I walked slowly and seemingly back in time. The same ochre red buildings, the same pitch black asphalt roads, heck even the same mango trees lined them. There was barely anything different, barely anything that had changed. Kids zipped past on their scooters as seniors hung around their regular benches. Yet so much had changed in the past 9 years since I had last been here. After all, 9 years isn’t a small time, in this ever changing world.
It all came rushing back, as I turned right into the tiny street, a literal memory lane. Slurping on an iced coffee, a bead of sweat rolled down my cheekbone, while the equatorial sun shined in all its glory. I had assumed I had forgotten everything but lo and behold! I had locked it all somewhere so deep within my brain, I myself had no clue where! But the key to unlock this Pandora’s box full of memories, now lay in front of me in plain sight. Memories of an entire childhood flooded, as I stood rooted trying to take it all in. It hit me somewhere so deep I couldn’t hold back as my eyes watered. The hours spent on the court there after sunset, the slides, the swings and what not. It was too much to take in at once. The spot where I once tripped and broke a leg, the zebra crossing, my school bus stop, all such insignificant things yet so precious. It felt as if nook and cranny of this place had a memory waiting to be explored, almost like a video game. I kept walking, and with each step a new incident unveiled itself. Alas, I proceeded towards my block. Drenched in sweat, I took my time, capturing all of these memories for who knew if I’d ever come back again.
A person in their lifetime, often has multiple places they’d call home, but there’s often one place so deep within their heart, that they never realize that a part of them stayed back. This place was my first home. The home I spent my formative years and on returning it seems that I, as a mere child, never truly said goodbye to it. As a young boy I’d left it all as it is, too naive and too sad for any disclosure. Getting a shot at redemption was amazing. A dream come true. That part of me is finally at peace for it had this precious opportunity. To once again go back before it was too late. Before I had forgotten everything, and this blissful neighbourhood was reduced into nothing but a tiny insignificant blimp in my life…