Is there a place that you can call home? A place that pops into your head as soon as you are confronted with the question – “Where are you from?” It seems like one of those straight forward fuss-free questions. But is it? Nope, it’s loaded. It’s a question that forms the edifice for a lot of relationships. If you happen to belong to the same place as the inquisitive questioner turned best friend for life, that’s it! You’re in; welcome to the tribe. You can seamlessly alternate between your native tongue and English, share your grandmother’s pickle recipes, discuss the 10th generation bakery that serves fabulous vegetable puffs at the intersection of some latitude and longitude that Google maps has no idea of yet, cluck your tongue at the sad state of politics… you get the idea. But if you happen to belong to a place outside the permissible 100 mile radius of inquisitive questioner turned awkward encounter, at best, you can shuffle your feet, discuss the weather and at worst, still discuss the weather. Discussing the weather is one of humanity’s most under-rated achievements. Salvaging uncomfortable conversations since the inception of time.
Well I happen to be someone whose origin is as blurry as my vision without glasses, which is to say, very. Actually, no. It depends on how far back in time does one want to delve to find common ties. If only we could discuss apes as our common ancestors *sigh*. Anyway, with grandparents from Lahore and Karachi, parents from Delhi, born in Mumbai but having spent most of my life in Bangalore, to say that I have an identity crisis would be an understatement at best. So when someone catches me off-guard and delves into my murky family tree, my mind draws a blank and I fumble “Del.. sorry Mum.. I mean Banga.. no wait..”
However, when I ask myself the question “Where is home”, my mind still draws a blank but in the most tranquil way possible. Home is wherever and whoever I want it to be. Home is all that I have accepted unconditionally. It is the nook in my grandmother’s house in Delhi where the cooler is most effective, it is the laid back yet full-of-life electric vibe of Mumbai, the comfort of a strong cup of filer Kaapi in Bangalore and home is all the people I have had the privilege of discussing the weather with… 🙂
Yours – in need of an actual home,