On returning home

“Everything is the same as before.” Sam said. She sat on the sofa with the rest of us, oblivious of the bookshelf with its broken lock and toppled books standing beside her. Of course, a few years ago this bookshelf had a working lock with all the books arranged neatly to satisfy my need for perfection.

In some ways, nothing has changed. I still don’t have much in common with a lot of people. Or maybe the heat is getting to my head, who knows. I still want to hide away in a room at the corner of my house and read or do whatever it is that I do. I am writing this from that room.

When you go back to a rather large family there’s no room for being unsocial. Now, everyone’s aware that you are tired after more or less 14 hours of travelling. But everyone understandably want to know about your lives, health etc. In the middle of this exhaustion, there’s a joy in seeing all these people that give you energy you didn’t know you had, even to a card holding introvert like me. But eventually this subsides, after a day or two everyone resumes with their routines and all goes back to being the way it was.

I don’t have a home. But I am not homeless either. I just don’t own a place I can call my home. In London, I don’t think my parents can afford to buy a house now. In Bangladesh, we do have a place built by ourselves (many years ago) with some help from my Grandfather, but it was not built on the property that my parents own. It was built for my relatives, i.e. my Uncles and Aunt (I have 8 Uncles and 3 Aunts excluding my Mother) to settle in when we build another house on our property and vacant this one.

My Uncle passed away two years ago. He was around 35 years old. (I had 9 Uncles in total, big family as you can tell by now) My Grandma passed away a year after that. Or maybe it’s the other way round. I can’t keep up with time anymore, everything is muddled up in my head.

These people had an active part in my life, so it’s only normal for me to think of them. But when I remember them, it is usually in a happy sort of way excluding the rare bouts of sadness that arises from seeing someone else’s sorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that different people take loss differently.

My Uncle and Grandma were naturally closer and more important to my Mother. It was harder for her to enter the house in their absence. Usually, Grandma would’ve greeted us as soon as we entered the house and Uncle would’ve picked us up from the airport and fixed my internet and bought all the fruits for us. But not this time or ever again which was felt deeply by my Aunt (who lives close by and was visiting the house because we were coming) and my Mother.

I walked up the stairs to see a house that seemed to have shrunk a little. The massive wooden doors didn’t feel so massive anymore. Everything had an air of ageing and brokenness. I had to keep wearing my glasses to stop everything from looking blurry and strange. It is a haunted house indeed. Haunted by both familiarity and novelty.

The heat was extremely difficult to cope with. It didn’t help that some people were not empathetic to this. Sometimes people think that you are being arrogant or bratty about the heat. Which is of course untrue. Even if you stay in a colder climate for a week, you will understand how difficult it is to cope when returning to a much hotter climate.

It’s much cooler now since it is Borsha here, i.e. rainy season. It’s been raining for the past three days which I appreciate a lot. Thanks God. I have been eating regularly too which is very important as I became really weak during the first two or three days because I didn’t have an appetite to eat nor was it convenient. 

It’s been less than a week so far, I reckon everything will be alright. 

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