About 50 years ago my paternal grandfather decided to build a house in Karachi, the next big city and urban-hub-to-be for his wife and four kids. He and my maternal grandmother saved and saved for this house. My grandfather spent his entire life away from his family in Abu Dhabi to earn for the house. Finally a three story “grand” house was build.
They had four kids, my father being the eldest, and then three daughters. These kids spent a good time of their early years of life in that house till they all got married. My brothers and I were born in that house. My grandmother passed away in that house. Then my dad left for America. My aunts got married. My brothers, mother and I were the only left in that house with my now retired grandfather. Then we moved to the states and he refused to come with us to stay with his house that he worked for all his life. He refused to sell the house, and distribute its shares to his dear four children. My father and him picked a fight about it and they never talked again because shortly after my dad got Alzhiemer’s.
Recently I got a chance to hear from my grandfather and he said he gets very lonely and talks to the walls and ceilings of that house in his loneliness. All the kids are grown up and busy making houses for their kids.
My father lives in his house and sometimes I catch him blankly staring outside his room’s window as if he’s wondering what was his life’s gain?
And I look at him with a very little girl inside me shrieking what am I? Another pawn in this game of houses and walls? How long before I will be talking to walls and ceilings? How long before my kids will leave to make houses for their kids and who will be the last pawn to fall in this game? Who will they blame for this vicious cycle of making houses instead of humans? Ironically though all the houses and humans that leave these houses have one thing in common. They are, and always will be, empty.