I read this post at the Caferati Open Mic at Prithvi the day before yesterday. Coming on the heels of a 2-hour commute, it felt especially apt. 🙂 And the evening ended on a lovely note and I went home.
Let’s take a trip, you & I. Let’s go looking for home.
HOME. Home isn’t just a where.
It’s a when. It’s a why. It’s a who. And also a with whom.
Home is in somebody’s hug when they hold you in just the right way. Not too close, not too tight. When arms but also face, torso and stomach fit into you or onto you. Without design but perfectly right.
Home is in an old song that you first heard in happy times.
It’s a scent that brings back a good memory. Like your first boyfriend’s cologne. Frying fish like your Goan neighbours used to cook. Talcum powder from the baby you’re holding reminds you of your own childhood.
To a reader, every library and every bookstore is home.
But home isn’t just memories of pretty things. After all, memories are tangled messes but unique messes nevertheless. A room that is messed up exactly the way you define a mess, will feel like home. Is it clothes that fall out in bundles when you open the cupboard? Newspaper tatters? Food drippings on the refrigerator shelves? Or intricate pencil marks on the wall? The messes that we learn to live with, follow us loyally and make a bunch of bricks seem like home.
Having somewhere to go back to, even if you don’t, is home.
And then people. People who recognize the same references that you do. People whose skin is the same colour when everyone else is a different hue. People who think in the same language. People who call God, the same name. People who sometimes have answers to your questions but mostly, have the same questions too. You may not like them, but hey, they’ll sure feel like home to you.
This blogger calls her blog, home.
Home is objects that have moulded themselves to you. Worn-in shoes. Old undergarments aged to comfort & holes. Hair of the texture and colour you were born with. Toothbrush bristles bent to the contours of your mouth.
The bed you wake up in after a good sleep will feel like home.
Home is the numbers on a clock and a calendar that carry many stories. Hot summers when everything tastes of mangoes. June approaching with the mixed dread/excitement of back to school. The date of your birth is in every other month of the calendar.
Home is having the happy birthday song sung to you.
Home, where you’re used to reaching without thinking and finding just what you were looking for. Mints in the middle drawer. A pen wedged under the keyboard stand. A crumpled handkerchief in your right pocket. A phone number listed under 1 on speed dial.
Home is who you call when you have nothing to say.
Everyone and everything that inhabits the world of your vices has a place in your home. Cigarettes, alcohol, toxic relationships or bad eating habits. Home is every person who shares your vice. Also, the objects that fuel it. And finally, the reason you turned to vice in the first place – that’s home too. But take heart, the ex-once felt like home. In conversations & experiences that heal you, there’s home again.
Home is the person you list as your emergency contact.
Home is what stays with you after you’ve shut the door. It travels with you in your suitcase, your pocket, your mobile phone and even in the smell of your own hands. It’s a hard thing to know yourself but it’s easy to know what you recognize.
In a long life of shifting structures and changing addresses, I hope you’ll always find your way home.