Back home, I live in a place were people smile at you all the time. They wave at you and greet you and that is all. No conversation, no further questions of how you are doing. That is what they did to me. Today I heard that we were the kind of family which was not to live in this area. I heard through gossips and whispers each time but never this loud. I guess I had forgotten how indiscreet my people could be. I was on my way to my mother’s funeral. It had been years coming here to Tlharelamosu. Home was not home anymore. My mother was not there.
I saw my father under a Mosu tree. He had not been scared by the thorny bush like I was, ever, even now when he is older. His long beard is carefully combed and he still wore his shirts ironed and black polished shoes, shiny as ever. He looked like he would any day. He is 76 now, it has been 7 years since I went to Medical school in America. I contemplated this with every step I took towards him. It was like treading on sacred ground. I got into the yard and reality started to set in. There was a big green tent and a congregation of people. It was like I was getting into a lecture at university. Before I entered the yard, I went to greet him. He had his smoke pipe in one of his hands.
He told me he had no right to cry. That one only cries when they know they could have helped the situation. And as he spoke, I searched his face and he was broken. But even so, no tear came out. So I thought, “why would I cry?”