Where’s your home marker?


A “home marker” (for lack of a better phrase) is a place that reminds a person of their ties to a particular geographical area at a very primordial level. It is the place that you realise Sri Lanka is your true home no matter where you go. All the things you took for granted about the place become vivid in their significance. The litany of things people whine about seem ridiculously superficial even when they are not. The realisation is impossible to describe but brutally apparent when you feel it. The shock of that awareness can make you very happy. Or lather on a layer of saddens over your entire life. I’m convince that everybody either has found such a place or is subliminally searching for it.

I found my “home marker” a while back in the oddest of places: Thimbirigasyaya junction in Colombo (approximate location in the Google Earth image below). For many an unglamorous non scenic place perceived as an obstacle to overcome. For me a place of sudden and deep realisation (odd no?). 

Satellite image of the Asokaramaya generated from Google Earth

Which it hit me in-front of the Asokaramaya gate while stuck in traffic trying to get on to Havelock road . The airconditionless old car I was driving was baking in the 3pm heat. The usual Colombo traffic drama swirled, honked and farted its fumes. I didn’t care because I was washed over with a blissful sense of being at home. In the place where I belonged (sorry John Denver). 

The realisations of that moment are still with me today. That moment has enabled me to find the sensation of home in oddest things – like the ripe orange of the Colombo sunsets. Or morning sun shining through the leaves of the neighbour’s ordinance violating coconut tree and all over my parent’s place. I’m also quite willing to lie about it so I won’t look like some dreamy idiot.

I can ramble on endlessly but I won’t and get to the big question(s): Have your found you “home marker”? If so where is it? It is easier to find it if you have been exiled for long periods – but I doubt that’s a mandatory. The comment box’s is patience is not eternal so don’t be shy.

6 comments

  1. Mine was anything but mundane…a 9 hour bus ride to Moneragala, an hours hike to a village house to set up base camp for my research project. As we bathed in the little stream at dusk, the birds sang, the fireflies twinkled around and I realized I was home.

    That was in 2004, not sure how I’ve stuck it out so long and I’m chomping at the bit until July 18 rolls around!

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  2. Mine is the sound of the first horn at Katunayake Airport. I generally abhor the sound of horns and try desperately not to use them myself but know I am home when I hear that first melodious horn..

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  3. N: Pictures Picture!!!

    maf: That’s an interesting paradox😀 but how can you drive in Sri Lanka without a horn? The one day my old chariot’s horn blew a fuse I was unable to drive. Its like lousing you voice.

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  4. ah Ashokaramaya.. yes of cause thats the temple i used to go as a child and even now.. nice post and yeah I was struck by something like that few days ago.. amazing, the feeling is

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    • Have you gone there in the afternoons? Incredibly peaceful and almost air-conditioned inside the image house. Quite easy to pass out in a snooze – like the dogs who lounge about their. Never seen so many satisfied expressions on the faces of dogs before🙂

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      • yup I have being there in afternoon.. not many come at that time i suppose and surprisingly, given that its in middle of a busy city, quite cool and calm.. matter of fact Ashokaramaya is one of the recognized temples in Sri Lanka

        agreed about the dogs.. talking about dogs they are just satisfied in any place where there is love..😀 eh.. i am one of those who goes “aney….” to any dog😀

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