He was an eighteen year old living in Delhi and visiting his sister in Dubai. He was born and brought up in Dubai but his parents had moved back to Delhi two years ago. He said Dubai was his home. It was where he was most comfortable and even though he had not cried when he left it two years ago somehow this trip had stirred his longing to be 'home' again. We talked for a long time and he told me all about his family. His father was Sikh and his mother was Catholic. When he turned fourteen he was given the freedom to choose if he wanted to follow Sikhism of Christianity. He had chosen to be a Catholic. He told me all about school, his subjects, that he sang on stage but only because he was expected to do something creative in the curriculum. He loved boxing and wanted to be a commercial pilot right after school. I was given a detailed account of a flight simulator and how his girlfriend had moved to Jalandhar and he missed her.
The conversation always came back to Dubai and how one cannot get the citizenship so unless one has a business in the country retirement in Dubai is not an option and even then you'll never be a UAE citizen. Every time he spoke of Dubai his eyes would well up again and I would try to tell him that he had his whole life ahead of him and once he became a pilot he could get a job with any airline and be in Dubai or anywhere else in the world he chose. He was worried about his upcoming mid terms as most children are. During the entire conversation I spoke very little while he told me everything that was going on in his life. He was so overwhelmed with what was happening to him that he completely seemed to forget that I had my own story but I didn't mind at all. I prefer asking questions much better than answering them.
After filling out the immigration form I went back to my Miss Marple mystery and he stuck his nose to the window. At the end of the journey I asked him if he was looking forward to seeing his parents, he replied in a really low and sad voice,"Yes..." I burst out laughing and couldn't help but saying," You haven't left Dubai, you've just temporarily moved. Think of it like that!" He smiled and looked a bit better.
I got home and had two dinners. I'm going to gain weight in a big way. I can already see it. The maid looked at me and told my mother,"Dimple is looking weak." C'mon I weigh 68 kgs only!! Now every half an hour or so my mother asks me what I want to eat? And you know what I'm in a perpetual state of feeling like eating something. Don't you just love being home?