It was 26 years ago, and I was just about to turn five.
We got to the train station, and we boarded our train together. My brother just said, "Stay here and I'll come back." I just thought, "Well, you know, I must just go to sleep, and then he would just wake me up." And when I woke up the next day, the whole carriage was empty on a runaway train, a ghost train, taking me I don't know where.
I was adopted out to Australia to an Australian family. My mom had decorated my room with the map of India, which she put next to my bedside. I woke up every morning seeing that map, and hence it sort of kept the memories alive.
People would say, "You're trying to find a needle in a haystack, so you'll never find it." Now I have flashes of the place that I used to go, the flashes of my family faces. There was the image of my mother sitting down with her legs crossed. I was just watching her cry. Life is just so hard. That was my treasure.
I was looking at Google Map, and realized there was Google Earth as well, a world where you can zoom into. I started to have all these thoughts and what possibilities that this could do for me. I said to myself, well, you know, "You've got all that photographic memories and landmarks where you're from, and you know what the town looks like. This could be an application that you could use to find your way back."
I thought I'll put a dot on Calcutta train station and a radius line that, you know, you should be searching around this area. I sort of came across these train tracks, and I started following it, and I came to a train station, which reflected the same image that was in my memories.
Everything matched. I just thought, "Yeah, I know where I'm going. I'm just gonna let the map that I have in my head lead me and take me back to my hometown."
I came to the doorstep of the house that I was born, and walked around about 50 meters around the corner. There were three ladies standing outside adjacent to each other. And the middle one stepped forward, and I just thought, "This is your mother." She came forward. She hugged me. And, you know, we were there for about five minutes.
She grabbed my hand, and she took me to the house, and got on the phone and she rang my sister and my brother to say that, you know, "Your brother has just all of a sudden appeared like a ghost!" And then the family was reunited again.
Everything's all good. I help my mother out. She doesn't have to be slaving away. She can live the rest of her life in peace.
It was a needle in a haystack, but the needle was there. Everything's there. Everything we have in the world is the tap of a button, but you've got to have the will and the determination to wanting it.
- 「大海撈針」- A Needle In A Haystack
People would say, "You're trying to find a needle in a haystack, so you'll never find it."