Shiu!

Based on a true story from my childhood with few bits made up to bridge the gap in memory

By Shazia Usman

“Shiu!”

“Shiu!”

“Shiu!”

…was the name being screeched incessantly by a shrill voice one fine morning in Totoya Street, Samabula, Fiji. It was either the weekend or the school break because my brother and I had the time (and desire we didn’t possess during school mornings) to run out the door to investigate the source of the voice. Was it a lady in distress we needed to save? Was she calling for her husband, her son?

“Mum, mum…” we called our mother, when we couldn’t find anyone. “There is a lady somewhere outside calling for a “Shiu”. 

“Shiu, the security guard?” she asked. We stared at her blankly. Seems like Shiu was an employee of the Old People’s Home next door to us. 

Shiu came by not long after. “Where is she?” he asked.

“We don’t know.”

“Is she inside or outside?”

Huh?

“Shiu!” the voice called out again. 

“Outside, then.” He whipped around and started walking towards the trees.

Was she hiding from him? Maybe we should not have called him? But SHE was the one calling HIM!

“She is angry with me. She wanted amrood and was so impatient. She took off before I could come back from the kitchen. 

What a diva his wife was, we thought. 

There is movement.

“Oh, there she is! Come Chiriya! Come to Shiu!”

We turn and stare.

Well dear reader, as you might have guessed, Chiriya was not Shiu’s wife. She was his beloved amrood obsessed pet parrot. She was up our mango tree calling out to him or maybe just saying the only word she knew. We never found out. 

Did they reunite? We don’t know because she didn’t fly down.

We hope she flew away to live her best life and only came back to see Shiu if she ever felt like it.

Sorry Shiu. 

*Amrood – guava

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