Where’s Home?

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Photo Credit: Dear Husband

Some weeks ago, we had packed our bags to go home. Some days back, we got back home and unpacked.

During the Delhi visit, I also revisited to my childhood home- that precious place where all the innocence and simple bliss in the world is always lying just behind that locked door (like every time since we moved out, the door didn’t open).

Home- the home we flew from.. the home we flew to.. the home of my childhood.. my in-laws’ home.. my parents’ home.. the home we just checked out, which we could have potentially moved to.. the home I realized I didn’t have the heart to move out of… Having been in all of these homes within couple of weeks, I felt a little dazed when someone asked, “So, where’s home?”

What an intensely personal question, I thought.. “where’s home?”!

Which of these do I call home? Is it where you have spent most time of your life? Is it where you expect to spend most part of your life? Is it the home you have been a child in? Or the home you are responsible for running? Is it the home you marry into?

Is it where your family lives? Or is it the house that will fit all your future needs, wishes and dreams?

Being quite useless at finding answers using logical standards, my question changed from ‘Where’s home?’ to ‘Where do I feel at home?’ Yes, let’s talk about feeling- that’s where the fog begins to lift and answers begin to distill crystal-clear.

To begin with, home is not the perfect house that checks all the ‘must-have’ boxes of your ‘dream home’- it is that ordinary place whose little joys and flaws you slowly discover, and embrace, and build a life around.. and that which embraces you softly, filling the holes and crevices in your being with warmth and light..

It is where your flaws and edges show openly and unapologetically.. with the confidence that they will neither be judged nor pampered, simply known and accepted.

It is the boundary at which you feel safe to leave behind all the ‘noise’- that constant churning of the mind, the calculations, the judgments, the second-guesses, the many faces- yours and others’.. Perhaps that’s why so many people think of their childhood home as the ultimate ‘home’, because becoming an adult takes away something from our ability to switch off the noise.

Home is that which has held you, and made you feel safe. The entire you- rough edges and all.

It is not home till it has held you in your moments of weakness- where you went to bed, broken.. but the walls were still standing, watching over you, when you woke up in the morning. And you began to trust it as a safe place.

It is not home till you, and those you love, have been there in moments of idle bliss.

That’s why it takes time for even a perfect house to feel like home. And why ‘home’ doesn’t refer to every place where one has stayed..Why it is an intensely personal knowledge of someone, to know where their ‘home’ lies.

Home is sometimes a real physical space. Sometimes ‘home’ is an aspiration. Sometimes home may be a memory.

Sometimes home is a person.

Sometimes it is what you go back to. Sometimes you carry it with you.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Richa Bhardwaj says:

    Beautifully written, Shefali.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot Richa 🙂

      Like

  2. Sajeev Nair says:

    Really Touching Miss Author !!

    At some point of time most of us had dwelled on “Where’s Home” !!! Thank you for reminding me to revisit my own feelings on one such moment… Being part of the family of a soldier, had to change Home en number of times while moving around the length and breadth of the country.

    Even though, every change especially Home while growing up is a painful process. I, quite vividly still remember when we had to move from Pinto Park to Palam (now Dwaraka) after Dad’s retirement. While looking back at the home one final time as the vehicle started moving…… leaving behind everything….my friends, my next Door Bhaiya, the playground where I spend most of my time, the Uncle with a huge portly belly who was a great Off Spinner and played with us with as much enthusiasm that we never felt any discomfort in giving him that jumping High Fives on the fall of every wicket, my hesitant friend from the nearby slum who used to watch us play everyday from the sidelines and for whom I had to fight with a few of my “elitist officers sons” friends to include him in our team and who then became an integral part of our team, the kitchen garden where me dad and Mom used to grow Spinach, Tomato, spring Onions, cauliflower etc. the neighborhood shop keeper where in I used to wonder what is there in that Stayfree pack, the cycle repair shop, the humble street dog, the nearby forest which gave us the opportunity to wear our explorers hat and so on…the few girls in the neighborhood whom I day dreamed of falling in love with in the very few moments I had time away from all these, every inch the vehicle moved further away from all that I had was felt like an eternity. The scary thought of parting away with all these and to never come back…Tears rolled down uncontrollably, it was nothing less than a painful heartbreak.

    Since then, I had changed 9 Homes to be exact and every one has a story but it was never the same…. the home at the Air Force Station, Pinto Park…..

    I cannot believe I was able to give a few moments for this on a Friday morning at office…. Well Time to come back to the present… Meeting with CMD at 12.30 !!!

    Cheers Shefall !! Keep penning such beautiful moments from life…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you transported me elsewhere with that description Sajeev! Thanks so much for sharing! I could relate with everything you mentioned.. even from a distance, it smells like childhood 🙂
      Did you ever get a chance to revisit Pinto Park? It would be some moment if you took Anmai there!

      Like

  3. Padma says:

    Yup,ur blog set me also analyse what home means though everyone keeps on saying -home sweet home,but we take somethings so much for granted that we just don’t think about it.I suppose it is this very assurance that we can be our trueself &yet be accepted which makes one crave for home. IT is pure unconditional LOVE-with ur siblings,parents,friends or neighbourers-interactions without any expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. True, well said Mamma!

    Like

  5. A K KHOKHAR says:

    My dear daughter
    Beautiful description . Everyone admires his/her childhood home the most but I feel the home is where you are at home with yourself and the persons around you whom you love the most
    May God bless you
    Daddy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Daddy! You captured it in a few words 😊

      Like

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