What is home? Is it a memory? Is it a feeling? Is it people? Or is it just the four walls that encapsulated your childhood? Where is my home? Why do we all seek a home? Why this need for belonging? Why do we like to go home? Why do we love to come home? Why do we wait to be home? Why do we hate to leave home?
Such questions haunted me on this last trip to India. On this trip, I visited my family. But I did not go home. My home is here, in California. I left home to go meet my family, and then I came back home.
Finally the feeling has settled. I am finally at peace with this dilemma. I have settled my scores and I am home.
It’s good to be home. I’ve been back for only 3 weeks. But it took no time to settle back into my home. On the other hand I never felt settled despite spending 3 weeks in the place I grew up in, my erstwhile home.
I finally cut the umbilical chord with the city where I grew up – Delhi. It refuses to evolve. It refuses to improve. It is stubborn and resilient. It wanted me to be the same. But I am a lot weaker now. Living in this sunny California has made me a lot weaker. A lot softer. A lot – vulnerable.
When I was in Delhi, I felt like I was walking on pieces of broken glass. Some of the pieces reflected my past back at me. And some were like mirrors showing me the realities that define the city today. It is so hard to be detached from the issues that plague Delhi. But it is equally hard to embrace them and ignore the gaseous clouds that engulf the city day and night.
I’ve never experienced a break up in life. And thus this break up with Delhi is especially hard for me. I want to stay naive and love it for what it can be. But it does not serve me well. I’ve been hurt. And I don’t wish to be in this relationship any longer.
Dear Delhi, I am sorry. But it’s over!