I can’t usher you in the way Smriti Irani did in “kyuki sas bhi kabhi bahu thi” but without much shilly-shally I’ll sail you to the memories of my home.
Thoroughly fatigued I used to plod home after an entire day of hustle and bustle. My grandmother would be eagerly waiting for me outside the house just to unload the humungous school bag that crooked my back. There was and is always a relief while approaching home, knowing that I’m done for the day is overwhelmingly blissful. Handing over the bag to dida, I would open my shoes and put inside the wooden shoe closet near the front door lest my mother should keep tantalizing me for not doing such petty things by myself. And I would shout “ma, ami eshe gechi” and the walls would smile back at me the way ma did. My dida would tell me not to go around jumping and dancing rather settle down to at least drink some water. And I would make her sit down on the sofa instead and put on Vh1. “I came in like a wrecking ball..” and as I sang along Miley Cyrus all my fatigue vanished. Yes I was home, my ma would shout that “yeah wrecking ball reduce the volume, please”.
The feeling of being home in unparallel. It is weird how an alien arbitrary space becomes home with our humane touch and love. When we buy a home, we are in effect stuffing a space devoid of meaning with an enormous amount of ourselves. But eventually a space becomes home only when we start living in it, when it becomes a natural niche in which our life curls up and sighs. Ours’ is a not so huge congenial ground-floor apartment with a small garden attached along with a huge bird’s house outside the left end of the apartment. According to me the very concept of home develops in our mind when we are asked at school where we come from and made to write essays on “Your Home”. Yet today once again I sate to compose an article on my home but not just a physically existing one rather the one which is vividly etched in my mind through the memories of time.
Those walls and closets have changed over time but what has remained are those reverberating memories of me and my sister playing around those hot summer afternoons and eating fruits cut by my dida in the veranda. I remember ruining the blue paint of the house as I would write A for apple and B for Ball and all other things that randomly made me creative. I was so keen was writing and drawing on the walls that my parents bought me a black board hung beside my rack of books. Sometimes those mosaic floors made me so inquisitive that I would ask my parents how did they make those abrupt black shapes on the yellow stone. My home has heard those loudest laughter and deafening cries of mine. From celebrating my birthdays with home flooded with guests till my experience of falling down from the revolving chair while driving it around the house. It is so difficult to pen down those thousands of memories acquired in almost two decades that I’ve lived there.
I know how my home had wept the day when we vacated it yet just for sometime but somewhere there is a vacancy in our hearts that echoes with the yearning to be there. It is not about those plaster, or cement and the bricks it’s about how the image of one’s home flashes in their mind when we think about it. We find refuge in those lifeless walls and furniture even when we are having a bad day.
“The home may no longer be the womb where we came from, but as a nest that we build for a reason, for a length of time, it still feels like home.”