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Away from home

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vancouver, 6.18 am

She is 11,142 kms away from home. In Vancouver. On work. She spent 19 hours in air. Add to it the hours at airports. Total: 30 hours. From home to the hotel. That’s almost the entire lifespan of a dragon fly. She cut through oceans and continents. In between, she hurried into a night and lost an afternoon. Time zones can addle the calendar. Mornings vanish. Moments stretch. Sometimes, dates drag their feet even when 24 hours have ticked by. Flying between continents, she once lost her birthday. She did not grow up that year, she smirks.

From 35,000 ft. countries seem scratched on the map. Tiny specks. In a count of 7 billion. All strangers. At airports. In the aircraft. People mere images. No name. Not even a thought. Just faces. Like walking collages. Or, a triptych put together by an inept artist. She, one of them. Men sleeping with portmanteau for a pillow. Women combing their tangled hair and straightening their eyeliners. Children shrieking and yelping. Depending on how hungry they are. Babies in bassinets. Toddlers in prams. The hurried gait of mules and boots. The swish of clothes. Interplay of bodies. Interchanged emotions. A ritual replaying infinitely.

If her brown mukluk could talk, perhaps it would tell her how much it wants to retire – not walk on frayed airport carpets. Not run through escalators. Not get packed just before take-off in those Business Class blue cloth shoe bags. If her mukluks could, they’d hang their boots. Literally. But they will have to be in her tiny feet. Unless, a miracle happens and she grows wings. Like Pegasus. Her mukluks can then rest in the brown shoe closet. She’d then fly barefoot. Flapping through the candyfloss clouds. Feeling dew on her ankles. The raindrops falling on her toes first. And then quenching the thirst of the slender wheat. And when her feet get sore, she can knock an angel’s door and borrow their silk mules. If only she could grow wings… Like Pegasus.

She is 11,142 kms away from home. She misses home. She likes being home. Most think she lives out of a suitcase. Is a gypsy. A wanderer. A nomad. Wild. Bohemian. So much assumption. So much conjecture. Haphazard guesses of a someone. About a someone. They ain’t know nothing. Of her. About her. Not everyone who wanders is lost. Even gypsies have homes. She never feels she is living out of her suitcase. She is grounded. An absolute home bird. She cuts through the Boho repartee with her pithy one liner: “On a good day, I am as domestic as a cow”. She is. Boho is not her thing. Wild she is not. At home, she wears monochrome dresses. And walks around in a blue flip-flop with pink daisies. She often laughs about the Boho tag. But does she offer explanations to people? Refutes statements? No. She cannot duct tape the world. Can she?

She misses home. Everything lives in her mind, though. Her home. Her love. Her sonnets. Her memories. She carries them wherever she goes. Yet, she misses home. The comfort of her brown bed. The joy of waking up to the early morning ballyhoo of a bunch of chirpy birds. The happiness that someone leaves at her door. The scratchy tone of her door bell. The maltilata tendrils that curl up while she sits in the balcony. The squirrel that cuddles up to her affection. The pigeons that wait for their meals. The maid who reads the Quran for her every Friday. Her black car. Her orange-red duvet. Her beige jacquard cushions. Her grey stuffed koala. Her open terrace. The ledge on which she sits and listens to music. Every evening.

Everything lives in her mind. Her home. Her love. Her sonnets. Her memories. She has brought them to Vancouver. She is happy wherever she is. Yet, she misses home. Away from home, today, she’ll blow the dandelion. It will feel like home. And she'll be happier.


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