Nov 25, 2009

Untouchable Home

I don’t know how many of you are being attracted to a place where you were born and raised up. To me, it means a lot. When I was born, my family was living in a flat in downtown area of Yangon. My eldest sister told me that apartment was bought with 70,000 kyats. Then, 20 kyats could buy a dollar. It’s located very close to the ministers’ office where General Aung San was assassinated. It’s in an old building and we stayed at the 1st floor.

By the time I realize about my existence living in that flat, it’s so much crowded and I heard noises. Wherever I looked around, many students were sitting on rows and rows of benches in that apartment. In front of them, my dad was giving his lecture. Yes, my dad used to be a famous teacher who taught private tuition classes then.

It was unimaginable how my grandparents (parents of my mom), my parents and 3 of my siblings and I were living in that tiny unit. I wasn’t aware that was the most valuable time in my life for we could all stay together as a family. As a kid, I enjoyed playing with friends from neighborhood. We played different kinds of games on the street especially on weekend. My grandmother was always keeping an eye on me from a verandah so that she could look after me from being bullied. I think every grandparent has their own favorite grandkid. My grandfather loves my cousin who’s now studying in Malaysia a lot. I think my grandmother loves me more than my grandfather. I don’t know if I were her favorite grandkid though.

I lived in one and only bed room of the apartment sharing with my parents. My mom is a retired teacher. She always praises and comforts me by saying she wanted a bright and smart son and she got me. I don’t know if I really fulfilled her wish but I had never let them down.

After 1990, my dad changed his profession and started a trading company. He was doing well and managed to buy another flat in another township soon after. Then, the place where I used to stay and play became my dad’s office.

From now and then, many changes happened. We moved to several places. My grandparents who are my mom’s parents passed away. 2 of my siblings moved to overseas. My only brother also moved out to start his family. I studied and have been working in Singapore. Only my parents are living in another apartment. My dad has stopped doing business. Whenever I go back Yangon for visit, I drop by to that old apartment. I feel my childhood there. And I recall the days we all were together as a family.

I called my mom yesterday and was told by my mom that apartment was sold. I had that strange feeling which I don’t exactly know how to explain. It may be an old and useless apartment in reality and lucky enough to have a buyer in this economy. But, I feel sad as I shall never feel the warmth I always had if I were to visit Yangon anytime soon. I don’t know how many of you are being attracted to a place where you were born and raised up. To me, it means a lot. Really, I mean it.