Home is where the heart is! Surely you must have heard this famous proverb. And that makes me wonder, where exactly is my heart? Is it in the home where I grew up and lived 25 years of my life, the place where I played and spent those blissful childhood days? Or is it in the home I live in now?
My childhood days in the eighties and nineties were spent in a palatial bungalow in Bangalore. Life was far simpler then and Bangalore was an entirely different city too. Sans traffic, noise and pollution, the city would be full of blossoming trees. I grew up as part of a big joint family in this large home of ours. I consider myself lucky to have been part of such a huge family that lived together. The home had a huge front lawn and a backyard where there would be a washing stone (I wonder if homes still have those stones, with the advent of washing machines). Growing up was fun amidst grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins galore. We were a total of 15 members in the home and we all shared a common kitchen!!!!!
But as the years passed, the family slowly broke away. My matriarchic grandmother, the old owl of the family passed away. It was like as though the roots of a majestic tree had all of a sudden been cut off. The next gen sought better opportunities and moved to different parts of the globe. The other elders in the family moved on to live with their own children. My father however continued to remain in our home until his last breath. In fact the only thing he wished for, when his cancer was diagnosed as terminal was to be in our home till the end. Dad is no more today. Our good old home in Bangalore stands vacant. What once was a witness to beautiful memories, relationships, joys and sorrows, it is now nothing but a dilapidated old house.
Where am I now?
It has been over ten years since I have left my childhood home in Bangalore. Married to an Officer in the Armed Forces, transfers and movements have become a constant affair. I have moved close to nine houses in my 12 years of marriage. And as much as I put in the effort to make every living quarter I live in seem like home, somewhere deep down that element of emotional attachment isn’t quite there. It’s just a roof under which I live and spend moments with husband and kids.
My heart still lies in Bangalore, though it is now nothing but a mere house!!!!