Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun ( Mauritius )

Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun
Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun was born in 1949 in Mauritius. Pushmaotee attended Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal College and later pursued higher studies in Delhi University where she graduated in English.
For the past forty-four years she has worked in secondary schools, seven years of which she spent in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, teaching English in an army school. She completed her PGCE at the Mauritius Institute of Education in 1993. After her retirement, she was a member of the Council of the University of Mauritius for three years. She is currently a reader and editor in the Ministry of Arts and Culture.
She has written one novel Ella which was published in May 2013, Short Stories and Fables published in August 2015, one play entitled Who is Your Best Friend, published in June 2015 and launched by Ministry of Arts and Culture in February 2016. Her poems Why worry, be happy, (July 2017), followed by The Break of Dawn, (September 2017), My Dream (November 2017), She (December 2017), and Bravo Women for Multi-tasking (May 2018) were featured in Setu Magazine. Her poem Dylan Thomas’ Literary Immortality appeared on Poetry and Creativity, in (May 2018).
The Octogenarian
Incessant rain, puddles everywhere,
In an overcast, heavy atmosphere
The high humidity hung overpoweringly,
But the chores had to be carried out weekly.
With laden bags I was coming back steadily,
Gnawing thoughts haunting depressingly,
My load seeming to become heavier,
As I was directing my steps towards my car.
In the distance I saw a small woman, old,
Walking without a wand down the road,
Almost bent double,
But determined and cheerful,
With no dread of old age, no worry,
Looking forward to it as if eagerly.
And enthusiastically,
With the least care or worry.
I started pondering,
If this frail little woman had such a cheerful bearing,
Why was I feeling so cheerless?
Why was I so low in spirit, so tuneless?
What reason did I have to feel hapless?
I felt ashamed of my untoward stress,
Of my comparatively better state, utterly thoughtless,
Making me feel unnecessarily depressed.
Seeing the face of this woman all content,
I forgot the load on my arms almost bent,
And gradually approached.
When I greeted her, she replied,
A serene look conveyed,
And the most radiant smile displayed,
While my mind, already a heap of confusion,
Added with the day’s next hours’ deliberation.
She was neatly dressed in a traditional wear,
Fashioned like that of a young girl was her scanty hair,
With a light, dainty head wear,
Daintily fixed.
A bag in one arm, well tucked,
And in it her umbrella folded.
A clean pair of sandals she wore,
Which light-footedly she bore.
Full of admiration for her love of life,
Her determination to face life, showing no strife,
At the vulnerable age of eighty-seven,
Made my worries look vain.
I thanked God for teaching,
In the few minutes’ meeting,
To appreciate life’s little blessings.
I was reminded of the super centenarians
Being able to see different generations,
Like Nabi Tajima and Violet Moss-Brown,
For their long lives renown.
Surely, high expectations they put aside,
Loving people than the desire to be admired,
And being aware of what we have achieved,
Must have their longevity boosted.
It dawned on me that if we can still move around,
Be independent, do our errand,
Helping the family or friends,
Either reading or with computer games diverted,
And our acquired knowledge passed on,
To the youngsters and beyond,
We can consider ourselves to be lucky,
And thank the Lord for helping us to be happy.
The fear of becoming a burden to our families
Is there, but with our hard-earned savings,
We can stay comfortably in Old Age Homes,
And not worry about being alone,
For after crossing milestones,
We are living on time borrowed,
Lavishly by the Lord bestowed,
So why not grasp what is naturally endowed?

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