Home Is

The lock clicked open. I stepped into the musty smell of my home, set amidst the poetic beauty of Dooars, sometimes deep, woody forests, sometimes expansive tea gardens, and felt a whoop of joy. Home.

As a young introvert, the worst news was when every couple of years my parents would announce yet another move. By when I would gather the courage to say hello, it was time to shift, once again. A sense of self-preservation demanded that home not be associated with places.

As a hosteler, I would find my Oriya roommates talk about Rourkela with a passion that I could associate only with books or food. The twinkle in the eyes, the impassioned dance of delight, the visible craving for a place that had left an imprint on their very souls, I understood it but was far from feeling it. That boat had sailed long ago. Home was an elusive concept that changed with what mattered then. It was as much a cup of hot tea as a friendly dog or an oversized sweater. I envied my friends their expansive heart that could make room for an inanimate feature that was just bricks and mortar. But in my self-appreciating smugness, I felt one up because there was nothing holding me down- no weighty anchors of roots, no ties of friendships from the cribs, almost no permanent histories.

With marriage came a more insistent promise of shifting sands. What would strike terror in my little, childish heart a few decades before now held a commitment to adventure and explorations. My home was my husband. When we got a dog the status quo continued. We moved, he moved. We set up our house; he marked the perimeters as his territory with much aplomb, might I add.

When we returned from our jaunty trips together and as we inched closer to our residence, the tail wags would get painfully sharp. The happy whine decibels would get a notch higher and as the car would sneak into the block, our dog who is more introverted than me, who barks once a year, would let out a growly yelp as he would shoot out of the vehicle. An animal who is famed for loving people more than places rejoiced on seeing a cement structure. Of course, I understood. But did I feel? Not yet.

A few weeks back, I returned from a trip. As I fished for the keys, my one and a half-year-old daughter began squirming in my lap. The longer I took to locate the key, more impatient she got. As I put her down, I saw her reaching for the door and banging it hard with her tiny fists. She let out a tinkle of giggles as I opened it and took her in. A child who still had to learn the more formal modes of communication, as young knew, understood, felt what was home. It was my most fantastic lesson of the year.

As I leave more years behind me than ahead, the transient nature of my beliefs stares me in the face. The most solid of these had been my concept of home. I do not know if I ever will own my bit of paradise. Perhaps, that too will turn out to be a chimerical illusion like most stoic fundamentals of life. These people and these walls are my stalwarts – as essential as ephemeral, as resolute as reforming.

In that click of the lock, that musty smell, those diffused sunbeams filtering through the window, was a welcome. I was home. I felt it.

7 thoughts on “Home Is

  1. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    1. Thank you Jimmy for reading the piece and taking out time to comment. I really appreciate it.

      I am not sure why the issue is cropping up. Perhaps, you could try following the site or sign up for email delivery of posts?

      I hope you continue to enjoy the stuff that gets published on the site. Cya!

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