Home | Jambo Paulo - Jambo Mykoli

October 27, 2013

49 - Return To Nairobi

...Whenever during scripture lessons I asked question to which the teacher had no convincing answer, I contested the matter. Invariably I was sent off to the resident priest, whose solution to the problem was to crack my hand with a thick round ebony stick...

Kersi Rustomji continues his must-read account of his early days in Kenya and India.

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October 20, 2013

48 - In Kisumu - And Search

...She then asked my name and where I lived. As I wrote it, she observed I had only one arm, which was not readily noticeable as I wore my raincoat all the time. She gave me a puzzled look, pointed to a chair, and told me to sit, while she went into a little office. I saw her talk to the man behind the desk, who looked at the sketch she held, and then raised his head to look at me. He then picked the phone, nodded his head as he talked...

A great runaway adventure is about to come to an end.

Kersi Rustomji continues his entrancing account of his early days.

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October 13, 2013

47 -To Nairobi

...Giraffes galloped away as the train sped by while zebras stood about with heads turned over the rumps to watch the train, and herds of impala and Thompson’s gazelles grazed unconcerned. Sometimes when the train went past a large grove of tall acacia, the loud sharp shrills of the cicadas filled the air over the sound of the wheels clacking...;

Kersi Rustomji continues his wonderfully engaging account of his early days in East Africa and India.

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October 06, 2013

46 - The 51 Take Off

...When I was sure that granny was fast asleep, I changed into trousers, pocketed the money, and collected an extra shirt, my raincoat, a hat, and my fountain pen. The extra shirt and the raincoat were to keep me warm, for I knew that what I was about to embark on, would get me cold...

Kersi Rustomji tells of leaving home to become an explorer.

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September 29, 2013

45-The Dhows

"My favourite season in Mombasa was the Northeast monsoon when the ocean-going dhows from Arabia, the Gulf, and India began to arrive,'' writes Kersi Rustomji, continuing his entrancing autobiography.

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September 22, 2013

44 - Zamani

...Granny described and talked to us of the European passenger alighting at the Old Port. She talked of the women in long thin, frilled dresses, with bonnets and carrying a parasol and of the men in khahki or white jodhpurs, shirt and a tunic with pith helmets...

Kersi Rustomji continues his richly-remembered life story.

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September 15, 2013

43 - Granny

... Every evening she put on her best sari, donned her stout walking shoes, and with her ivory handled ebony walking stick, made her way to the Goan Institute, her club. Here she met her lady friends...

Kersi Rustomji recalls his granny Mithibai who was born in Sakkar, in the Sindh province of India in 1888 but later moved to Kenya.

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September 08, 2013

42 - Mr. Burjorji The Doyen

Kersi Rustomji tells of his grandfather who did a great deal to increase the enthusiasm for cricket in Kenya.

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September 01, 2013

41 - Mombasa

...With an empty bottle balanced on the head and another in hand or in a basket, the women wrapped in very colourful khanga, a sarong, made their way to their local duka. A pound of maize meal, an onion, a potato, or two, a small tin of tomato paste went in the basket, while an ounce of cooking oil and half a pint of kerosene went in the bottles...

Kersi Rustomji has vivid memories of the Kenya port town. Mombasa.

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August 25, 2013

40 - To Kenya

Kersi Rustomji and his family return to Kenya.

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August 18, 2013

39 - In Danger

Kersi Rustomji recalls the danger he was in on India's saddest day.

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August 11, 2013

38 - The India Stay

...Then the loudest explosion I had ever heard blasted the air. It shook the ground and I could feel the thud in my chest. Startled I jumped and grabbed my cousin, who laughingly explained that it was only the field guns firing a salute. When it finished I was still trembling from the excitement of it all. It took us almost three hours to return home through the teeming multitude. All this was the greatest experience for a ten year, small town boy...

Continuing his vivid account of his early years, Kersi Rustomji recalls Indian independence day.

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August 04, 2013

37 - To India and the Voyage

Kersi Rustomji and his family leave Kenya and sail to India.

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July 28, 2013

36 - A Fall

...It was my turn to fling the stick, so I chucked it, grabbed a branch, and swung onto it. As I rose to stand on it, there was a sharp crack, the branch broke, and I fell with it...

Continuing his engaging account of growing up in East Africa, Kersi Rustomji tells of a life-changing accident.

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July 21, 2013

35 - Sad Days

Kersi Rustomji tells of the loss of a beloved brother.

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July 14, 2013

34 - Our Cave

...The real thrill for us was what we called our cave. In the rocky outcrop at the rear of the village, there was a wide overhang about twenty meters high. The overhang went in a few meters, and provided shelter and a lookout, for the village boys who tended the clan goats...

Kersi Rustomji continues his enchanting must-read account of his boyhood days in East Africa.

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July 07, 2013

33 - An Invitation And A Town Party

...All the school kids who had gathered at the front called out, waved, and whistled, as did the people behind them. There was a whole sea of town’s people stretching before us and the cheering was like at a soccer match...

Continuing his enchanting account of growing up in East Africa, Kersi Rustomji recalls one of the most important days in his life.

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33 - An Invitation And A Town Party

...All the school kids who had gathered at the front called out, waved, and whistled, as did the people behind them. There was a whole sea of town’s people stretching before us and the cheering was like at a soccer match...

Continuing his enchanting account of growing up in East Africa, Kersi Rustomji recalls one of the most important days in his life.

Continue reading "33 - An Invitation And A Town Party" »

June 30, 2013

32 - Empire and Gandhi

"Growing up under the British rule had some strange influences on us. At school, we had to study both the Indian history as well as that of the Empire. We had to learn two languages and literatures, English and Gujrati, an Indian language, as well as all the other subjects, all taught in English after third grade. Similarly, two different cultures and thoughts influenced us. As British subjects, we did all the right things, befitting loyal subjects of the Empire,'' writes Kersi Rustomji.

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June 23, 2013

31 - Mandir And Masjid

...All celebrated and enjoyed the various religious festive days, except the Europeans, who attended only the very formal gatherings, to which they were invited. Everybody else joined in, irrespective of his or her faith...

Kersi Rustomji, continuing his delightful account of growing up in Est Africa, tells of different faiths and their celebrations.

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June 16, 2013

30 - Saidia Maskini

Continuing his enthralling account of growing up in East Africa, Kersi Rustomji recalls alms seekers who camde to the house.

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June 09, 2013

29 Mandazi and Maskin

Continuing his entrancing account of his boyhood in East Africa Kersi Rustomji tells of tasty treats.

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June 02, 2013

28 - Pillipilli bin Pesa

...there came a loud bang from the house, and a few moments later Dhall Singh emerged with the thief. Like a listless doll, loose limbed, the intruder was dangling against Dhall Singh, who had the poor fellow in a very tight bear hug...

Kersi Rustomji continues his enthralling account of growing up in East Africa.

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May 26, 2013

27 - Simba the Lion

Continuing his life-enhancing account of growing up in East Africa, Kersi Rustomji recalls how he was taught the arts of hunting and trapping.

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May 19, 2013

26 - Ngoma And A Hunt

"On the last Saturday of every month, all the tribal people working in or around the town held a ngoma, a night of dance and songs,'' writes Kersi Rustomji, recalling his early days in East Africa.

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May 12, 2013

25 - Mtumbwi Rides

...The fishermen who owned the canoes were very friendly and allowed children to play on the anchored or tied boats. We used these to fish from as it allowed us to get farther from the shore....

Kersi Rustomji continues his enchanting and never-to-be-forgotten account of growing up in East Africa.

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May 05, 2013

24 - The Water Pump

...There was intense excitement as well some fear as we peered into the room below. We could see the big wheel on the old rusty machinery and some papers on the floor. Embedded into the wall beneath us we saw metal rungs and we jostled about unsure if we wanted to climb down. Finally, I agreed to get down first and look around...

Kersi Rustomji recalls with vivid and entertaining accuracy his boyhood experiences in East Africa.

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April 28, 2013

23 - Wapi Yezdi

...Dad arrived on his bicycle and after we explained about our search, he decided to call the Bicycle Brigade. He went to make phone calls to various volunteers to muster, as a small crowd of mums, servants, and townsfolk, milled outside our place. Dad took me on the rear carrier to show him all the spots we frequented...

Kersi Rustomji, continuing his fascinating life story, tells of the day his younger brother "disappeared''.

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April 21, 2013

22 - Visitors

...Once while cutting reeds along the lake we came across a hippo browsing along the shore. Very quietly we retreated and left it browsing the lush grass...

Kersi Rustomji continues his fabulously entertaining autobiography.

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April 14, 2013

21 - Mnazi Na Mtende

...As he cut off the bunched coconuts from the thick stalk, all the kids helped in filling the gunny bags, and loading the donkeys. At the end, this earned us all a coconut each. The top cut open we drank the sweet liquid but getting at the flesh was somewhat hard...

Kersi Rustomji continues his deliciously entertaining account of growing up in East Africa.

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April 07, 2013

20 - Guruguru and Gecko

...One did not miss spotting a guruguru as it has a brilliant orange head and neck, and a blue red-brown body. When it runs it rises high on its legs, head high for better vision, and tail held upright for better balance...

Kersi Rustomji brings us another episode of his wonderfully well-described account of boyhood in East Africa.

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March 31, 2013

19 - Azgar Azgar

... One early afternoon, a group of us were on the mulberry tree swaying and chomping the berries, unconcerned about anything else. Suddenly someone cried out azgar, azgar, python, python, and everybody became very still...

Kersi Rustomji continues his captivating account of growing up in East Africa.

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March 24, 2013

18 - Kwa Pelele

...Here I watched the vervet monkeys as they returned from the lake. They bounded from tree to tree, as they moved to their night perches higher up in the hill, safe from the prowling hyenas. Tawny kites circled prior to settling on their trees, while the black and white dinner suited African crows crowded other trees amid a loud cawing, arguing, and pecking about their roosts....

Kersi Rustomji continues his wonderful account of growing up in East Africa.

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March 17, 2013

17 - Usoga and Rusinga

...As the steamer slowed to approach the pier, the ‘telegraph’ bell rang out. The screw churned white foaming water, which eddied around, swirling flotsam and debris. On the foredeck the officers, all British and in white naval uniform, supervised the native crew...

Kerso Rustomji, continuing his captivating account of growing up in East Africa. tells of the excitement generated by the arrival of the lake steamers.

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March 10, 2013

16 - Tramping The Town

...Whenever shunting was in progress at Mwanza station, we lined up for a ride and if Pritam Singh was not very busy, he picked us up and we went back and forth over the shunting yard, and we even stoked the boiler with firewood...

Kersi Rustomji continues his account of happy boyhood days in East Arica.

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March 03, 2013

15 - Boat Races

"Between the bridge and the mouth of the river was the course on which we raced our boats. The races were run during the dry season only as then the river was low and flowed slowly. During the rains it became a brown muddy torrent and very dangerous....''

Kersi Rustomji continues his nchanting account of growing up in East Africa.

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February 24, 2013

14 - Stuck Fast

...I tried to get to another branch across from me but that too was out of reach so once more I tried to reach down but I just could not get a foothold. I panicked at the thought of not being able to climb down...

Kersi Rustomji, continuing his delightfully entertaining autobiography, recalls the day he was stuck up a tree.

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February 17, 2013

13 - The Mwanza Trees

...Those who awaited their turn behind the jumpers swung the branch as hard as they could to make it more exciting. One evening as we jumped off one after the other, more kids arrived and clambered up.

There was a tight fit on the branch now, and it swung up and down even more with all the weight. We were having great fun when in the midst of all the noise we heard a loud crack...

Kersi Rustomji continues his enchanting account of growing up in East Africa.

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February 10, 2013

12 - Magar Hei Magar Hei

...Very quickly, I turned around and striding as fast as I could, splashed out of the water and onto the shore. Wet all over and panting I asked them where the croc was and they pointed at the wood I was heading for. The snout of a crocodile, which looked like a wet piece of firewood, poked out of the water...

Kersi Rustomji continues his enthralling autobiography.

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February 03, 2013

11 Mamba the Crocodile

"The lake was a favourite with all of us as we fished and played in it, but with great care because of the crocodiles.'' writes Kersi Rustomji, continuing his deliciously absorbing autobiography.

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January 27, 2013

19 - Our School

...All this proceeded to the rhythm of numbers like an army exercise. As the teacher called out he walked among the lines and the slackers received a swift cut of a cane on the calf. Sometimes we had to do push-ups for not being sharp enough...

Kersi Rustomji recalls his school days.

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January 20, 2013

9 Kilima Ya Bunduki

...However, there was not a kid in town, who was brave enough to go up the same track in the dark. For it was reputed to harbour a giant multicoloured ghost. This ghost was taller than the trees, changed colours, and one heard it crashing through the bushes in the night....

Kersi Rustomji continues his vivid and engaging autobiography.

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January 13, 2013

8 Saidia Askari Saidia

"One evening I was chatting away with the askari on duty as I sat in a cassia tree near the garage door. When the monkeys came down to feed and hang in the gum trees, I followed them. A troop of about fifty vervets including some babies, were gambolling in the trees,'' writes Kersi Rustomji, continuing his enchanting autobiography.

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January 06, 2013

7 - Kilima Nyani

"During the day, the monkeys came down to the open ground of the park to feed on crickets, grasshoppers, and other things, and swing on the tall gum trees. Sometimes the monkeys created a bit of toofan, mischief, in the shops and even the court,'' writes Kersi Rustomji, continuing his wonderfully vivid account of growing up in East Africa.

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December 30, 2012

6 -The Mwanza Rocks

...I stood by the water edge and checked these rocks very carefully because I did not want to fall in the lake. On the one hand, I did not then know how to swim, and worse, there were all the crocodiles...

Kersi Rustomji continues his fascinating and highly readable account of growing up inEast Africa.

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December 23, 2012

5 - Our Toys

Kersi Rustomji, continuing his engaging account of growing up in East Africa. tells of childhood toys, most of them self-made.

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December 16, 2012

4 Our Games

"We played a variety of games according to the fad or seasons,'' recalls Kersi Rustomji, continuing his vivivdly entertaining account of growing up in East Africa.

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December 09, 2012

3 - Some Odd Bods

"Mwanza, like many other towns, had its share of odd fellows and the somewhat eccentric. There were three, who were particular favourites of the town kids, though one of them was rather dangerous because of his violence.'' writes Kersi Rustomji, continuing his gloriously entertaining account of growing up in East Africa.

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December 02, 2012

2 - Our House

...When I had had enough, with brown sticky face, hands, and a streaked shirt, I opened the door and stood back. As she surveyed the mess on the floor, I shot past her, out the back courtyard and up a guava tree. After she had cleared the mess she came looking for me but I would not climb down...

Kersi Rustomji continues his his vivid account of hius early days in East Africa.

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November 25, 2012

1- Early Days

...On sixth of January 1936, my mummy, your grandma Jeroo, went to the Mulago hospital in Kampala, Uganda. It was late in the evening and I had started mischief in granny Jeroo’s tummy. At exactly five minutes past six on the morning of the seventh, I was born and cried a lot because I had my bottom smacked...

Kersi Rustomji's launches into his wonderfully vivid autobiography.

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November 18, 2012

A Greeting In Swahili

Today we begin the serialisation of Kersi Rustomji's vivid memories of his early days.

Kersi grew up in East Africa. Jambo, Paulo, jambo Mykolii - hello Paul, hello Michael - is a greeting in Swahili, and in Gujarati the language the Parsis speak, Kem Che Pol, Kem Che Maikl, means how are you Paul, how are you Michael.

He says his book tis for"My people the Parsi who, like the elephant, are survivors and a race with long memories.''

But Kersi's story is for all those who enjoy a good read.

The book is dedicated to Zarathustra Zoroaster and all the enlightened souls who came to show the Path.

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