Articles tagged with: on the road
Feature by Danah Abdulla of The Yuppie Activist :: I collect postcards. A box I keep at home contains numerous postcards from across the world, many from places I have visited, and some from places I have yet to discover. On my most recent trip to Palestine, my first since 2002, I entered every shop in Ramallah looking for a postcard of a city other than Jerusalem or Bethlehem. I was unsuccessful. And then I thought to myself, what would a postcard of a Palestinian city resemble?
The idea of leaving this place fills with such sadness. I cannot
imagine trading the sounds of chirping birds for the honking and dust of Dehra Dun. Being here has been such an amazing experience, and in many ways what my idealized version of India was before arriving.
Something about this man really broke my heart. He just looked so defeated, and started crying silently in the office. He clearly didn’t have much money, and just sat there for the longest time, tracing his thumb along the desk in front of him, shoulders slumped, lines around his eyes. I eventually had to move my arm from around his shoulders and turn away from because I was close to crying myself.
I keep waiting for the moment when I say: “yes, this is where I’m from, this is what my culture means, this is a connection I’ve been waiting for all this time. Everyone I meet keeps saying, “yes you are Canadian, but you belong to India” – which just heightens the disconnect between what I want to feel and how I actually feel.
These are my people, and yet there is an unreality about being here that occupies most moments. I feel as though time and place are suspended. I never know what time it is, either here or at home, and my head spins from the difference in time – day feels like night, and my stomach growls while I sleep.
Bored by the main street, I wandered off into a labyrinth of back lanes housing street side food stalls and tiny children running around on the dusty paths…Landmarks that I thought I were markings in my head disappeared, and the sun’s rays started to beat down hotter and hotter. I realized there were no street names, and precious few women around.