Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Journey Home

"Your picture of social triumphs is quite fascinating, Phil, but I'll paint one to offset it. I'm going home to an old country farmhouse, once green, rather faded now, set among leafless apple orchards. There is a brook below and a December fir wood beyond, where I've heard harps swept by the fingers of rain and wind. There is a pond nearby that will be gray and brooding now. There will be two oldish ladies in the house, one tall and thin, one short and fat; and there will be two twins, one a perfect model, the other what Mrs. Lynde calls a `holy terror.' There will be a little room upstairs over the porch, where old dreams hang thick, and a big, fat, glorious feather bed which will almost seem the height of luxury after a boardinghouse mattress. How do you like my picture, Phil?"

"It seems a very dull one," said Phil, with a grimace.

"Oh, but I've left out the transforming thing," said Anne softly. "There'll be love there, Phil -- faithful, tender love, such as I'll never find anywhere else in the world -- love that's waiting for me. That makes my picture a masterpiece, doesn't it, even if the colors are not very brilliant?"

Anne of the Island- Lucy Maud Montgomery

When people ask me where I'm from, I'm still confused. Should I say Tamil Nadu, which is where my parents are from, or Secunderabad where I was born but have lived in for only a few measly years? Should I launch into a long winded explanation of how since my Dad's in the army I've never lived in one place for long or should I risk ridicule and say I'm from India without further details. The answers I give are generally one of these, though I rarely do the proclaiming I'm Indian thing.

My idea of a home is not a city or a locality or a house. I've changed too many of those. But it is the place where the people I most love are. When I came to college everyone told me I was to have two homes henceforth. I thought so too and indeed, tried very hard to make it true. But much as I love living here in a hostel, doing crazy things with amazing friends, I have never yet called it home.

I sing all the time for a week when my plans for going home get finalized. I have hour long phone conversations with Amma on what all we're going to do together as soon as I get there. When I finally do get there, the time flies by on wings, surrounded as I am by familiar objects and loving faces. My parents do everything they can to make every visit extra special. They seem to think I might not want to come home if Amma didn't cook all my most favourite dishes for every meal or if Appa didn't stock the fridge to bursting point with all my favourite sweets. They needn't ever be afraid of that though. Its home! How could I not want to come back again and again, or stay for ever?

When I finally have to leave, I never want to go. I've been doing this for two and a half years now, but still when the train chugs away and I wave at my bravely smiling parents, I feel like a part of me is being wrenched away, very painfully. By the time I return to my hostel and start unpacking, the feeling is just a distant memory. But reading this paragraph from L M Montgomery's book just reminded me of it again.

I go home next week. Happy Diwali everyone!!


विकास कुमार said...

"Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes".

Have fun at home. and happy diwali.

Ravali said...

this is probably the first time i felt the same way abt coming back home....(u knw the reason frm my blog)
i am surely going to miss homw this time aftr i am back :(
but still one lil diff....i still feel hostel is my secnd home :D