Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tiger in the rain

The middle of June in the tropics is hot and prone to afternoon showers. The morning sky might be blue and clear, but by afternoon, clouds pile up. The humidity builds and all of a sudden, rain falls. The English can say of their misty drizzles, "It is raining." In Trinidad, rain falls, bucket a drop straight out of the sky. It was on such an afternoon - after a leisurely father's day lunch when everyone was dozing in a sweaty stupor - that she chose to be born. The mid-afternoon torrent turned into a thunderstorm to drown out the first wails: a tiny girl with curled fists and ears that folded forward like seashells. If she was sleeping on her ears for eight months, they were opening now to the sounds of thunder and drenching dwnpour. A tiger - even a fire tiger - born in rain, according to the Chinese horoscope, needs to be sheltered and protected. After all, cats don't like water.

But this was a cat of a different stripe. Swim she did, learning the strokes as for her natural element. Unconcerned with racing, it was the act of moving through water that was the thrill. The tiger that swims is one to be feared (as water polo opponents must know)!

School was not her thing, but if she needed to pass exams to get out, she did, and with flying colours. Tenacity was her gift. Where others sailed, she dived deep, pushing herself to prove her worth and uncovering qualities of determination and focus and perseverance to shame more gifted peers.

Twenty-four years have passed since that year of the fire tiger, the feisty child with brows that beetle and a lower lip that pouts when disturbed is now a self-possessed assertive and protective soul. . Be wary when you cross her path. Get on the gentle side. May the world teach her patience and that the best laugh sometimes, is when you laugh at yourself.

Happy birthday, tiger child!

2 comments:

  1. I love this... my beautiful niece! Happy birthday, Anjani

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  2. Thanks mom! thanks A. Margaret!

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