Lunch conversation at Chez Madame La Rose revolves around love. It seems that on Rodrigues island no one ever tires of this topic. I guess its no surprise really, since any human being who slows down to Indian Ocean island pace and finds a point of stillness will inevitably realize that love is the reason for being.
We’re sitting on a small garden terrace awaiting the traditional Rodriguan delights from this home style kitchen and the general tone of our chat takes a course towards love lost. Over a sliced octopus salad with spring onion and vinaigrette, Jean-Paul, Madame la Rose and I talk about past and current relationships and laugh off all the bullshit that is out there.
We make the following conclusions:
1) Too many people are rushing after money and in the process miss out on opportunities in life that could have brought true happiness.
Lesson: never make decisions based on money.
2) Others are so damaged from past hurts that they are unable to open their hearts again and instead go around spreading the pain.
Lesson: there could be even greater happiness out there for those with the courage to take a risk.
3) People lie, creating illusions in order to gain a false sense of control and take advantage of others.
Lesson: don't trust anyone until you have a good sense of their character.
4) We just don't love ourselves enough to stand up to constant rejection and in the process become needy and desperate.
Lesson: we have to realise that we are unique and amazing and if someone chooses to walk away its their loss.
We sure manage to make a mockery of love on this earth. Divorce, deceit, porn, oppression and instant sex – people steal each others lives for their own personal pleasure. I’m sorry for highlighting this bitter truth but perhaps I've just seen too much. The romantic in me just doesn’t get it. I’m tired, as tired of being alone as Madame la Rose and just as haunted by disappointment and unreciprocated love.
For today we find comfort in the rich and spicy grilled fish with tomato sauce and relish the red beans with basmati and mashed pumpkin. The garnishes of fried aubergine and chili paste provide the perfect little rush of flavour. There sure is a bit of love in good food and long baths. And then there is that lullaby of a view that is the Rodrigues lagoon, a sight to soothe sore hearts and provide a vision of hope for the future.