A year ago, I’d travelled to Quatre Bornes, a 45 minutes bus ride away from my place in Mauritius.
I got hungry after exploring for a while, so I entered a shop to get roti. I sat down while waiting for my turn since in front of me was a couple. The man made a half-turn in a bid to rest on the counter, then squinted his eyes at me. He started talking rapidly in French, to which I was like, woah hang on, I don’t understand. He’d thought I was the daughter of a cousin. We talked some more, in English this time, and found out that we’re staying at the same place, so they gave me a ride home! I then became their goddaughter, goddaughter to Uncle Rhalib (a Mauritian who just shifted back after staying in France for 35 years) & Auntie Aminah (a Morroccan), and their stunning house was my 2nd home there.
I’d stay over some nights and accompanied Auntie Aminah as she cooks amazing Moroccan dishes and run her errands.
She speaks minimal English, and I none of French, but we got along just fine, the two of us in our little enclave. What moved me nearly to tears was when all of us did prayers as a jemaah and did Quran recitation – cos hey, that’s a common language we all understand!
It’s been a year since I left Mauritius, but Umm Aminah (as I call her) still sends me messages and videos through Whatsapp ocassionally. I was just thinking of texting her later today when I received her text almost immediately after that thought, wishing me a Ramadhan Mubarak! How beautiful the way hearts and souls communicate with each other.