Home, Heart

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  • Amal Raju

Home is where the heart is.

Or that’s what they all said so. Which is true; there’s nothing more comforting than being in familiar surroundings, with familiar people and a familiar routine.

But they never mentioned where my heart is.

Should my heart be where I learned to place my first few steps, where I learned to love and trust and hate and live with my parents? Where I learned to hold hands with my sister? Where I first got hurt, physically and mentally? Where I stole my first chocolate, where I came across my love, where I found those people who I am lucky to label as my friends?

Or should my heart be where lived all those whom I called my own? My beautifully old and frail grandparents? Cousins who shared my own penchant for mischief and who only knew how to love unconditionally and play with open minds and hearts? Those figures who guided me through those paths that I failed to see and pushed me gently yet, firmly?

But how could I forget that felt the most special to me, where I learned to place my first independent steps? Where I shivered, cried, stumbled, bled and eventually learnt to breathe freely? Where I explored the boundaries and paradigms of freedom, gained a special kind of freedom from expectations and being caged in and being able to breathe in the fresh, fresh air? Where I tasted good food and learned to differentiate between those souls that mingled with my own and those which simply didn’t? Where I finally learnt how it was to be an adult?

Maybe my heart belonged to where I formed a firm identity of myself, where I could finally point out to a form; uniquely formed, slightly disfigured, yet a quietly happy form, and declare that this, this here was me.

Oh, but where again?

Where I definitively allowed my beginning years to mould me into a human? Where I learnt the basic emotions of life? Where I hurt and cried out first? Where life, in all its desirability and complexities, appeared to me? Or where family, a major source and identifying form of identity, belonged? Where they helped me through career and life choices and made sure not to impose and not to leave me in the darkness either? Or yet, where I finally, started living and breathing, freely?

Where, where, where?

Some say that life is formative and influencing throughout its course, which is true. I am still shaping, still learning, still placing my thoughts and ideas and identity in a black box, but it does become difficult when I wish to place my origin in a specific place so that when I do question myself, in the recurring thoughts of my mind, throughout the day, maybe sometime at night, I will be able to come up with an answer that may define the solution.

Finding a source of being, of origin, is as definitive and as important as finding the right kind of music. An apt tune at the right time can relate and get to the most innermost workings of your mind like no other being or thing may be able to. It can inspire you to create and invent the greatest of things, it may leave you moved and motivated like no other.
Or it could be like appreciating the taste preferences of your taste buds and experiencing the right kind of food. The right amount of melted cheese will spring fireworks and all kinds of good hormones like not even a million dollar cheque could do at that moment. A subtle spicy yet saucy mix could leave you reaching for more and more helpings and leave you with good feelings associated with that mix of food.

The right kind is often difficult to find. And once you find, it would have to be from so many important places that mean various things and life lessons to you. But when you do finally label one as home, make sure it brings all those fuzzy feelings of warmth and happiness and love – make sure it is home in all the right sense of that term. It needs to be your escape, retreat, your holiday house; it may occasionally become the place you regret to go to most, there will be places that will remind you of the weakest moments of your life, of your blood, your tears and the pain. Remember however, that your home will live past all of that.
Your home will see you as it is; weak, vulnerable, quirky, happy, and will still love you and accept you, even at times when it seems that many won’t.
Welcome people into your home that respect and revere and love and worship your home as you do. Only then will your home provide the softness of life that you crave for.

As for me?

I will just make sure I vitalize and keep in mind what makes me, the me influenced by the different aspects from all those places that make me a human and a being and an entity.

And when someone asks me where I’m from, where my home is, I’ll just smile and say,” Home is where all the pieces of my heart are.”

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