Friday, 9 November 2012

Home

It's 9:15 p.m. when my flight finally lands in Kolkata. As I am getting off the plane, I find myself heaving a sigh of relief as I breathe in the cool, pleasant air that is all around me - it feels such a welcome change not just from the claustrophobic air-conditioned space of the airplane but also from the humid breeze usually that greets me when I get off the plane at Kolkata. "The air-hostess was right when she announced it was just 23 degrees Celsius," I think in my head.

As I collect my luggage from the conveyor belt, I find my mother waiting for me at the gate. I can't help but smile...
It's been more than 5 years since I left Kolkata but in all these years, there hasn't been even one time when my mother has not come to the airport to pick me. While there are times when I would prefer a quiet drive home to her non-stop chatter, this was a time when I actually experienced a feeling of happiness as I sat with her in the car, listening to random updates about things, people, and life, in general.

"Home is where the heart is."
This quote has never made sense to me! I feel my heart is always in a million places - I feel I give a piece of my heart to any person I become close to or any place that I start to like...I definitely do not feel at home in all these places with all these people...Feeling at ease, feeling good, feeling comfortable - all this is not really the same as 'feeling at home' somewhere, don't you think?

I am very happy living in Bombay. I like the fast-paced nature of the city...I like the way the city just lets you be...It is the place where I get to deal with things my way! I am not dependent on anyone to get things done...It is the city where I am responsible for my own self. The past few weeks, however, have not been easy. My life is in a constant flux of changes and while almost all of them have been for the good, there are times when I feel myself grappling for some moments of peace. Even my mind is getting attuned to the fast-paced life of the 'City of Dreams' and seems to be working over-time without resting for even a moment...There are times I have found myself commanding my mind to just stop functioning and let me rest but it seems to be turning a deaf ear to all my pleas!

The funny part is that from the moment I have landed in Kolkata, I feel that my entire baggage of worries have been dumped behind in Mumbai itself. Here, there is nothing going on in my mind. I can sleep as long as I want to without worrying about any chores. I do not need to worry about the clothes that need to get washed or the food that needs to be ordered or cooked - here, all these errands get taken care of. In Kolkata, I can just laze around, watching my favourite television shows or movies, catching up with friends, and while I enjoy working, sometimes it feels good to just be totally free with nothing to do! Kolkata is the place where I experience 'joy' in each and every moment...

Today, I think I know what 'family' and 'home' mean to me...Family accepts you for what you are and loves you, with no strings attached. While there may be occasional complaints that you do not spend enough time with them or that you do not share much about your life the way you used to, the family does come around in the end and continues to keep hoping for what is best for you...My family has never given up on me even when there have been times that I have felt that there is nothing in life for me to look forward to! Home, according to me, is the place where you are allowed to act the way you want to act - it's ok if I am 23 years old but still want to feel like a baby, snuggling up to my mother; I am allowed to do that at home! While I may not be a 'Bengali' in the true sense of the term, I feel I can identify more with the culture of Kolkata than that of my roots of origin in Bihar...Kolkata is my home because it is the place where my family resides...Each and every time I feel lost, I feel that I discover myself in the 'City of Joy'. My family and my home are my stability-zones in life - while life can keep hurtling me with several changes, these are the few things that are going to remain the same, no matter what...

25 comments:

  1. To me, home is a place I can come back and feel wanted. It doesn't mean there should be someone welcoming me home. Only that, I should feel welcome there - I should feel at ease there. Again, for me, family are people who make you feel comfortable and not out of place. To me, they extend beyond the physical space of home and blood ties.

    Love,
    Sanika

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    1. That is very true - "family are people who make you feel comfortable and not out of place" - one of the many reasons why I consider you family even though you and I are not related by blood ties!
      I know what you mean when you say home is a place you can come back to and feel wanted - living alone in Mumbai, I always keep looking for reasons to step outside the house because there is nothing there as such that makes me want to stay indoors...But then, when I have people at home whom I like, at that time, I hate dragging myself outdoors - it just feels right when you are at home with the people you love....

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  2. Immediately after reading this, 2 quotations come to my mind:

    ''Home'' is any four walls that enclose the right person. (Helen Rowland)

    Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in. (Robert Frost)

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    1. I like these quotes :) Esp. the 1st one :)

      Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. Okay....!
    So, when are you coming home?

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    1. I am at home :) :) Returning to my other home on the 15th of November :) :)

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  4. I can relate to your feelings for two reasons:

    I have been born and brought up away from my "roots"
    I have stayed away from my parents

    Home coming is a moment which gives you a mixed feeling as you are emotional, happy, sad and many other things at the same time. But that euphoria is unmatched for!!

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    1. So true...each time I am coming home, I feel a sense of heaviness leaving the nice things of my current life behind...I hate the entire journey of leaving one place and going to another - it does not matter that both are pleasant...However, once I reach the destination, there is happiness, happiness and only happiness :) :)

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  5. Home is beautiful, specially when you return after a long long time :-)

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  6. oh yes.. I can realte to it easily..

    There was a tym wen i didnt go home fr TWO years..

    A place were u can leave evrythng behind nd b at piece.. thts home..

    m more so glad as it will b my first Diwali at home in 4 years.. :) :)

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    1. Congratulations for that! I hope this Diwali is even more special for you than it has been in the past :)

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  7. Yes, I totally get you. I am smiling as I read this. I used to feel this way when I lived as a student, eagerly waiting to get back home for Diwali and summer vacations. This continued even after getting married and setting up home. It continues still after having children and staying outside the country. Such a mix of emotions at the beginning and end of my journey and stay. Though of course, my husband teases me that I've never left my parents' house.

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    1. Ha!Ha! So cute :) :) It is so difficult to detach oneself emotionally from that place we call 'home' and well, there is actually no need to leave that home behind :) :) It's nice to have that one place in the world where they are always ready to have you back no matter how things are and no matter what you have become :)

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  8. As usual...there is so much to read in those line and between them! :) but I get you gurl...Its an even deeper understanding if you think of the last few conversations we have said...Wouldn't you agree? :)

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  9. Lovely post .. You sound so much like Aisha of Wake Up Sid :) Have you watched the movie ?

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  10. I agree Preethi...There are things you can do at home which you cant anywhere else.... :)

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    1. Oops! Now why did I call you Preethi Divya? Hmm! :D

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    2. Ha! Ha! I have no idea :) :) Happy Diwali :)

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  11. I have never visited Kolkata but now it is in my travel list Divya..

    Wonderful post and beautiful description of being at "HOME".

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    1. Thanks Vaidehi :) Do plan a trip sometime :) Hopefully, I will be in Kolkata to show you around ;)

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