The Yellow House

Our journey into Sylhet was not an easy one – it had left us drained and completely devoid of any energy. And when we got into the city, we received word from the housekeeper who informed us that the maids and chef had not made it to the Yellow House.

Given that it was far too late in the night to order food or even go to the bazaar, we decided to stop off for the night at my late Nani’s house, in the town-centre of our sub-district here in Sylhet.

I don’t remember much from that night. I got in, said my salaams and knocked out.

I awoke the following day, in the late afternoon, to my Mother’s huge family! And the relatives that presented themselves before me weren’t even a third of the whole family!

Here in my Nani’s large house live three families. They are comprised of a few of my aunties, uncles and first cousins.

These are the very same cousins I have pictures with as a six-year-old little girl, where I am leaning over my Nani’s wheelchair trying to peacefully brush her silvery white hair as these little shits – sorry, we’ve grown up now, I should say beloved cousins ahaha – are wreaking havoc in the background of all of my mother’s all too candid photographs 😭.

I half-smile as I think of those stills and then I snap out of it and look up and realise that my cousins have grown up. And so have I.

One cousin is getting married in three weeks. And though there is lots to talk about, because I had, by accident, slept in and woken up so late, conversation over my late lunch was brief and I didn’t get to adequately converse with my relatives.

It was okay though I reasoned: this is a pit-stop to the Yellow House and I’ll be back in a few days to catch-up with everyone properly.

The 40-minute drive from my Nani’s house to the rural countryside in which the Yellow House, my father’s holiday home in the village, is situated, wasn’t a bad journey at all. In the countryside, you don’t have the issue of sitting in the traffic because the roads are pretty clear.

And the ride was comfy. So comfy in fact, that I had at some point completely knocked out in the back of the car.

When I woke up, there was a sudden clamour of sorts around me. My family were getting out of the car. We had arrived. And then I see her.

The Yellow House stands, composed, in a cut off, remote part of the village. She is surrounded by tall and proud evergreen trees which stretch up high into the sky above us. And I can just about make out these trees because our arrival in the village comes at nightfall (I want to say, perhaps five minutes before the night is due to completely rob us of the sky’s daytime colours).

And it is here in the Yellow House that my brothers, niece and I lull about for the next two days, under the comfort of the air con…until the electricity, intermittently, cuts out here and there.

And these power cuts are just one part of getting accustomed to life in the village.


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