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Travel is wonderful, but no matter how beautiful the place we go to, our home is the place we’re most comfortable in – but what, exactly is a home? An insightful look at this feeling for a place.
The travel bug bit me a few years back and since then I just love travelling as it just rejuvenates my soul. I am sure that I am not the only one who gets excited with just the idea of planning a holiday; many of you there who are reading this, would also agree.
Now wait! I also have a very queer feeling that sets into me soon after the holiday begins, and that is that I start missing my bed at home. Actually I also miss my room and my adrak wali chai and my home-made daal chawal and just every bit of my house. No wonder they say ‘Home Sweet Home’!
I have travelled across countries, stayed in all kinds of hotels, resorts, apartments, hostels but everytime it’s the same saga.
Now, today morning I was having a little ‘Me’ time having my chai and going through some instagram pages where people post some lovely and cosy nooks and corners of their home. I suddenly started thinking: what makes our home so special? No matter where we go, are spoilt with a choice of food from a lavish spread, even stay in a plush resort or a hotel where we don’t have to think about any chore to be done except relaxing, we still end up missing our home. Strange but true isn’t it?
Well I feel it’s because it is always on our priority list whether we realise or don’t. Most of a homemaker’s day is spent in making this place liveable, keeping it clean, making it comfortable, doing it and re doing it on festivals, adding our personal touch to it and much more. For many it is their dream project. For most of us, it is our life’s savings and one of the areas where a major chunk of our earning goes (Didn’t your monthly EMI figure cross your mind reading this?)
For a few it is where we grew up. For some it’s their ancesteral legacy. For others there are priceless memories attached to it. There are people who cannot associate with many homes as they have lived in the same one from their childhood. For corporate nomads like us, it is a new story and a fresh setup every couple of years and still we call it our home.
The love is so overpowering that we end up picking up things for our home wherever we go. Some people concentrate only on neccesity, (and trust me I do love their clutter free spaces as if they have attained nirvana), hardly getting attached to the materialistic pleasures of life which I really envy at times.
For some it’s a place which reflects their personality and it becomes so very evident the moment you enter their homes. Every corner is done up with such warmth and care that you really feel the love with which it has been done up, and there are a few who just wish to do it up due to social pressure.
Well whatever be the reason, but isn’t it fascinating how something which is actually lifeless becomes our life line?
I still remember my room as a college student wherein every single day I had a tiff with my mother about the state of my room and the mess it used to be in. My mother had lost all her hopes for me as far as cleanliness was concerned. To everyones surprise the tables have turned now, and it’s I who am seen screaming my lungs out if the house resembles a chaotic market place.
Well, talking about myself, I would admit that I am a big hoarder of everything big and small which can make my little abode more enchanting; yes my priorities, my shopping lists, taste and preferences have changed a lot over a few years. I have suddenly started loving the idea of doing up my place and experimenting with it. I do feel that I have started getting attached to too many things; not actually a very good idea!
Our mind just tunes very easily to what it likes. Isn’t it funny? So I sometimes ponder as to what it is that changes our likes and interest areas so much that we start doing something which was totally unexpected of us. Is it responsibility or onus? Is it love, attachment, or sheer interest? Or is it due to exposure or peer pressure?
Every home is unique and so are the people staying in it. Sometimes behind these beautiful walls and the perfect curtains lies a lot of pain hidden and wrapped, the same house conceals it so well that it can baffle anyone up untill it opens its actual doors for one to figure out the reality. For others it is a perfect place of their dreams where they want to weave beautiful memories together. For a few it becomes a prized possesion and a battleground for ego and power wherein love no longer remains, and the word Home gets overpowered by the word Property. Many (as compared to those who are homeless) of us have the luxury of a beautiful place that we can call ours but the thought of “Thoda hai thode ki zarurat hai” (there isn’t much, and we don’t need much)never fades and our quest for bigger and better is always on.
The same entity, but different emotions, different interests, different thought processes, different motives. And then there are still many who live under a flyover or on pavements or on the streets, and you can still see them laughing and talking. Sometimes I think, what place do they call theirs? Do they also have aspirations of having a house one day or they have already accepted the harsh reality and are content with it? What do they feel they would do if they had one? Have they ever seen what a beautiful home looks like? How do they live in the moment? Do they feel the same when they are forced to move to another place as we do when we leave our home and re-locate to a different city? So then does this mean that this sense of belonging only begins if we own something or have spent money on or inherited something? Or is it inherant in all humans whether they have a concrete home in the way we understand it?
It is indeed very difficult to understand the human mind and its emotions. Learning from people around sometimes makes you believe that the next time when a piece of expensive bone china falls down and lands up in fragments, just think it is an indication to leave it behind and move on to embrace something new in life. Your place will still look good even if you replace it with a planter as it takes much more to make a house a home. And this is why Har Ghar Kuch Kehta hai…
…All this and more when I have just shifted out from my own place into a different city and trying to give my new place some personal touches to call it my new Home!
A version of this was published here earlier.
Header image is a still from the movie Tumhari Sulu
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