Home is where the heart is…?


So they say. And I agree. Home is  where the heart is. What then would you call a heart that has multiple homes? What would you feel if you felt like a wandering mendicant for years and years? I guess you would feel what I feel!

That is very sentimental. Yes, I miss “home”….it has been 6 years and 8 months since I left my homeland. The first few years I was here…in fact the first 3.5 years, every other sentence would begin with “Back home, this is how we did it/it was lovely/ etc etc” You get the point. I refused to accept this alien country with strangers that smiled too much, roads that were too wide and devoid of pedestrians or animals, and where everything required you to fill out forms!

And well I knew it, this alien country called me an “alien” as well. I had limited scope to work, and earning my living  required permissions from “authority”. It was a strange tug of war – a struggle between fulfilling those dollar dreams you hear so much of when you grow up in Hyderabad, and retaining that patriotism, and love of everything Indian that I was so proud of. Mind you, NOT everyone felt that way. Most of my friends merely missed family, not the country.

Not I. I missed India, I still do. I miss the hustle and bustle of life there (contrast that with the fact that in the middle of the day, I can hear myself type here!), the colors you see all around you, the philosophy that seems to permeate the air (or was it only in Hyderabad where everything chalta hai ), the amazing smells of food, and yes, even the stench of the roads that people and animals freely use as bathroom/lavatory. And most of all, I miss my family. So if that is home, what is this? What is this little world that I have built for myself here, with my husband and my dogs, called? If this is home, why do I still say “Back home, vegetarianism is never a problem!”….and mean India of course!

Have I achieved the dollar dream? I dont know….is being nervous day in and day out about your visa status a sub clause of the dollar dream? If not, then no. Maybe the past looks rosy simply by virtue of being the past. You filter out the bad and remember the good. Has life improved here? Absolutely! I drive a nice car, live in a nice community, but somehow something is missing.

Back home (there I go again!), when we watched Oprah interview people who were depressed, I would wonder how anyone who could take a walk in the woods with their dogs, visit such gorgeous, clean beaches, or have centralized AC in the summer could be sad about anything…turns out woods near your house or clean beaches in the vicinity, or even all the facilities in the world do not contribute to peace of mind.

In the end, are we ever satisfied? Do we ever achieve peace by attaining material goals? I guess not! I guess there is some truth in MMY’s sayings that to find happiness outside, we need to first look within. But I must say, wisdom, or at least understanding, does come with age! Hopefully I can learn and understand some more before it is too late and I am a doddering old fool 🙂


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