Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Home Sweet...

Going home after being away for such long intervals is like taking a pilgrimage. And I felt it more acutely this time, since sis will soon be leaving for Florida, following which parents will move to Kerala... which means I have no idea when the 5 of us (Parents, sis, AG and I) will spend time together again or when I will visit Bombay next.

Everything seemed so much more important and of so much more consequence. Every meal we ate together, moments we spent talking away late into the night, time we spent teasing each other... everything seemed to be special... even those yelling matches and cold wars with sis and mom!

And past few days since I have gotten back... have been difficult. I keep thinking of home and of the people who make up home. (Sa Re Ga Ma commented the other day... "home is so beautiful a word!" and one couldn't agree more). Isn't it is such a lovely word!! Isn't it just the loveliest word ever! HOME!! Makes one feel happy and at peace. Makes one feel loved and wanted and cherished and safe.

Home was such a great place to grow up in... sis and I shared a room... a bunk bed, one wall lined with my books, the others covered with posters of whoever is the latest craze... John Lennon, Marc Robinson, Salman Khan (eeewww!! see how honest I am... am willing to admit I liked the creep!). I had even stuck a poster with rules applicable to 'all ye who enter' on the door. The room is all changed... now that sis is the sole occupant and her idea of a tastefully done room is classier and less juvenile than mine.
The dining table was the family den... we all met there... to share our stories over dinner. Mornings... mum and dad would sit at the table sipping their cuppa coffee and the birds sitting on the birdfeed at the window, chattering and chirping noisily. Dad would read the English newspaper and mom, the Malayalam one. Suprabhatam playing in the background. Sis and me would walk around sleepily trying our best to get late and bunk school. Ah! yes... how can I forget... the phones would be ringing incessantly and shrilly.
Then there was the kitchen... I would spend a lot of time there just following mum around, all the while yak-yakking... telling her how Thels' and I got into trouble at school or how Ms.Goody-two-shoes got a comedown in class or how Teacher-miss-know-it-all slipped up... intermittently interrupting myself to dip my hand into whatever mum happened to be cooking/cutting/frying at that moment and pop it into my mouth.

I was such a pain to bring up... forever getting into trouble, bullying all the other kids, beating them up, getting beaten up too and amidst all this continuously generating fresh ideas to create more trouble. Every other day some kid's mom would end up at our doorstep with an angry complaint on how I punched her darling son. I used to believe that if you dig somewhere, anywhere for long enough then you would hit upon buried treasure (thanks to 'Treasure Island'!). So I would bully all the kids to dig at a spot for days on end until one of them complained or I gave up on the place and found another one with more promise. My first plane ride was a disappointment... I had been believing all along that the clouds are made of solid material and fairy folks lived in castles built on the clouds... imagine my sorrow at realising that the clouds are but whiffs of cottony white stuff and there are no castles on them! :(

Anyways... I digress as usual.

I started this post because I was feeling terribly, dark bluishly, almost blackishly homesick... and I guess this is one thing I can never grow out of. I can never stop missing home and sis and mum and dad. All the hour long phone conversations in the world are not going to alleviate it.

But my memories of home are also my haven. There are memories of random incidents, even split second shots of mom and dad and sis which my brain had snapped up and put away to be brought up time and again... their smiles, their eyes, their animated gestures while driving home some point, angry frowns, so many... so many clips! Everytime I am distressed, I close my eyes and bring up my favorite memory of home... us sitting at the dinner table and chatting away, narrating the day's events to each other, arguing over something, pulling each other's leg, laughing away to glory. And soon I feel the blues melt away, my distress fades and a warm, happy feeling takes over... the realization that no matter how far I go and no matter how long I'm away, no matter what I do and whether I succeed or fail... there is a place where I can always go back to and know I will be welcomed, loved and taken care of... HOME!