“ The lost girl.”
As I sat at the top of a hill, I ran my hands through the blades of grass, I was lost in my sadness and the tears began to slowly roll down my face. I could not comprehend what had happened and how in just a matter of seconds my life went from bad to worst. My heart was broken, the pain was so unbearable I felt like I would literally die from a broken heart.
The tears came harder and faster, I was ready to resign myself to my fate and just accept everything this hell hole threw at me. I stood up and walked back to my tent in a zombie like state. The guards came to call me when the time arrived to board the smuggler boats. The man from Thailand had paid a lot of money for my seat on the boat. I asked if I could bury Ayesha’s body before I left. The guard laughed as he told me that pigs don’t deserve a send-off. He pointed to a fire burning and sneered as he told me Bengalis belong only in the pit of hell. The wind blew and as the breeze hit my face I said good bye to my sister, hoping the wind would carry my voice to my parents. I lowered my head and followed the guard to a bus.
The bus was crowded. Everyone sat with hopeful smiles on their faces, this was it, this was the way out. We would be safe and most importantly we would know what it felt like to be human again. Eyes gleamed as they imagined a brighter future. After such a long time there was a sense of relief and excitement in the air.
Sadness washed over me as I wished I could see my parents one last time before I left. What I wouldn’t trade at this moment to feel the warm embrace of my mother’s hug or the sound of my father scolding me to cover my head and dressing decently.
Starting a new life somewhere else is a scary endeavour even when the situation at home forces you to choose life far away or to death at home. The memories which flood your mind and the the attachment you feel towards a home you are forced to leave is something no one can explain.
Trust me no one wants refugee status, no one ever wants to leave home unless home becomes inhabitable. I am no different, the state of Arakan is my home, my family’s history and memories are engraved in the soil here. The excitement turned to sense of loss as we drove to the ruins. You could hear people say. ‘I’m from here’ or ‘I was born right over there’ as they pointed to piles of rubble along the way. This genocide has not only displaced us it has also stripped us from all the love we have ever known.
I closed my eyes and said a prayer as I passed the pile of rubble that had been our home. ‘Oh almighty you alone do we worship, please forgive me If I have ever ascribed any partner to you unknowingly, you alone do I ask for help.’ I opened my eyes and asked the Almighty to please make my parents journey to safety easy and if they have been killed to welcome them and Ayesha in to Jannah (heaven).
I turned back to look at our home one last time and began to cry like a little girl who had lost her mother in a crowd.