Kelantan, The Home that I Knew

by Ruby Gege, in a sentimental non-entertainment post.

Home is where the heart is. And my heart is nowhere to be found.

As I find myself reaching adulthood amidst the busy life of Kuala Lumpur, I keep looking back at the memories I used to have as a child. I was not particularly thinking of anything but I knew something was amiss. The younger days were calmer and happier. I had a life to live, people to love and places to go to. Not that I don’t have that now – I still do. But things are different.

Slowly, the concept of home changed. I realized, then, that my home was never a house – it was the people that I loved. They were my home, my shelter, my security. Only after I had lost them I realized that my heart had been looking for them all this while. To go back is not happiness, to go back to the people you love to is.

I had always prided myself as a Kelantanese. Kelantan, for me, was home. Though I practice very little of the Kelantanese culture as of now (except for the dialect and food), to see or taste anything Kelantanese would activate that naïve Kelantanese girl in me. I am so different now. My self as a person, for many, is perhaps no longer a Kelantanese but one who used to be a Kelantanese. I don’t yearn or miss the land I know now but the Kelantan I knew in the past, the land of my late grandmother.

Unconsciously, from the time I was eighteen to twenty two years old, I personified Kelantan in the form of my grandmother. I thought it was the land itself that pulled me back there five times a year but it was not. It was my late grandmother, whom I had ignored for many years. As I looked forward to meeting my aging beloved, she became my home. Each time I stepped onto the old house where she was waiting for me, I was home. The love had received me. I was happy.

Now that she is gone, the Kelantan that I have always yearnt to return to is no longer there. The land now has since become a stranger for me, a land without my beloved. So bitter is my feeling that I find no actual desire to return to the place where two loves of my life were buried. Almost five hundred kilometers away, all I could sense is my loneliness that has grown more intense. Each time I think of Kelantan, I think of my childhood, my happy school years, my late grandmother and my late father. I think of all the love I received. I think of all the devotion I gave. I think of all the people who were so dear to my heart but have grown distant from me overtime. I think of all that and I realized that… I have been thinking of my past. I see my future and the desire to go back is no longer there. Why?

Because I want to go home so badly. However, my home is nowhere to be found.

I see where I am standing on as a place I belong to. I belong to the life and situation I am in now. But do I feel that I am at home – I am not sure. At times, I feel like I am going through a journey. There is so much more to learn, so many lessons to experience. Me as a self is incomplete. It is as if I am in a process of discovering and improving myself, all in the name of finding where my heart is, and hopefully, the home I’ve been looking for. 

*Since it will sound very cheesy if I express all these worries to my family or friends, writing seems to be the most appropriate source. Additionally, it can be a therapeutic experience. It helps, to be able to express what you have in mind by doing this, hehehe. Thank you, blog-creator, whoever you are. Ruby Gege is forever grateful for you.*