They say that home is where the heart is. It is the place where one feels like he/she belongs and can find a comfort in being there. Four walls, a floor, and a roof over the head is what they say makes a home. But that is only the socially accepted definition of it. This photograph depicts ‘home’ to the man shown above. His home’s flooring may be of gravel; the disfigured sofa in the living room may be his bed; the cycle behind him in his garage may be his means of transport. But he has shoes to adorn his feet, clothes to cover his back, a blue box-like room that may be claustrophobic but has nice windows to pride as his own. He has the air he breathes to be grateful for, the road he can walk on to gain hope from, the emotions of pain, joy, hope, and struggle that he can experience to feel thankful for.
There are many in this world who have none of this-disabled people who have no arms, legs, ears, eyes to feel with and take the support of; people who have felt so much emotion that they can no longer feel; people from denotified tribes who have no land to call their own; people who are framed and imprisoned for no wrong doing of theirs and the four walls and roof around them are really not what they want to call ‘home’. The community factor comes in here and one can say that this is not the case of one man or woman alone but there are whole communities that live like this. There is a culture that is born within a slum and a certain way of life becomes accepted there, though other parts of society would not think the same way and like the same things. The tastes differ based on the environment that people grow up in and live in.
Let us take the example of the man in the photograph. He could have been from a well off family and under certain circumstances, was forced to take to the streets. He could have grown up in a slum and had skewed values (according to societal norms) and got into alcohol and stealing and sent to juvenile jail. He could be anyone. He represents humanity. He represents the past, present and future. He is society. It’s only his story that makes him different from another individual. Such is life. Such is society and the world around us.