That I have only a few weeks left here have forced me to reflect on look back at what I’ve been through and how I’ve changed. Being an Indian, I have all this ‘culture’ flowing in my blood but I’ve found that no matter where I go, my blood adjusts itself to let new learnings in. With new blood comes new rituals. It’s no wonder people love to have me around. I’m such a strange mix, you’d never be bored.
Right now, I have Swahili in my blood. There’s present tense and past tense and future tense and then there’s the ‘not yet’ tense. The word ‘never’ does not exist in the culture and the language.
So if someone asks them if they’re married, there’s a word – sijaolewa which means i’m not yet married but it could happen at anytime. This person, by the way, could be 86. It comes from exploring and living life and not going through life as a series of tasks, of being on close enough terms with life to know that anything can happen.
Slowly I find that my strong and loud ‘NEVER’s (which ex- boyfriends have complained about) have changed to ‘not yet’ and I find they have seeped into my attitude.
So now when people ask me ‘What now? What next?’ I don’t break into a sweat. I crack a toothy smile and say Sijajua – I don’t yet know.