I have always felt something when I said ‘home’. But I don’t think I ever really understood what it meant, until my trip to Bangalore.
Home is the perforated shadow of the leaves of a massive deciduous tree, falling on a smooth tar road. Home is the call of a koel. Home is the crunch of dried leaves everywhere. Home is lush wild grass by the road side. Home is a quiet drive in a small dilapidated car, with the music playing softer than the voices singing along. Home is taking a walk in the middle of the night and discussing History while sipping roadside tea. Home is the smell of old books and steamed rice. Home is the feel of chuna walls, of quiet evenings with the music on loud and mosquito drones. Home is cane furniture and crumbling verandahs.
Home is not a location. It is of, not at. Of the smells, sights, sounds and voices that we grow up with. And if we can capture that in a bubble, or find in unexpected corners of the Universe, then that place is home.