Years ago the Easter weekend in Kenya was something that many people looked forward too, even those who didn’t celebrate it for the religious aspect. We used to have the Safari Rally every Easter and because of the rains then, the course for the cars was even more exciting.
The routes were treacherous and we would even have legs at night. I still recall how exciting it used to be to buy the newspaper just to see the table of placement, follow the map of the rallying route with my finger that held my bitten nails, and always wonder what Non-Starter meant and why would anyone enter a car in the rally, have the car prepared and then not take off from the ramp.
Dad would have his bag of cameras and lenses all set, rolls and rolls of film was kept handy. Different speeds of film were important and one camera was also loaded with black and white film.
Mum would pack picnics. Back then soda and ice cream were very special occasion treats, so watching the glass bottles being packed into the cooler boxes with ice used to have me and my siblings squealing with delight. The one question in life at that point, if answered positively would just make our day and the question was, ‘May we have our own bottle of soda please?’
We’d drive off up-country and to places we had never been to before. Armed with the newspaper as a route finder I’d pretend to tell my Dad where he ought to go. At that age, it always marvelled me how my Dad knew everything. He still does.
My siblings and I would look out of the car windows and my heart would race crazily as Dad would slow down the car as a cloud of dust with headlights would approach us from the opposite direction and then WHOOSH! Within seconds a car would have passed by and my brother and I would be left arguing at the number of the car on the side because we didn’t see it clearly at that speed or the mud had splashed all over making it impossible for us to see.
Those were the days of celebrating Easter. I have lovely memories built from those days and deeply embedded in my mind. Unfortunately the event no longer takes place over Easter and the rallying circuits and calendars have changed quite a bit so it’s not the same for me anymore.
This Easter I will be keeping you company on East FM so do join me there today and on Monday for extended versions of Dil Chahta Hai and on Sunday from 9am I will be with you on Silsile playing you your favourite retro hits on Kenya’s Premier Asian Mix.
Have a wonderful Easter, be safe and be sensible and kindly do NOT drink and drive.