Megha Bajaj finds ‘home’ beyond the confines of four brick walls—in people she loves and is comfortable with
This pandemic has redefined the word ‘home’ for me. It typically referred to those four walls, coloured, with peeling wallpaper, and plants and rusted bells. The lovingly worn rug that the dog keeps chewing at. The windows, so used to my fingers pressing against them, as I look out night after night. My pink quilt seems to know the shape of my body. My fingers curled around my mug. It’s strange how your home starts growing accustomed to you. Like a beanbag that takes the shape of its occupant. It is called ‘home’ because it is familiar. It is yours. It adapts to your height and breadth, and mood swings and sounds. Even your Silence.
In this pandemic, I have found home, in a few more spaces which I did not know I could feel so familiar with. I have found a home in a few people. My mother, for instance. Mornings are ours. I know she starts thinking of me, missing me, and waits to talk to me. Even miles away, I feel her thoughts, and as I lie on a yoga mat, or with a tea mug in my hand, watching the distant hills, her voice and laugh make me feel that I am home. I have found a home in my mother.
And then, there is my daddy. I have found a home in his voice. In the pet name(s) with which he refers to me. I don’t need to be next to him to know what he is feeling. Even when he doesn’t say it, I know he is troubled. We are one incredible duo. We laugh over anything. We cry together too. And sometimes, we just go for an ice-cream and keep on trying to fathom the depth of life. Even after a few minutes with him, I come out feeling more home than ever. I know even the greys on his forearm. The little dots on his back. Everything about him is home.
I have found a home with my husband. Strange, because he is always around. But we seem a little more in sync with each other. A smile and I know what is going on. A tear and I rush by his side. Sometimes, I subconsciously even scratch an itch for him, even without knowing it was there. Running my fingers through his hair, I feel at home.
I have found a home for the purpose of my life. For once, I am not running helter-skelter, without knowing where I am actually going. For once, I don’t need that constant validation from outside. For once, I am not even looking at what others are doing. I am so deeply rooted in my sense of direction, so tuned into that voice within, that I don’t feel like I am lost or floundering, even when a definite result is not in place.
And, the most beautiful of all . . .
For the very first time in my life, I feel I have found a home within my body. Myself. I am so aware of that niggling pull in my left knee. The soft inhalations and exhalations. The veins ran across my hands and feet. The fluttering of my eyelashes. I am in touch. With me. In a way, I never have been before. And I feel sacred about who I am, what I represent, and where I am going.
Just a four-letter word.
And yet, it has the capacity to evoke the most secure, blissful, loving feelings.
I am happy to recognise I never have to be away.
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