Losing Home

I’m usually a real home-bird. That will surprise a lot of people who know me because I spend so little time in my house. But that’s a place with four walls. The fact is that I have a strong attachment to places, especially those with memories. I relate to places almost the way I do, with people. Leaving a place feels like a part of me is getting torn away, much like parting with a loved one. And being in a new place, much like meeting a new person, fills me with a mixture of apprehension and excitement. Apprehension since the new experience is so different from the ones I’m used to. Excitement over the very same thing. And oh, actually a new place (and a new person) always remind me of why I love home so much (or the people in my life). Travelling has always been a learning experience and one that ends with the exuberant feeling of “I’m home!!!!”.

I travelled to London this week. It is my first trip out of the continent. And for a long time now, I’ve looked forward to visiting the land of Enid Blyton, the Beatles, P G Wodehouse, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones. The first thing I felt when I walked out of Heathrow was the cold, crisp air on my face (bundled up as I was everywhere else). And then the thought that I finally understood the meaning of ‘cold, crisp air’.

I got a lot of work done, met a lot of people from different countries. It was interesting. But something was missing. What? The apprehension. And the excitement. I wasn’t a bit nervous as I usually am with new people. I didn’t develop stage-fright even as I made a presentation to a panel of the top management. And would you believe it….I was dressed in an orange pullover and jeans in a roomful of suits and business skirts. It wasn’t intentional but situational…but I can’t believe how easily I breezed through it, unflinchingly. I did fret a bit about it to my friend, but really I was more worried about the fact that I wasn’t worried. Isn’t that odd now? Either I cared a helluva lot for what I was going to say (too much to worry about other things) or I didn’t care a damn about anything. I still can’t decide.

And oddly enough, when I touched down at Mumbai airport, walking down to customs, I realised there was something missing. Passport…check. Baggage tag…check. Backpack, purse, mobile phone….all in place. Ah.

I didn’t feel excited about being home.

I wasn’t sad about being home. I wasn’t happy. I just didn’t feel a thing. No more “I’m home!!!!” feeling. And then it occurred to me….I don’t feel like I’m home. I actually squinted out into the sunshine to check that I had, indeed gotten onto the right flight to the right place. Everything looked right. But it doesn’t feel like home.

I don’t know what or where home is anymore. All this is, now is a place with most of my memories and people I love. But home is a feeling, not a place. One I haven’t had in a long while.

I fly far and I fly wide
But I always come back home

This time, I flew out
But I haven’t come home
Because I don’t remember what home looks like or feels like

Could I maybe come back to the place I took off from
And find you waiting there
And perhaps find that home is indeed,
where the people who make you happy, are?

Will you be the home I come back to?

Also cross-posted on IFSHA.

13 thoughts on “Losing Home

  1. when I read your post, got reminded of this one ..

    โ€œAndrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isnโ€™t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.

    Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

    Andrew Largeman: Youโ€™ll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day and itโ€™s just gone. And you can never get it back. Itโ€™s like you get homesick for a place that doesnโ€™t exist. I mean itโ€™s like this rite of passage, you know. You wonโ€™t have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, itโ€™s like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe thatโ€™s all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.โ€

    ~ From Garden State

  2. @ DC: ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hugz, gurl.

    @ Bibs: Thanks for this comment. It brought some perspective to the confusion that caused my post.

    @ Sense: Yup, I’m back. Let’s talk this week, I’m on vacation.

  3. London does have a few secret admirers of you.

    Could it have been a telepathic understanding that you had unfinished business out there???

  4. You didn’t get the telepathic message I guess. The only element was admiration.

    Though I admit, its like an invisible cloak somewhere at Canary Wharf, close to you. A bit scary I guess.

  5. @ Alazyguy: I guess I didn’t. I’ve been blind and deaf recently, in the manner of speaking…I sort of drifted through my London trip. Thank you very much and perhaps the next time round I’ll catch the message?

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