The joy, is enormous, of remembering the times when the objective was not to finish multiple submissions in a day but to just eat mangoes, play all day and listen to bedtime stories. When I would crave to not go to sleep and want to listen to just one more story narrated by my grandmother unlike now when I crave to go to sleep at a reasonable time without feeling guilty about not working. Oh, such wholesome days they were.
Little do we realise at the time about how extremely cherished some moments will become. When you no longer get to experience the same bond with a person, or feel like a protagonist in that brightly painted kids bedroom or even get to freely play in that garden with a coconut tree and a swing. So vanilla, right? But when you suddenly remember that 10 years have passed, and nothing will ever be the same, oh that craving to just have it all again, to just have another sweet mango cut by my nani. And how can I forget, the space that allowed for it all to happen, for me to feel it just the way I did. My home, that made my childhood, a place for me to feel safe, loved, free and everything that I needed to experience to become who I am today.
Remembering the home in all its forms, in the morning with the chirping of the birds that woke me and my brother up to fill the house with our kiddish chirps, in the afternoon with the lazy sun over our heads reminding us that it was time for a cuddle and a nap, in the evening with its strong sense of enthusiasm that filled us with energy to play our sport, and in the night with its strong walls high up like an armour to make us feel secure and be vulnerable with each other as a family.
Just thinking of my childhood home makes me feel rejuvenated and reconnected with the foundation I stand on: my memories, the pillars of strength next to me: my family, looking through our arched doorway into the future for new beginnings.
Reflecting on these thoughts remembered after a decade have been represented graphically in this novella, a sweet recollection of the essence, ‘ras’, of my childhood and the home that harboured it.
The novella helped me reach an image that I derived from the experiences, memories and feelings I had associated with my childhood home. It was as if the home itself was telling me about who I talked with the most, who I spent my time with, who I laughed with and who made me feel safe enough that I could cry with my head on their shoulder. My home, now that I think about it, was a stage where everyone felt like they were the protagonists. They mattered, people around them made them feel heard, loved and appreciated. It was a stage not for an act but for life to thrive. It was a space for me to be my most vulnerable self and yet feel the strongest.