Home... Sweet Home

How many of you have a home? 
How many have been with your folks forever? By that I mean eat, sleep, feed, get fed, come home to a family?
How many of you have been away from yours? 
Why have you been away? Do you like the distance because you can do what you want? Or you had no choice but to go away to make your mark out there? 
How homesick are you?
How many do not have one? And where do you go?

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Home is where the heart is, where it all begins. 
Some of you are lucky enough to be in and around that feeling, some are not. And there are some who in spite of having this privilege, either are unlucky to enjoy it or do not quite like the attention.  

My understanding of home is from what I have experienced at friends' or relatives'. I get to live this once or twice in a year for not more than a week. For me, it is an absolutely overwhelming experience. 
I can say being deprived of it pinches you when you actually receive it. There is that independent life of yours that you have been so used to, used to doing everything by yourself that when it's actually done for you, you feel out of place. 
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Until I get there, I am all excited to gorge on the yummy food and simply relax. But when I ring the bell, these tiny butterflies in the stomach run around for a few mins, to make me wonder if I will do good enough. It is one thing to live a life of being accepted,coming home to the same amount of trust, living an independent life within the 4 walls , and it is the extreme opposite to live in fear in your own house. Funny but I am always scared of how good will I be in my short stay. Then when the door opens, you have this light breeze brushing through your cheek and there, arms stretched out to receive you. Yes, you are home, child. 

You don't just throw your footwear but observe the shoe rack and place it neatly. You take really small steps as you observe the walls for any new paintings or marks. Again, you don't throw your bag around, instead keep it on the floor. Then a glass of water - suddenly the water is all sweet and you want to drink only in the steel glass. A deep breath and you can smell hot rice, onions & garlic being fried, the hunger just doubles. The first few mins you have those pats-on-the-back while you are only wondering what's there for lunch. In a few mins, its all in front of you - hot rice, dal, papad, some vegetable dry dish and potato fry; you could not have asked for a simpler meal. 

Lunch done, nappy time. Ideally it is a task to get a power nap with all that noise in your head. Here, everything shuts by itself. What you thought as a power nap turns out to be a nice 2 hour sleep with no breaks in between and its tea time already! Time for some goli bajes, onion pakodas, pani puri and what not, with a hot cup of tea. 
Now you are not used to sitting so jobless. You don't want to read because you came here to spend time with family, not with a book. You do not know how to change channels so you avoid the tv too. So you walk into the kitchen. Watch those fingers, tired yet graceful, effortlessly cook and clean the place around. You want to lend a hand to reduce her burden and give her a break. But who said she's tired? She is in her own high, excited in her own world to just shower all that love to you. 

A nice long walk around, in the rains and you are home for dinner! 
What do you ideally do after dinner? Watch a movie and sleep? That does not happen at home. After that 4 course meal, you have a bowl of sweet (Of course you are surprised, you did not expect that!) and some tv soap to kill time. In the midst of all the bakchodi come play time! Out comes the Scrabble board. Did you think of it when you were in your room lazying around and having an unnecessary chat? NO! A good game and its 12 already! 
As much as the body is used to staying awake, here you are suddenly all sleepy at 12 am. Well why not when those fluffy pillows wait to be cuddled! 

Ah! Lucky all you guys who get to live this everyday. Open up the fridge anytime and there's always something kept for you to pop, enough fruits, enough junk and just no time for those Whatsapp chats or Facebook stalking. You do not have to feed yourself with a bowl of maggie or curd rice or just frown looking at your kitchen, all tired and messy. 
I envy all you guys so much. So much for all that love, attention and sleep!

Why? Because home in reality does not quite happen to me. An evening with friend's parents, playing with their dog, drinking tea with his mum, or meeting the only relative I care about - that's my access to family. 
The above mentioned experience is something close. The woman mentioned is my aunt and the time spent was in Mumbai, 2 weeks ago. From filling a bottle of water to doing the dishes to licking my plates to playing Scrabble every night, every other minute I was only smiling. It was just for a week but I had my share of the moments. At least twice in a day, we'd stand by the balcony, watch the leaves dance to the rains, waves hit the shore a walk to the market and some 'gal time' with my cousin. In that too, we had our favorite moment - So there was this kid, about 3-5 years max, who would always come to the shore around dusk and play with the water. This is how he plays - throw pebbles into the water with all his might, wet his legs in the water, and when the waves would hit, he'd run all the way back. Such cuteness! And then on the other side young lads playing soccer in the rains. Damn! It kills me when I see the joy on their faces, sometimes. I wish I'd felt rain much earlier in life, wish I could see dew on the leaves every morning, wish I had played 'tyre-tyre', 'langdi-tang', the Re.2 lolly, the ice candies, come home soaked in mud. Gawd!
  

Kids here (especially the ones from a lower income family) have such confidence to go on their own- market, school, just anywhere. We on the other hand have lived with fear. Fear that somebody might just push us aside, that we might get bruised on the way. But isn't that how we all learn?

Let loose and just BE. Don't tie the hands when they are already so tiny. 
When there's someone to give you, just take it all in. 
It is bliss to come to clean floors, arranged closets, television in one room, the father reading a book in the balcony. 

Home, where love will always be enough and more for you, some place to go to when you grow old of the faces and places. 
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P.S - I wonder what is the definition of 'home' for the homeless and all those abandoned souls. 

Comments

  1. Totally from the heart. I feel It :) great job.

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  2. Brilliant as always!! Took me all the way to Mumbai :) Could feel myself experiencing all of it. Great piece of work sis.

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  3. Awesome boss. Machaya hai.

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  4. For a student like me living in hostel, this article was nostalgic!

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  5. Marlon D'souzaAugust 19, 2014

    Wov.... completely engulfed in nostalgia. Wonderfully written as always Vijeta.

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