Home is.

Ragged mattress,

Emancipated as its owner;

Doubles up as comforter of the uncomforted.

Cardboard box of belongings,

Torn and patched, only to be torn and patched again.

Hard cardboard, now soft, malleable;

At the behest of it's great nemesis - the decaying time.

43 years,

And a 4 by 4 feet box by a trash can,

Near a bench,

Just outside a marvelous park bursting with cherry blossoms of youth.

Home.


A rocking chair on the patio,

Creaking with each sway;

Years of occupancy speaking through;

Now in conversations with the wind.

A bent couch overlooking the chair that overlooks the sweet mango trees,

and the patch, where the spent blossoms fall to the earth;

The same wind, moves them to their grave,

in the eternal surrender of death.

Home.


A sweet scent of freshly washed hair,

soft talcum powder and vaguely familiar lotion.

Of seasoned curry, roasted flour and fragrant lentils,

Of coconut oil effervescing in supple hands in the winter sun.

The sweet sound of joyful laughter and suppressed sighs,

The inexplicable warmth of an embrace,

Of eternal security and peace, even after the umbilical chord is cut.

The first feeling of unconditional love,

Immortal beauty of a blood kinship.

Home.


A resounding crash,

Shooting pain with the impact,

A little uncertain smear of blood seeping out.

Soft cry of concern,

softened by the blow.

Blazing eyes, now dripping with guilt.

Hard hitting hands, now tender at their rapidly darkening imprint.

The embrace of resignation,

Of conditioned acceptance through years of unstable, yet insatiable, partnership.

Home.

For is home, ever truly a constant?

Exisiting but in the nostalgic mind,

Accentuated by shadows of a light, oft foregone.

Is it defined by the walls we so thoughtfully adorn?

Semblance of structure, in the chaos of the mind;

Things, often replacing value of that which is unattainably intangible.


Can it be contained in the frame of a single shutter click?

The familiar sound that begets a memory's creation,

To make space for many more moments,

While those lived stay securely saved, forgotten by convenience, on wide screens.


What then, is Home?

I wonder.

Where I stay is corporeal, familiar, comfortable;

But not quite.

What do u think of when you think of home? Home was a structure for me : the beautiful little house we had since I was a kid. And then after 27 years, one day, it wasn’t. We’d moved away to another house, and within 6 months, that 'home' had become unrecognizable with the marks of other human existence. And I couldn’t help but feel impossibly estranged. Yet soon, living with my parents during the lockdown, it felt like I hadn't lost my home after all.


Ahh, how easy would it be if home were a mere space! So simple, so easy to reach, to revisit. But it isn’t. Home is a smell of the night queen, a taste of mangoes, a bear hug from a mother, a laugh with a sibling and so much more.


Maybe home is the yin and yang within us - fragmented, It’s what holds us together and what can keep us stuck. Maybe this life is about figuring how many such fragments of homes you've got to let go of and move on and how many can you root in and grow out of. A journey into your own "home(s)" if you will.


Do you know (all) your home(s)?

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