When I turn off the light the house is enveloped by silence, broken only by the purr of the crickets outside in the grass. I’d never heard crickets in England – and they’ve become an emblem of my past. I’m suddenly moved by my parents’ effort to make their home livable. Every little detail shows planning and care: the arrangement of the sofas, the easy access to the house’s only balcony, the ladybird shaped night lights. My bathroom is bigger than most single rooms I’ve seen in London, in those dark years of renting before finally buying my flat.

And then it strikes me: this house was designed with us in mind, a house for the parents and the children, in the spirit of our Eastern culture. My mother often boasted of how much intimacy we’d have, if one of us decided to stay. They hoped it would be my…

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