My Home Shows Me The Way

A young woman writes poignantly of the passage of time - and what it means for our relationship the the place called 'Home'

Born and brought up in a small town, Guest Blogger Paromita Bardoloi says she is a dreamer by profession and a writer by choice. She uses words to tell her stories and considers life to be her beloved. She is a storyteller.

Life is built in a tapestry of relationships. Lovers, strangers, friends, colleagues, bosses, neighbours, relatives etc weave that tapestry. No matter how much we claim to be independent or even a loner, we are always in a relationship. Those relationships include: the homes we stay, the streets we walk, our schools, colleges, workplaces, towns and cities. Yes, we are all weaved in worlds of relationships.

One of the most beautiful relationships that I have ever shared is with my home and the small town I was brought up in. My relationship with my home has been that of a difficult lover. 

The emotions are cascaded with deep love, fascination, unanswered questions, anger and lifelong lessons. It’s ten years I left my small town home for a big city life. The day I left in the Rajdhani Express, I thought that I left my home; only now that it’s ten years and I have seen life and love in my way, I feel I have left myself back and carried my home with me. Somehow I believe no matter how many skies we fly or how many oceans we cross, deep inside we all carry our homes.

I was born and brought up in a very lazy and silent town of Assam. Everyday might seem like the day before. Time hardly seem to pass or disturbed. Days turn into months and months into years. Time is only stirred sometimes by a marriage, birth or a death. Even after ten years of a crazy city life, I hardly see much difference in my town. The rhythm of life has remained exactly the same. But time has its own way of creeping into our lives unnoticed; just like breath, we only notice it when the first wrinkle appear on our faces.

It’s almost two years, I have come to home. Now that I have come, I somehow notice that time has strewn itself all around my house. The first sign of time that I noticed was on my mother’s face is in the airport. The face had deeper wrinkles. I have always known Maa very active, this time I see her taking slower steps. That was the first nod of time, in my life.

Deep down my heart, I always had a belief that life will always remain this way: seamless and young.

Being the youngest of three siblings, I always had the advantage of being treated as a child. Deep down my heart, I always had a belief that life will always remain this way: seamless and young. Can we really hold back time?

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The first person who came to see me in the evening was ‘Chachu’. Yes, he told me he retired this year and suddenly I saw his figure drooping. The second sign of time creeping in. My first memory of my Chachus was young men who lifted us in their arms. They were always moving in and out of the house fast, as if they could bring in the stars and the moons. I remember their weddings and birth of my cousins. Suddenly I hear that my cousins are all working.

I have always treasured the bookshelves dad and mom had created for us. Interestingly, I see the piles of fairy tales being stacked at the lowest rung. It was followed by Enid Blyton, Sidney Sheldons then came the Tolstoys and finally I see my newly stacked books of spiritualism. As, I stared at the huge pile of books I realized somewhere its time piling up over the years. Maa has been telling me we need to donate our books. Yes, it’s time to let go.

You can’t keep holding on to things that are now distant dreams. Last time, when I was home, I taught little children in school nearby my house. Giving a warm hug everyday was my routine. I went to meet them a day after I reached home. My little children seem to have grown up. The boys were no more wearing half pants but full pants and the girls little bows on their heads were replaced by pony tails. I know it’s time piling over. A few came closer but all shy and big for my hugs.

I was writing to a friend with whom I have been talking for almost a decade for now. I asked him, “What is that I have talked to you for over a decade?” Time flies I guess. I remember first talking to him when I was 17 and its ten years hence.

Sometimes we come back to the same places from where we begin and journey again. It’s the same journey, just that the faces have changed. 

As, I am writing this I see silence taking over my little town. Everything seems to be in harmony. Evening is spreading its arms over the setting sun. I suddenly looked into the mirror and I realized that I am of the same age as my Chachus whom I used to idealize as a child. I am in the same place; I guess where someone else will have expectations and hopes from me. Sometimes we come back to the same places from where we begin and journey again. It’s the same journey, just that the faces have changed. I wonder if I will judge myself as harshly as I have done others.

Time is a magician; you hardly know its tricks. I finally decide to go to the stage set for me, without clinging to the past.

Yes, I have grown up. This time it was my home that showed me the way.

Pic credit: Riccardo Panello (Used under a Creative Commons license)



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Guest Bloggers are those who want to share their ideas/experiences, but do not have a profile here. Write to us at [email protected] if you have a special situation (for e.g. want read more...

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