Lately I have been grappling with a thought in my mind, “Where is home?”. Or rather that sense that we call, “Feels like home.”
I have been away for 15 years from my so called “Home”, the city I grew up in, went to school, college and where my parents still live, a city I still visit because they live there. But I haven’t felt for it to be home for many years now.
I also lived in Bombay for more than a decade and I think that felt like home, primarily because I evolved into a responsible individual in that city and from having moved into it with a suitcase, slowly and steadily made a Home there. I formed an entirely new life over that time, made some very strong and important connections which have shaped me, went through a journey in which I gave into every experience of life with a lot of spontaneity and very little thought. Every experience was welcomed, seen, accepted or discarded as part of behaviour or beliefs.
Then I moved to Singapore and it has been 3 years of the exact opposite of the decade of Bombay. Living with self awareness, understanding the core issues to my reactions and behaviour and accepting the angst that the heart and mind suffers from and reaching a healthy balance to manage the angst. The city has been wonderful for me but “Feels like Home.” feeling is still missing.
So, if a city where you grew up, your parents live, you have many memories of, or a city where you evolved into an adult and created an independent life for yourself, where you went through the highs and the lows and managed to pick yourself every time or a city where you began the self discovery in, came to understand yourself and like yourself, does not feel like Home then what does?
While travelling I did come to conclusion that Home is where my bed is. I always craved in times of intense tiredness to get into my bed, pull the covers over my face and go to sleep. 🙂
A week back I went to my home town Nahan, a place where I was born and lived for the first 4 years of my life. I had gone after a gap of 15 years and there is still an almost 150 years old house and close family there. I was quite anxious to go and was secretly hoping that not much has changed in the house, people or the city and it is still a place which I remember from my summer holidays. I think there is zero memory of 0-4 years for sure.
When I reached there I went for a walk to the place I would always go for walks alone or with cousins years ago – the tranquility, the peace, the quiet crisp winter breeze and the sunny sun made me feel like home. That is when I thought that perhaps Home is not where you grew up, where your parents live or where you got a job and made a cozy home, all those places and cities just facilitated different life stages and you did what you had to do.
But the feeling of Home goes far deeper than life stages, at the cost of sounding cheesy, I feel the feeling of Home is not to the memories of different ages but a memory of when the deepest part of my self was getting formed without me knowing or realising. It feels like soul peace. It is when you feel like you don’t have any questions or want any answers, not because you are fed up or escaping but because you understand where you come from.
Walking amidst the mountains and the woods and walking around in a temple where I would just go on my own many times as a child, not to pray but to feel calm, I realised Home is a place which is the foundation of your being. I realised that the foundation of my being is a compact and cozy life with lots of nature and simplicity around me. It is close, strong connections, and relationships. It is the need to spend time with self.
I have not always lived like this but lately I have been increasingly forming my life to bring in the values that are important to me without getting distracted.
Irrational it may be, but somehow I also think that this realisation couldn’t have happened at any nature spot or a mountain trail. It had to happen where I was born, it had to make me remember the 0-4 years soul memory I had forgotten. I guess, that makes it home.
Thank you 2015, for such a wonderful end.