Loving words by a migrant
Never in my faintest dreams had the idea ever occurred in my adolescent mind that one day crossing all borders I will land up in Singapore. I used to feel exiled at first for it was a far stretch from the empty, open green fields, the over flowing ponds in monsoon to the city of high risers. Here every day I learn something new. The learning never ceases even though it’s been quiet some years living here.
I have learnt to take adversities in my stride and never give up. Keep on hoping amidst disappointments and despair.
My tears have often dried up writing letters to my mother and all I have managed to scribble down between blotted ink and a pen is how she doing.
The gastronomical fare once seemed to be not good enough for me; now I have learnt to stomach everything without regurgitating it.
The alarm calls of my mother’s loving voice, my father’s caress have all been lost for here I am the wakeup call of the Sun. The brat who used to disobey all rules and run to play in the rain with his friends now runs to earn money so that he can pay off the loan that coming here cost him. Every penny comes with the warning of tomorrow’s expense.
The pampered boy who would avail a rickshaw every time he stepped out of home now runs on his two feet come sun, come rain. Missing out work even for a day gives him sleepless nights that the coming salary will bring less money. He has learnt to forget that he has worked six days a week from dawn to night. He has changed. The boy sheltered behind his mother’s love now dares to live miles out in a foreign country being sheltered by nothing. He is alone and vulnerable in a foreign soil with no one to call his own.
Today, after many years I undertake this voyage; the only difference is I do not go back to my motherland as the innocent boy I had left it to come here. In 2013, 12th March I had left my soil. Since then many changes has shaped my nation in a different way. I am greeted by a wide canvas of unknown faces that have taken up important places in this life of mine. Some known faces have left me and perished due to old age, sickness and heartbreaks. Many hearts flutter and many have already flown away.
This voyage is special for me. So many people to meet, so many school friends to catch up with. Some official meetings to be taken care of. The foreboding thought at the back of my head – God knows when I will get a chance to return again. Let’s make the most out of this trip. The essence of my country threatens to upset my travel schedule. What if there’s a road jam? What if I do not reach on time? The ‘What Ifs’ list is endless yet there are no instant solutions which spring up in my mind.
A fond old friend needs to be paid a visit. The old banyan tree in the middle of nowhere where all is quiet. Slowly as the sun descends and the chirping of the crickets start buzzing the warm evening air, the sweet smell of the exhausted earth fills up my nostrils, the small mosquitoes that never seem to leave me alone no matter how many smacks I give them…. Alas! A place on this earth where I can come and stay as long as I want, no questions asked.. I have to pay a visit to that place.
And with hopes of returning to my other home, this foreign land that has taken me into her bosom and made me grow up, has shaped into a different being, has made me so much more that I ever hoped to become…I hope I get to see you again dear.
Rasidul Islam Jewel
WSH Coordinator, S K Express shipbuilding Pte Ltd