Sensible answers, embarrassing truth


I generally avoid mentioning that I’ve lived and worked in assorted places in the first world. If I do, I’m inevitably made to explain my self. Essentially why I didn’t prefer places without potholed roads, checkpoints, terror attacks and reliable electricity by moving here?Β  I have a well crafted “sensible” answer from a repertoire fine tuned to cover audiences of any social strata. It explains everything, even gestures to a distant departure to placate puzzled faces. The truth is simpler, intangible and socially embarrassing.

Long time ago – before leaving for university in-fact – aboard a chariot without air-conditioning baking in the afternoon gridlock of Thimibirigasyaya junction, I was filled with a profound sense of being at home. Never forgot the preciseness of that feeling. Over the years I got to know cities on 3 continents quite well, but they have never had the feel of home. Never came close.

Every time I sit seat belted on the approach path to back to Colombo, with the fluorescents glittering like diamonds through the coconut trees outside the window, the feeling reaches up and hits like cold water.

Now it comes back at mysterious moments that are oddly comforting. When pulling out of a check point. When overhearing yet another moan about the state of the country. When sitting in yet another government office for yet another paper to be signed, stamped, and issured (while everyone else seems to panic about me). When sitting in traffic (at least the chariot’s got air-con now) or when the lights go out (again).

Don’t care if this is sentimental (perhaps it is but at this moment I can’t be expected to objective can I?).

Yes I live in the “turd verld” but its home. And yes I do write long sentences when the mood takes me.

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13 thoughts on “Sensible answers, embarrassing truth

  1. I, also have lived in many differnet places, happily so, too.
    However, there is nothing like the seduction that is ceylon.
    the soft breeze as you step on the tarmac (now that has changed I know) but it was the most captivating first introduction, the ceiling fan overhead whirring me gently to sleep, the extraordinary trips out of town to the north south east and west, this and much more add up to my feeling of home. there is no other place like it. all nostalgia, I know. I embrace progress am not afraid of it:- but for the first time in my 44 years, I feel disconnected from here. and that is a scary feeling. The familiar is becoming unfamiliar. However, I am hoping that this feeling is temporary, and that this too will pass.

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  2. err…is this me blogging from the future?:)

    the coincidences are uncanny, right down to Thimbirigasaya junction…but then I live right there so I guess thats no t such a big deal…but the three cities? hmm…

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  3. know exactly where you’re coming from. couldn’t live anywhere else in the world. only thing is, i don’t see what’s embarrassing about it!

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  4. I feel remarkably like that too. Although I prefer the daytime descents myself. The nearly unbroken sea of green from a few thousand feet up is oddly comforting.

    Unrelated but mad mad props on your use of the title attribute in anchors. I wish more people (including myself) did what you do.

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  5. Wow never had this many comments on a post b4! πŸ˜€ Guess midnight blogging must be leading to something good..

    So taking it from the top:

    indyana: Thank you πŸ™‚ Always good to get postive feedback πŸ˜€
    ct4peace: Glad you like it & Welcome back πŸ™‚ Many thanX for those tips about handy OSX apps
    nazreen: Know that feeling too. Felt that way in 88-89 when my father decided that things will collapse Polpot/Cambodia or Saigon style and sent me out of the country. But as with all such sensations it was fleeting.
    N: That IS Creepy. Maybe that juction has some odd feng shui.. Its actually 6 cities on 3 continents πŸ˜‰ (not to bragg though its unavoidable to be seen as doing so 😦 )
    ddm: I know πŸ™‚ but its those “aunties & uncles” from out west or down under who have “done well”. (We all know the type). Then there are the poor chaps who are dreaming about getting to the middle east no matter what the cost. Too draining to explain the inexplicable to them.
    drac: Happy to know that I’ve struck a cord πŸ™‚ Nearly all my flights in and out of Sri Lanka have been eastwards (via hubs like Singapore etc. I think in “those days” (pre air raid) eastbounders were mainly flown in at night. Think I did catch 1 flight in during the day but I was so jetlagged out I zzzz ed all the way till the doors opened. Hope you find the title info hand. Its not too hard to add

    Much gratitude for commenting πŸ™‚ Will get the those not on the blog roll add on..

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  6. It’s been many a moon since I’ve been back (5 continents and innumerable cities) and even through all the periods of mayhem and madness I still felt there is no place like Home. And I still do, in spite of the threat of looming insanity and chaos that seems to be the order of the day. Glad to know that I’m not as weird as I thought! Nice post man.

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  7. Happy to find that I’ve struck a cord πŸ™‚ I guess it goes to show that we are not alone as we think we are.

    Much thanks for your comment. Does feel good to login to Cerno and find other voices visiting πŸ˜€

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  8. true true. what really pisses me off is when those aunties and uncles who’ve lived in colombo for a good 30 years, go and live elsewhere, then come on holiday and say “my god how do you ppl live here? the traffic? the heat? the bombs?” ahh throttling is a lovely thing.

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