Home…

There was a line in the fourth book of The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants that I liked very much- “Home was a time and no longer a place. She couldn’t return to it.”
It’s a very nice book, that one. It’s about 4 girls and their friendship as they grew up. 
 
I have friends too that I grew up with. We weren’t together from birth like they were, but when you are 19 and looking back at a decade of friendship, that hardly matters.
 
These two girls I grew up with and grew away from. These two girls- they are home. It’s not a question of where they are; it’s a simple- they are- home.
 
My sister and I never really shared secrets in the dark, we didn’t giggle together once the lights were off, we didn’t share books or pens or pencils, we didn’t go to the same school, and we didn’t have common friends. She was the bossy elder sister; I was the pesky little sister and on some level, even when she’s 25 and I’m 20, we still believe so.
 
When she left the house, I was thinking who should I go to with my math problems and when I left the house, she had a job and was too busy to think. Then she got married and left. Except for an occasional comment on our facebook walls, we hardly talk anymore.
 
But in those few rare moments when I do think of her, I remember her sitting in the room across mine, calling out to me sweetly so I could get a book off the shelf for her from a cupboard about 5 feet away from her. You see, she was preparing for IIT and I was just…jobless.
 
That was home.
 
My mythology is very good and my philosophy is also very good. My grandfather is very very good and he taught me both of those.
 
So many meals I remember that were gulped down with delicious servings of stories; so many nights under the sky spent with lavish rewindings of the past glories. I remember the village we would go to every January to celebrate Sankranti, the bhajans I would wake up to each morning and the big, big bed I would fall asleep on surrounded cozily by the mosquito net.
 
There are no more stories now; I’m too old for them. There are no more visits to the village now; I’m too busy for them. Last I heard, the 200-yr old house is going to be demolished; apparently we need a wider road, but we don’t an old house with its old man and his memories.
 
This was home.
 
Change has ripped through my home and brought it crashing down. But, each brick that fell just added to the sculpting of a beautiful memory and that memory is now- home.
 
There was a ritual I followed. When the doorbell rings and I know it’s dad at the door, I run to the door. I just had to get it. Then, he would come in, sit down on the couch and start pulling off his shoes as I get water for him- neither too cold nor too warm, just right for him.
 
When I went off to college, this was one thing I sorely missed and this is one thing I pick up doing every time I went back for holidays. For, that part of it hasn’t yet changed and until it remains unchanged, that part of it is- home.
 
My mother always told me….loads of things. I don’t remember half of them. But, the half I do remember I remember well. Don’t go out after dark, walk on well-lit roads, don’t get too cozy with guys, studies should be no.1 priority, don’t wear low cuts or tight jeans, eat well and sleep well and her laugh- I remember that the best of all. Every time I open the door when I’m back and call for her, that laugh greets me first thing in my way and that’s when I know-
I’m home.
*END*
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