“The home is where the heart is”
May be that is why I still call her ‘my home’ instead of ‘my parent’s place’!
Though it has been 11 or more years since I have stopped living there,not counting the few times I visit, I still feel that it is the only place on the face of the earth which I can call ‘Home’ with all authority!
We had moved into this house in 1993.I was in my third grade.The house was not fully constructed when we moved in, the windows were yet to be built, the floor was only concrete, I even have the vague memory of carpenters hurrying to finish fixing the front door on the day before the house warming. But none of those could dampen our joy, a house of our own!She stands in a great spot, we have wonderful neighbors, it is near to the town but is cleverly hidden from the hurry-burry of the city life.Back when we were kids, we had so many other kids of the same age group to play with.
As years passed, rooms and facilities were added to it, depending on when my parents had money to spare. We have different color tiles in all the different rooms as the four of us, my parents,me and my sister, couldn’t agree on one common design. The house was never allowed to remain the same, it kept transforming.
Back when we did not have steps to reach our terrace, my father had arranged for a wooden ladder. The ladder used to be in very bad shape, but it never stopped us sisters from scurrying up to the terrace to lie on our back to do cloud gazing or star gazing. There were a lot of trees in our compound- an amla tree, lot of cashewnut tress, two mango trees both outside our compoud but gracefully poking their heads in, a coral wood tree(manjadi), jackfruit trees,a small bell fruit bush(chambakka), a mahagani,few coconut trees and so on! My mother had a small garden where she grew a flowering plants like roses, marygold and like wise. We had a small stretch of land below our house where my father sued to grow banana and some odd vegetables.There is a stream behind our house, with rain water gurgling through it during the monsoon moths.
Most of the trees were cut down, since some of them were too close to the house!Me and my sister had raised our protests with not much success. There is not many plants in my mothers garden now. I think she has lost her interest!But my father still grows vegetables!
I have lived in so many houses,for rent of course. I was fortunate enough to finally buy a house( but not yet fortunate enough to live there). But never have I felt the same level of comfort or the same affection for any other place! I miss my home along with all of her flaws, I miss sitting on the beam on the terrace talking with my sister, I miss that old dining table where we used to have our meals, I miss looking into the well and dropping stones in it to hear the plop sound, I miss watching my father rush around during rainy season to plop out the mud water that flooded our courtyard, I miss picking the tender raw mangoes and eating them with salt, I miss looking for germinated cashew seeds to chew on tender cotyledons, I miss nibbling on sweet chambakkas, I miss the messiness of my study table, I miss the room that I shared with my sister,I miss those hours of power cut where we as a family would sit and talk or play anthakshari,why I even miss those slimy slippery front yard where I had fallen down numerous times, I miss my home!
This is the place I crave for when I am sad or happy.And this the place that would always welcome me back, what ever state I might be in!
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”
(Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss)
Yes, it is possible,for my home is not a place,it is rather a person,one of my favorite one from past!