Jun 12, 2011


There was a sense of disorientation. There was nausea. There were dust allergies. Unlike the previous times, this time, the shift was going to be a permanent one. We would no longer be returning to 11/4 Konark Nagar as our home after the holidays. A different address would have to be given to the autowalla at the airport in Vimannagar, Pune, when we'd go back in July to begin the last year of college. I would even be distanced then because I was pursuing Journalism and the three of them A/V.

Why were we moving out anyway? None of us knew. For the apparent want of a better lifestyle. But what could be a better lifestyle than this? No problems with the society or neighbors, absolute freedom, swings right under the building, and an excellent proximity to the grocery store-the happiest place to be... (especially when they had a stock of Nutties!) 

But the appliances were old, the monthly electricity bill high, the tiles dirty. In a way, they were cause enough to push us to let go. And so we did. From the moment I gave up my keys to our home, what would now have to be called a 'house' I once lived in, I knew it was closure. Things you want to stay permanent never do quite stay that way, do they?

The only other real shifts in the past have been when I shifted out of our family home when I was five or so, and when we shifted out of the flat we stayed in after that for a year. These were the times I knew that I could never go back to that same space and find the same familiarity. On the contrary, I'd be called a trespasser to my own home. Boarding school was a different matter. You knew that every time you'd go back to visit, the school would still have a place for you, even if it was in their worst guest house. You didn't really mind. There, the people and the place were all that mattered anyway.

The cartons were all packed. The suitcases ready to be taken back home. Home. Wasn't this a home away from home? Was Calcutta home because the immediate family stayed there? Were my flat mates with whom I shared 2/3rds of my year under the same roof not immediate family too? They were. They are. I ought to feel happy that I have so many homes. But the memories with each are too starkly different, making it a discomfort more than a consolation. The difference only lies in the familiarity. And in the face of the person you turn to when you wake up...

A friend of mine, Shrey, picked up from this post. Read his post here.


Stewie said...

hmm… It was just today, since a few hour now, that I found myself at home with the fact that there is no closure, ever. It's been a month now since I left the campus, which, when I used the expression 'home' in the past four years, was what I referred to. And I say campus, not hostels (or halls as they called them there) or rooms. Sometimes it was the streets, sometimes my room, a friend's room, an institute building, a foyer, an auditorium, an eatery… And now I return to where my family resides, a house where I have never really lived, had a room, or spent more than a few weeks (We moved in here shortly before my admission). And in a big city with roads that don't care about me, and ask me to watch my way, and before setting step, to look at the time of the day (I bite back by not caring about them either). Now I have an office too, though I am not required to attend more than once a week. And there are a few other establishments I work with, some in other cities as well, and they all have their buildings, and associated lodgings, and friends with flats, which I may go and occupy, if I so please.

And so I move, from having a few buildings and many a homes, to lots of buildings, and no home.

Ashish Anant said...

Beautifully layered and fantastically emoted! :)