A looooong looooong time ago in Libya…
Being born and brought up in a country that was once called a terorist state might sound exciting.. i mean how many people know wat libya or libyans are like.. i could pretty much describe anything my limited imagination would spin off and people would readily eat it all up… well, the limited imagination i mentioned isnt working as of now and anyways my interactions with libyans were also limited to a smile n a wave through the innumerable 4 wheel drives that they consider a status symbol…
so i am gonna write about the lil indian community that dwelt in tat place.. there were people from all corners of the country, mallus from coconut land, punjabis , bengalis , tamils, haryanvis and a few of all the rest.. in a country where u r at a distinct disadvantage in language, colour and religion u cant expect much help in survival.. but when we are kids who cares about survival.. and when u go to an all indian school with a bunch of misfits just like u for company u dont actually feel out of place..
libya in my memory is limited to the capital city of tripoli and some of its outskirts.. but that was my kingdom, or rather our kingdom.. we were kings.. our school was fun.. evenings were a big time party.. and nights were reruns of the latest hindi movies.. there never was a moment of dullness.. weekends were booked throughout for one party or the other( in a foriegn country, anything n everything calls for a party).. weekdays were not about school or homework but about cartoons, ice cream and fist fights with the yugoslavian kids.. life had no tensions, no problems, no direction..
The people too had oodles of patience, when u r part of a close knit community u better have patience.. for us kids every indian house was our own, u could walk in and raid the fridge any day any time ,no questions asked.. hindi was the primary language of communication, english was reserved for school n for special introductions with some important uncle aur aunty( they always said u were cute no matter how u looked so it didnt actually matter).. the years biggest event was the Mela.. it didnt actually concur with any indian festival rather was based on convinience… we would all look forward to dressing up and having even more fun than usual..
as i look back to those days all i remember is the total freedom in a country others used to dread.. the bombing of 85 was fireworks to my 2 yr old eyes.. anything outside school and passoti( our set of flats ) didnt matter.. football was the only sport.. the embargo meant a chance to a fourteen hour cruise every time u went to india.. pepsi was the favorite drink and gaddafi was someone who shouted a lot on tv..
i miss those days , my school, my cronies , the fist fights, the fillipinos next door , the innumerable uncles and aunties, the crippled black man on a wheel chair in church, the long warm summers , the bmx cycle , the fresh kupooz from the arab bakery near by.. and a hell lot of things i cant remember right now..
whatever the rest of the world says , for me and a few others i knew, libya was , is and will always be the land where we lived the best days of our lives..
the first place i called Home..