Friday, September 03, 2010

A House Is A Box

We forget that houses have memories too. And once these houses are abandoned, their memories begin to fade.

My parents lived most of their young life in the old part of Manama. But like many of their generation, they opted to move into the city, to find a better home in the new suburban areas of Bahrain.

As years passed, most of Manama’s original inhabitants departed, leaving their homes behind, the homes they grew up in, the homes their parents had lived in, leaving them to their fate. Most of those old homes are demolished to make way for apartment buildings.

My aunt remained in her dilapidated home and every time we’d visit her, she’d complain about the new neighbors whose names are either too foreign or too long for her to remember.

From every angle and corner, a new apartment building leers over her ageing house, bullying it, waiting for it to finally fall and crumble; to be erased along with all of my aunt’s and my family’s memories.

Even to this day when I visit, I still get excited by the prospect of seeing my aunt and her home. As a kid it was almost like an adventure every time we visited, on the usual occasions, because it was different, it seemed like a completely different world compared to where I lived, a house in the suburbs of Isa Town.

When we were little, my aunt would always sneak to the “other room” – which we wouldn’t dare venture into – to fetch us some treats. The house always smelled of aromatic scents and spices.

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