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? 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.