“I wanna go back home” are the words I frequently hear from San Kay Khine whenever I visited her in the hospital. San Kay Khine is a 17-year-old girl who spent five years as a tortured captive at a famous tailor shop in Yangon and was rescued after the publication of a report by an investigative journalist. Though Kay Khine managed to escape, she suffered from broken bones in all the fingers from her both hands. Her arm was severely twisted and she initially could only stand for not more than 15 minutes.
Kay Khine has undergone several surgeries and is still hospitalised. She always had a mature and calm disposition. I visited her home village Baw Lone Kwin without her to meet her parents. I had never been there before, but as soon as I got there, I felt familiar with the village. The rain trees and bamboo trees, the cows, the smell of soil after rain and the cool breeze passing from the paddy fields made me feel welcomed instantly. I felt like I could hear the giggles of San Kay Khine in her younger days playing with her friends; and imagined the ghost stories they shared at night with her friends. I felt like Baw Lone Kwin was my own homecoming. That unexplainable feeling of nostalgia is strange but beautiful. I breathed in the memories of her childhood in that village.
Memory Lane is a beautiful gift for both of us, San Kay Khine and I joined to recreate her memories and visited her home village through her nostalgia.