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.