By Pragya Lal:
Where is home?
Home is the land of yellow and black taxis.
Home is where the rickshaw wallas go by metre.
Home is the memory of cycling downhill in early winter mornings.
Home is throwing a tantrum as a child and leaving with your sibling in tow hoping to return and find jalebis waiting for you. (to recreate the infamous dhara oil ad)
Home is the artificial sandy beach of my polluted city.
Home is the flashing image of making sand castles on that beach with this boy.
Home is a father with a moustache and an electronics engineer for a mother who gave up everything to raise you.
Home is the thrill of defying parental authority.
Home is failing to defy the said authority.
Home is Nanaji’s Sherlock Holmes stories.
Home is where the awkward silences are filled by the distant and faint blabber of a television.
Home is where you devour prawns and sinful chocolate overload brownies.
Home is where the aunty jis of ONGC colony discuss the latest gossip brewing in the society while simultaneously having a discussion on how to make low fat halwa.
Home is singing the theme song of your favourite show every night at 11 pm with your brother.
Home is the racing heartbeats before an open house.
Home is where you make life decisions when stuck in a traffic jam.
Home is where you can whisper your secrets to the sea and smile gleefully when it rains in response to your queries.
Home is where you want the laughter and conversations to never end.
Home is making up ludicrous stories to escape paying extra charges for excess baggage at the airport. (Emotional or otherwise)
Home is where sweat trickles down your forehead as you exit the airport only to be surrounded by familiar faces and as your car passes the Parle G factory and the smell of these biscuits wafts in, it stirs in you something deep and inexplicable.
Home is waking up with a sudden jerk at 4 in the morning to scribble something down lest you lose the thought forever.
Is home the city I was born in? Or the city of my origins? Or the cities I was schooled in? Or the city I am living in currently?
Is it a city? A happy place? A state of mind?
Where is home?