I recently realized that the word ‘home’ doesn’t quite mean the same to me as it does to most other people. Having stayed away from home for more than a quarter of my life, I guess this was to be expected.
Almost like magic, the word has changed its feel and shape over the years to denote each of the places I’ve stayed in, in a perfect flow – seamless and easy. However, despite losing its obvious meaning somewhere along my journeys, the word resonates with me – now, more than ever before.
From my beautifully decorated sprawling home in a residential area in Calcutta (I refuse to call it Kolkata!), to a shared room in a girls’ PG in the crowded by-lanes of North Delhi’s University area, to a cozy single room overlooking a serene lake in the English countryside, to a plush hotel room (yes, I stayed there for 2 years!) in a busy locality in Hyderabad to a pretty flat in a gated community in the same city, I’ve come a long way.
This last one is the closest to my heart. Perhaps ‘coz it’s been lovingly decorated by me, perhaps ‘coz it makes me feel actually “grown up”. Or maybe that’s just how you feel about each new home, until you move and find an even better one and love it more? Or maybe ‘coz it gave me a whole new meaning?
Somewhere along the way came this feeling of settling down, a stillness inside, a calmness – and that’s what means home to me now. The sense that I’ve finally arrived.
Home no longer means a walled place I can go back to, a place of security, it means something much more than that. It’s deeper, it’s a feeling.
Perhaps the next one will feel even better. Who knows? For now, I’ve arrived.