The Eternal Hunger of the Homesick Soldier


The Eternal Hunger of the Homesick Soldier

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


distinctly remember the night my father returned from his sailing expedition. He’d been away for twelve weeks, and five-year-old me had been counting the days until his homecoming. My mother hurried around the apartment, trying to ensure that everything looked perfect. All the furniture in the living room had been rearranged, dinner had been prepared early, and even my reclusive brother had stepped out of his room to wait at the dining table.

When he finally arrived, we rejoiced. He settled down on the table almost immediately and proceeded to lift the covers of each dish, breathing in the warm aroma of home-cooked food. There was dal, roti, aloo ki sabzi, and kheer for dessert. That memory stands out for me because that was the first time I had watched someone devour home food with such delight. It struck me for the first time, how much he had missed it.