Learning From Trees

“There is a lot to learn from trees: their graceful free spirit when they fluidly sway in the breeze, their munificence when they open-heartedly give us shade and sustenance, their dauntlessness in the wildest and most tumultuous of storms, their endurance during a scathing drought and, in particular, their forbearance when we go about destroying them without a second thought.”

-The Little Mermaid, MMXVIII

Copyrights © 2016 The Little Mermaid. All Rights Reserved

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Look Beyond

I see what lies behind your wrinkles
smiles forgotten
promises broken
I hear the voice in your heart
those screams and cries of agony
that wretched tragedy
I know your silence speaks of words unspoken
that one aching tear hides a soul forsaken

Unless I walk in your shoes
I would never understand
your despair, your misery
That battle 
you are fighting
with all your mettle
The faint whistle gets deeper
I got to catch this train
I could not hug you
But I feel your pain

*Image borrowed from Google

What’s Not To Love About Mauritius?

Cultivated fields and greenery lush

A landscape-so picturesque! So plush!

Where the crisp turquoise sea is its own master

Life doesn’t go by any faster.

The soul flies to the Pearly Gates

Into the soundlessness of nature’s solace

Goodness gracious!

Such is the alluring charm of Mauritius.

What’s not to love about this tiny, yet surpassingly gorgeous island in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Covering an area of just 2, 040 square kilometres, you can tour the whole coast in less than a day with a car! Wow! Over the years, many of you have have been curious to know where does ‘The Little Mermaid’ come from. Does she really belong to the deep, mystic oceans? Or what inspired her to name her site ‘The Little Mermaid’? Should I be disarmingly open with you, finding a perfect name for my website was not rocket science for me. Coming from Mauritius, the land of chimerical mermaids where the bucolic environment is the elixir of peace and unity, I deemed it ideal to call my blog thus for the name spells out the rare exotic beauty of the country and its inhabitants.

Do you want to discover the enchanting richness of Mauritius?

Read on…

1. Sun

Due to its geographical location, Mauritius is blessed with a summery climate all throughout the year. In fact, it has only two seasons-summer and winter. The coolest months are July and August when average minimum night temperatures drop down to 16.4 degrees celsius, which is pretty endurable compared to other countries. Mauritius boasts of spectacular sunrise and sunset scenes that are best viewed along the coastal regions. Eye-catching sunrises can be savoured in the east like at Palmar Beach; the radiating soft glow of the sun in the morning from the horizon is mightily bright and mesmerising. Sunsets are dreamy in the west, for instance at Flic-en-Flac Beach where the sun looks like it’s gradually sinking into the pristine waters below.

Sunset at Flic-en-Flac Beach

Sunrise at Palmar Beach

2. Sea and Sand

Words fail to describe the irrepressible pulchritude of the beaches in Mauritius. The seashores are silken white sandy-perfect to entice mermaids to visit the land of Shangri-La. The island is grandiosely surrounded by sparkling blue zircon waters with the sun’s rays cutting through the gentle waves, ressembling miniscule pieces of diamond. Speaking from my personal experience, swimming in the coral reef blue lagoons and luxuriating in the ocean’s intoxicating tease for hours is therapeutic to the mind, body and soul as well. Moreover, water activities like scuba diving, water skiing, parasailing, big-game fishing and sea kayak amongst others are super exciting and fun.

Belle Mare Beach

Le Morne Beach

3. Landscape

Mauritius is a relatively nascent island, having been created by volcanic eruption some 8-10 million years ago. Majestic mountains like the Piton de La Petite Rivière Noire, Pieter Both, Le Pouce and Le Morne Brabant are a hiker’s sanctum. The Black River Gorges National Park which is the largest national park on the island is home to endemic birds: the lovely Pink Pigeon, the white-tailed Paille-en-queue and the mischievous Mauritian Fruit Bat. Impressive waterfalls like Eau Bleue Waterfall and Tamarind Falls, better known as Sept Cascades among the locals, are common spots for nature lovers. There are four famous volcanoes in Mauritius namely Trou aux Cerfs, Trou Kanaka, Bassin Blanc and Grand Bassin, each with its spellbinding historical opulence.

Pieter Both Mountain

Chamarel Waterfall

Grand Bassin Lake

Trou aux Cerfs Volcano

4. Cuisine Créole

Mauritian cuisine is a marvellous fusion of Chinese, European, African and Indian dishes, all slightly remoulded over time to reflect the country’s cultural distinctiveness. The dholl puri, best served with spicy bean curry, rougaille and chutney is unmistakably the most popular street food around. Mauritians proudly start their day with a cuppa of the typical ambrosial vanilla tea. And how can we possibly miss talking about SEAFOODS? From the fishermen’s Cordonnier, Vielle Rouge and Capitaine to the prodigious variety of crabs, lobsters and octopuses, it is a gourmet’s joy to indulge in the delectable seafoods. Furthermore, the Mauritian Biryani, boulettes, Alouda, gâteaux patates, gâteaux piments and samoussas are a plenary treat for the taste buds. The list of mouth-watering tropical fruits is endless, including juicy mangoes, sweet litchis, succulent longans and fleshy coconuts.

Dholl Puri

Grilled tropical fish

Deep fried Mauritian snacks

5. Places of Interest

Whether you are a physisaphile or an urbanite, Mauritius has numerous places of interest to cater to the whims and fancies of its population. The Bagatelle Shopping Mall, Le Caudan Waterfront and Cascavelle Shopping Village host a multitude of high-end shops and extravagant restaurants. There are also a few well-maintained antiquated museums that sustain the colourful heritage of the country. By way of illustration, at L’Aventure du Sucre, you can get a notion of sugar production in Mauritius. The Casela World of Adventures and La Vanille Nature Park are two huge wildlife outdoor parks where people can meet thousands of animal species.

Le Caudan Waterfront

Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius

Cascavelle Shopping Village

6. Mixed Religion

The island is a multi-ethnic society composed of Indian, Muslim, African, French and Chinese descents who live in harmony with one another, respecting the values of religious tolerance, civic peace and democratic freedom. Mauritians glorify celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, Maha Shivaratri, Eid al-fitra and the Spring Festival with equal aplomb. There is an unshakable esprit de corps among the indigenous people as they pride themselves in their native uniqueness. Besides, the folks are notable for their extraordinary warmth and lavish hospitality towards tourists.

Thaipoosam Cavadee

Spring Festival

Maha Shivaratri

7. Lifestyle

The new generation of Mauritians, in general, has adopted a more relaxed outlook on life. They are mostly laid-back and easy-going in contrast to their foreparents who had nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat to build a coruscating sophisticated Mauritius. One of the oldest, most entertaining activities enjoyed in the country is horse-racing. Movie theatres and a promenade with family and friends ensure quality bonding time. People use the Créole language although they are fluent in at least three languages-English and French being the most widely spoken ones. The Sega is an intensely vibrant, typical folklore dance in Mauritius which is the musical expression of the Mauritian way of life filled with gaiety and peppiness.

Horce racing at Champ de Mars

A group of artists performing the sega dance

Benefiting from a long history of political stability, a good governance record and a robust commercial infrastructure, the island is regularly hailed as one of Africa’s success stories. Since it gained independence in 1968, despite not being endowed with exploitable natural resources, it has continually and intrepidly undergone major economic transformations. Today, it relies heavily on its offshore, finance and tourism sectors to sustain its growth. Mauritius is, in effect, a well-connected international hub with different airlines from a number of different countries. It is indeed a beauty and Mark Twain was not wrong when he said, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.”

Copyrights © 2016 The Little Mermaid. All Rights Reserved

A Melancholy Evening

Ellie lay on her back awake

In her favourite rocking chair on the terrace

Closing her eyes nonchalantly to a scene opaque

At the time that love was a dangerous menace.

Those were the mirthful days spent in Paris

She reminisced about with a sigh of unalloyed bliss

When the sun shone a little brighter

The birds chirped sweet songs a little louder

The world seemed just a little better

For she’d fallen madly in love with him

And he’d fallen madly in love with her

From dawn to dusk, on a blithe whim

They laughed! They cried! They even were to conquer!

She was a beautiful, strong woman

Dare I say, she was not the common

Her spirits exceedingly fierce and free

He’d agree

Burning to ashes every immanent obstacle

The woman of his dreams was truly unstoppable

This is what he loved about Ellie

The ocean that she sometimes was. The fire that she interminably was.

He often brought her angel garden-fresh roses

As a token of his undying devotion

She always liked them red, full of fragrance

Adorned with her lover’s bruises

It was a shared love so faithfully immense

Timeless and beyond comparison.

Ellie and her darling had the best moments of their lives

Tucked in each other’s rapturous embrace

Unaware of society’s heartless knieves

Ever primed to cause their disgrace

To the world they were not made for each other

Albeit in God’s courtyard

They were young lovers bound together

In innocence, in good faith, without any guard.

To happen, it happened

Their separation unbearable

The ocean slowly dried up. The fire dozed off.

Lifeless, clueless

They both wandered in the wilderness.

A melancholy evening it was, though no different

When Ellie tried to bury all the old memories, all the scents

In the deepest recess of her heart as ornament

Knowing they wouldn’t be forgotten

Until a thousand new crescents.

Photography Credits: ‘The Happy Lovers’ by Jean-Honoré Fragonard 1760-65

Located At: Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena CA.

Copyrights © 2016 The Little Mermaid. All Rights Reserved

Letter to my future daughter

Dear Alexandria,

As you reach your tender sixteen, there are a couple of things I would like to share with you. I want to start by telling you, my beloved daughter, that I love you endlessly. I fell in love with you when I heard your heartbeat for the first time. I fell in love with you when you clutched to my bosom in the middle of the night. I fell in love with the way you smile, with how you smell, with every single piece of you because you are a part of me. You have to know that, to me, you are far more precious than the Kohinoor diamond. Alex, you are a blessing in my life and I’m forever grateful to God for proffering me the good fortune to be your mother.

Darling, you are not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You are born with a sword in your hand. You are neither the hopeless princess of a disneyland nor the delicate sleeping beauty of a fairytale. No! You are not any of those. You are a warrior. A true warrior. You do not need someone to save your bacon because inside you lies all the might to guard yourself and others as well from the demons. You are that much admirably invincible, my goddess. You’re growing up to be a beautiful woman tomorrow. Seek not, my child, to be the evanescent beauty that pleases nothing but the eyes. I’d rather you seek to be the sempiternal beauty that pleases everything but the eyes. Oh dear! What fools these mortals be who acquiesce to society’s decree. Fair or ebony, tall or knee high to a gnat, it matters not; for beauty transcends the conventional to alight on a face- as fresh as the morning dew, to alight on lips- words they enounce soft and gentle and to alight in a heart- generous and tolerant. This is the unvarnished definition of beauty, love.

Being your mother, honey, I bestowed upon you the gift of life. Yet, you have to feel alive. And for you to feel alive, you should forge your own identity. You have been put on The Promised Land with a divine purpose. It is your cardinal mission to honour and give meaning to your life by discovering the reason for your existence. Once you uncover your ikigai, stick to it like a moth to the flame. Earn your livelihood around what spurs you to get out of bed at 5 a.m. You enjoy photography? Be a photographer. You enjoy cooking? Be a chef. I’d be proud if you choose to get your hands dirty just to keep your passion burning. Pour your heart into what you do, and I promise you will wear the crown in your chosen field one day. Do not get too comfortable settling. It’s like being trapped in a dark, scary room where you are screaming at the top of your lungs with no one to hear you. You don’t want that, do you? So, embrace challenges. Be on the go. Try. Rise. Fall. A thousand times over. Experience life-both with its lemons; and colourful spices and flavours. Flatline is for the dead.

Alex, you are bathing in the fountain of youth. You are just about to explore the different facets of your sexuality. Your sacred feminine spirit is calling on you to wear that little black dress, to do that gorgeous make-up or to dream of a charming prince on a white horse. However, there will also be moments of skepticism and disdain when you will feel like the ugliest creature on Earth, especially after watching The Oscars. It’s perfectly normal. Through it all, I want you to act responsibly with your body. You owe it to yourself. Your first kiss with your boyfriend might make you want to believe in French romance and the happily-ever-after kind of love. Why shouldn’t you anyway? But I want you to believe in second love, too. The kind of love that feels like hushed waves washing over a dry shore-yeah, it does exist. I’m not gonna ask you to look at the world through rose-tinted glasses. It’s also a cruel place here, my child. A pig-ignorant society will judge you. There will be men who will drool over your body. You must absolutely learn to say ‘no’ without apology. It is not your responsibility to smother the lingering lewd thoughts men have around your physical features or material attire. You are not accountable to me, let alone to your next-door neighbour, or your uncles and aunts. You are accountable to your conscience. Just do good no matter what and stay true to who you are.

A rich life is what you deserve, Alexandria. Travel to places you’ve never been before. Learn a new language. Read books. Laugh out loud. Do the bungee jump. Dance under the moonlight. Be goofy. Love fiercely. Eat your greens. Lift heavy. Rock your heels. You have but one life to make the most out of it. Baby, you are a powerhouse of intellect, courage and joy. You are a million stars under a sky. Sprinkle your angelic shine everywhere you go. Carpe diem!

I got your back!

Your loving,

Mama

His Beloved Olivia

A tiny puff of wind
covertly breezed into the room
and elicited a little squirm, rhythmed
from beloved Olivia in full bloom

His tempted tongue, quivering
unfurled her moist nether lips in heat
she moaned, her arched hips wriggling
Holy! What a treat!

He thrust inside with pleasure
gently circling her pink pearl, aroused
so sultry was his muse’s gesture
it left him in utter wows

He fondled, kissed and licked her
savouring the juices nectarean
He sucked over and over
revelling in that one moment utopian

The intensity of her sensations heightened
till she pressed herself against her bourgeois
He captured the glow in her face, enlightened
as she finally let out an ecstatic ‘Ahh’