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It started with a dream, of big buildings and sky scrappers. A shiny coin, revolving, with the head of a woman, with the slightest smile. A land of presents, happy smiles and lovely people. White, yellow and black were the skins. New chocolates, flavors of ice cream to taste. We were going to live in "Foreign" with Father.
We packed up all our things, said good bye to Father's family of twelve: aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. I waved out to everyone on the street, and kept waving to everyone I saw on the way to the airport. Here I come you chocolates!
It was the airplane that took us, and I saw on the clouds in the sky, pieces of lost jewelery. They glistened with the sun rays that hit them. It made sense then, that that's how people who flew away from this country, to Foreign always came back rich and loaded with presents and chocolates. Not to mention rice cookers.
We met a happy Father, holding his hands out to us. I did not run, in fact I was shy. I hit in the folds on my mother's sari, and watched my brother run out to him. I looked around instead, at Foreign. It was crowded, and it was cold. And it didn't smell like anything at all.
But that was to hide what was to come next. We came out of the airport, unnoticed. Nobody offered to take our bags and my father whisked the trolley away towards the car park. My brother took an empty trolley and drove it behind my father. He was followed by Ma, who told him to be careful and not hit anyone on his way.
I looked back at the airport, and up at the airplane. And then heard my Ma calling, and ran behind her. It took an hour to get home. I'd fallen asleep in the car, the roads were boring and quiet. No hustle and bustle. The the unpacking started, I wished it wouldn't take so fast, the smells of home rushed out with every suitcase that got opened. And as quickly as it came, it disappeared to be replaced by the moist, humid earthy smell of Foreign.
I looked around the house, it was big, but it was only us in it. It then occurred to me that that's why my grandparents cried, when we left. I worried about being fed, when the parents were at work. My Ma seemed happy with Father and her on the couch talking. My brother had placed himself in front of the tv, proudly navigating through the channels of a foreign TV.
I sat on a chair and looked at the wall in front of me. And for the first time since I had that dream of Foreign I thought, of all that I had left behind. This was Foreign. I was here. But what was I to do here? Where were my friends? And the rest of my family? I wanted to step out of the house, but the grill was locked. This was new, our joint family household's door wasn't locked till it was time to sleep. I put my mouth on the grill, and tasted paint. The iron did not taste the same!
I went to the fridge and got confused. Boxes and boxes of food everywhere. Nothing was anything I knew anymore! I could feel the pressure of Foreign building up in my head, the faces of places from memories flashed before my eyes and out came the lone scream and the tears. This was a horrible place to be, I felt. No wonder everyone that went, always came back! I wanted to go back home now! NOW!