You know I’ve always had this longing to go back. This bizarre desire to head back to the only place I call home. People may have noticed how I hardly ever call my house here home. It never has been. It has always been after that long 14 hour journey. The place where I truly belong. Into the arms of people who care. People who have nothing but raw love within their hearts. No I’m not saying that people here don’t or can’t love because they do, it’s just different. They get so excited to see me and as I arrive they come running towards me with tear filled eyes to embrace me into the warmest and sweetest hug. People always say home is where the heart is, trouble is, this means that my heart and mind is always 5174 miles away from me.
I want to share with you a very sad story of my experience at home last year when we went to visit.
So one day my dad decided to take me to this old peoples psychiatric home, where women who were mentally disabled were sent to.These were women just found on the streets and taken in to look after. And in all honesty I did not want to go, why? Because I would rather be out with my cousin and his bike (it was a royal enfield how could you resist). So I was rather annoyed and was like no dad I’m not coming, go with mum but in the end I ended up going. From the minute I walked through the gates I felt out of place. I got stared at, they were looking at me as if I was part of a different race. I wanted to leave.
We got a tour of the place and at the end while my parents were talking to the owner of the place I decided to go and talk to a group of women. Well they started talking to me. They were all sat in a circle and as soon as I joined them they were all like what is your name and started bombarding me with questions because they get excited to see new faces. We were just talking and it was all good until I asked them how are you and then one women was like “enniku veetil poganam” (I want to go home)
Another was like “eniku ente mole kananam” (I want to see my daughter)
Those words really did hit me. My heart ached for them because their eyes held nothing but longing within them. To just go home and enter back into normality is all they really wanted. So what did I do? I decided to go back there when ever I had time even if it just was 20 minutes just to see those beautiful faces smiling again.
Now what completely broke my heart was when my holidays were over and I had to come back here. It was time to say my goodbyes. And as I went there to say my byes to them with my box of chocolates (as you do) they were all pretty sad, I mean some didn’t know what was going on but they still came and gave me hugs. But there was this one woman, who I had been real close with, that started crying saying that she didn’t want me to leave and that I need to come back. “Mole nee pogenda ente oru sathoshathinu nee ithu edutho, njan chellapam nee aduthe pravasham varumbol eevidu kanuvilla” (don’t go, take this for my happiness as perhaps next time you come I may not be here). What hit me was the fact that she then gave me a box with all her life savings in. I was completely taken aback like woah I can not take that and I refused to. She worked hard for that. She watched her child die helplessly while he tried to save what little they had for that. And I couldn’t just take that, she needed it more than I did.
I will never forget this experience and what that one woman did. The last words I heard from her will forever be with me. She was begging me to stay. She taught me that respect is to be earned just like love is to be felt not expected. But most importantly to live life for me by helping others because she can see that I am a giver. I live for bittersweet moments like this.
P.S I learned something about myself today in my journey of trying to find who I am I realised that I’m a bit of a social introvert : )
P.SS Happy now J? I finally wrote about India x