The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes

Tripoto
10th Jul 2016
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes 1/1 by Anuj Tikku

On my way to the volcanic lake Tritriva, I had a whole bunch of kids chanting “Mura Mura” to me. At first, I was baffled by the word but then, I grew curious. On further inquiry, I realized that it means “slowly slowly” in Malagasy. I had heard the words from Flaveya when we made love to each other in Antananarivo. They didn’t mean anything then and now they do.

Photo of Lac Andraikiba, Vakinankaratra, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Lac Andraikiba, Vakinankaratra, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar by Anuj Tikku

A rhythmic “slowly slowly” is how you take it here in Africa. Perhaps that is the philosophy of my journey in this country, to take it easy and to take it slowly, that is when you get to taste the real fun out of a place. Take your time! The legend has it that near the lake Tritriva, two lovers, Rabeniomby and Ravolahanta, not unlike Romeo and Juliet met parental opprobrium to their marriage and, in a sad twist, killed themselves by jumping into the lake. They came back in their next life as trees on either bank who grew to be tall.

They are called the “Hazo Malahelo”, a weeping willow, the sad tree and if one breaks a branch or leaf, red fluid said to be the beloveds’ blood oozes out! The branches of each of the trees grew as creepers intertwined with each other to be joined for ever. A tragic love story of undying love was the great legend of the Lake Tritriva. Then there is the complementary Legend of Lake Andraikiba in which one version has a mad man roaming the banks of this river laughing and dancing. One night, he fell in to the river and drowned. Locals say that they can still hear him laughing and even hear his dance during the night.

Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku

To me, both these rivers were enchanting and to have swam in one was an experience. I mean, these lakes are inside volcanic craters and are mineral rich adding to the medicinal quality of the water. I enjoyed Lake Tritriva for the trek up and down as well as around the lake. The trek was exhausting and steep, and half an hour each way. It was almost 4 km up and down. Andraikiba is a much larger lake in size and formation, and is surrounded by rocky hills.

Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku

The sunset here just above the lake is something not to miss and I attempted capturing it in my camera. The sun breaks into so many vibrant colours here and the winter blue sky is a perfect foil as the canvas for these colours.

Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku

The habitation around the lake seems to be agrarian and the landscape is rural. The cock fights are added attractions at these two lakes and one can bet on their favourite cock to participate in the sport.

Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku
Photo of The Meaning of “Mura Mura” and the Legends of the Lakes by Anuj Tikku

All in all, the Legends of the Two Lakes.

Originally posted on tikkustravelthon.in

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