Naturally, every time I go home, I get this warm feeling in the bottom of my heart. Why? Well, in a word: my mum. Yeah, I’m a mummy’s boy – loud and proud!
Joking aside, I have a very special relationship with my mother. We’ve had many ups and downs along the way, but I have reached a point in my life where I have realised just how much she does for me and she has realised that I’m my own person. Now, people mistake us for friends or, worse, husband and wife (true story – I really wish I was kidding). I always love coming home to her huge smile and she’s always made some sort of treat that I like or bought one of my favourite snacks – just something to let me know that she’s happy to see me.
My life, or more accurately, the life I want to lead and the person I want to be, is at uni. So naturally I’ll be at home for a certain period of time before I need to break free or else arguments start. Having a break from one another really helps us to reset: problem solved with no injuries or house fires.
The sugar cane fields, the amazingly turquoise sea and the huge mountains always have a special place in my heart
This is not, however, the home I want to talk about. Instead, I wish to talk about my ancestral home: Mauritius. Where I am right now – sitting on a sofa – writing this.
I’ve been here for about two months now, for my year abroad, and have realised one thing: I am more British than I thought. There are a lot of things here that I don’t agree with and there’s a lot more restrictions on me that can make me wish for the familiarity of Britain.
Whenever I fly back to Mauritius, I look out of the plane window. I see my country; my second home. No matter how I feel – whether I’m stressed about uni, feeling down or even not entirely enthusiastic about my destination – all of it goes once I see the land that I deeply love.
All in all, great food; but its true value lies more in the memories I associate with it
I might not adore my job, some of the people or certain members of my family, but the sugar cane fields, the amazingly turquoise sea and the huge mountains always have a special place in my heart. They take away all of my stress and worries and I love just staring out the window on my way to work, taking in my beautiful homeland.
For me, though, it’s all about the food. I associate certain Mauritian dishes with memories. For example, dhal puri, a flatbread stuffed with crushed yellow split peas (similar to a daal) which gives you delicious, flaky bread. You then add whatever sort of curries you want – there’s no set way. All in all, great food; but its true value lies more in the memories I associate with it. Every single time I’ve come to Mauritius, my nana (maternal grandfather) has either already bought, or takes me to go buy dhal puri, without fail.
All the memories I’ve had in my nani’s house, or with a certain uncle or aunty, are waiting for me
Yeah, it’s amazing food, but it’s more symbolic. My nana used to live in the UK and was like a second father. So to not see him as often is very difficult. Added to that are all the aforementioned feelings when I see my country. So when I eat that dhal puri he’s bought, I know I’m home. I’m back with my nana and cousins – all the memories I’ve had in my nani’s house, or with a certain uncle or aunty, are waiting for me.
I am British and I’m proud of that. Yet, I simultaneously also have an intense love and connection to this land: through the food, places, culture and language that are always waiting on the other side of the world for me.