My hometown is where my home is,where my mother is,where my father is and where my sister comes to spend her weekend. Just like I do. I wasn’t born in my hometown. I was born in the next big town,in a big ladys’ hospital. My parents were living in a small house on a mountain when my mother was pregnant. She had come home when she was eight months pregnant with me.I was taken back to the home amongst mountains when I was just one month old.
When I was one year old they came back home. To my home town. A small town just fifty metres away from the sea. I lived here until I was twenty one years old and i shifted to the capital of the country. And I am glad that I did.
Now I come here once a week and spend my weekend. I go to the town which is small but comprises of half a dozen of buildings where you can buy anything you want to live comfortably. This town gets Sun baked by the evening. But also gets soothed by the marine breeze once the Sun is not that harsh upon it.
“We need to go to the town. The festive season is nearby and the shops will be soon closed down for a couple of weeks” my mother tells me.
So she goes to the market (along with comlaining myself). It is the hottest season of the year and I wear a knee length dress. I feel comfortable and kidish in it.
Once we get down from the market,my mother rushes to the nearest shop and I follow her slouching. Two guys leaning to a car look at me and say “hi darling.!”
Enraged,I stop and look at them. They look aghast at my unexpected reaction and slowly crawl back in to the car.
I follow my mother into a grocery store where there are twenty or more varieties of rice and other grains along with all the necessary household items with big numbered discounts.
An elderly,sunburnt woman enters the shop. Although she has enough space to reach the counter without harming me, she hits me with herself and carries herself ahead without even looking at me.
I reach the furthest corner of the shop which is the safest. Then arrives a mother with a kid of most probably three years. She is dressed in a black leggin and a green t shirt which is in my opinion doesn’t look good in her. She is continuously complaining her mother about something and then she sees me,who is cornered and victimized just like her. Then she smiles with me, so do I. Then I make a pouting face and she does the same. While we are all smashed in the crowded shop her little head with extreme but soft curls brushes against my hand stopping my heart for a moment. For a young woman who is in a natural age of getting married and having a child, the sentiments I get are totally justifiable.
Once she has enough of the imitating game with me, she turns to her mother again and complains… “amma..I want to go home”
I naturally reach my mother and whisper “Ammi, I want to go home” in vain.
In the evening when the Sun is setting from the nearby west coast of the country, people in my home town are painted in orange sun rays. My grandmother used to call them “the sun rays of the dragon”
I don’t seem to recall the faces of those who are painted with orange. Nor do most of them. People I know from my childhood have turned to shapes I don’t recognize anymore. May be I may have turned to a shape they can’t recognize too.
They are walking on the road not very busily as I am used to see in the capital city. Some have stopped by the shop where hoppers are made and old friends who accidently meet are talking.
Then several boys from the upper middle class who are better clad in clothes with lighter skin tones probably in the age of seventeen walk towards a gym while some others of the same age have gathered at a record bar.
Our next destination is a supermarket which has the rest of what my mother wants. Since I remember we had run out of sanitary napkins I go to pick one. Being a busy girl who works for almost 12 hours a day, I haven’t had the oppertinity of noticing the latest brands and varieties of sanitory napkins that are in the market. Then a man passes me probably in an age of having a daughter who has the same requirement to buy them, stops and smiles at me. Smiles in a way I don’t understand. Not knowing whether I should be embarassed for the most natural thing that can happen to a girl or I should be feeling guilty for reaching for a product that is marked as taboo, I reach my mother again.
“Ammi I want to go home” and think of a place that is nowhere.