Saturday 10 June 2023



Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash

When you peer into the well it only

mirrors a dumb grey sky, where no bird flies,

looking into a well is lonely,

it doesn’t speak back, there are no replies.


Unseasonal rain speckles the water

in rivers and streams as well as oceans.

Long lines of women – mothers and daughters

wait at the well for their turns at the omens.


You wish to hear the prophecies spoken –

no birdsong, no chatter. A lizard moves

somewhere on the parapet. Not a token

nor a sign. Just the rope in its own grooves,


the splash of the bucket, resultant ripples.

The draw of the future in drops and trickles.

Even when there's a contract all cut and dried, everything spelt out, a term specified - the future always retains its haze of uncertainty, its immeasurable potential for change, from a slight tweak to a megaspanner in the works. Something akin to a spanner has been thrown and as a result we are relocating back to India. A bit ahead of schedule. I'm here for this month and next, then it's back to ye olde hometown. I'm sorry and I'm not sorry. 

It'll be a relief to get to decent bookshops whenever I want. Get online/postal deliveries in 2-3 days instead of waiting interminably. And be in a more manageable timezone as compared to the rest of my family, phew! That I think is what I am looking forward to the most, being able to communicate again with folks in India, Europe and US without having to turn my brain inside out calculating the time difference and tracking civilised calling windows. Fiji has been isolating. 

So why am I sorry? mostly because...well, I'm a nitpicky goody two shoes - I don't like the loose end of an incomplete contract, no matter how justified the reason behind it. Secondly, in some ways, Fiji has been a throwback to my childhood in Nigeria, the same sort of isolation and remoteness from urban spaces, the same wide open untouched expanses of wilderness, similar rudimentary retail infrastructure - malls few and far between, home- and farm grown veggies bought at unsophisticated open markets, live fish bought after bargaining from  fisherfolk at roadside stalls - bliss! Most of all though, it's the familiar pattern of expatness and employed breadwinner that was easy to settle back into. Having a retired workaholic male at home full time, yikes - it's still an unknown, scary zone. :) All unknowns are adventures though, I'm up for a new one. 


  1. Hari OM
    Oh my - 2023 is a year of change all over the place, it seems! Embracing it with a degree of positive anticipation is definitely the way to go... YAM xx

    1. Change keeps the mind limber - too much hurled in all at once can be a bit of a challenge though...most of it is rather dire, that's the issue.

  2. Echoing YAM. And hoping for good things and excellent beginnings (again).

    1. Thanks, I hope so too. The first half of the year hasn't been too kind, I'm afraid.

  3. I am just as sorry and happy for you. I hope the return to India goes smooth.

  4. Wow. Well, at least you helped us explore A to Z of Fiji. There is that. Good luck with packing, moving, resettling, etc. You make me tired, Nila. I can't fathom the thousands of miles you've moved in such a short time frame. To keep the world balanced, I am staying right where I am! Best of luck and I'm sure more good poems will come out of this next phase.

    1. Fiji's natural beauty is beyond gorgeous, so yeah, I'm pleased and grateful that I was here and that I covered it for this past A-Z. You just made me realise I've moved three countries in the past three years, gosh!...I'm tired too, just want to put my feet up somewhere and zone out for a few years glad you are staying still and balancing my world. <3

  5. Hope your home going/coming is peaceful and you get to put your feet up and your husband finds something to do :)

  6. Hi Nila - hadn't realised this was going on for you; I can understand the pleasure in being there (Fiji) for a year - I appreciated my year in Canada, that was punctuated with autism - which made life interesting, as I didn't know or understand ... I learnt, but I'm glad to be home.

    So much change - I feel somewhat lost with all the techie things - no husband, so that solves that problem. Life is interesting to put it mildly ... take care and now I must read more from you! Life is life ... at the moment ... cheers and with thoughts - Hilary