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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Of lives - their lives

She had a lively pair of eyes. Intelligent and inquisitive. Her hair done in braids and tied in a knot on top of her head. She was wearing a black knee length dress that caressed her body playfully. Chewing on a toothpick, she was efficiently calculating the money and delivering the order from the small window behind the bars. The place was cozy (read small), dark, plastic chairs arranged around plastic tables that were not in any order. There was pumping music and cigarette smoke in the air. She at times came out from behind the bars to settle orders personally with the customers or to give change. But most of the time, she was poised behind those bars, chewing on her toothpick and ardently following the movements and requests of her customers…whether it was that of buying a single cigarette from a packet or whether it was a cold bottle of beer, she managed it all with a smile. 

The customers are all male, and her business skills are deftly adapted to cater to the customer style.

I tend to believe, she is a provider.

She was wearing a zebra tshirt and a pair of jeans. Her walk had a swag, and her hips catering to the music as she moved from one table to another serving drinks and food as ordered. She was polite, inept with her English, but with a winning smile that more than made up for her English. I used sign language with her for our next order of Kilimanjaro (a Tanzanian beer), and she promptly served us. Her hips continued to move to the music that prompted me to leave my seat and join her for a few minutes to test my “shaking” skills in between the disorganized tables and chairs. She barely moved her feet, but her body moved to every single beat that the music had to offer. Her plaited hair settled on her head and her arms close to her torso as she allowed the music to play with her senses. I admired her dancing skills while my own two feet forcefully moved themselves to accommodate any movement of my body. She smiled, as I gave up and settled back on my chair after a while.

I tend to believe, she enjoys living life.

She had a white shawl wrapped around her. She seemed aloof yet interested in him. She was as if the morning cup of tea. The cup that knows that you are craving for it, and yet with great nonchalance the cup observes the tea being brewed, sieved, poured and sipped…bit by bit. He needed his morning sip, every moment, as he touched her face, her hair, her hand, her chest. He knew he would need her, again, the next evening. She knew he would need her, again, the next evening…the wait from the brewing to the sieving to the drinking...he will need her. But they both knew that soon the morning cup of tea will be forgotten as the day will progress between usual coffees and sodas and juices. She smiled at him teasing him with her eyes and rested her back on the wall, her purse on the plastic table next to the bottle of a Castle lager and her hands placed on his. He looked at her intently, the passion in his demeanor was as if nothing existed in that dinghy room amongst the scattered people, their lives and nicotine suffocation, but for her being, her white shawl and her aloofness. He engaged her in a conversation. It was important for him.

I tend to believe, they have lives, away from each other. But every evening in that local bar cum kitchen, they crave each other like you crave for the morning cup of tea.

She was wearing a yellow kanga. Her daughter was wearing yellow slacks. As the sea lashed down on their feet, they giggled and played with the salinity of life. Her yellow Kanga matched her hair ribbon. Braids tied neatly by a ribbon, the yellow setting sun to her back, her world paused at that moment with her daughter. The salty sea wind touched my face as I suddenly realized that I am fondly looking at the two, breaking the small waves and kicking sand in their moment together.

I tend to believe, that this mother and her daughter will always paint the world with a bright and shiny yellow!

Her stilettos clanked the glass staircases as she climbed her way to the rooftop bar. Her cocktail dress with a bare back and the beads that lay loosely on her breasts proclaimed her place in the society. Her weaved hair bounced as she held his hand and they both walked towards their corner on the top floor of a bar. A stunning view of the city, the latest music in air, expensive drinks pouring in, she had a pleased smile on her face as they settle down on their table. Her designer clutch next to his packet of Marlboro. Her ringed finger, next to his watched hand. They smile and they kiss. They order food and they swing. To the music. To the life. To the contentment it offers.

I tend to believe that they are content. 

*Moments from my visit to Tanzania.