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Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Changing Home or Homeland!

Concept of movement of people within or across the territories is time immemorial. Behind these movements we have always had a range of causes or reasons that made people to take the decision to move from one place to another whether it is a home or a homeland. The story doesn’t stop there, in fact this further leads to various consequence of migration and finally the reactions of the whole process. Needless to say, the experience is rich yet painful (in some ways) for everyone.

My childhood memory of our first move was when I was only 6 or 7 years old. The move in itself was from one neighborhood to another within the city. I remembered how much I hated the entire idea because I was going to lose all my friends. The gang of kids I used to hang out with, the streets where we used to play hide and seek, the neighbors - the aunties and uncles - whom we had a strange bond with and almost everything about this place I called my home – my neighborhood. I still remember that I cried so much that my mother finally decided one day to take me to that place - within a weeks' time.

It has been years and years now but my desire to reconnect and relive old memories of my childhood, my neighborhood and the people there grows stronger by each passing day. Last time when I was in Pakistan, I went to my old neighborhood and while taking a walk amid those old tress and houses an overwhelming amount of memories came to my mind. I saw my favorite tree on which I used to climb, I also saw a few trees that were planted by my father still standing tall and strong though he is no more. I remember we used to have our courgette (touree or squash) and cucumber plants wrapped all around them in summers and had to climb up these trees to pick the veges for our mom. This place had huge lawns that my father used wisely for his professional gardening. I remember we had crops of Basmati rice, wheat and peanuts at one point. We had all sorts of vegetables, flowers and plants one could imagine.

On my way, I also saw the playground where my brothers used to have their evening hockey and cricket matches. I went to the main gate of our house, looked around and eventually turned back. This was the house where I had my first ever cat - a grey tabby - who had lost his mom and who afterwards, lived with us for many years...our first animal rescue stint....wow, I have a come a long way for this cause. Every single day that I spent was so crystal clear, so beautiful and seems so fresh in my head as if it was yesterday. It is hard to believe that so many years have passed by, quietly without being noticed. I took one last look around and got in my car to leave. Many of the people with whom we shared our home or our lives have all gone and I felt a sort of sadness, but I knew I still had my memories to hold on to.

When I saw Pedrito crying in this video….I couldn’t stop thinking about myself when I had to go through this same situation...couping to live without my friends, my school, my home and one day my country...it hits hard!

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