You stay home your entire life wishing that you were somewhere else. And when that does happen, you enjoy every bit of it. While you immerse yourself in understanding the new world there is a tiny part of you that tends to take you back home.
A lot of things from the moment I wake up have changed since I came to Stockholm. (I no longer have my own bathroom!) My niece and nephews don’t bang on my door asking me to open it at 5am. I no longer have “parathas” for breakfast because its too much work. I no longer go through the lectures I have to deliver, for I don’t teach medical students and military nursing students anymore, rather I check what I will be going through in class as a student.
I am not driven to my institute and it is not 5 minutes’ drive away. In fact I get on a bus to get to KI. By the time I am on my way back home it is not that late but pretty dark. Lahore was always bright and sunny. A little too sunny. Sunny enough to burn your skin most of the year. While the temperature is a reprieve, which can get to 45 degrees in the summer, you do miss the sunlight. Its like the world knows no balance.
Stockholm takes a breath as did Lahore when evenings set in. Some things are the same everywhere like the city calming down after a day’s work. But I no longer sit next to my father reciting the Quran while he watches BBC news in the evenings now. I don’t wake up during the night and see him praying in his room. I haven’t had a chance to have a heart to heart with some my friends who I know are equally occupied with work or family.
Those are the things I miss. But what I miss the most is visiting a beloved someone in the graveyard and hearing the call to prayer.
Moral of the story. A part of you will always long for something you could have and then for something that you used to have.