So I have taken a long break from writing. A much longer break than I every imagined. There were several reasons. Mostly health but also when you are not just up to something – You are searching for the bigger cause , larger issues , bigger joys and a clearer vision on where this is going to lead to . Although I still do not have an an answer to that but there was a strong urge to write . To share and question a few things .
So I wanted to ask you Where is Home ? Something I have been specially struggling to answer since I got married – not just because now that my in-laws or husband’s place was supposed to be home , so was my parents . But also there were questions like is a rented apartment home too ? Or do we buy a house till we start creating our little nest and call it home. Why would I bother about the color of wall in a rented place or displaying all my art on the walls when we didn’t even know for how long we were at landlord’s mercy .
Here is where it all started. I was born and raised in Delhi in the same house . It was home my entire life . In fact back then it was only Delhi – Gurgaon and Noida did not even exist and we never ventured to those ‘outskirts’ until some relative would buy land there and we would all question why !! Anyway although my parents made share we traveled during holidays mostly across India and some rare times outside . We did get a good ‘exposure’ on what the rest of the world was like. But it is NEVER the same thing until you LIVE in a different city. I was born and lived in the same house for 26 years till I got married and moved to Pune where my hubby worked.
And thats when this entire dilemma started. I did not like Pune (then) . I missed Delhi winters ( now I can write another big post on the terrible NCR pollution during winters and why I would never want to live there but well later ). Unfortunately I had also grown up with a very myopic view of Indians and the country with strong stereotypes which I have tried very hard to change .
So for a few months after marriage we lived in a rented apartment till we bought our own first house. I call it house because that’s what it was for sometime till I made friends in the city , discovered how wonderful the breeze was in the terrace every evening and how I could enjoy rains which never seemed to end.
And then 3 years later it was time to move . I was secretly very happy because we were moving to Chandigarh and it was so close to Delhi and I would be up North !!. And we were moving to a big bungalow !! We will probably be never be able to afford a bunglow in any other Indian city. There were gardens in the house. How cool was that . We have been growing vegetables which flourish every winter and the varieties of flowers I have learned in last few years can totally be used to show off to my Delhi friends ! But as we settled in this Chandigarh house it kept sinking in it was not ours ! We did not own it yet and neither did it make sense to buy it !! And then suddenly I started missing my Pune home . I could load it with my choice of furniture , paint in whatever crazy colors I wanted , maybe I could do that here too !!
Then the larger questions started I don’t ‘technically’ have a job in the city . I don’t even have that many friends. What is home ? Was it in Pune where I could do pot luck lunch and dinners with neighbors who were more ‘similar’ to me ? So this is what I think I have been able to figure out till now and please pour in your comments too !!…
Home is where there is laughter of the people who live in it and of your family and friends
where you have a neighbor who can cook up something simple and yummy when you are travelling and your family is alone or when neighbor is a a culinary enthusiast and sends you the first piece of banana bread they made or the left over – doesn’t matter !!
where you have plants in a terrace or a garden but you know those plants exist and you have time to water them and take care of them
where you can paint one of the room walls black or your favorite crazy color
where you can buy that super expensive vintage furniture or decor piece without having to worry to move for next 5 years !!
where memories are made which can be cherished for a life time …
What is home to you ?