Things have changed. And how❗. As I😥 ran around in the morning, hurrying to complete my morning chores, I stopped and grinned at a familiar sight : Kids with😳 sullen faces as they trudged to school, half carrying and half dragging their backpacks behind them. Today, their sulky look was softened by the grace of the weather, a cool breeze, puddles and ☁⛅clouds worked as a reminder of the ⚡rain last night and also as a hope for some more rain in the ☔afternoon.
The once🔫 horrid routine of school life and getting up in the morning, a drone of endless lectures, some enjoyable, some lullabies, the respite of recess and finally the end of it all, the tired albeit happy walk home, suddenly sounded so good and lovely that all my memories came rushing.
I have had the fortune to travel quite a bit in my short life but🔱 Bahrain (🔱Kingdom of Bahrain now) has been my definition of 🏡Home since forever. At times when I see new places or behold the spectres of nature elsewhere, nothing, and I mean NOTHING has been abe to take its place. As a proud 😨ABCD (Abroad Born/Bred Confused Desi) to all ABCDs out there, this one is for everyone of us:
To 🔱Bahrain : A🏡 Home, Always.
I found myself on the top of a🗻 hill one day,
Through winding〰 lanes and scattered sunlight.
The view was astounding, something out of a 📓book,
Yet my💟 heart didn’t quiver, didn’t waver my sight.
Then, I saw an ✨ocean before me, twinkling in the moonlight,
The 🌊waves rolling the shadow of the giant for fun.
It was exhilarating, as I plunged all the way, walking in the water,
A feeling that lasted too long, waiting to be outdone.
Suddenly, it was the first 🏢apartment, my origin of bliss,
🌳Parched trees, 🏢skyscrapers, parks and sand dunes.
I was but 6 again, nonchalant and taken by complete awe,
A makeshift Bahraini, through Azaans and 🎶Arabian tunes.
I watched from the old balcony, my favourite little nook,
As the essence of my forgotten childhood materialised.
The 🌊salty ocean air danced on my tongue, rusty and cold,
Way more pungent and stingent than I had realised.
And then I ventured away to a little hidden pizzeria,
Full of smoked wood, peppers, cheese; glowing and 🌅warm.
Then things got dizzier, as the memories rushed and ran,
I lost my patience and reveled in the emotional swarm.
It was home in 🌇the little bazar and the many cold stores,
The clock tower outside Ashwaq no less than Big Ben.
The view from the 🌆pier one of the best I have ever seen,
Beauty in its barren lands and clustered🌳🌲🌲 orchards 🍀🌱even.
A place where my heart felt whole ❤once, untarnished,
Where there once really was treasure at the end of the🌈 rainbow.
And as reality checks in, I wipe my 💧tears and repeat after Dorothy,
“🏡Home. Oh, there is no place like 🏡Home, 🐶Toto!”
-Shelly Bajwa 💝