Le Desir is home to a handful of families, most of whom are related and belong to the Islamic faith. The village, sandwiched between Jacoba Constantia and Anna Catherina, is situated along the Canal Number One Road.
When I visited, Le Desir seemed a gloomy place until later in the afternoon when residents of neighbouring villages arrived to break their Ramadan fast. Men scurried about with buckets of drink and young boys carefully handled basins as they made their way to the mosque, each of them wearing a woven taqiyah (skull cap). Women wore modest apparel and hijab. Everyone was ensuring they got to the mosque before Azaan (the Muslim call to worship).
“My grandfather founded Le Desir,” Ryan Shakoor said. “He had a coffee estate here and employed a number of persons to work for him. His name was Shakoor. The land in the village was given to his children, many of whom have migrated abroad. Some of the land still belong to my relatives while some has been sold or leased.”
Ryan Shakoor spent his early years in the village and migrated with his family to Canada when he was 14. Now he visits every year. Sharing his of what it was like decades before, he chuckled, “I was a troublemaker. My boyhood was great. We had lots of cows and after getting home from school we would go in the backdam and eat cane and mangoes and lots of fruits. I didn’t do much caretaking when it came to the cows except for giving them water and running them this way or that way. We had a cricket field at the back where we played cricket. A lot has changed since then. It was more populated then, Le Desir. There used to be a house here and there, almost on every lot.”….