I walked miles and miles to reach home,
And I arrived as a stranger.
A chill ran through my soul,
This is not the place that I called home!
Excitement is now hiding in a corner,
She’s too scared to roam.
She’s scared of these faces.
Where did they come from?
Have you ever felt this? Or, am I the only one who doesn’t find ‘home’ when I go home.
By the way, where’s my home? I don’t know. No, I am not trying to be philosophical here but I am genuinely lost. I don’t know what to answer when people ask me this question.
It’s definitely not the apartment where I live in this city. Please don’t get me wrong I heart this city. My apartment is a beautiful nest that I have created with twigs of love and dreams. But whenever I am packing up to visit my mother, that’s when I announce that I am going home.
But how’s it home when Papa is not there? Even my brother has moved out. Though this didn’t stop him from putting his clothes in my closet. Yup, my room is under siege. It’s still pink but the teddy bears and Barbies are replaced by LED TV and music system. The phone is still near the head-post of the bed, but my best friend doesn’t live in that city anymore.
So, is it the city that made me announce that I am going home? Puhlease! I couldn’t relate with that city even when I lived there. I would always tell my friends, “I am here, because Papa is posted here. I’ll leave when Papa gets posted out. I don’t belong here. I don’t have my roots.”
I would always say that. But then, do I belong to the place where I can trace my roots to? I have never lived in my native place. Just spend summer vacations there. As a tourist not even as a traveler. I know the culture but do I follow it, all of it? I know songs & dance but I can speak the tongue? I would like to, but right now can’t. So, can I belong there?
Then where do I belong? I think, I am digressing here. Where do I belong? And, where is my home? These two could be two different questions. Again, I am not sure here.
Going back to home. I think I found the answer today. It came via two different women. One a stranger. Another a dear friend.
Let’s start with the stranger. She just popped up on my Twitter timeline today as a RT, which led me to her blog. (You must read it, it is better written than the one you’re reading right now) She was talking about the same thing. She says,
….it’s the feeling of wanting a time and a place that you can’t have.
This made me think that is this what home is to me? An idea of a place that I had at one time but now it is gone. Have I lost my home?
So, I discussed this with that dear friend of mine whom I was telling you about because she also leads a nomad life like me. Moreover, she’s the only wise person I know who has time for my silliness. And, she just gave me a whole new perspective. She changed the way I looked at home. She transited it from an idea of past to the concept of future:
Sometimes I feel homesick standing outside a home I’ve never entered……maybe because it has that red door I always envision in my future dream home….With every home I have packed up I have left behind a piece of my heart. San Jose, New York, Palampur, Wellington, Meerthal, Delhi, London, Kuwait. So many places. Even places I am aching to visit- New Zealand, Greece, Prague. I flip through magazines & see decor details that I would want in my future home, so I guess it is really about an idea rather than a place.
You should read on, because now she says real interesting stuff;
I set up my home to resonate with the taste I have acquired for the places I have loved. I can not imagine living in London now. It seemed ideal as a collegiate. I can not imagine life in NYC. But walking around times square? Yes please! I would like a home in San Jose when I retire. But right now, I am doing up a place in Hissar. A place fashioned along the lines of a loft in NYC, a foyer from those old hotels in London, the open charm of Californian homes and finally, a touch of urban Morocco for my middle eastern connection.
Frankly, my first reaction to this was, “Phew! If Home means that much of work & creativity then am good without it.” But then I realized that I am again missing the point here. Home is not a physical being but it’s an abstract. So, I just closed my eyes and asked, “Where is my Go To place?”
I found out that I was right. I was right to announce that I am going home while I packing for my mother’s place. I was just wrong in thinking that it’s that house or the city. My home is my mother’s hug. At the end of the day, I just want to come back to my Mother’s arms. Where ever she is, it’s my home.
But, is it where I belong? I don’t think so. Why and where? I am not going into that now. I have answered one question for myself today & that’s good enough for me.