A Réduit

Ghindee Lutchmun, la battante.

Boiteuse, elle parcourt le campus de l’Université de Maurice quotidiennement pour vendre ses pistaches pour avoir de quoi nourrir sa famille et payer le loyer. Rencontre…


<<Pistass bouille, salé, grillé.>> Les étudiants passent, indifférents, devant Ghindee Lutchmun. Depuis l’âge de 62 ans, elle vient à l’université avec ses amuse-gueles avec l’espoir d’empocher quelques sous. Aujourd’hui âgée de 65 ans, elle vient toujours parce que sa pension de vieillesse du gouvernement – de Rs 2200- ne suffit pas.


Buvant son café à petites gorgées, elle raconte pourquoi elle fait ce métier: << Mo pena mari. Mo garson maryé, ena trois zenfants. Li tou sel pa kapav roule lakaz, mo bizin travail.>> Evitant les agents de sécurité de l’université qui l’empechent d’y exercer, elle fait le tour pour trouver des clients. Certains achetent pour l’aider tandis que d’autres font semblant de ne pas la voir. 20 minutes de cela, assise au bord de la route, elle arrête une jeune fille musulmane et lui dit <<Asté enn dé paké, narien mo pane vendé depi gramatin.>> Touchée, la jeune fille prend 2 sachets de pistaches et lui remet Rs 10. Ghindee précise qu’elle ne demande pas l’aumône parce qu’elle est en bonne santé, sauf son pied droit qui s’est cassé deux ans de cela.


Repoussant ses cheveux blancs qui lui tombent sur le visage, elle dit qu’elle a perdu son fils de 16 ans dans un accident à Pailles, survenu 14 ans de cela.<< Ki sanla pou donne ou kasse zordi zour. Mo gagne Rs 150 par zour ar bann pistass ki mo ressi vendé. Parfois narnien pa vendé.>> C’est pour cette raison qu’elle préfére la plage de Belle Mare, où elle travaille les dimanches.


Premchand qui travaille à l’université dit acheter les pistaches de Ghindee pour l’aider. <<Parfois mo donne li enn ti kass en pliss, >> dit-il humblement.

Parlant du gouvernement, elle dit qu’il ne peut faire autrement et doit augmenter les prix. Réaliste, elle dit que le pays importe ces produits et que les prix qrimpent sur le marché international.

Avant son marriage, Ghindee habitait Mount, Pamplemousses. Elle s’est mariée avec un coiffeur de Bel-Air et depuis elle y habite. Elle aura 66 ans le 3 décembre et compte continuer le travail tant qu’elle pourra. C’est ainsi qu’elle explique sa vie de battante sur le campus de Réduit.





23 thoughts on “WHO CARES…

  1. Y i wrote this article? Nad sivaramen, our lecturer, asked us to write a newspaper report. in fact it was an assignment n we had to write it in around 2 hrs on topics given in class.
    some of my classmates were rushin to the library, others to the café. I went to la biblio but there was nothin that interested me there (of course). on my way to café i saw ghindee.
    i asked her if i can have tea wiz her? she said no coz she has to sell her pistass.
    ‘mo asté tou pistass ki ena r ou.’ she was surprised but accepted my proposition.
    she talked to me while havin her tea.
    i asked her y she has to work, ‘ govt pa donne ou pension?’ i always thought that old people dont have to work coz they get pension. n that’s y i dont give alms to old persons who beg.
    i was wrong. her son sells vegetables.they live in a rented house coz their house was seized (another victim of sale by levy). she HAS to work coz most of her pension is spent on rent.
    many times wen i saw her, before the interview, i ignored her. no longer. i help her wenever i can.
    surprisingly she s not against the govt for the recent price increases.
    ‘ normal ou pa pou cont govt, ou gagne transport gratis ek pension’
    ‘pa lakoz sa, bizin compran ki pays dan difficulté’
    I could nt include the above in the news report coz i was short of time the day of the assignment.

    the other day i saw another old lady(above 65) sittin near auditorium with raw bananas. as i passed by her, she held my hand.
    ‘asté banane la.’
    i sat next to her n told her that i dont need those bananas.
    ‘mo pena kass pou asté kitsoz pou manzé, lakoz sa mem mo p van sa.’i bought her somethin to eat.
    i was shocked. what the hell is happenin in our country? surely the poor r gettin poorer n the rich richer.
    and these r not isolated cases. recently many parents had to borrow, take loans to pay the exam fees.
    Prostitution, emigration,thefts,murders r all on the rise.ARE WE SITTIN ON A VOLCANO?



  2. Thanx Yaveen…Wil not look at her the same way now.

    I always see Ghindee too…b4 wen i was in 1st year smts i wuld buy some ” pistaches” even if i didnt eat them later on..

    But like many of others I tend to ignore her nw..maybe we’ve been accustomed to her,..always seeing her part of the “paysage”. B4 would feel sad for evryone, would help anyone, give alms to beggars, feel touched by their situation…

    But, honestly ive changed over time. Smts our lives are too busy to make us stop and try to undesrtand others’ suffering. We become more ego-centric n dats hw this society is today!

    Merci yav for making us change our “regard” sur “madame pistas”.
    We can even put a name to that familiar face now : Ghindee Lutchmun


  3. hi yav,

    what can i say? guet lor lagare lenord… 2 brosses pou Rs10, 20lastoplas pou Rs10 and NO_ONE is buying!!!!! and these people are real poor… i do know people at Vallee-Pitot who cook compote bilimbi for lunch/dejeuner/diner… n pa vine dire moi ki fami cot mari droguer!!! i will never believe coz people has too much stigmatised Vallee-Pitot as Quartier-Droguere….

    so, basically, there is a big problem in our system… we, people at P-verte, try as much as we can to help them… but where are these companies with their Corporate Social Responsibility Innovative crap??? Our Textile Industry doesnt have main-d’oeuvre? why dont they go towards these poor people and provide thjem a means to live… that is WORK!

    Soory, but am angry with the system!



  4. Pingback: This is really touching... « Bored? Me too…

  5. Nice article.

    I’ll definitely buy some pistaches from her from time to time now.

    Personally, I don’t know if we can blame the Mauritian system for this situation. Poor people exist everywhere (I have lived in France where there are a lot of SDF).

    In a way, Ghindee Lutchmun is lucky to be living in Mauritius. She can travel freely. She gets a (small) pension from the Government. And she can go to the hospital whenever she feels like it. This is not the case for poor people living in many other country (in USA for example).


  6. thanks.

    i dont no if we can blame the system coz sooner or later we ll be (or we already r) part of it. azordi nou kapav koz gran gran kozé but tmorow wen we have climbed some steps of the social ladder, we ll forget the strugglin class.
    Comfortably seated in ur brand new car, wiz the ac n music on, U WONT SEE PEOPLE LIKE GHINDEE. lets face the truth…


  7. Hi Yav,
    Ur article is really touching. Didnt knw u were so emotional or can i say sensitive to other people’s sorrow.

    I hope that Nad gave u good marks on ur report! 🙂

    Thnx a lot 4 sharing ur views wiz us.


  8. hi beta..

    thats a very touchy article. and a very good work for your reportage. its hard to see how people who need support most (old) have to do so much to live. we are in Mauritius and we shud prevent it become london or newyork. there is still time.. but nothing lies in our hand entirely. the system should act as well instead of spending millions in “nonsenses”

    But i’ll definely buy some stuffs from her from time to time and share to my pupils. they adore these anyways.

    thats nice selman ein wat u did la..

    she gonna get help in many ways from campus stud

    keep it on beta!! diité raho beta 🙂

    nad am sure bought some stuffs with her after having read your reportage. he is such a gentleman.



  9. the marks were pa mal but could ve been better ;-0 .jokin. am satisfied wiz the marks.

    enough wiz this one now.

    we d like to see the other articles written for that assignment . common yr 1 people, publish urs.


  10. eh c mari top ta…..
    tro fiere ke l1 d’entr nu ai u le courage 2publier sn artikle…. ah kan le prochin???!!!???
    en+ c tres ORIGINAL kom sujet… ki orai penser parler de madame ghindee…



  11. really nice article, for a moment i forgot my little brother wrote this, its very professional!! Congrats keep it up… I give you full marks!!! Please buy some pistaches for me…


  12. il est vrai que peut etre un jour oin deviendra: “en gran dimoune…”.Mais to face the truth, jne vais pas faire grand chose pour ces gens il est vrai…mais du point a renier les gens comme ghindee,jne suis pas d’accord!!rien ne m’empecherai de jetter un coup d’oeil et faire un signe de tetes a ces gens la….La vie d’aujourdh’ui n’est pas facile.
    Le systeme est discriminatoire c’est vrai….mais que fais-t-on pour regler le probleme?On ne fait que suivre comme des brebis ce que le systeme nous dicte!
    Pourquoi le ‘riche’ ne peut pas un jour dire un simple bonjour a une personne inferieur!!
    Nous sommes la releve de demain,donc le fait d’avoir pitie de Gindhee ne servira a rien…il faudrait apporter plus de choses concrete et permanente.

    Pour terminer j’aimerai vous faire remarquer que moi j’nai jamais achete de pistache a Ghindee..mais jlui dis toujours bonjour et on parle des fois,le sourire qu’elle a dans le visage quand jlui dis bonjour montre une certaine egalite entre nous…….


  13. Ki dir Acharya

    hey very nice report man, congrats. When i looked at the article, i was wondering who wrote it, and guess who it was, our classmate, Yaveen, keep it up brother!! Am really touched about the life of Ghindee Luthmun. As Avinash said, not only the govt system is to be blamed but there are other factors as well.

    Perhaps i came across Ghindee but didnt know if she sells ‘pistache’. From now, i’ll buy and make all our friends buy ‘pistache’ from her.

    Congrats again Yav, keep it up!!


  14. hi yaveen,

    really nice and interesting article. well as others, im touched by the life of ghindee, she has to face so much hardships in her age. bizin coz ar navin ene coup, guetter ki li capav fer..


  15. C trop triste. And to say, that some people really don’t care. For some even Rs 10 don’t mean anything, and for her, well, it’s her whole world, if I’m allowed to say so. Thank you for sharing.


  16. J’ai ecrit pour ce dimanche que l’economie ne doit pas etre qu’une affaire de statistiques, une science aveuglee par toutes sortes de chiffres, souvent contradictoires. Chaque personne, Ghindee l’illustre dans ce beau reportage de Yaveen (grand lecteur du Matinal!) – qui a ete tres bien note, je le precise -, a sa propre histoire dans la vie. Je vois que la deputee Deerpalsing critique ouvertement Sithanen sur ses chiffres. C’est vrai que c’est reducteur de dire que les riches consomment trois bonbonnes de gaz contre une pour les familles pauvres. Quels chiffres ? quelles recherches ? Passons…Je ne vais pas faire une chronique ici.
    Je voulais vous dire que les journalistes peuvent faire remonter la detresse individuelle de la societe. Ghindee s’inscrit dans cette mouvance. Il faut encourager d’autres ecrits. Il ne faut pas avoir peur de publier, de s’exposer a la critique. Ce n’est qu’ainsi que se forge le progres, du jaillissement des idees, comme l’autre dirait.
    Bonne continuation, je vais continuer a vous lire,
    Amities de Boston,


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