WAKASHIO the book

 WAKASHIO, A STORYBOOK FOR CHILDREN.

ABOUT THE STORY

MV WAKASHIO , a Japanese- owned bulk carrier ran aground on the coral reefs, off the coast of the tropical island Mauritius, on 25 July 2020.

Wakashio was empty of cargo but had an estimated 200 tons of diesel and 3,800 tons of heavy fuel oil on board.

Little by little, with the strength of the heavy waves, cracks arose in its hull. Fuel oil started to spill on the turquoise blue sea of the coastal district, Mahebourg. In no time, the oil spill reached its shores, destroying marine life, seaweeds, and corals.

The inhabitants ran to the rescue of the lagoon. They made floating booms with sugar cane straw to absorb the oil. In the meantime, foreign help was sought by the Government of Mauritius to block the catastrophic flood of oil from the hull of Wakashio to the sea.

On Assumption Day 2020, Wakashio broke into two. The authorities estimated that it would take decades to tow the two fragmented parts of the ship. Finally, the bow part of Wakashio was sunk in the deep ocean, far from Mauritius. It was also decided that the stern part of the ship that was stuck in the reefs would take decades to tow back. It remained as the remnant of a shipwreck in the lagoon, in the southeast of the green island.

MV WAKASHIO

The story here is told from the perspective of two Mauritian children, Angela and Oshin.

WAKASHIO the children’s book

INSPIRATION TO WRITE THE STORYBOOK.

Earlier this year, I started a campaign to urge young Mauritian children to read books. 

By coincidence, MV WAKASHIO met with a terrible accident at sea and it became the talk of the town in Mauritius and in the whole world. Social media wrote about the shipwreck and posted pictures of the sinking ship.

It dawned upon me to write the story of the Wakashio for children. I felt deep inside that it was a subject that will draw the attention of children, they will pick up the book and they will start to read.

Reading books and listening to stories stimulates the imagination of children.

As Albert Einstein has wisely said-

Imagination is more important than knowledge,

For knowledge is limited,

Whereas imagination embraces the whole world,

Stimulates progress, giving birth to evolution.

I strongly believe that children of all ages should read books and good books. In this age of electronic books, it is much better for parents to encourage a child to read traditional paper books, that he can carry and read every he goes – under a tree in the garden, on the lap of his mom… even where there is no electricity or an internet connection.

Reading books starts at home. First by a mother or a grandmother reading to a child, then by an elder brother or sister reading to a child and finally by a child  reading a book by himself.

Salman Rushdie, the world acclaimed bestseller author says –

When a child is born, there are two things that he requires – LOVE AND SAFETY;

The next thing the child says is –

TELL ME A STORY.

Undoubtedly stories are an important part of our adult life; without them life is boring. Most of all, children love stories as dearly as they love toys and games. 

My mother was an excellent storyteller. I vividly remember the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming  as concocted and told by her when I was a kid. I bemused at her facial expressions and her body movements. I traveled to fairyland, wonderland, to faraway places; I fought with dragons; I talked to birds, rats, rabbits, and other animals.

Mostly, I started to daydream of Prince Charming. Often I took a broom, bigger than myself and arduously swept the kitchen. All the time, I kept an eye on the big pumpkin that mom kept in a corner of the kitchen, wishing that it would explode and Prince Charming would jump out.

From listening to stories, and putting myself in the shoes of Cinderella, I very rapidly developed a fondness for books. From reading books, I gradually started to write stories.

WAKASHIO is my new storybook for children and my first book in French. Mauritian children are more familiar with the French language, oral and written; I have written this book primarily for them.

It is legitimate for writers to remember that children are the adults of tomorrow. They should be made aware of the important happenings of their country and the consequences of their acts from an early age. Wakashio is a tale that relates the story of the wreck of MV Wakashio in pure and simple prose, illustrated by amazing color pictures. 

Anita Bacha

Sega Dance

Intoxicated with the elixir of love,
My head spins with the fiery beats of the tropical drums,
As my body swirls and whirls with the rhythmic vibes;
The burning sand scorching the sole of my feet,
And I dance and I dance in ecstasy!
Imbued with passion, my heart flies high above,
Like a shooting star in broad day light,
Falls back in the blue lagoon with candid delight
And I dance and I dance in ecstasy!
Shrouded in a mist of mirage,
In the horizon I see your image.
In frantic folly I run to tenderly hold you…
The mystic drums stop me,
The enchanting melody beckons me,
Lifts me up and invigorates me,
Fills my soul with bursting fantasy
And I dance and I dance in ecstasy!
-Anita Bacha-
Excerpt from my poetry book #SoulPoetry (2015)

Sega dance, Mauritian folklore.c

The Scent of a Woman

After the Second World War, there was a shortage of food stuffs in the Island. In those years, Mauritius was a colony under the British rule.

Nonetheless, our family did not feel the immediate pangs or the aftermath of the war as we were quite well off. My mother, I fondly remember, splashed herself with Yardley Eau de Cologne every morning after her tub bath. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I could follow her around the whale of a house that we had, sniffing her perfume like a little dog.

My father was a whole sale merchant and he was bringing home our share of ration rice. It was our basic food and also the basic food of the whole population of some 500,000 heads.

A hard, little, yellowish pearl, unpolished and unrefined, my mother told me that this grain of rice came in its husk during the war. In those days called ‘le temps margoze’ (the sour gourd days) by the local people, the women folk had to pound the rice in a mortar to separate the husk from the rice. They used to call it ‘du riz pousse femme’ (the rice that drive women away) because it was a real nightmare for women to pound the rice.

We were fortunate, I gather, because we did not have to pound the rice. But once in a week, in a ceremonial manner my mother sat a small wooden bench and surrounded by the maid servants, they would busy themselves at cleaning the rice. The rice was placed on large aluminum trays in small heaps. It was winnowed and then the grit was separated from the grain. In a small tin, my mother kept the small black stones to throw away and in her lap, the broken rice to feed the birds.

Close to her, on a smaller bench, I sat down to be with her. I felt like a big girl because I could pick out the stones and the broken rice from her heap.

After she had finished and filled a big iron container with the clean rice, I had the liberty to bury my head in the warm and loving lap of my mother. I breathed in the intimate scent of a woman interlaced with the perfume of eau de cologne and the smell of ration rice.

Years after, this scent still filled my whole being with the sweet memory of my mother.

Anita Bacha

My Newborn

A mother will take you under her wings, even when you know how to fly – my quote.

I don’t know how true it is for you. For me, I always come to the help of my grown up children even when they refuse my help. A child remains a child for a mom even when he is an old man and a great granddad. I refer to child as a male because I have only boys and four of them.

I remember telling them stories, mostly imaginative, when they were very small. Later and now, I tell stories to my grandchildren.

Even later and as far back as last year, I wrote my first story book for children, The Princess and the Crow.

A few months ago, I conceived the idea of a new, illustrated book for children. I am expecting to deliver the book any time now.

A book is like a child to me. I have in all ten children, four biological children and six books. Awaiting the birth of a book gives me the same anxiety problems, coupled with short breath, cold sweat, loss of appetite and loose bowels.

Most of all, I am on top of the world as a creative writer and a mother.

Writers write because there have something deep inside their guts that they need to bring out.

My advice to writers is to write and write until you bring out what is inside you.

Anita Bacha

SOUL POETRY

SOUL POETRY -Inspirational Poems, Verses and Quotes is a collection of poems, verses and quotes which driven by wild waves of inspiration I wrote over the past five years. I am not a full time writer or poet. I only write when I am inspired and words start to flow from my pen like drops of nectar on a starve parchment.

The main subject of my poetry, my verses and quotes is Love. Here, I must tell my readers to appreciate that there is only One Love whether it is maternal love, physical love, obsessive love, infatuation or spiritual love to name a few. My book also covers different aspects of human relationships, and different themes from flowers to butterflies. Being a woman, when I write about a lover, I am writing about a man. So you will find a few poems very audacious. I have never found it challenging to write love poems about men. They deserve to be admired and their charms must be carved on paper and for eternity, recognizing that the body is mere rust and dust; the soul is eternal. Behind my every poem, there lies a story.
Anita Bacha

White Flowers in the Night


Take me with you,
To a land where white flowers,
Bloom in the night,
Where moths freely die in the light,
As I bloom and I die in your favors,
Take me with you,
Keep me close to you,
As the scent of white flowers,
Invigorates the breath of lovers,
And I write with the ink of your eyes,
These petals of poetry,
Chaste as white flowers in the night.
Anita Bacha

Autumn Vibes

Sunrise, the highlight

Of this glorious morning,

Sparkles autumn leaves

The rain is falling,

Various ducks swim languidly,

On the swollen pond.

Brittle and fragile,

The tree releases the leaves,

They blow in the wind.

A walk in the park,

Brings back memories of you,

So far yet,so near.

End of October,

A yellow maple leaf falls,

Turns to syrup brown.

Autumn vibes are haikus I’ve written during the past few weeks,and sharing here. I am living on an island actually and here, we have only two seasons,summer and winter.Haiku poetry tickles the imagination and haiku lovers will find in these haiku poems illustrated with pictures, how very far the mind can travel, create and produce.

With love ❤️

Anita Bacha

An Island in the Sun

My eyes meet your eyes,

As the sun melts in the sea-

It’s love at first sight.

Sunset in Pereybere, Mauritius

We walk on the beach,

In the cool,morning sun, far

From the madding crowd.

Tamarin Beach, Mauritius

The day is over,

Fisherman brings a good catch,

The boat gets some rest.

GrandBay, Mauritius

A silent man sits,

With a fishing rod at sea,

Sunrise to sunset.

Fisherman at Roches Noires, Rivière du Rempart, Mauritius

At dawn, the sun kneels,

To embrace the sea,

In meek submission.

Sunset at Les Barachois, Tamarin, Mauritius.

It’s very cold,

Fire in the hearth has burnt out,

I dream of summer.

Le Flamboyant, tropical summer bloom, Mauritius.

Haiku is a type of short form poetry, originally from Japan. Traditional Japanese haiku consists of three phrases that contain a kireji,or cutting word,17 on in a 5/7/5 pattern and a kigo, a seasonal reference.However, modern haiku vary widely on how closely they follow the traditional elements. I have this crush for haiku and I try my best to be in tune with the ancient haiku poets.

Enjoy and let me have your feedback.

Contemplation

May this waiting draw to a close, my love!
That very soon we are united at last,
In a mad and passionate hug;
My heart shall beat with your heart,
Away our tears shall flow in abundant joy,
Shall wet our parched lips of the grief,
Of the pain of thirsting desires;
That blessed under a starry night sky,
Your breath shall melt with my breath,
My eyes bathe in the clear pond of your gaze;
Swept into the furrows of time and space,
We forget the world, the universe, the Creator himself,
We forget the intense longing,
We forget the slow suffering,
That shall exist for us only our guiltless love!
Anita Bacha

Pure Love 💕