuis la fin de la deuxième guerre mondiale. Son accent polonais me donnait confirmation de son état et son allure ne me laissait aucun doute. J'apprenais que sa femme venait de mourir. Il me confiait qu'il était à la tête d'une très grande industrie automobile et qu'il pourrait me faire bénéficier de nombreux avantages si j'acceptais de l'aider à oublier ses peines. Je trouvais qu'il était bien trop vieux pour moi et ne voyais pas de quelle manière je pourrais lui apporter des soulagements. Je lui fis comprendre que je n'étais pas une de ces prostituées qu'il était assurément en quête et qu'il croyait facilement avoir. Il m'avouait qu'il connaissait très bien le quartier pour ne pas distinguer les nouveaux visages des anciens et qu'il s'intéressait à moi parce que je lui avais fort impressionné par mon allure. En vérité j'avais changé de "look" depuis un certain temps et non seulement que j'avais adopté une nouvelle coiffure mais je portais également des lunettes solaires. Je savais que cela faisait la classe. Les produits de beauté, le maquillage et les fards qui venaient compléter cette transformation me faisaient paraître comme une fille libérée de l'époque. Ce n'était pas avec un vieillard que j'allais quand même me livrer pour soi-disant dire que je prenais l'initiative d'affronter les hommes que j'avais tant redoutés. J'avais eu la présence d'esprit de demeurer aussi calme que je pourrais et, pour ne pas laisser apercevoir le mépris qui remplissait mon cœur, j'avais préféré prononcer peu de mots pendant ce court entretient qui désormais aurait une suite désastreuse.

Entre-temps j'avais reçu une lettre de Devika qui m'avait fait beaucoup plaisir. Elle m'apprit qu'elle avait effectué un voyage agréable jusqu'à Delhi et qu'elle n'avait pas rencontré des difficultés. Le plus grand moment était quand elle rencontrait le docteur Ajay à l'aéroport. Il était venu l'accueillir avec des fleurs. Une ribambelle d'enfants étaient venus l'offrir des colliers de fleurs. Ses enfants se portaient très bien et parlaient de moi très souvent dans leur conversation. Elle s'était rendue dans sa maison en voiture. Le peu de choses qu'elle avait vues en Inde l'avait fascinée. Elle commençait à s'adapter dans la nouvelle société où elle souhaitait passer le reste de ses jours. C'est un pays merveilleux, écrivait-elle, et je souhaite que tu viennes me rendre visite un jour. Elle m'avait promis de m'écrire une longue lettre quand elle serait bien installée.

Cette lettre m'avait rassurée sur la situation de Devika. J'étais contente qu'elle se plaise dans sa nouvelle vie. Je lui écrivais quelques jours plus tard pour l'informer de mes nouvelles et pour la raconter de quelle manière je me débrouillais toute seule. Je ne cessais de lui rappeler combien elle me manquait et combien j'avais hâte de la revoir.

Le soir je me demandais ce qui me retenait vraiment à Marseille. Je voyais mille possibilités d'affronter l’avenir autrement au lieu de perdre mon temps dans ce coin perdu où je n'avais absolument rien à faire. L'idée de retourner à l'Île de la Réunion me revenait souvent à l'esprit et qu’avais-je à raconter à mes parents après avoir disparu si mystérieusement? Après plus d'une année d'absence, me revoilà avec un enfant dans les bras. Tous les ragots qui allaient sortir sur mon compte suffisaient pour me faire regretter d'avoir pris de telle décision. Je connaissais très bien les gens que j'avais côtoyés pendant des années pour ne pas comprendre les langages qui seraient utilisés contre moi, les regards qui me seraient lancés, la froideur avec laquelle je serais accueillie, et la manière dont je serais traitée. N'est-ce-pas suffisant pour me faire éloigner de ce monde où mon existence n'avait aucune signification ?

J'aimais bien souvent fantasmer sur mon avenir. Cela me permettrait de voir les choses avec une certaine lucidité. J'aimais aussi voyager dans le futur pour deviner les conséquences des entreprises dans lesquelles je voulais me lancer. Donc dans le cas où j'avais décidé de retourner chez mes parents la première chose que je devais faire était de les annoncer que j'étais bien vivante et que je me trouvais en France. Ceci me faisait penser déjà à la joie dans laquelle ils allaient se trouver. Je n'avais pas besoin de ne fournir aucune explication de ce qui s'était passé. Mes parents seraient plus intéressées de savoir dans quelle situation je me trouvais que de chercher à connaître mes mésaventures. Mes parents seraient impatients de me retrouver. Combien un objet perdu ne se valorise pas à nos yeux! Je serais accueillie en fanfare et une grande fête serait organisée en mon honneur. Et puis que se passerait-il quand la fête se terminerait, quand les invités seraient partis, quand je demeurerais toute seule devant mes parents et que j'avais des comptes àrendre? Quelles explications pourrais-je donner pour justifier cette longue absence? Serais-je obligée à cacher la vérité ? Aurais-je le courage de tout raconter de mes fautes, de mes folies qui fit mon déshonneur? Et qu'espérais-je par la suite? Que mes parents me tendaient les bras? Que je les entendais dire qu'ils me pardonnaient, que l'important était que je me trouvais avec eux, que j'étais saine et sauve, qu'ils m'aimaient et que je n'avais pas de soucis à me faire, qu'ils me protégeraient et que la vie continuerait comme auparavant? Comment mon enfant serait-il considéré et quel égard lui serait accordé? Je ne pourrais jamais supporter l'idée que mes parents ne reconnaissent pas mon enfant. Je serais déçue mais que pourrais-je faire? Je préfère ne pas y penser. Je le jugeais honnête de ma part de les informer par écrit que j'existais encore. Ainsi ma conscience serait claire et tranquille.

Mon lieu de travail me permettait d'avoir contact avec nombreuses personnes de différentes couches sociales. J'eus donc l'occasion de m'entretenir avec tous ceux qui voulaient me raconter leur vie. Je parvenais de cette manière à être informée des problèmes de l'existence évoqués de différentes façons. Je ne pourrais m'empêcher d'en tirer la morale pour me montrer plus circonspecte dans mes rapports avec les gens. Les revers de l'existence ont des conséquences bien néfastes. Parents et enfants ne parviennent plus à s'entendre, entraînés chacun de leur côté par leur idéologie. Les modes et les cultures de la nouvelle génération rejetant, refusent les vieilles traditions. Quand les parents imposent les enfants disposent. Cette contradiction apporte une dégradation dans les rapports entre parents et enfants, une froideur dans les sentiments. C'est le début d'un long conflit qui termine toujours mal. Les douleurs éprouvées ensuite s'ajoutent à d'autres épreuves de la vie. Les blessures causées après ces luttes acharnées ne se referment pas sitôt et les cicatrices demeurent à jamais sensibles. Les moindres contrariétés les ouvrent et font paraître une fois de plus la plaie. Vivre dans une telle condition exige courage, volonté et force. Combien cela est douloureux de terminer son existence autrement que de ce que l'on imagine. C'est dans des moments pénibles et difficiles qu'on se sent seul, isolé. N'est-ce-pas que c'est à ce moment là que tout parait froid, lugubre comme dans un tombeau ? En vérité la vie n'est pas autrement. Je voulais éviter que ma vie soit un échec. Toute seule je ne voyais aucune chance qui pourrait me permettre de me relever de la situation où je me trouvais. Il fallait absolument que je me débrouille pour m'en sortir. Il fut un temps où j'étais accaparée, accablée telle une patiente qui souffre des troubles psychiques. Je demandais à Sheinaz de rester la nuit pour s'occuper d’Akbar. Il m'arriva même d'entendre le soir des bruits étranges et de pousser des cris qui firent Sheinaz se précipiter dans ma chambre pour me rassurer. Je travaillais plus que d'habitude ces derniers temps. Je rentrais à la maison très tard, rompue par la fatigue. Il me manquait des distractions. J'avais besoin de sortir et de connaître un peu de monde.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lire la suite

A love of youth Chapter 6

17 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

 

     "I feel a great pleasure to talk about the past and evoke the sequences as they presented at that time. The image that gives our society with this intermixing of people of various origin - where different beliefs - make me treating this topic related to cohabitation, to evoke the sublime understanding between people of varied ethnic and to imagine a story that could be experienced by each of us or people we know." 

Kader Rawat

 

      To discover my complete works ‘in French’ published on Amazon Kindle, please click HERE

 

 

 

A love of youth

 

 

 

Devika was a fantastic woman. I liked the particular way she used to talk to me; she unveiled each time some hidden aspects of her character. She often spoke to me about her life in Mauritius with her parents. She made part of a large family, had a happy childhood she reminded very often. She had an infinite pleasure to speak about this period when we met in the evenings after the meal in the lounge. I learned that she lived in Quatre Bornes and that her father was a lawyer. She grew up in a magnificent storey-house in the company of her five brothers and four sisters. In her family there were doctors, teachers and lawyers. She was destined for a successful life. After finishing her studies at the Queen Elizabeth College, her parents decided to send her to England to study medicine.

She had traveled with great ambitions. She was hardly twenty years old when she started her studies. She looked like those Indian girls I had met in the high school. She was beautiful. In the hospital where she had courses of anatomy, she met a young doctor named Ajay and who seemed very interested in her. She didn't fall in love with the attractive doctor right away, but had with him numerous adventures before she learnt that he was married and lived with his wife in a villa situated some kilometers from the hospital. She was already pregnant and should have terminated this pregnancy. Doctor Ajay Chowdurry was from India. He had experienced with Devika an immense happiness. He succeeded in persuading Devika to abandon her studies to take care of her child. It was a difficult decision to take. When she failed her exams, she decided to dedicate her time to her child and to wait for doctor Ajay as she wanted to make him happy. She lived in a modest apartment where the doctor joined her to spend pleasant moments. She gave him two children before the scandal broke and put an end to this happy life. Ajay’s wife came to her and threatened her. How did she know she was living in this apartment? Doctor Ajay had begun to disregard his wife and his three children since he knew Devika. He rarely went to his marital domicile. He had never been in good terms with his wife. His children suffered a lot from the situation. His wife had been informed of his relationship with Devika. She asked her uncle from India to come help her. Devika knew that she could not keep Ajay for her. She could not do anything to stop the doctor from returning to India. She stayed all alone with her children. But doctor Ajay gave her an important sum of money to bring up the children. She didn't want to spend this money. She kept it preciously in a bank and promised to use it if necessary. Devika decided to move. She rented two small rooms in the poor area of the city. She started to work. She didn't earn a lot of money and made huge sacrifices to reach the end of the month without having trouble with money. She regularly received the money from her parents from Mauritius, that allowed her to purchase bits and pieces, and was useful for the house and clothes in the flea market. When she learned that her uncle arrived from Mauritius and wished to meet her, she decided to leave the country. She withdrew all the money she had in the bank, sold her furniture and embarked with her children on the first ship to Marseille.

She stayed a few days in a small studio. She found a job at a dentist. Her two years of medicine course were an experience sufficient enough to allow her to earn a decent salary. She had been living for several months in the building of Immigrants when I arrived. Her children were very good and well-behaved. They called me Aunt, and often came to see me. When I went to pay Devika a visit, they were always absorbed in their studies. The son was called Raj and the girl Nargis.

Devika inspired me an absolute confidence. She seemed so sincere, so frank, and so honest that I had no restraint and informed her of my situation, told my story in the details. After dinner, when the children were in bed, Devika came to my room to chat till late in the evening. Sometimes I went to meet her to talk about everything, without tiring. We shared our confidences, our memories, spoke of our grievances, the disappointments we had wiped, the happiness we had known after and that relieved us.

Our neighbors were respectful and calm people. I enjoyed this small world that was a big family for me which I valued a lot. My visits to the gynecologist assured me about the perfect pregnancy I was doing. My belly was huge at the time where I approached the past few weeks. I did in the company of Devika long walks in the neighborhood. It gave me the opportunity to visit some hidden places of the region. On Sundays, we took the children to go for a walk to the seaside, in parks or fairs animated by people of the area.

Devika who was not used to go out, enjoyed these hikes a lot. I had the impression to have given her the taste to live. I must confess however that she was a very brave woman who faced life all alone. The time arrived when women didn't want to be dominated by men anymore. Women also succeed in assuming responsibilities without needing the help of someone. Women's emancipation modifies the relationship between men and women. However, it is undeniable that inequalities still exist in the assignment of wages. But things would not last long. The woman only represented an object of pleasure with which men imagine they could play with freely. The violence we hear about every day is made by the hand and the mind of men. Rapes, crimes and war are men’s world.

Women are always the first victims. Men are selfish and want to have everything for them. Sharing is not their strong point. Women are designed to procreate. They conceive in calmness and deliver in pain. Men don't know anything, don't feel anything. They believe they are strong.

A very special couple came to live in our building. They didn't stop arguing and shouting; they lived in the room upstairs. It was unpleasant to hear them all days and nights long. The caretaker had to intervene very often. They had a strange way to love each other. They left one morning and never came back, fortunately for us.

One Saturday afternoon, I was at the city center in the company of Devika. I took advantage of the half-day to go shopping and buy some baby clothes. We often spent time in supermarkets and arcades. Devika advised me what I should buy before the birth of the child. On the way back, late at night, I met Rachid. I did not recognize him. He had completely changed. He wore dirty and torn up clothes. He seemed happy to meet me. He wanted to know where I was living. I preferred not to give him my address and got rid of him as quickly as possible. I took my time in the subway to tell Devika how I had known Rachid and what I had learned about him. She approved the way I had behaved with a person of that sort, and told me that we should not trust anybody. I didn't know how Rachid found my address. He knocked twice at my door whereas I was absent. I had a good reputation in the area and feared that Rachid may tarnish this image I wanted to keep. I really decided to say to him I didn't want to see him anymore. I had been waiting for him for several days, but he never came.

One morning I woke up with atrocious pains. Devika transported me to the hospital where I gave birth to a beautiful baby I named Abkar which means "Great." This child was all my joy, all my happiness, my reason to live. I felt proud to have him after so many sacrifices and so big efforts. A few days later, on my release from the hospital, I was sad to find him already deprived of his father. I had to find him one if it was necessary. But who will accept this role in this world when the child does not belong to him? He had a father somewhere. I thought I would better search him to announce him the birth of his son. Although I ignore his address, I knew he was living somewhere in Paris. My intention was to inform him that he had a child. Free to him now to recognize him or not. I would like that Akbar be raised under normal conditions. The absence of a father in a home causes a great handicap to the child growing up there. I felt pity for the children of Devika. They looked deeply experienced by life. I wanted to avoid that my son experienced a similar fate. It is quite true that the destiny varied. If I turned my face towards new horizons it was for the future of my son. Devika gave me reason to find the father of Akbar.

"A child needs a father to take care of him" she said "and the woman needs a man that will be able to love her as deeply that she wants”.

"I am not sure Christophe needs me” I answered." He certainly forgot me."

"It doesn't change anything of the situation", said Devika", He has a child now"

"Is he the father? Therefore, where is the problem?"

"It is ridiculous to imagine that my life could be better so easily. When I think about the pains I had to carry this child during nine months, I can hardly accept the idea of my baby being despised or mistreated by the man who will share my life. You were lucky to fall in love with the only man who knew how to love you with so much devotion. But he was not loyal with you however. Most men are cruel. They play with the heart of women. They abandon their children with no worry. We are always victims of their irresponsibility. How could we trust them? Why do we need them? We are courageous and we should prove them we can fight for our life, do not need to depend on them."

 "And I suffer a lot from this separation. I never had the courage to tell my children that I broke up with their father. I told them he was living in another country and won't return."

"Yet they are old enough to know the truth. You will have to tell them one day or another. "

"You are right, Yasmina. I must prepare them to make them such a confession."

"You must also think about getting married Devika"

"What do you say? There was nothing wicked between Ajay and me. I still hope to find him, Yasmina. I want to be fair. No man interests me but Ajay. I won't spare my efforts. I could continue to live like this if necessary. Waiting doesn't frighten me."

I have known a fake love. I've been fooled. I have nothing to expect from this love. Well, I would like to meet Christophe. We can decide together what we have to do. But above all, I need to put a little order in my mind as I’m still frail after the birth of my child. Honestly, I don’t feel like linking my life to a man who doesn't worry about us. I prefer to assume my responsibilities the best I can."

"Did you ever think about returning to Reunion Yasmina? This idea often goes through my mind. But how could I return to my country with two children in the arms while my parents were waiting for me with diplomas? My life is already ruined. I didn't give them news since I left London. I came here to shelter and hide my shame. I can’t go to my parents. I know I committed a serious sin and I don't have any excuse. I know I would never be accepted in my family as I dishonored them. Therefore, the only thing I can do is to expiate my faults, support my sufferings. I must recognize that the love I felt for Ajay at the beginning of our relationship made me transgress all laws of morality. I knew that he was married and encouraged him to commit adultery by being her accomplice. I was undergoing the consequences and resigned to accept my fate. While bringing up my two children, I had experiences I will never forget. You are in the same situation I was five years ago."

"I must thank you for your help, your precious advice. It prevents me from committing mistakes. These few days that I spent in bed allowed me to think on the way I will act in the future. It makes me sad to see how hard you work from morning to night, and dedicate your time to your children. I would not like to live like this."

Devika shared my opinion and confessed that her existence was so different from what she had wished. She could not satisfy her aspirations in a world that disappointed her and could make her suffer the hardest ordeals. Our life, she and I, was similar, we were close and united. This strong relationship allowed me to tell Devika that I desired to live in a big house in the countryside; when she imagined the expenses and risks to stay all alone she couldn’t even think of it. The idea did not displease her to live together in a big house. But I calculated that our salaries were not high enough to manage to rent a colonial house which would remind us some well pampered areas of our island.

I decided to search for a person to take care of Akbar before going to work. He was doing well, thanks God. He went to his first medical examination and had his first vaccines. He regularly drank his bottles and even woke me up in the evening to have some more. He cried late in the night and I feared that he might wake the neighbors up. The children of Devika liked to play with him. They spent hours next to the cradle making funny faces and touching his hands and cheeks with their little fingers. Devika often invited me at home to drink a cup of tea in the evening. We sat in the lounge while the children played nearby in the room and that Akbar slept in my arms. Our conversation often related to our own problems. Devika wanted to introduce me a young Pakistani woman she knew for a certain time. She assured me of her honesty and kindness. She was called Shenaz and lived with her parents since her husband died one year ago. She presented herself some days later. I immediately hired her.

My maternity leave was almost finished. Akbar began to adapt to the rhythm of life. He was good during the day and Shenaz had no problem taking care of him. It allowed me to rest. I went to the city to shop. I had liberty to leave from home for a good moment without worrying as Akbar was in good hands. Shenaz waited for my arrival to go back home. To have her children enter school, Devika needed official documents that she had to get in London. She decided to go there with her children. I worried when she left. She phoned me at work the following day to tell me that she had made a good journey. She was staying in a pension and would be back in a week. I waited for her with impatience.

A week later, she informed me that she had to stay to complete other steps she refused to talk about on the telephone.

I understood it was very important. I wanted to know more. She came back on a Saturday afternoon. As soon as I saw her in the alley, I knew she had good news to give me. She told me that when she was in England she was hurry to go to the hospital where she followed her medical course. She met some former colleagues to have news. It was there that she learnt that doctor Ajay was searching for her and had probably left messages to the caretaker of the building where she lived in when the doctor had left. She hurried to the building. The caretaker confirmed that there was a message for her but didn't remind where he had put it. After researches that lasted several hours, the caretaker found a letter that he handed to Devika.

The letter was written one year ago. Doctor Ajay described his deep feelings for her and his desire to share her life. He couldn’t stop thinking of her and the children. He wished to have them by him. He had searched for them everywhere during several weeks. He had waited for them. She should address to a notary in London where she would be informed of the other arrangements taken for her. The notary received her the same day. He took his file and informed her that Doctor Ajay Chowdurry had made available to her a very big house in New-Delhi, 146, Ramprasad Road. If Devika accepted to join doctor Ajay in New-Delhi, she would only have to give her agreement to the notary who would make the necessary to obtain the passports, the visa and the plane tickets. It was a decision to take into consideration. Devika wanted to have my opinion before phoning the notary. I encouraged her to go to join him in India. She had to seize her luck. The future of her children depended a lot on her decision. She had been in misery for such a long time, she could be happy to have a new perspective opening up in front of her. How much she would thank Vishnou for having heard her prayers. She had garbled ideas and didn't know how to manifest her enthusiasm.

The shade of sadness seized me when I became aware that I was going to lose a friend. Devika was headed to happiness that everybody yearns. I was happy that her life turned out this way. My blessings accompanied them everywhere. I will share my pains with whom and who was going to listen to me and to comfort me? But if the destiny wanted to take us apart after we had found in this friendship, the happiness that had accompanied us in our lonely life, we were obliged to accept it without balking. We had no regret for these unforgettable moments we spent together. We will keep them in mind forever. I comforted myself wondering why people had to be separated. I succeeded in easing my pains while imagining Devika happy, surrounded with the love of her small family, enjoying the comfort that her new life was going to bring her. This picture so often came back to my mind that I could not tell it to Devika. She felt the same pain but couldn't hide her joy to go to join the man she had never stopped loving.

 

 

 

 

 

Original title : Un amour de jeunesse©Kader Rawat

Translated by ©Kader Rawat  April 2013 

 

Lire la suite

Un amour de jeunesse: Chapitre 6 Je donne naissance à un fils

16 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

 

De même auteur

 

Cycle

 

LES GENS DE LA COLONIE

 

Tome 1

La Colonie Lointaine

Tome 2   

L’épouse et la concubine

 Tome 3

Confessions sentimentales

Tome 4

La vallée du diable

 

Cycle

 

UNE JEUNE FILLE ZARABE

 

Tome 1

Un amour de jeunesse

Tome 2

L’entreprise familiale

Tome 3

Une femme d’affaire

 

Cycle

 

LES AMANTS DE L’ÎLE BOURBON

 

Tome 1

La fille de l’Intendant

Tome 2

Les évadés de l’Île Bourbon

 

Cycle

 

MAÎTRES ET ESCLAVES

 

Tome 1

Des maîtres et des esclaves

Tome 2

Splendeurs et misères des petits colons

Tome 3

Le temps de la révolte

Tome 4

L’instigateur

 

Cycle

 

CES PAYS LOINTAINS

 

Tome 1

La belle étrangère

Tome 2

Le domicile conjugal

Tome 3

Un ange à la maison

 

Le bon vieux temps

 

Les naufragés

 

 

Toute ressemblance avec des personnages réels ne peut être que fortuite.

 

© Kader Rawat Février 2013

 

Tous droits réserves

 

Pour découvrir mes romans publiés sur Amazon Kindle cliquez ici

 

Chapitre 6

 

Je donne naissance à un fils

 

Devika était une femme remarquable. Elle m'avait plu tout d'abord par sa façon très particulière de me livrer conversation dans laquelle elle me découvrait des aspects cachés de son caractère. Elle me parlait souvent de sa vie à Maurice avec ses parents. Issue d’une famille nombreuse elle avait connu une enfance heureuse dont le souvenir refoulait dans sa mémoire bien souvent. Elle avait pris un infini plaisir de parler de ce temps pendant que nous nous retrouvions les soirs après le repas dans le salon. J'appris qu'elle habitait à Quatre-Bornes et que son père était avocat. Elle était élevée dans une superbe maison à étage en compagnie de ses cinq frères et de ses quatre sœurs. Parmi les membres de sa famille certains étaient docteurs, d'autres instituteurs et avocats. Elle était destinée à réussir dans la vie. Après avoir terminé ses études au collège Queens Elizabeth, ses parents décidaient de l'envoyer en Angleterre pour étudier la médecine.

Elle avait voyagé avec de grandes ambitions. Elle avait à peine vingt ans quand elle débuta ses études médicales. Elle ressemblait beaucoup à ces filles indiennes que j'avais connues au lycée. Elle était belle. A l'hôpital où elle se rendait pour suivre ses cours d'anatomie elle rencontrait un jeune docteur qui ne nommait Ajay et qui se montrait très intéressé à elle. Elle ne tarda pas à tomber amoureuse du séduisant docteur et à avoir avec lui de nombreuses aventures avant qu'elle n'apprenne qu'il était marié et qu'il vivait avec sa femme dans une villa à quelques kilomètres de l'hôpital. Elle était déjà enceinte et aurait dû interrompre ses cours pour accoucher. Le docteur Ajay Chowdurry était originaire de l’Inde. Il avait connu en compagnie de Devika un bonheur immense. Il réussit à persuader Devika d'abandonner ses études pour élever son enfant. C'était une décision difficile à prendre. Quand elle échoua à ses examens, elle décidait de consacrer son temps à s'occuper de son enfant et à attendre le docteur Ajay qu’elle voulait rendre heureux. Elle fut logée dans un modeste appartement où le docteur alla le trouver pour passer des moments agréables. Elle lui donna deux enfants en tout avant que ne s'éclatât le scandale qui allait mettre un terme à cette vie heureuse qu'elle avait commencé à mener. La femme d'Ajay était venue la trouver pour la proférer des menaces. Comment savait-elle qu'elle habitait cet appartement ? Le docteur Ajay avait commencé à négliger sa femme et ses trois enfants depuis qu'il connaissait Devika. Il se rendait rarement à son domicile conjugal. Il n'était pas non plus en bon terme avec son épouse. Ses enfants en souffraient beaucoup. Sa femme avait été informée de sa liaison avec Devika. Elle avait fait venir son oncle de l'Inde pour mettre de l'ordre dans son ménage. Devika savait qu'elle ne pouvait pas garder Ajay pour elle. Elle n'avait pu rien faire pour empêcher le docteur de retourner en Inde. Elle se retrouvait toute seule avec ses enfants. Mais le docteur Ajay l'avait laissé une importante somme d'argent pour élever les enfants. Elle ne voulait pas dépenser cet argent. Elle l'avait gardé précieusement dans une banque et s'était juré d'en avoir recours si c'était vraiment nécessaire. Devika décida de déménager. Elle loua deux petites chambres dans le quartier pauvre de la ville. Elle avait commencé à travailler. Elle ne percevait pas beaucoup d'argent et faisait d'énorme sacrifice pour atteindre la fin du mois sans se faire des soucis d'argent Elle recevait régulièrement de l’argent de ses parents à Maurice et se permettait l'achat de quelques bricoles qui étaient utiles pour la maison et des vêtements dans le marché aux puces. Quand elle apprit que son oncle se rendait en Angleterre et souhaitait la rencontrer elle décida de quitter le pays. Elle retirait tout l'argent qu'elle avait dans la banque, vendit tous ses meubles et embarqua avec ses enfants dans le premier navire qui l'emmena à Marseille.

Elle logeait pendant quelques jours dans un petit studio. Elle trouvait de l'emploi chez un dentiste. Ses deux années de cours de médecine l'avaient donnée suffisamment d'expérience pour la permettre de percevoir un salaire confortable. Elle habitait déjà pendant plusieurs mois dans l'immeuble des Immigrés quand je débarquais. Ses enfants étaient très sages et bien élevés. Ils m'appelaient tante et venaient souvent me voir pour prendre de mes nouvelles. Quand je me rendais chez Devika je les trouvais toujours plongés dans leurs études. Le fils s'appelait Raj et la fille Nargis.

Devika m'inspirait une confiance absolue. Elle me paraissait si sincère, si franche, si honnête que je n'avais pu m'empêcher de la mettre au courant de ma situation et de raconter ma vie dans les détails. Après le dîner, quand les enfants étaient couchés, Devika venait me voir dans ma chambre pour parler des choses de la vie jusqu'à fort tard le soir. Parfois je me rendais chez elle pour causer de tout et de rien sans jamais nous lasser. Nous partagions nos confidences, évoquions nos souvenirs, parlions de nos griefs, des déceptions que nous avions essuyées, des bonheurs que nous avions connus pour éprouver ensuite un grand soulagement.

Nos voisins étaient des gens respectueux et tranquilles. Je me plaisais parmi ce petit monde qui représentait pour moi une grande famille à laquelle je tenais énormément. Mes visites chez le gynécologue me rassuraient de la grossesse parfaite que je faisais. Mon ventre était énorme au moment où j'approchais les dernières semaines. J'effectuais en compagnie de Devika de longues marches dans le quartier. Cela me donnait l'occasion de visiter certains recoins cachés de la région. Nous profitions des dimanches pour emmener les enfants se promener au bord de la mer, dans des parcs ou des foires animées par les gens du quartier.

Devika qui n'était pas habituée de sortir prenait énormément plaisirs de ces randonnées. J'avais l'impression de l'avoir redonné du goût à l'existence. Je dois toutefois avouer qu'elle était une femme très brave pour affronter la vie toute seule. Il est arrivé un temps où les femmes ne veulent plus être dominées par les hommes. La preuve en est que les femmes également parviennent à assumer des responsabilités sans avoir besoin de l'aide de personne. L'émancipation de la femme modifie le rapport qui unit l'homme à la femme. Il est toutefois indéniable que des inégalités existent encore dans l'attribution des salaires. Mais la force de chose ne tarderait pas à remédier des situations comme telles. La femme ne représente qu'un objet de plaisir sur lequel les hommes imaginent pouvoir défouler leur débiliter. Les violences qu'on entend tous les jours ne se font que par la main et l'esprit de l'homme. Les viols, les crimes, la guerre ne sont que l'acte de l'homme.

La femme a toujours été la première victime. L'homme est né égoïste et veut tout avoir à lui tout seul. Le partage n'est pas son fort. La femme est désignée à procréer et à peupler le monde. Elle conçoit dans le calme et délivre dans la douleur. Les hommes ne savent rien, ne sentent rien. Ils se croient pourtant forts.

Un couple très particulier venait habiter notre immeuble. Ils ne cessaient pas de se disputer et d'élever la voix depuis qu'ils occupaient la chambre au-dessus. C'était désagréable de les entendre à longueurs de journée et la nuit. Le concierge aurait dû intervenir à plusieurs reprises. Ils avaient une étrange façon d'aimer. Ils étaient partis un beau matin et n'étaient plus revenus fort heureusement pour nous.

Un samedi après-midi je me trouvais au centre ville en compagnie de Devika. Je profitais de la demi-journée pour faire des emplettes et pour acheter des layettes. Nous attardions souvent dans des grandes surfaces et des arcades. Devika me conseillait de ce que je devais m'acheter avant mon accouchement. En prenant le chemin du retour à une heure tardive je tombais sur Rachid. Je ne lui avais pas reconnu. Il avait complètement changé. Il était vêtu d'un vêtement sale et déchiré. Il avait l'air content de m'avoir rencontrée. Il voulait savoir où je me logeais. J'avais préféré ne pas lui donner mon adresse et avais fais de mon mieux pour me débarrasser de lui le plus rapidement possible. Je prenais tout mon temps dans le métro pour raconter à Devika de quelle manière j'avais connu Rachid et ce que j'avais appris sur lui. Elle approuvait la façon dont je m'étais comportée envers un individu de ce genre, me disant que nous ne devrions faire confiance à personne. Je ne savais pas de quelle manière Rachid parvint à connaître mon adresse. Il s'était présenté à deux reprises devant ma porte alors que j'étais absente. Je jouissais d'une bonne réputation dans mon quartier et craignais que Rachid ne vienne ternir cette image que je voulais garder. Bien résolue de lui dire que je ne voulais plus le voir sous aucun prétexte je l'attendais de pied ferme pendant plusieurs jours sans qu'il ne se présente.

Un matin je me réveillais avec des douleurs atroces. Devika me fit transporter à l'hôpital où je mis au monde un beau bébé que je nommais Abkar et qui signifie "grand". Cet enfant fut toute ma joie, tout mon bonheur, toute ma raison d'être. Je me sentais fière de l'avoir conçu et l'avoir eu au terme de grands sacrifices et de grands efforts. Quelques jours plus tard, à ma sortie de l'hôpital, j'avais le cœur serré en lui trouvant déjà privé de son père. Je devais lui en trouver un si c'était nécessaire. Mais qui acceptera de jouer ce rôle dans ce monde quand l'enfant ne lui appartient pas ? Pourtant son vrai père existe. Je me disais que je ferais mieux d'aller à sa recherche et de lui annoncer la nouvelle. Bien que j’ignore son adresse je savais en tout cas qu'il habitait Paris. Mon intention était de lui informer qu'il avait un enfant. Libre à lui maintenant de le reconnaître ou pas. Je voudrais qu'Akbar soit élevé dans des conditions normales. L'absence d'un père dans unfoyer cause un grand handicap à l'enfant qui y grandit. Les enfants de Devika me faisaient pitiés parfois. Ils avaient l'air profondément éprouvés par la vie. Je voulais éviter que mon fils connût un sort semblable. Il est bien vrai que le destin est varié. Si je tournais mon visage vers des nouveaux horizons c'était pour préparer l'avenir de mon fils. Devika me donnait entièrement raison de vouloir retrouver le père d'Akbar.

– Un enfant a besoin d'un père pour s'occuper de lui,  me disait-elle, et la femme a besoin de l'homme qui sera capable de l'aimer aussi profondément qu'elle le désire.

– Je ne suis pas sûre si Christophe a besoin de moi dis-je. Il m'a certainement déjà oubliée. Cela ne change rien de la situation.

– L'enfant est de lui. Il est bien le père ? Donc où est le problème ?  répondit Devika.

– C'est ridicule pour moi d'imaginer que ma vie pourrait s'arranger aussi facilement. Quand je pense aux peines que j'ai données pour porter cet enfant pendant neuf mois je peux difficilement accepter l'idée de lui voir méprisé ou maltraité par l'homme qui partagera ma vie. Tu as eu la chance Devika d'avoir connu le seul homme qui a su t'aimer avec autant de dévotion. Ce n'est pas pour autant qu'il est resté fidèle à toi. La plupart des hommes sont cruels. Ils se permettent de jouer avec le cœur des femmes. Ils délaissent leurs progénitures à notre charge sans se faire le moindre souci. Nous sommes toujours victimes de leurs irresponsabilités. Quelle confiance nous inspirent-ils vraiment ? Pourquoi avons-nous besoin d'eux ? Nous avons notre courage et nous devrons leur prouver que nous pouvons nous battre nous aussi pour gagner notre vie, pour n'avoir plus besoin de nous dépendre désormais d'eux.

 – Et moi j'en souffre énormément de cette rupture. Je n'ai jamais eu le courage de dire à mes enfants que je suis séparée de leur père. Je leur fais toujours croire qu'il est parti dans un autre pays et qu'il ne retournera pas sitôt.

– Pourtant ils sont arrivés à l'âge de connaître la vérité. Tu dois la leur dire un jour ou l'autre.

– Tu as raison, Yasmina. Je dois les préparer pour leur faire un tel aveu.

– Tu dois aussi penser à te marier Devika.

– Mais de quoi me parles-tu là ? Il ne s'est rien passé de méchant entre Ajay et moi. Je garde encore l'espoir de le retrouver, Yasmine. Je veux lui garder fidélité. Aucun homme ne m'intéresse au monde si ce n'est pas Ajay. Je me débrouille pas mal. Je pourrais continuer à vivre ainsi tout le temps si cela s'avère nécessaire. L'attente ne me fait pas peur.

– J'ai connu un amour factice. J'ai été dupe. Je n’ai rien à attendre de cet amour. Je souhaiterais bien rencontrer Christophe. Nous pouvons décider ensemble de ce qu'il nous reste à faire. Mais avant tout j'ai besoin de mettre un peu d'ordre dans mon état d'esprit fragile encore après mon accouchement. Franchement te dire, pour l'instant cela ne me tente pas d'associer ma vie, mon existence, et celle de mon fils au destin d'un homme qui ne se soucie pas de nous. Je préfère assumer mes responsabilités comme je peux.

– N'as-tu jamais songé de rentrer chez toi à la Réunion Yasmine, pour retrouver ta famille? Cette idée me trotte souvent dans la tête. Mais moi comment retourner dans mon pays à Maurice avec deux enfants sur les bras. Les parents m'attendent avec des diplômes ? Ma vie est déjà foutue en l'air. Je ne les ai pas donnés de mes nouvelles depuis que j'ai quitté Londres. Je suis venue me réfugier ici pour cacher ma honte. Je n'ai pas de visage à montrer à mes parents. Je sais que j'ai commis un péché grave et je n'ai pas d'excuse pour me présenter devant mes parents. Je sais que je ne serais jamais acceptée au sein de ma famille pour l'avoir déshonorée. Donc la seule chose qu'il me reste à faire c'est d'expier mes fautes, de supporter mes souffrances Et puis je dois reconnaître que l'amour que j'éprouvais pour Ajay au début de notre liaison m'avait fais transgresser les lois de la moralité. Je savais qu'il était marié et je lui avais encouragé à commettre l'adultère tout en étant sa maîtresse. Je suis en train de subir aux conséquences et me résigne à accepter mon sort comme tel. En élevant mes deux enfants, j'ai eu des expériences de la vie que je ne peux oublier sitôt. Je te vois aujourd'hui dans la même situation que j'étais cinq ans de cela.

– Je dois te remercier pour les aides que tu me portes et les précieux conseils que tu me donnes pour m'éviter de commettre des erreurs. Ces quelques jours que j'ai passés au lit m'ont permis de réfléchir sur la façon dont j'envisage d'aborder l'avenir. Cela m'attriste de te voir te tuer dans le travail dès le matin jusqu'au soir sans pouvoir consacrer un peu de ton temps à tes enfants. Je n'aurais pas souhaité vivre comme ça.

Devika partageait mes idées et m'avouait qu'elle vivait une existence contraire à ce qu'elle souhaitait. Elle ne pouvait pas satisfaire ses aspirations dans un monde qui la déçoit et la fit subir les épreuves les plus dures. Notre vie, elle et moi, n'était qu'une copie conforme qui avait tendance à nous rapprocher et à nous unir dans nos liens d'amitiés. Je profitais quelque peu de ce rapprochement pour parler un soir à Devika de mon désir d'habiter une grande maison à la campagne mais quand elle imaginait les charges à supporter et les risques à courir à demeurer toute seule elle avait préféré ne jamais penser. Mais l'idée ne la déplut pas d'habiter à deux une grande maison. Après avoir fait mes calculs j'étais arrivée à la conclusion que nos revenus modestes ne nous donnaient guère la possibilité de louer une maison du genre colonial qui nous rappelait beaucoup certains coins bien choyés de notre île. Nous n’avions jamais plus parlé après.

Avant de reprendre mon travail je décidais de chercher une personne pour s'occuper d’Akbar. Il se portait bien par la grâce de Dieu. Je lui avais fait faire ses premières visites médicales et avais commencé déjà ses vaccins. Il prenait ses biberons à sa soif régulièrement et se réveillait même le soir pour en chercher davantage. Il poussait des grands cris tard dans la nuit et je craignais qu'il ne réveillât les voisins. Les enfants de Devika aimaient beaucoup jouer avec lui. Ils passaient des heures devant le berceau pour lui faire des grimaces et pour lui toucher les mains et les joues avec leurs petits doigts. Devika m'invitait souvent chez elle pour boire une tasse de thé le soir. Nous nous installions dans le salon pendant que les enfants jouaient dans la chambre à côté et qu’Akbar dormait dans mes bras. Notre conversation se rapportait souvent sur nos menus problèmes. Devika voulait m'emmener une jeune femme pakistanaise qu'elle connaissait depuis un certain temps. Elle me donnait l'assurance de son honnêteté et de sa bonté. Elle s'appelait Sheinaz et vivait avec ses parents depuis que son mari avait trouvé la mort un an de cela. Elle se présentait chez moi quelques jours plus tard. Je l'engageais tout de suite.

Mon congé de maternité approchait à son terme. Akbar commençait à s'adapter au rythme de la vie. Il se montrait sage dans la journée de manière que Sheinaz n'éprouvait pas de problème à s'occuper de lui. Cela me permettait de me reposer. Je descendais en ville pour faire des courses et me permettais de m'absenter de la maison pour un bon moment sans me faire du souci sachant qu'Akbar était en main sûre. Sheinaz  attendait mon arrivée pour rentrer chez elle. Pour inscrire les enfants à l'école Devika aurait besoin des pièces administratives qu'elle devait récupérer à Londres. Elle décida de s'y rendre avec les enfants. J'étais inquiète quand elle était partie. Elle me téléphona dans mon travail le jour suivant pour me dire qu'elle avait fait un bon voyage. Elle se logeait dans une pension de famille et serait de retour dans une semaine. Je l'attendais avec impatience.

Une semaine plus tard elle me prévenait qu'elle était retenue pour compléter d'autres démarches dont elle n'avait pas voulu me révéler la nature par téléphone.

Je compris que cela devait être très important. Je brûlais du désir d'en savoir davantage. Elle rentrait un samedi après-midi. Dès que je l'avais aperçue au fond de l'allée, je savais qu'elle avait une bonne nouvelle à me donner. Elle me racontait que quand elle était en Angleterre elle avait hâte de faire un tour dans l'hôpital où elle suivait les cours. Elle était allée rencontrer des anciens collègues pour prendre de leurs nouvelles. C'était là qu'elle apprit que le docteur Ajay la cherchait et qu'il avait laissé probablement des messages au concierge de l'immeuble qu'elle habitait quand le docteur était parti. Elle se précipitait vers l'immeuble. Le concierge affirma qu'il y avait un message pour elle mais il ne se souvenait plus où il l'avait mis. Après de vaines recherches qui duraient plusieurs heures le concierge parvenait à mettre la main sur l'unique lettre qu'il remit à Devika.

C'était une lettre qui datait plus d'une année auparavant. Le docteur Ajay la découvrait ses profonds sentiments et ses désirs les plus chers de pouvoir partager son existence avec elle. Il ne cessait de penser à elle et aux enfants. Il souhaitait tellement les avoir auprès de lui. Il les avait cherchés partout pendant des semaines. Il les attendait à tout moment. Elle devrait s'adresser chez un notaire à Londres où elle serait informée des autres dispositions prises à son égard. Le notaire la reçut dans la journée même. Il sortit son dossier et l'informa que le docteur Ajay Chowdurry avait mis à sa disposition une très grande maison à New-Delhi, 146, Ramprasad Road. Si Devika acceptait de rejoindre le docteur Ajay à New-Delhi elle n'avait qu'à donner son accord au notaire qui ferait le nécessaire pour les passeports, le visa et les billets de passage. C'était une décision qui demandait réflexion. Devika voulait avoir mon avis avant de téléphoner au notaire. Je ne pouvais pas faire mieux que de l'encourager à aller rejoindre le docteur Ajay en Inde. Elle devait saisir sa chance. L'avenir de ses enfants y dépendait beaucoup. Elle avait pendant longtemps pataugé dans la misère pour ne pas éprouver de la joie de voir de belle perspective s'ouvrir devant elle. Combien ne remerciait-elle pas le Dieu Vishnou d'avoir entendu ses prières. Elle avait des idées confuses et ne savait comment démontrer son enthousiasme.

L'ombre de la tristesse s'était emparée de moi quand je constatais que j'allais perdre une amie. Devika se dirigeait vers le bonheur que tout le monde aspire. J'étais heureuse de constater que sa vie s'arrangeait de cette manière. Mes bénédictions les accompagnaient partout. A qui allais-je confier mes peines et qui allait m'écouter et me consoler ? Maïs si le destin avait voulu nous séparer de cette manière après que nous ayons trouvé dans la douceur de l'amitié tous les bonheurs qui nous avaient accompagnés dans notre vie solitaire, nous étions obligés de l'accepter sans nous rechigner. Nous n’avions aucun regret pour ces moments inoubliables que nous avions passés ensemble et dont nous gardions de merveilleux souvenirs. Je me réconfortais en énumérant les raisons plausibles qui poussaient les gens étroitement liés à se séparer. Je parvenais à atténuer mes peines en imaginant Devika dans son bien-être, entourée de sa petite famille, à savourer le confort que sa nouvelle vie allait la procurer. Ce tableau me revenait si souvent à la mémoire que je ne pouvais ne pas le raconter à Devika. Elle éprouvait les mêmes peines à se séparer de moi. Mais elle ne me cachait pas ses joies d'aller à la rencontre de l'homme qu'elle n'avait cessé d'aimer. Je cherchais donc à partager avec elle ce bonheur auquel elle aspirait tant.

 

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A love of youth Chapter 5

8 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

 

       By working this novel I focus on information that help me to choose a theme that would  interest readers fond of stories of manners, problems of society. I still feel a great pleasure to talk about the past and evoke the sequences as they presented at that time. The image that gives our society with this intermixing of people of various origin - where different beliefs - can make me treating this topic related to cohabitation, to evoke the sublime understanding between people of varied ethnic and to imagine a story that could be experienced by each of us or people we know. This is one reason why I'll be able to say that many people can recognize or identify themselves through each of the characters mentioned in the narrative. For this it would have been enough for me to go look in the crowd for a central character and follow him or her in his/her movements. A young girl filled with ambitions and a poor family seems like a good pretext for an ideal start to address the subjects I want to develop.

Kader Rawat

 

 

To discover my complete works ‘in French’ published on Amazon Kindle, please click HERE

 

 

 

A love of youth

 

 

Chapter 5


Alone in an immense city


I felt lost in front of the immense city. It seemed old and had a strange fascination on me. The peculiar aspects of the buildings frightened me. I stood up on the embankment after saying goodbye to Florence. I felt alone and had no idea of what to do. Rachid asked me to wait for him. He wanted to find an appropriate lodging for me. I was in a tough situation, so it was useless to ask me twice. I was happy and even touched by his kind gestures. He had a greater experience than me to find a lodging. Therefore, I trusted him. I stayed a long time in the shade projected by the high wall of a building. It was doing warmth. A tremendous hunger gnawed at me. I bought some croissants and fruit juice in the café across the street. The clock of the church indicated ten and a quarter when Rachid joined me in an old car. Two of his cousins accompanied him. They were  amusing and talkative. Later, we drove along the narrow shady streets, boarded by dilapidated buildings. The car made a lot of noises while climbing the hills.I knew that we avoided the towns and took shortcuts by crossing the districts of immigrants.I was tired and fell asleep. I woke up when the car stopped in front of an old building.It was a humble pension mostly occupied by immigrants. A room was free on the second floor.Rachid came and ask me if I would enjoy staying here. I wanted to take a rest and answered I did not mind spending a few days here. They brought my luggages to my room while I paid the bill at the desk.

Rachid invited me to have lunch in a restaurant situated within walking distance of the pension.In spite of my embarrassment,  I could not refuse.We spent a pleasant moment together. While we were around the table talking about everything, a friend came to see Rachid and whispered something in his ear. His face thoroughly changed. I understood that it was serious. Rachid was sorry to leave for a moment. I seized the opportunity to say to him I had to go back to unpack my suitcases and take a rest. I thanked him for what he did for me. While Rachid and his buddy went to a corner to speak, I left the restaurant and went quietly to the pension. It was three o'clock when I finally arrived in my room. I ran some water and stayed a long time in the bath. In the evening, I slept like a log. The following morning, as I was on the terrace for breakfast, Rachid came to tell me that I will not see him for a while. He had some work to do in other cities.I assured him that I will get by and he must not worry about me. However he insisted to introduce me to a distant cousin called Mamoud. He was a boy of approximately twenty years. I met him a little later. He was Algerian and had been working for some years in Marseille. His parents were killed during the Occupation. He was living with an aunt who did not take care of him and spent her time drinking to drown her sorrows. She had lost her husband and children during the bombing of the cities. Later, while getting to know him better, he told me how he had always been unhappy in life. He worked hard to live. He had difficult moments but had not stopped struggling in misery. He often grabbed the hands that were  presented to him. He succeeded in giving a sense to his way of living. The things he told me about him made me feel sorry for him. I often gave him tips for the services I asked him to accomplish. He often shopped for me even late at night. I called him to tidy my room. He deserted all his works at the risk of being reprimanded by his boss. He devoted himself a lot to me. I understood that he had a strong admiration for me. I was happy and proud to be obeyed and respected in this way.

After some time, I wanted to move. I did not feel at ease in the pension. I was fed up with the problems of neighbors.When we met in the corridor or on the terrace they did not stop talking about their life.It made me sad to know the difficulties they faced. Most of them were foreigners who settled there a long time ago. They were immigrants with no paper. They were not declared and did all jobs.The boss exploited them and took advantage of them. They were interested in earning money and avoid problems with the authorities. When the police controlled the area, they found refuge in cellars or attics. Some even left for a time before coming back to continue their miserable life.

Mamoud announced me that he knew that an apartment was in rent in the city. He asked me whether I was interested.I told him that I wished to visit the house and meet the owner before taking a decision. An appointment was fixed on a Saturday morning.

We entered a narrow path that ended in a corridor boarded with empty boxes and bottles well ordered, pieces of pipes and car wheels. Air chambers were hung to lots of wires. At the bottom, few beams from Singapore, corrugated iron and pieces of plywood damaged by the rain and the sun leaned against the decrepit wall. A patch of sky showed itself. Some scaffolding were put on both sides. I understood that repair works were in progress. Stairs in stone were covered with sand.I immediately knew that I could never live in such a place. I wanted to turn around. We were accompanied that day by a man named Toula. He supposed to find a discreet tenant to install me in the house. I must confess that I did not have enough money to pay such a living. I paid attention not to spend too much. It was a difficult test for a woman who wanted to get involved in the world. But I was intensely curious. It was possible that I had inherited this feature of character from my father and developed it later.

I was introduced in a sumptuous house occupied by two old persons. They asked me lots of indiscreet questions, and I felt uncomfortable. I did not want to be impolite and answered quietly and intelligently. I must confess that I told lies to hide the truth. I could not stop admiring the furniture made of massive wood that embellished the room. Some furnitures were decorated with beautiful sculptures.When the husband left, the woman asked me if I was interested to occupy a room without paying any fee. The bedrooms I visited were sumptuous. It made me dream. Living there without paying for a rant seemed strange. I immediately understood that they were pimps. I succeeded with ingenuity to leave this place. While returning to the pension I did not stop blaming Mamoud for taking me to such a place. He swore that he ignored this truth and that he only tried to help me. I believed him and thought that he was not supposed to know everything. It is hard to understand the nastiness of people. I excused him and quickly forgot this incident.

For the last time,  I put on my beautiful adornments. I went out early to buy the newspapers in a kiosk at the corner of the street. I searched for a job, and during lunch, I noted the addresses and telephone numbers to contact the persons.I needed money to buy maternity dresses. My savings melt away, and I was not able to react. I had foreseen it. I knew that I would have to make my own way. It was time to react.

I found a job as a saleswoman in a small store.The salary was not attractive but was sufficient for me to pay my bills at the end of the month. I rented a small room in a building located at walking distance from my workplace.It saved me from long waiting lines to take the subway. The price of the rent was correct. I used part of the money that I saved up to buy furniture and kitchenware. The district where I settled was of ill fame.I did not know it in the beginning. I learned it quickly after.

One evening, as I went home late at night after going to the cinema to watch ‘Doctor Zivago’, I had the surprise to meet Rachid. He was waiting for me since the beginning of the afternoon. Mamoud had given him my new address. I was pleased to see him after few weeks of absence. He had lost weight. I asked him news from Florence and Bakar.He had not seen them since the last time. I thought that during his absence, he was with them. I asked him to come home and share meal with me. I had macaroni cheese in the refrigerator. Some salad and tomatoes accompanied the dish. I had already bought bread while leaving the cinema. 

He thanked me immensely for my invitation. At the table, he told me that he had problems.I thought that he needed money, and he hesitated to ask me. I was not in a position to lend him money.I made him understand simply that I was not able to lend him money. His problem was not this. His life was in danger. He got involved in a deal with the drug. He had to make a delivery in Nantes.He transported five kilograms of heroin, but before reaching the city he discovered that he was followed. If he was arrested he would spend ten years in prison.Therefore he had abandoned everything in a renting car and had taken the plane.

The idea did not please me that he wanted to find refuge at home. I did not want to have problems with the justice. I prayed that he should leave as quickly as possible. Till now my life had not been a bed of roses and I did not want to complicate it more. Yet in spite of the decision that I had taken to fire him, when it was late, I had no courage to do it. He slept on the sofa until the morning. I prepared the breakfast and left my apartment early to go to work. I spent a particularly unlucky day. All sorts of thoughts crossed my mind.I feared to be followed by agents of the anti drug squad haunted me. I walked in the street with fear.The return of Rachid was not a good omen for me. My life was suddenly disrupted. I wanted to go to a distant place to avoid problems. But where could I go? Big cities frightened me.

Rachid implored me to let him stay a few days. I made him understand that he could not hide forever. He left the following day without warning me.I felt better.I did not feel esteem for him anymore. Maybe the things he told me about him had let a strange impression in the mind. I knew that the house had a bad reputation.Quite often in the evening some men knocked at my door. Before me, the flat was occupied by a prostitute. She was young and remarkably beautiful. She had a high level customers. One day she left with an Italian and never came back. The neighbor told me this story. I decided to search for another house.An old building situated apart drew my attention. A board indicated "Building for the Immigrants" gave me an idea of the kind of people living there. I met the caretaker on a Saturday morning. She asked me a lot of questions before deciding to introduce me to the owner of an apartment situated on the third floor.An old lady lived there before retiring. We got on well quickly.

I had my furniture transported some days later, and I settled there at the end of the month. My neighbor was a Mauritian woman named Devika. I met her the following day. The few words we exchanged had persuaded me that we were going to get along well. I had not been mistaken. Devika became my best friend.

 

  Original title : Un amour de jeunesse©Kader Rawat

  Translated by ©Kader Rawat   

 

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A love of youth Chapter 4

2 Avril 2013 , Rédigé par Kader Rawat

 

 

  By working this novel I focus on information that helps me to choose a theme that would interest readers fond of stories of manners, problems of society. I still feel a great pleasure to talk about the past and evoke the sequences as they presented to me at that time. The image that gives our society with this intermixing of people of various origin - where different beliefs - make me treating this topic related to cohabitation, to evoke the sublime understanding between people of varied ethnic and to imagine a story that could be experienced by each of us or by people we know. This is why many people can recognize or identify themselves through each of the characters mentioned in the narrative.

Kader Rawat

 

 

To discover my complete works ‘in French and in English language' published on Amazon Kindle, please click HERE

 

 

 

A love of youth

 

 

Chapter 4

 

I leave the country

 

Short before my departure, I met a young Muslim boy who seemed interested in me. He was the son of an important trader of Saint-Denis. He often phoned me to speak about his feelings for me. My mother knew about our relation since the first day as I had decided to tell her everything. She said nothing. I understood that she accepted the situation. She was sometimes curious and asked questions to know more about the boy's intention. My father knew nothing of the situation, and that was somewhat dishonest on our part. My mother's help gave me the liberty that encouraged me to new adventures.

She allowed me to meet him during the day. He used to come to pick me with his car, and we drove to faraway districts. He often stopped in quiet areas and made love to me. I only let him kiss me. I wanted to make love with him and then announced him later that I was pregnant. However, it was the first time of my life that I had such a dishonest idea. It was indignant. How could I imagine acting so badly with a person who was in love with me? If I confess my state, I would feel better. Why did this dreadful aspect of human nature suddenly awake within me? I felt ashamed acting with hypocrisy and ingratitude. My situation incited me to commit innumerable silliness without feeling any remorse? I did not succeed in repulsing the pain that grew on me. Why did I compromise an innocent in my sins? I did not want to admit defeat. Yet my defeat was certain. My fall already took me far to an empire where I was lost. I wanted to cheat to raise up.

Why did I invent a similar lie? Is this a way to give a sense to my life? I had concocted the most terrible plan, the most ignominious act that placed me to the rank of impostors. How could I make a man believe that the child I was carrying was his, whereas I knew it was not true? Did I think about the consequences of my behavior? Would I have after this the courage to say to this man who would be so happy to become a father that the child was not of him? It would be absurd to want to complicate my existence this way. An innocent had not to pay for a culprit. A mass of ideas arrived in my mind and made me see the reality of my situation. I did not succeed in seeing the truth as it is. I tried to distort the facts to arrange my situation. For me, the countdown had already begun. Nature wanted that I did not use any method to change the course of my existence. I would better live my destiny as it was written.

I decided to break up with this young man. My mother could not understand the true reasons that made me decide to put an end to this relationship. She did not stop blaming me for having not been able to keep a boy who proved his love for me. She shifted the fault on me and did not stop reminding me that I was a difficult girl. At my age, I should have already married and got children. If I keep on repulsing boys, I will stay all my life alone. I locked myself in my room and cry a lot to feel better. Sometimes I wished to die.

 I was upset. My mother wanted me to marry a boy from Reunion. It was not easy to meet someone who had the same aspirations. Nevertheless, it was too late. I had reason to find pretexts not to drag with me innocents who did not know my state.

The time to embark was approaching. I felt no hesitation launching me in this new adventure. I had decided to leave this restful and calm place and threw myself in this vast seething world that would teach me the rules of life. I was only a beginner when I embarked on this ship. The three foghorns pierced my heart while I was looking at the crowd giving us their last greetings. Tears of sadness and regret flooded on my face, and I wanted to return back to my island and never leave it. It was too late, the foamy waves were already impassable obstacles, and I was already a prisoner on the ship.

At sunset when the last rays of the sun illuminated part of the ocean and blazed the horizon, a great number of passengers left the bridge to face the long journey. I preferred to admire as night approached, the phosphorescent landscape that spread in front of me until the total extinction of all brightness. I kept on watching the awful abyss while listening to the waves breaking on and the strange noises of the machines that propelled the ship. It was a moonless night and a few stars shone in the firmament. A light breeze rose and made me shiver. My friend came and took me to my cabin.

It was an extremely narrow cabin. Florence confessed she had to fight to get me a place with her. Another gangling youngster shared the cabin. Her name was Tatiana, and her body was so hot that she only tried to rub to men. We told her that we would not tolerate her to bring men into the cabin. She would have to do her dirty tricks elsewhere. At first, I felt sick, and without the treatments that the doctor on board gave me, I could have lost my child. Florence took care of me like a mother. I was surprised by the interest she bore to me and I kept on thanking her for that. Tatiana had also devoted herself like a nurse and helped Florence during long sleepless nights that she spent at my bedside. It took time for me to recover. My state was not a secret anymore. The doctor had to make his reports to the chief; Tatiana arranged with him to keep quiet. During my convalescence, I received numerous visits from friends who were part of the team. They were about thirty. Some of them asked me embarrassing questions. I understood their curiosity and refrained from hurting them. I had recently endured a lot. I had lost weight and had become ugly. I avoided looking at me in the mirror. Will I hold out until France? I still had a long crossing. I gathered my courage and decided to face the days to come. The ports on the coast of Africa was good to me. It allowed me to get vitality, force, the energy I lack and that came from this black and mysterious continent. I mixed with people and discovered their culture and customs. It felt surrounded by mysteries. An uncommon civilization was in front of me. A terrifying fright seized me. I knew that it was not a world in which I could get used to.

All my life I’ve moved in with people I could recognize all around the world. It was among those people that my destiny decided to bring me. I will never be happy elsewhere.

More than two weeks had flowed out when the ship entered the Pacific. I felt better and did not suffer sea sickness. I went for a walk during the long and stuffy days. It was a way to entertain myself and to make time pass. I went through narrow corridors, to restaurants or sat down in the cinema to watch a movie with Brigitte Bardot. It was not boring during the day. Sometimes I was tired and stayed in my cabin, reading a book of Delly or Françoise Sagan. I went on the bridge only when the sun had disappeared behind the horizon and when night began. At this time, people were seen at every corner of the ship. It pleased me to be among those people who made this journey with me. I used to search for the company of older persons with whom I talked till late in the evening. Some friends sometimes invited me to have an ice cream in a remarkably calm area.

My complexion was nicer and I began to take the weight. I was ten weeks pregnant and surprised by my weakness for food. Being far away from my parents made me so sad because, during my hours of loneliness, I thought of them. This nostalgic feeling preoccupied me as I was alone and disturbed me so much that I could not enjoy a moment anymore. I often spent the evenings in a dark corner of the ship thinking about my destiny. I could not see a lot of perspective for my future. My friends had fun on the crammed dance floor. The feast was in full swing at this late hour of the night. I never felt like joining even if my friends implored me to accompany them in their quest of distractions. I preferred looking at the firmament, marking the stars I noticed the day before, and listening to the incessant noises of the engines, and the surge of the waves.

I was asleep in my berth when Florence entered in the cabin with two friends Mauritian . It was three o'clock in the afternoon. The heat was oppressive. When I saw them, I sat on the edge of the bed and arranged my hair. They had a funny way to look at me and were not talkative. They dressed in extremely mediocre quality clothes. Florence had met them some days before and had found them amusing. The first one named Abou Taleb and the other Rachid. They were going to Europe with other Mauritian friends. Coming from different areas of Mauritius, they traveled to find work abroad. Emigrating allowed numerous families to escape from poverty. I had plenty of time to familiarize with many Mauritian friends and discover their exceptional human qualities. Florence often met Taleb, and they spent their time together. I stayed alone in my cabin. Tatiana often left. She shared the luxurious apartment of a German general. She was often seen beautifully dressed in the company of distinguished men. Her disappearance worried everybody. The small group was affected, and we had no respite. The research began as soon as the Captain was informed. The ship was inspected from top to bottom. Disconcerting news reached and shocked us. The German who received Tatiana was suspected by the agents of the C.I.A to have tortured prisoners in concentration camps. He was also sought-after by the justice for having infringed law many times. People were afraid. No one wanted to stay for a long time on the bridge. Rumors spread that the German hid somewhere on the ship and was extremely dangerous. He died in awful conditions. Tatiana was tortured but was alive. We should have grouped together to take care of her. Her state was serious according to the doctor. She had to be transported urgently to the hospital. It required days to reach Marseille. She died of internal bleeding. Her body was repatriated. We were overwhelmed by sadness and affliction. I feared the future. I entered a world full of mystery and uncertainty. I wondered if I could manage to cope with this world alone. A strange feeling seized me and made me doubt of what was waiting for me in the future. After spending three weeks on the ship, a lot of faces were familiar to me, and people often came to talk to me. I used to stay close to the bulwark to take advantage of the freshness of the night. I already considered this small world as a family. A lot of people were strolling on the bridge at that time. Small groups gathered almost everywhere. The children filled the air with strident screams while running as idiots. They bumped into those who hindered their way during their infernal races and disappeared in the darkness. When they were tired they went to bed. The rest of the night was quiet and restful.Those who did not fall asleep stood up until early morning. I returned to my cabin around midnight to try to sleep.

In a small world, friendship is found easily. I had just met a French family who did not stop talking about the fabulous trip they made to the islands of the Indian Ocean. Their story fascinated me and awoke in me the nostalgia for the country. I was not absorbed for long in my thoughts when a friend came to tell me that the chief wanted to see me. I guessed what he wanted to talk about. I entered in his cabin, and found him in a bad mood. He has a sullen face and his eyes were full of anger and made me lower the eyes. I had the impression that he was going to reprimand me severely and could not prevent me from feeling the fright. However, I was ready to listen to the sentence he was going to pronounce. He invited me to sit in the chair close to the table where he stood. I felt guilty and did not have any element to defend myself.

‘I was informed of your state a little late. Otherwise, I would have sent you back to your island. Are you aware that you trespassed?’

‘Yes Sir. I certainly wanted to leave Reunion.

‘You did not choose the best way. The contract you signed stipulates that in case of false declaration, of incompatibility, of nonconformity to the rules, you would be disqualified. It is not necessary to go through the details to understand the reasons why you act this way. I thought a lot before deciding to speak to you. Believe me. I am not happy of this dirty trick you played. Considering in what state you are I do not see how I must punish you. Now I must inform the direction of this incident and tell you that you will have problems.’

 Later I joined Florence in the cabin. She was waiting for me to know about what have been said. We discussed the projects I intended to launch, as soon as we reached Marseille. Really, I had no idea.

 

 

 Original title : Un amour de jeunesse©Kader Rawat

        Translated by ©Kader Rawat   

 

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