I remember the day when my parents left me alone for the first time. I was 18 and my dad was transferred out of Bangalore. As I was in my first year of college, I couldn’t go along with them. I had to stay back at my college hostel.
I remember how devastated my mom was with the thought of leaving me alone in a big city. For her I have always been a kid who is unable to look after herself. Even after eight years she probably thinks the same. As for me I am not very clear about my thoughts of staying alone. In the initial years I probably enjoyed all the freedom I got. I remember, I didn’t feel like going home that often during my graduation days. However things took a turn when I was in post-grad. I would eagerly wait for Durga Puja holidays so that I get a chance to go back home. I used to make a sheet with the number of days left for holidays and strike a date everyday. The more I was growing up, the more I was getting homesick.
Now that I am in Delhi and thus, a little closer to home, I do have the option of going there as often as I want but I still do miss being at home on important days such as festivals. In the last eight eight years I have been home for Diwali only on two occasions. The same is true for Holi, Rakhi, new years, etc. Apart from the festivities, food has really been a major problem. Every day has been a struggle to find food. First there was the hostel mess, now either restaurants or self made food. It’s like as soon as it is lunch or dinner time, my search for food begins. I feel like I am living in a pre-agricultural society where you can’t get food until you hunt an animal. Added to that there is the struggle of finding food with as less money as you can spend. I have probably spent more money on food than on clothes, and there are more food apps on my phone than photo editing apps.
You know I am just tired of living a nomad life. I have always been a girl who likes to be alone, a little isolated from people but I do crave for a family sometimes. Sometimes I close my eyes and relive those moments of the past;the fights over dividing a five rupee chocolate using a proper scale, buying new dresses on Diwali, and clicking a customary Diwali photograph with my siblings, running to Gandhi Chauk to buy an ice cream worth one rupee, asking for a two rupee commission for anything elders ask you to do.
Ah! I had such a great childhood. If only life had remained the same. But then I wouldn’t have valued it so much. It’s only when you lose something, you realize how lucky you were to have it.
Cecelia Ahern, one of my favorite authors has rightly said, “home is not a place, it’s a feeling.” For me, home isn’t just a feeling, it is probably the best feeling I could ever have.