Where I sit if you look up for this location (38°28’35″N, 70°57’56″E) on a map and draw a vertical line through it, in the south the line will cross a city named Layyah in Pakistan.
Layyah is my home town, where I was born and spent two-third of my life. This is where my brothers and sisters live, and in here are the graves of a mom and a dad waiting to see their son again.
When I sit here and look directly to the south, Layyah is far beyond my sight, many hundred kilometres away.
Instead what I see in front me is the Panj River and just across it is Afghanistan. I see women washing clothes on the other side of the river. At some distance a donkey is drinking water from the river. Nearby a bunch of kids are playing frisbee.
As I hear the shoutings of the kids, I remember my own childhood — how I loved to swim in the Layyah Minor Canal in front of our home, how I learnt to ride the bicycle, and all the lies I spoke to my mom upon returning home late. The fading memories come alive just by sitting here.
I whistle and shout at the Afghani people across the river and wave to them. They respond by waving back.
Away from home I feel at home!