the pungent reminders of home

Assimilation is something I think I have caught well, most days anyhow

and then some famous crooner die and there is an uproar of grief

I find some of my friends here have their memories defined by the music of their formative years,

those names that evoke such strong emotions for them – I do not share, I am ignorant, no music has brought me to a definition of identity

I was brought up in a different culture where food marks the passage of time

in a land where there is the monsoon and rainy season where fat raindrops can pummel you if you were caught outside

with the whiff of the earth and the open drains caught up by the breezes that cool the equatorial air

there are no daffofils or seasons of misty fruitfulness but we have the durian season

the pungent smell of the king of fruits -the redolent luxuriance that leaves you with a guilt for having gorged on its golden flesh

I ache for the pungency of the place which was once home that can carress the senses where here we complain about the smell of curry that we erase with air fresheners.

But I am full of nostalgia, conjuring up a place that no longer exist

and wherever it is I call home these days, we cannot escape the acrid smell of pollution, car fumes and toxic wastes.

A stall set up next to a van where a woman is selling durians to a man sniffing at one.