Our relationship with our village homes
Somewhere between visiting the village four to five times a year to barely twice at best, our generation's relationship with its village home has evolved into a newer spectrum.
On a gloomy Sunday afternoon after Eid, my father breathed a sigh of insecurity and began to fear that my generation will probably end up being "rootless". Each year after that, his sigh makes me question whether our generation is truly a tree without roots.
Many among the urban youth tend to restrict themselves within its comfort zone. For some, a visit to an ancestral home imposes a sense of responsibility, while for others, interactions feel formal and awkward with distant relatives and unknown faces. Some may even end up confining themselves to the few people they're familiar with and constantly look for a way out.
For others, their village appears as a place of serenity. It's a way out of this concrete jungle. The event might emerge as a glorious chance of meeting new people, reminiscing childhood memories and reconnecting with their roots for others.
Running around in the huge front yard, walking bare feet across the ridges of crop fields, sitting beside the earthen oven on a cold winter morning trying to get warm and cosy -- these are memories we cherish. As we transitioned from childhood to adulthood, some of us subconsciously grew out of the nostalgia regarding our village homes, due to our unique ways of coping with growth.
For a major part of our parents' generation though, our "village home" was simply their "home". For my father, our whole family going back to that tranquil village in Cumilla is a promise kept. It's where my father, his father and his father's father grew up. It's where my late grandparents rest.
Their generation naturally holds an inherent urge for their children to connect to the place they consider home and the people they grew up with. Yet, the chain connecting a person to their ancestral home is such that the longer it stretches, the weaker it becomes.
When our fathers left their village for a better life, it created a new branch of the family. But maybe, the wider the branch spreads, the further it grows apart from its "root". The sentiment that our parents' generation feels for their hometown isn't shared equally among the rest of us.
While my father reflects on his childhood in a vibrant Shashidal, I do the same in a grimy old building in East Bashabo. What was home to my father is my village home and may just be "my father's village home" to my children.
This detachment cannot be ignored. As the tree spreads wider and wider, the root is the only thing that remains unshaken. While we expect our parents to understand our discomfort and insecurity more efficiently, maybe they require our generation to apprehend their sentiments better.
Remind Ifti to be quieter at email@example.com