ZISTWAR DE KREOL: TOKTOK EK NUTTY par DEV VIRAHSAWMY

(THE TALE OF TWO CREOLES: TOKTOK AND NUTTY)

©DEV VIRAHSAWMY FOUNDATION
The Management Company of the Foundation is OCORIAN, 6th Floor, Tower A, 1 Cybercity, Ebène, Mauritius.

NOU FINN FEL

Lilinn fek gagn sez an. Li pe dibout lor bor enn pon e pe get dilo toransiel desann 50 pie anba.

Pandan dis an li ti sof ban lekol primer ek prevok – ena dir li ti al lekol anba ban – me pov tifi la pa ti konn lir-ekrir. So profeser ti dir ki li pares; so fami ti dir ki so latet feb. Li pa ti kapav swiv kour formasion pou aprann enn metie parski li pa ti konn lir-ekrir. Statistik ofisiel ti met li dan kazot “Pa kalifie”. Li pa ti gagn travay parski li pa ti konn lir-ekrir. So mama ki ti travay servant – li ‘si pa ti konn lir-ekrir – ti dir li ki li ti pou kapav travay servant pli tar me pou lemoman li ti bizen okip so frer-ser parski so mama ti bizen al tir jab par lake andeor lakaz.

So papa? Pa kone kot li. Tann dir li finn fer menaz ar enn lot madam.

So vwazen Chounouk ti koumans pran li kont depi ki li ti ankor dan lekol primer. Okoumansman li ti atir li ar bonbon ek sokola; apre tanzantan li ti donn li enn ti fiol losion ousa enn ti po lakrem Tokalon. Apre depar so papa, li ti frekant so lakaz souvan. Li ek so mama ti kontan bwar rom-koka. Apre zot ti dir zanfan al dormi.

Lor bor pon Lilinn tat so vant ki finn koumans vinn gro. Dilo ki pe desann pe fer lekim lor ros kouma araze.

Monper ti dir li dan konfesion ki avortman enn pese grav. Peyna pardon. Lanfer so plas. So mama ti dir li ki li ti amenn laont dan fami; ki li pa pou kapav nouri enn lot batar.
Dilo ki pe desann ar laraz pe dir li vini. Li zete.

Dan lakanbiz samem tou dimoun pe koze. Pa kapav blam Chounouk. Li enn zom. Lilinn ti sirman rode. Enn sel dimoun pa dakor. Normal Toktok pa dakor ar seki tou dimoun dakor. So manier sa!

Lor televizion Premie Minis pe koze. Bizen dir bann madam gagn plis zanfan. Pei bizen plis travayer pou fer devlopman.

Toktok kas enn gran riye e li kriye for, “Paran, profeser, pret ek politisien, zot tou responsab lamor Lilinn! Nou tou nou finn fel.”

Li pran sime danbwa. Sivilizasion fer li gagn maloker.

14.06.2016

WE’VE ALL FAILED

Lilinn is just sixteen. She’s standing on the outer edge of a bridge watching the torrents rushing down fifty feet below.

For ten years she kept the primary and prevocational school bench warm – evil tongues would say she sat under the bench – and yet she was totally illiterate. Her teachers claimed that she was lazy; her relatives said she was soft-headed. She was denied access to vocational training as she failed the entrance examination. According to official records she was ‘unfit’. She coud not get a job because she had failed all exams. Her mother who worked as a housemaid – she too was illiterate – told her that later she too could be employed as a housemaid but for the time being she would have to look after her young siblings as Mama was the only provider sweating and slaving for a meagre pittance.

Her father? Nobody knew where he was. Some said she was living with another woman.

Her neighbour Chounouk showed interest in her when she was still at primary school. He would give her sweets and choccies; later he offered her toiletries. When her father had disappeared, he became a frequent visitor. Lilinn’s mother and Chounouk would have a few drinks and then she would tell the children to go to bed.

Standing on the outer edge of the bridge she touches her stomach which has started to swell. The torrents are frothing, foaming, raving and raging between boulders and rocks.

At confession she was told that abortion was a serious sin. God would not forgive her. Her mother told her that she had brought shame to the family. She would not feed another mongrel.

The furious torrents beckon her. She jumps.

In the tavern they are all talking about that. Chounouk cannot be blamed. He’s a man. She looked for it. One voice is against the general trend. Nutty’s. They all sneer at him.

The Prime Minister is on TV. He wants people to have more children for the country needs workers.

Nutty can’t bear it anymore. He bursts out. “You are all to blame … You parents, teachers, priests and politicians … all to blame. A child is dead. We’ve all failed.”

He leaves, goes into the woods. Civilisation makes him sick.

27.06.2016

AKOZ SA EV LA!

Enn gramaten, apre enn lanwit trouble par konfli ki ti pe dire depi plizier banane, Layla dir Rajou ki li preferab aster ki zot separe.
– Ki dimoun pou dir?
– Les zot koze. Pa zot ki manz margoz.
– Ki margoz? To fer koumadir to pa dan bien.
– Dan bien? Wi, mo dan bien.
– Aret koz foutan. Kifer to pa fer kouma tou fam. Axepte lavi kouma li ete. … Depi Ev li koumsa.
– Axepte? Axepte ki to ena metres? Axepte ki Ev antor? Axepte ki to mama diriz nou lavi?
– Pa koz kont mo mama!
– Li li gagn drwa koz kont mwa.
– Mama ena ennsel!
– Fam gagne par tonn, pa vre.
– Wi! … Bon! Tanto mo pe vini ar de kamarad. Prepar enpe gajak!

Layla get li ale. Li finn fini deside ki li pou al res kot enn ti fami lot kote pei.

Kot so kouzen lwenten, Pagla, li viv enn lavi senp. Li okip lakaz ek bann zanimo pandan ki so kouzen al lapes pou nouri vilaz. Pagla li enn dimoun lot kalite. Ler tou dimoun aprann koz Esperannto ek Volapouk, li li swazir pou ekrir so poem dan enn lang ki tou dimoun meprize, Kirryol.

Toulezour Layla koz lor so problem e Pagla ekoute san enteripsion. Enn zour li trouv enn bout papie lor latab. Pagla finn kit enn poem pou li lir.

Shakti, Ev ek Katija depi koumansman letan
Sarye mizer limanite
Parski Babaji, Padre ek Mawlana
Pa finn aprann laverite.
Lontan, lontan, bien-bien lontan Hanoumann ti rakonte
Lor sime trase par Bondie,
Ler kreatir katpat ti pe vinn de pat,
Ensten katpat ti rod blok lespri depat.
Lespri depat ti rod lesiel ble;
Lespri katpat ti tas dan labou.
Dan dile Shakti, Ev ek Katija
Ki ena vre sime progre.
Pa koz pese; koz lamour.
Pa koz pran; koz done.

15.06.2016

EVE’S TO BLAME

One morning, after a night torn by conflicts which have been going on for years and years, Layla tells Rajou they should split.
– What would people say?
– Let them say what they want. They don’ eat bitter gourd.
– Bitter gourd? Don’t tell me!
– OK, my life’s sweet melon.
– You don’t have to be surly! … Look here! Why can’t you be like other women. Accept things as they are. … It’s been like this since Eve.
– Accept? Accept your mistress? Accept that Eve’s to blame? Accept that your mother runs our lives?
– Not a word against my mother, please!
– She can say nasty things on me.
– A mother is unique!
– And women? You can buy dozens of them.
– That’s right. … Look, this evening two of my mates are coming for a drink. Get some titbits ready.

Layla watches him go. She has already made up her mind to leave him. A distant coastal cousin has agreed to put her up for some time.

With her cousin Pagla life is very simple. She looks after the house and the few chickens and goats while he goes out to sea to fish. He is quite different from other people. While most strive hard to learn strange languages like Esperanto and Volapuk which are never well mastered, Pagla chooses to write in the most despised vernacular known as Kirryol.

Every day she talks about the problems she has faced and still faces as a woman and Pagla listens patiently. One day she finds a piece of paper on the kitchen table. Pagla has left a poem for her to read.

Shakti, Eve and Khadija have since the beginning of time
Carried humanity’s load
Because pandits and priests
Know not the truth.
A long-long time ago Hanuman told us
That on the road mapped out by God
When four-legged tried to stand on its hind legs,
Four-legged tried to stop change;
Hind-leg-standing wanted to reach for the sky;
Four-legged got bogged down in the mud.
In Shakti’s, Eve’s and Khadija’s milk
Is the road to salvation.
Forget sin, think of love.
Give up taking, take giving.

28.06.2016

GOUS

Dan lopozision tou dimoun koz kont gous; dan gouvernman pa koz gous.

Gouvernman sanze.

Gouvernman pa koz gous me lopozision koz gous for-for.
Zot bien kone.

Babaji, babouji, padre, monsignor, mawlana koz kont gous;
Bann fidel dakor.

Gous enn move zafer,
Samem fer lanfer lor later.

Donn bonje Soma so doz soma;
Donn tanbalon koko-banann pou bonje ekout lapriyer;
Alim labouzi pou fer bonje ekoute,
Fer li ekzos lapriyer.
Fer lapriyer for-for, met oparler for-for:
Bonje kontan sa.
Lerla li ekoute.
Ritiel fer bonje kontan.

Donn gous enn pese sa.

Enn pese sa?

Kan Toktok ti poz kestion
Babaji, babouji, padre, monsignor, mawlana
Ti sap lor kal;
Ti fer admet li dan mantal.

Donn gous enn pese sa.
Me bann fidel kontan donn soma, koko-banann, alim labouzi, fer lapriyer for-for.
Donn gous enn pese sa?

Mo pa reponn; mo pe al zwenn Toktok dan mantal.
Normal fer gagn dimal.

16.06.2016

KICKBACKS

In the opposition ranks they are all against kickbacks;
In government ranks, not a word.
A change in the government of the day.
New government? Not a word.
New opposition vociferates anti-kickback slogans.
They know what they’re talking about.

Pandits and priests denounce kickbacks.
The faithful applaud.

Kickbacks are bad,
A deadly sin!

Give god Soma his soma ration;
Offer a platterful of coconuts and bananas and god will listen;
Light candles to appease the gods;
Shout you prayers – volume up full blast.
The gods like this.
Your requests will be granted.
The gods love offerings and rituals.

Kickbacks are wrong!

Really?

When Nutty asked questions
Pandits and priests
Were furious.
They had him locked up in a mental bin.

Kickbacks are evil
But the faithful love to offer soma, coconut-bananas, lit candles, full-blast-prayers.
Really a sin?

I did not answer.

I chose to join Nutty.
Normal is dismal.

30.06.2016

BIZEN SANZ MANTALITE

Tro boukou krim dan pei;
Dimoun pe vinn bebet!
Bizen sanz mantalite.

Violans pe fer ravaz;
Boukou fam pe mor brit!
Bizen sanz mantalite.

Somer pa’le travay;
Pa’le fer zefor.
Bizen sanz mantalite.

Ris pe vinn pli ris; pov pe vinn pli pov.
Sanepepasekontinie!
Bizen sanz mantalite.

Lepep dakor.
Sote-pile swasant zero.

Toktok dimande:
Kouma pou fer sa?
Kouma sanz mantalite?

Minis ankoler;
Monper ankoler;
Profeser ankoler;
Paran ankoler.

Prefer pa koze, Toktok panse.

Dimoun pe dimande:
Kifer nou finn aret pran kont?
Kifer nou finn aret partaze?
Kifer sakre finn vinn banal?
Kifer tou zafer aste, vande?
Kan nouvo profet pou vini pou dir nou ki bizen fer?

Toktok pa kapav tini:
Li kriye for:
“Profet finn vini me li pa finn dir seki nou anvi tande.
Nou finn galoup deryer li kout ros;
Nou finn persekit li. …

Kontinie manz banann dan de bout.”

17.06.2016

MINDSET SHOULD CHANGE

Too many crimes O hell;
People have turned beastlike!
Mindset should change.

Too much violence;
Women face brutish death!
Mindset should change.

The unemployed are lazy;
They’re all for bugger all.
Mindset should change.

The rich get richer, the poor poorer.
Ziscannotmesnotsoudnotbe!
Mindset should change.

The people agree.
Hip-hip-hip sixty O.

Nutty asks:
How?
How to change mindset?

Ministers fly off the handle;
Priests growl and grumble;
Teachers fly off the handle;
Parents roar and yell.

Better be quiet, Nutty thinks.

People are asking:
Why don’t we take care anymore?
Why don’t we share anymore?
Why is the sacred so mundane?
Why is everything on sale?
When will a prophet come to tell us what to do?

Nutty cannot hold in anymore.
He bursts out:
“The prophet has come but has not told us what we want to hear.
We have chased him with stones,
Persecuted him …

You want your cake and eat it too.”

01.07.2016

BLAKBORD-JENGOUL-KARI-BRILE

Minis trakase; profeser trakase; paran trakase; monper trakase.
“Bann zanfan pe revolte! Ki pou fer? Bann zanfan pe revolte”

Dan lekol, dan lari, dan stad, zenes anfoli fer fraka; agres profeser, vandaliz magazen, kraz partou.

“Paran antor; galoup deryer lamone. Mama bizen res dan lakaz pou okip zanfan.”

Personn pa’le get pli lwen ki zot nene. Eski bann vie tradision donn zenes enspirasion? Eski program dan lekol donn zanfan anvi aprann?

Paysa pe globalize; marsandiz globalize; zanfan rod globalize; regleman proteste.
Bizen paspor; bizen viza; bizen sertifika; bizen prezerv pirte kiltir, pirte disan.
Granper dir “tappou! ”; monper koz “tabou!”
Zenes pa konpran kifer.

Sosiete ankriz; malez partou.
Niaz nwar dan lorizon pe blok lalimier soley;
Vie lapo pa resanti vibrasion negatif.
Zenn lapo ankor sansib: li reazir vit ek brit.
Li santi bez me li pa konpran.
Personn pa pe kapav explike.
Zot dir:
“Toukorek, aret panse!”

Lekol gratis, obligatwar; lekol-gardri kouma prizon pe koz manti, angourdi lespri.
Lakaz bonje kot pe fer nwar, menas pinision, pa pe koz vre, pe fer plezir lamone.
Lotel gouvernman lizie bouse ar linet roupi finn fini perdi sime; bann prensip pe mont lor pie.
Lakaz mama-papa dan tourbiyon finn bliye serman divan Bondie; dife hawann-koun pe bril dan vid.
Dimoun lor laplaz pe roul-roule dan routinn kont-sezon e zot pa’le trouv vag oter Montagn Signo ki pe fons lor zot ar laraz.

Eski bann zanfan pa konn naze pe santi gran vag pe vini?

17.06.2016

BLACKBOARD JUNGLE AND CHARRED CURRY

Ministers are worried; so are teachers, parents, pandits and priests.
“Children are rebelling! What can we do? Children are rebelling!”

At school, on the road, at the stadium, mad youths wreak havoc; aggress teachers; wrack shops; tear down everything.

“Parents are to blame; running after quick bucks. Women’s place is at home to look after children.”

No one looks further than nose tips. Can archaic traditions inspire the youth? Do schools incite young ones to learn?

Mighty dollar goes global; goods go global; children want to go global; rules say no.

Where’s the passport, the visa, the certificate? Culture and genetic purity are essential.

Granddad says ‘tappu !’ Father says ‘taboo!’
Young ones are perplexed.

Hurly-burly’s boss. Angst is king.
Dark clouds on the horizon chokes the sun.
Old skin is insensitive to negative vibrations.
Young hypersensitive skin reacts instinctively.
It senses threat; knows not why.
No one can tell.
They say,
“All’s well. Think not.”

Free, compulsory prison school; lying, mind-stifling day care centre!
House of gods in dark cloistering-chastising shroud; mighty dollar sanctuary!
Government house with rupee glasses sees not its way. Bye-bye honesty!
The home is in vow-forgotten turmoil where sacred fire burns in vain.
Gallivanting weathercocks frolicking on the out of season beach routine refuse to see waves Signal Mountain high rushing furiously towards them.

Do the cannot-swim young islanders sense the mighty wave coming?

02.07.2016

ZORDI-LONTAN

Lontan-lontan lekol ti fabrik
Angle-fesnwar pou roul biznes monark;
Zordi-lontan lekol fabrik
Angle-fesnwar,
Franse-fesnwar,
Endien-fesblan,
Sinwa-fesblan
Me pa pe gagn
Sitwayen Morisien
endepandan, otonom.

Lontan-lontan lekol ti donn lesel
Pou rant dan volier viaypi.

Zordi-lontan pe met tou zanfan
Dan kazot Paysa-Roupaya
Me fer zot reve
Zot pou gagn enn seke dan volier viaypi.

Imigran
Lor lil Kreol tropikal
Per pou tous dilo lamer;
Mepriz so pie friyapen;
Vomi lor lang natirel.
Blan-fesnwar
Onte pou get dan laglas.

Pa kone ki li ete.
Imigran lor lil Kreol pa rapel parol Tifrer,
“Enn lakoler pran mwa”;
Li sant “gloritouzi”.

19.06.2016

LONG AGO TODAY

A long-long time ago school was meant to produce
Brown-English-Sahib to look after majesty’s business.
Long-ago-today school is meant to produce
Brown-English-Sahib,
Brown-French-Sahib,
White-Indian-Sahib,
White-Chinese-Sahib
But nowhere do we find true-blue Mauritians
Happy to be what they are.

A long-long time ago school provided the ladder
To get into VIP birdcage.
Long-ago-today all children are cooped up
In Mighty-Dollar-Chicken-Coop
And they are taught to dream
Of a lift into VIP birdcage.

Immigrants on Creole tropical island
Shy away from the sea;
Look down on breadfruit
And natural-national tongue.
Fair-darkie thinks their looking glass tells lies.

Who am I? Dinna ken !
Immigrants on Creole tropical island
Don’t remember Tifrer’s words, ‘Enn lakoler pran mwa’.
They sing ‘gloritozi’.

03.07.2016

LI PA KOUMA NOU, LI PA BON

Toktok finn gagn lager ar toudimoun dan so vilaz.

Li pa dakor ki li pa bon parski li toktok;
Parski li pa parey, li pa bon.

Tou dimoun, apart bann toktok,
Kwar nwar pa parey kouma blan,
Savedir nwar pa bon;
Fam pa parey kouma zom,
Savedir fam pa bon;
Vie pa parey kouma zenn,
Savedir vie pa bon;
Travayer karo pa parey kouma travayer biro,
Savedir travayer karo pa bon;
Homo pa parey kouma hetero,
Savedir homo pa bon;
Diferan pa parey kouma normal,
Savedir diferan pa bon …

Toktok rod fer zot gagn enn lizour.

Toudimoun anker kriye:
“Toktok pa parey kouma nou,
Savedir toktok pa bon.”

Si to pa priye kouma nou,
To pa bon;
Si to pa koz kouma nou,
To pa bon;
Si to pa trase kouma nou,
To pa bon;
Si to pa koz manti kouma nou,
To pa bon;
Si to pa triyange kouma nou,
To pa bon;
Si to pa koken kouma nou,
To pa bon.

20.06.2016

YOU’RE NOT LIKE US, YOU’RE NO GOOD

Nutty has fallen out with everyone in the village.

He doesn’t agree he’s no good because he’s kooky;
He’s no good because he’s different.

Except for Nutty
They all think that black is not like white,
So black is no good;
Woman is not like man,
So woman is no good;
Old is not like young,
So old is no good;
Field worker is not like office worker,
So field worker is no good;
Homo is not like hetero,
So homo is no good;
Different is not like normal,
So different is no good …

Nutty wants to argue.

They all shout:
“Nutty is not like us,
He’s no good.”

You don’t worship like us?
You’re no good!
You don’t speak like us?
You’re no good!
You don’t find your way like us?
You’re no good!
You don’t lie like us?
You’re no good!
You don’t cheat like us?
You’re no good!
You don’t loot like us?
You’re no good!

04.07.2016

SEX

Kouma Babam trouv sa li kriye:
“Siggou ledou !”. Mo papa dir “Tappou !”
Pourtan zot vers dilo sakre lor linga ek yoni.

Minis trakase.
Tro boukou vie dimoun.
Bizen plis zenes pou nouri profi.
Babaji sanz langouti, fit so sermon:
“Fam bizen res lakaz,
Sof manze mari,
Fer piti.”

Bliye dezir, pa koz plezir!
Yoni ek linga ena enn sel drwa,
Enn sel devwar:
Peple liniver.
Ki liberasion?

To trouv drol legliz vid?
To trouv drol pelren rod bonje Soma?
To trouv drol ritiel finn ranplas lafwa.

Sex finn konn enn revolision kiltirel.
Aret dir “Chichi”!
Aret fer malis!
Aprann fer lamour!

20.06.2016

SEX

When Babam sees that she wails:
“Siggu ledu !” My dad says, “Tappu !”
However they all pour sacred water on linga and yoni .

Ministers are worried.
Ageing population.
Young workers urgently needed to feed business.
Panditji changes dhoti accordingly to match sermon:
“Females should look after the home, take care of husband
And have as many children as possible.”

Desire? Pleasure?
Nonsense!
Linga and yoni have a unique duty: People the world.
Liberation? Nonsense!

Are you surprised
Churches are empty?
Are you surprised
Pilgrims need soma?
Now rituals sit on Faith’s throne. No surprise!

From biology to culture sex reaches for the seventh heaven.
Bury your gak, hmph, ick or ugh.
Don’t just have sex, make love.

04.07.2016

SI KOUMADIR …

Dokter Fos dan so laboratwar
Pe rod prev ki Big Beng ti koze par gravite
Me Toktok anba pie lafours
Pe pans Bhagavad-Gita
Parski sak kiksoz ena so kontrer
Parey kouma so pie lafours:
So latet vinn so lipie, so lipie vinn so latet.

Toktok admir Darwin ek Einstein
Ki, afors obzerve, finn dekouver
Volonte misterye deryer realite.
Nanye vinn tou; tou vinn nanye;
Enn vinn milion; milion vinn enn.

Liv siyans neseser pou konpran vizib.
Bizen osi konpran envizib:
lamour, pardon ek partaz.

Si koumadir dan vilaz Toktok
Tou ti lir Bhagavad-Gita, Ansien Testaman,
Nouvo Testaman, Koran
Pa ti pou pli bon pou tou dimoun?
Toktok pous enn soupir.
Li tris, li anvi al kasiet.

So gourrou dir li atann.
Komie letan pou atann?

Bizen atann poul gagn ledan?

21.06.2016

JUST IMAGINE

Dr Faustus in his lab
Tries to prove that gravity triggered the Big Bang.
Nutty under his banyan tree
Thinks of Bhagavad-Gita
For life is a contradiction
Just like his banyan tree
Whose head is his feet and his feet his head.

Nutty admires Darwin and Einstein
Whose observation led to the discovery
Of the mysterious will behind reality.
Nothing becomes all and all become nothing;
One becomes a million and a million become one.

Science books help to understand the visible.
We must also understand the invisible:
Love, mercy and sharing.

Imagine everyone in Nutty’s village
Reading the Bhagavad-Gita,
The old Testament, the new Testament
And the Holy Koran.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Nutty sighs;
He’s sad,
He wants a place to hide.

His guru tells him to wait.
Wait for what?
For hen to grow teeth?
For pigs to fly?

04.07.2016

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