How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on? When in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back.
– Frodo Baggins, Lord of the Rings- Return of the King.
What is Home?
Home is a state of mind, a house is a solid structure, but a home is something more intangible. Often, people ask me if I ‘feel at home’ at whatever place I am living in that moment and my answer is always the same – I feel at home everywhere and consequently I feel at home nowhere.
However, for this article’s sake, it is important to put a structure to this thought. You see, I often find this same distinction between a poem or a spoken word piece and the things I write out on paper. A spoken word piece is an idea, a jumble of words in the ether of consciousness and that ether is my home.
This article is my house. A space of four margins enclosing a jumble of words no longer in suspended animation, but rather in grammatical order (to the best of my ability). Both fulfil their requirements and I will let you, faithful reader, choose what appeals to you more.
Do You Ever Go Back Home?
Near on four weeks ago, I left the suburbs of Melbourne for the suburbs of Mumbai. From one M to another and here is what I understand on transition:
- You can never go back home, because home changes everyday, every minute, every hour. Your house may stay the same, but your home is in constant flux.
- But if your home has changed (and for sure, so have the people in it), learn to accept it! They are as great a part of your paradigm as you are of theirs.
- Most importantly, learn to appreciate the differences between your two homes. Some changes may grate (and you would be naïve to think that there would be none), but do not let those grating feelings degenerate to downright cynicism.
Now, I do not say that I follow this advice to the letter. I am human after all and I am fettered and blinkered by the weaknesses of our kind. But that does not make these words any less true. Like I said, the words on their own are in the ether of poetry, beyond judgement, and criticism (for better or worse) but between these four margins they are the objective truth.
Of the Poetic Karass*
I write these words at 1.06 am on a Wednesday night, 9809 km away from Brunswick West. I reach out from one house to the other, from one home to the other. Both connected, both part of the ether of poetry. I breathe it in and I am fulfilled. I hope that a part of my consciousness still resides there in the coffee-shops of Sydney road, buying a mocha and taking in the glorious sunset, pounding the pavement as before. I do that here as well, only the mocha has been replaced with a cutting chai**. Many lives, many homes and yet one all-encompassing ether of which we all form a part. A single beam of light in the larger bright. The beams of poetry and that of the love of the written and the spoken word. May that brightness never dim!
Till next time, faithful reader.
*karass- A network or group of people who are somehow affiliated or linked spiritually. Coined by Kurt Vonnegut in his novel ‘Cat’s Cradle’.
** cutting chai- This version of milk tea particularly associated with Mumbai is a savory concoction of milk, sugar, ginger, masala and green tea boiled together in a large steel kettle and served steaming hot. Its flavor is so strong that it is served by the half-glass. (“Cutting” being the transliteration of the Hindi word for “half.”)