And so it was that Neema went to the Sea. I visited the beach every night hoping to get a glance of the little girl with eyes as big as the moon, and palms as soft as the love of the sun, but she never appeared.
The man from the Sea never visited, and with time I learned that one pearl ‘amani’
My husband, the one who dwells in a mnazi den, stopped coming home and I had the nights to myself again. I sat on my mat, watched the moon and sang myself to sleep. Those were the days when the women laughed into the night, and the children chanted their prayers as the men thought about dawn.
The weavers created the best carpets and mats.
The cooks prepared the best bhajias, kaimati, andazi and kokoto. Those were the days I tell you…but even then Jabali was but a little one, his feet finding their way around the sandy beaches we graced. He had his mother’s eyes, charcoal floating in milk, and his father’s shoulders.
Years later, this little gem would be the one who unleashed a wrath worse than the heat from the sun.