Though I’d love to say that my place in the world is 38,000 feet up in the air, on a plane anticipating the adventures ahead in someplace new, it is often a comfort to know that there is this little place in the world to come back to once the fun and frolick is over.
Compared to the rolling green fields and hills in Scotland, the mystical landscape of Cappadocia, the exotic spice bazaars of the middle east, the cobble-stone streets and fountains in Rome, the solitude in the Rocky Mountains or the lively night markets of Taipei, my place in the world may not be the most spectacular – but it’s home.
My home happens to be in the capital city of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur (KL).
KL is home today, because my grandparents moved here from Kerala in India in the late 1930’s in search of job opportunities. It was a time when Malaya (as it was known then) and India were a part of the British Empire and there was a lot of movement of people between the colonies. That’s how my family ended up here in Malaysia.
My grandparents worked, saved up, bought land and properties back in Kerala in anticipation of their return to India upon retirement – until an unexpected twist of fate.
The world changed after World War II. The British Empire slowly withered as their colonies declared independence. Independent Malaya as it was then known, took into its fold the children of migrants born in Malaysia – as part of a social contract between the multi-racial population.
My maternal grandparents stayed on with my mum and her six siblings, while the sudden death of my paternal grandfather led to my dad’s family staying on in Malaysia.
I’m glad they did. I love my little spot in the world, the many races, cultures and religions, the warm climate, the rainy afternoons, the variety, the energy, the variations, the eccentricities, the wide selection of food, the scenery and most of all the easy going, fun-loving nature of most Malaysians.
This is my place in the world – I call it Home.
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