Eighteen wonderful years of my life have taught me more than I could fathom. I have learnt to live and love. I have also learnt to question.
The most important questions in my mind now are, ‘Where am I from?’ ‘Where am I headed?’ and ‘Where would I be going back to?’ The one word that answers all these questions is Home.
When I think about it, the things that flash in my mind are the early morning coffees, my cozy bed, the familiar setting of my room with memories framed on walls, the unintentional kicking my mother in sleep and my not-so-innocent sister while I’m wide awake. The special early morning birthday kiss from my mother every year and over indulgent retail therapy with dad. All those scrumptious meals. My grandma’s hand on my head and her lips in prayer, the energy transferred touching Grandpa’s feet, all those festivals (food!). Those 50 sparkling eyes at Care and Share every weekend, my yellow scooty, my teddy, my fluffy and the countless cups of cold coffees.
Though the passing thought of it floods me with memories, there is one particular recollection that has stayed in my heart. The regular Sunday morning ritual of picking up my dad from the station while he traveled for hours from his workplace to visit us tears me up. I wondered why anyone would choose to travel on an off-day. I guess I know now.
It was a moment of epiphany when I realized what he meant when he said we “recharged” him every week and gave him the strength to work harder. I know what he meant because now I’m walking a mile in his shoe, maybe endless miles. Maybe this is how it’s meant to be. I ask myself if I feel lonely or scared, and I know I don’t. Maybe because this was their endeavor- to make me strong and independent. I was being trained for this all along. Dad says that life is all about ‘detached attachment’. Even the purest of relations, a mother and her child, starts with a detachment when the umbilical cord is cut. So do I. Distance and proximity hardly defines the people one loves.
Nomadic – that sums up my life (Thanks to my dad’s transferable job!) and exploration is what I grew up doing. It hurt a little every time we had to move, but deep inside I knew that life is movement. There is stillness only when you are put in a coffin.
For me, home would mean displacement, identity, family, friends, inspiration, selflessness, expectations, freedom, smiles and tears. But mostly, home would be an emotion. A feeling of belonging somewhere even when you are nowhere; being protected, nurtured and loved. Home is the passion that drives me towards my dreams; gives me the strength to stay far yet close.
Not surprisingly, home is where the heart is, and the heart is deep within!