The cliched answer would be..home is where my heart is.
And I have my heart very much safe and alive in Delhi. So to me Delhi is home. India, to say it in a larger scheme of the term. Despite her misgivings. Despite her shortcomings. Despite the fact that I left my country about 13 years ago along with my husband in pursuit of a better life. Despite all that that is home for me because I was born and raised there, earned and learned a major chunk of who I am from there, and more importantly I am a citizen of my country.
Because.. all said and done, no matter how much I may have gained from here in the Middle East, how so ever much this region may have done and may be doing to make us feel accepted, it will never accept me as its own, as its citizen. That status, that honour, that privilege I will always from the country I was born in, and belong to. And that makes a lot of difference in the way I perceive the definition of home. Which is why there’s still the hope and resolve to go back to her for good again one day.
Now in the last decade plus that I have been away, we have moved places many times, each time making the city we moved to, our own little home away from home. Its not as if we have ever felt unwelcome in any of the places the we have lived, we have perfectly been able to warm up to them and vice versa. Yet, there has been a conscious effort to keep the flame of our intention to go back, burning . We have never had a long term plan to live in this region ever. In fact when we left Delhi in 2002, to come to the Middle East, we had told ourselves that we will go back in 2 years. Its a different thing that its been 13 years here! Yet the region is a wee bit away from being a home in the truest sense. Its probably because the lever of the 25 years of my life in India is still heavier than the 13 years that I have been here. So the sense of belonging is still more towards my home country than the adapted one.
I do not know what life has in store for me and my family. Where we will be in the next 5 years, so to speak. I am not sure whether my views or my definition of home will undergo a change ever. What I do know is that I am immensely grateful for the way life has shaped up so far. And I hope I continue to be, wherever my family and I are.
I have been observing a lot of my friends taking up this interesting tag on Facebook lately where they are listing down 3 things that they are grateful for.
I have not been tagged by anyone yet, and I am not regular on Facebook either. But I am quite tempted to take it up all the same. So here I am, listing down what I am thankful for, right here on my blog.
– I’m grateful for my daughter who has this knack of adapting to any change or situation with the wonderful ease that’s worth imbibing. As some of you know, we have recently moved countries. And it is not easy getting used to a new place, that you are learning to call home, as is the case with any shift. But Namnam teaches me and my husband with her resilience and her willingness to adjust to her new life with a smile on her face, that it’s not so difficult either.
– Every visit to a temple, every little conversation I have with God makes me positive, makes me grateful for the life I have been blessed with, for the people I have been blessed with in my life.
– I’m grateful for my husband who brings in an amazing sense of calm in me every time I make use of his alternate role as my vent-board! 😉
So, what are you grateful for today or everyday?
And see your daughter deep in sleep, you begin to wonder, when did she grow so big enough to sleep by herself? When did she learn to smile? To walk, to run, to speak? When did she learn to love you, hug you? Where did all the 6 years go? When did time fly?
Then you gently walk upto her, snuggle up to wrap your arm around her, plant a few kisses…right then you sense her taking her hand out of the quilt to stroke your arm up and down. You realize this is something she has always done no matter how deep in sleep she is, as though reassuring you, ‘Yes, Amma, I will always love you’.
Just then you feel another arm placed on top. You lift your head to see the father snuggled up to wrap her and plant a few kisses and probably going through the same line of thoughts as he watches his daughter sleep. Then she does it again..she takes her hand out, which is now cocooned in between the mother and father’s, and starts stroking the father’s arm up and down as a mark of reassurance. ‘Yes Papa, I will always love you’.
You realize right there and then how blessed you are for the life you have. You realize, sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.
With a grateful smile on your face, you put your head down and lie back down for some more while wishing for the time to stay still..
Posted in response to Write Tribe Prompt