In my first year of architecture, our Sir asked us to draw something from our childhood. Some distinct memory that has remained in you. And I drew a desert. A scene so distinct in the depths of my mind.
You know, I have always heard people talk about the greenness and the freshness that’s our little Kerala. How that colour fills eyes of the expatriates who after the numbness of the desert feels gladly engulfed by the trees and the greens when back home.
Deserts and that golden yellow of the sand, it was a constant in my life. Till I turned 17. Everything had this goldenish tinge. From the sand, to the buildings, to the people, to the sky at times. Everything.
It was numb. But it was home.
Now when I hear of the struggles of staying put in a place that I once called home, a place thats metamorphising into something that we fail to recognise, I realise how much life has changed, how much home has changed. And how much our feelings change. Dissolve.
When asked from where I hail, I used to answer “Riyadh” in my heart. It would sound arrogant to some, ‘typical NRI attittude’ they would say and then talk about how we had the priviledges, how we had the money. Never realising the reality. Of suffocated breaths. Of lost dreams. Of heartbreak over homesickness.
How much do you know about us?
Us, who calls a place that we may never be able to see again, home.
Us, who already left behind everything that we knew, the walls that watched us grow, oh, and the deserts.
The deserts where the stars shined brighter than anywhere else. For us.