How Do You Pick Up the Threads of An Old Life?

The dilemmas of moving away from home

Sharika Hafeez
ILLUMINATION

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Photo by mali desha on Unsplash

My two sisters, my brother and I grew up like most other siblings — fighting, squabbling, arguing. We would watch movies together on our old, fat TV, fighting for the remote. We would pretend to be wizards out of Harry Potter, waving sticks in the air, or mighty warriors like Aragorn or elegant archers like Legolas.

We made play houses out of sticks and my mother’s old shawls; played cricket matches in our backyard on Eid with all the neighborhood kids; climbed trees laden with rosy jambus and flowery nelli to make spicy achcharu… because, back in those days, everything was a grand adventure.

And then, exams and school and university came in between. We stopped waking up at the crack of dawn on holiday mornings just to watch the holiday specials on TV.

Somewhere along the way, we grew up.

One sister got married, the other went off to university three hours away.

But neither of these really felt like an ending. Neither of these was truly a parting , because the road would ultimately lead back home.

That is, until I left — until I travelled two thousand miles away from home for university abroad. And things would never be the same again.

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Sharika Hafeez
ILLUMINATION

Writer. Physics student. Under the inky-black sky, with a steaming cup of chai in my hands, I watch the stars and I write.