Yesterday my mother shared few pictures of my childhood home in India. She had decorated the house with string lights to celebrate the festival of lights- Diwali.
When I saw the pictures, every cell of my body wanted to touch the structure and relive some of those childhood memories… The sunny porch where I used to play hide and seek with my cousins, the patch of green grass where I used to run around playing tag. And then there was the guava tree on whose branch I would rest my butt to read books, and the kitchen filled with the warm smell of mom’s food.
It was not my first house, but this was the place where I spent most of my childhood; No wonder it is exceptionally dear to me! The fragrance of the jasmine flowers in those chirpy mornings is still fresh in my heart. I have vivid memories of my room that I shared with my sisters and the terrace where I would chase the brazen mango thieves who stole the fruit from our backyard tree and then ran full throttle making their way up through our terrace.
Then there was our small TV (I call it small as compared to the huge screen TVs in the market now) in front of which I would wait for the Sundays to arrive so I could watch my favorite series of Mickey Mouse. And my cupboard, where my dachshund dog friend would hide, while the entire family searched for him. And the doors and windows through which I watched the rain pelting the nearby street.
It was the home where my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins visited and we celebrated festivals together. It is the place where I experienced the rollercoaster emotions of puberty. This abode kept our family together as we all drowned in the sorrow of losing our father, and also gave us hope and strength to move on. Every brick of this house lived a life with my family and me.
I am in awe at the incessant capacity of this house to hold the memories of a lifetime.
For the above reasons, it’s been tough for me to talk to my aging mother about the topic of moving out of this place to a smaller manageable house near my siblings. And my mom, who is rooted to this house like a tree does not want to. I can only imagine how heart-wrenching it would be for her to leave this place as inside of her and mine too, reverberate the same sentiments that this house is not a mere structure. It is an album of our past.
The fact is that when you start living in a house, this structural thing morphs gradually into a home and gets a life of its own. People living in the house, nurture this space with love, tears, laughter, and bonds of friendship.
I have changed multiple houses so far due to jobs, marriage and other changes that come with living a life. Its no surprise that this changing houses is out of my comfort zone and thus painful for me to move out and bid adieu to the house I’d start calling a home.
And, there is always special something about the previous house that I take with me – the memories. But on the brighter side of these residence changes is that I get to enjoy different houses and to top it off I’ve learnt that I am a home maker and with time and love I can turn a house into a home.
For me HOME is the place to find myself when I am lost, a spa for the body and meditation to the mind. It is the place where imperfections can breathe and live together harmoniously, it the place where fights are forgotten, and bitterness doesn’t last forever.
Home is the pajamas amidst all the dresses in your closet- delightfully welcoming and wrapping you in comfort when you need the most.
What does your home mean to you? Share your story and thoughts.