In my conversations with returned migrant labourers, i find that their journeys are often complex and transient. They go with the expectation of carrying out their term but often find themselves headed for other destinations or coming back home before time. Many are fearless, and are utterly certain they will make good no matter what happens next or whatever terrain they find themselves in. Some, perhaps through experience, are more resigned and more ambivalent about what awaits them. And some, not suprisingly, dread what awaits them. I came across a handsome but timid 27 year old returnee. A total innocent he told me that after about a month of working on a construction site in Dubai he started stopping people on the way back to his sleeping compound and asking them the “direction home.” They would ask him where he lived, and he would reply “Narayanganj, Bangladesh.” He said just telling people - total strangers - the name of his home town and country was beautiful and gave him some sort of strength and hope, and it didn’t matter that those stopped seemed bewildered or mocked him.
He said he wanted people to know where he was from and after a day’s work, when his despair was acutest, he coped with his horizon by articulating these two beloved place names.