Where is HOME?

where is home
Image Credits: Pexels.com

In the fading fragrance of a lone drop of lavender at the edge of the pillow of the love of my life

In the tender crook of his wobbly arms

In the black corduroy case my fingers sew for his flute

In the back seat of the silver cab that he took when he left me standing alone that night, one last time

In his ambiguous replies that always concealed something and revealed nothing

In the moon light that touches our faces, at once closing the gap between us albeit only in distance

In the flame of the dying moment he stood apart, never trying to bring us closer

In the togetherness that went unattained

In the glowing embers of my heart that never stops loving him, no matter what

 

In the glimmer of a single strand of silver hair coiled in my mother’s yellow comb

In the edge of my sister’s forgiving eyes

In my brother’s endless generosity

In my Dad’s forever young caustic hilarity

In the guileless hug of my cousin’s child

In the tenacious faith of a childhood friend

In my unconditional love for a man who probably doesn’t even deserve it

In the sublime kiss of a child named Iris who often visits me in my dreams

In the heart of the man from Denmark who I will save someday near camp 3 on the South face of Mt. Everest

 

In the tree line at the edge of the first horizon I see from my window

In the sun that rises everyday over the rocky hill a few miles away

In the lone tree on the rocky edge of the hill that fights for its precarious existence every single hour

In the pine trees of Ooty playing hide and seek with the rays of the Sun

In the mud roads of Castlerock where I used to run hand in hand with Juber; our laughter piercing the lull of many an afternoon siesta

In the sound of our thumping hearts, as we raced as free as the stallions of a mystical wild, wild west

In the branch of the Guava tree on which I perched myself hours on end as a 5 year old pondering about nothing in particular

In the rolling tea gardens of Darjeeling

In the prayer wheels of a Buddhist Monastery in Manali

 

In the comfort of the colour Black

In the folds of a 40 year old heirloom saree belonging to my dead grandmother

In the stripes of a black and white T shirt

In the tattered label of an old blue chambray shirt

In the folded cuffs of a linen shirt dress

In the soft drape of a crepe scarf

In a white hand painted silk dress I will never be able to donate

In the memory of the warmth of a 30 year old pink sweater

In the green chiffon dress worn on 21 July 1997 when I last saw the boy, who would drown saving his friends 4 years later

 

In the lustrous spider web at the edge of my teak table

In the bass of the third string of my out of tune violin

In the forgiving icons on my altar

In the broken blue terracotta tea cup that patiently heard many a fascinating dream of mine in the wee hours of the dawn

In an old Kodak camera that captured precious moments of my life peppered with laughter and song until its demise

In the screen saver of a Motorola slim phone which gave away my secret love affair

In the Titan Chrono watch I spent my salary on, that got lost in a train to Goa

In the hazel eyes of a nameless cat that made my lap its home for 3 months

In an old Philips radio set that is constant company these days

 

In the math classes of a super friendly Sir, who is no more

In the dimpled laughter of a long lost gay friend

In a lone photograph with my mentor

In the painting dedicated to a friend, now out of touch

In the unspoken words behind the twinkle of a crush when his eyes met mine and time stood still

In the unruffled windswept hair of a married man, I unwittingly fell for

In the High School slam book which reveals the name of the one boy I wanted to talk to but never really did

In the clearest pair of eyes of an army man I shared my seat with on a train journey

In the lovely nape of a man I saw 17 years ago riding pillion in a bike, on my way to college

 

In the lyrics of the song ‘Love is all around’ by Wet Wet Wet written secretly before math class on the black board of room 203 in college

In the Greatest hits cassette tapes of Eagles and MLTR, played alternatively every single day after school

In the last couple of lines of James Blunt’s You are beautiful

In the husky rasp of a Bryan Adam’s song that’s not heard anymore

In the rising falsetto of OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder

In the expressive basal notes of Coldplay

In the momentary stillness before 5:44 in Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah

In the perky Linkin Park song that suddenly pops up in an until-then boring play list

In the quivers of my breaking heart while I listen to Mohammad Rafi’s “Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon (I am not the light of any one’s eyes)”

 

In page 217 of Peter Matthiessen’s Snow Leopard

In the tears shed in the curled up pages of “Into The Silence”

In Dostoevsky’s mesmerizing words

In the horrifying portrait of Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray

In Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage protagonist Philip Carey and his all consuming destructive love for Mildred Rogers

In a gifted copy of Love Story I gave away to a library

In a copy of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat I gifted to my ex-love

In the twin copy of “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran that was shared with a dear friend as a send off gift

In the pirated copy of Orwell’s dystopian 1984

 

In the last 500 metres of an 18km barefoot trek to find Lord Shiva

In the 10km walk on the leech infested railway tracks to DudhSagar Falls in pouring rain amidst the most gorgeous valley in Western Ghats

In the deep gorge in Devprayag, the point of confluence of two mighty rivers of India from where they begin to flow as one, The Ganges

In the paws of Shemru, a Tibetan Bhotia dog who taught me to love again while on a trek to find a Shiv Ling inside a natural cave of stalagmites

In the lonely trek to the origin of a river high up a mountain with the gurgling sound of the flowing river down below as the only company

In the 3555 steps I climb every year on a pilgrimage to my favorite temple town

On the 94/6 mile marker in Kandikhal in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand on which I sat for hours soaking in the sun after a lazy lunch

In the park in Kodai where I finally found the once in 12 year blooming Kurinji flowers after a really long wait

On the 5th floor ledge that was supposed to plunge me to my death 15 years ago

 

In the restlessness, when at an unearthly hour the train is fast approaching my city after a long trip out of town

In the insane joy that fills my body when despite my core screaming to stop, I push forward to do a couple more oblique crunches

In the middle of doing menial household chores when I suddenly begin to hum an old forgotten melody

In the lonely bus ride home when my head plays a violin concerto while my ears listen to Queen’s I want to break free

In the poems of Benjamin that sear my skin bare to the bones

In the inspiring F-Word Fridays of Sabrina that push me to break down walls that constrict me

In the macabre world of Matthew that always fills me with awe and wonder

In the sage like advices my cool lime green Yoga Mat dispenses every morning

In the few hours of bliss Mx. Sleep graces upon my otherwise hyperactive insomniac self

 

In my persistent refusal to commit

In the crippling fear of the death of my family

In the fear of dying alone

In all the memories that will fade away in time from my memory palace

In all the memories that will eventually take their place

In all the tempting roads I never took

In the dreams I let go, to pursue the ones I considered worthwhile

In all the words I never spoke

In all the words I will never write

 

In the Harley 2012 FLRH Road King I ride on unending roads in my dreamland

In the ultra rare Lamborghini Veneno I will never own

In the Grand Piano I will never be able to play

In the H.C. Silvestre Cello that adorns a lovely room in my memory palace

In the highest notes my songs will never hit

In all the good words of the world my eyes will never get to read for lack of time

In every grain of Earth my feet might never walk on

In all the men I will never love because of the one that got away

In the children I will never bear

 

In the bus tickets used as book markers

In my blank white canvasses

In the rustle of the trees playing inside my drawing book

In the peeling lime green paint of my room

In the artwork of an old calendar

In the dried flower in an old diary

In my battered laptop

In the ever changing tie-dye colours of the skies

In the butterfly like constellation that waves at me wherever I am

 

In the Tupperware jar that contains my precious tea

In roasted groundnuts and toasted almonds

In a bag of potato chips

In a humble meal of Roti and Dal

In steaming White rice and a ladle of Sambar

In the aroma of a slow cooking pot of Biryani

In the tomato and green chilli plants that greet me every morning in my kitchen garden

In the Death ivy plant in my garden that refuses to untangle itself

In the weed that refuses to die

 

In the trance like state my mind enters when I overhaul my sewing machine

In the silence of my mind despite the rickety rackety sound it makes while I sew

In the drop of blood my needle leaves behind as a mark of its tough love for me

In the wrinkled lines of my aging palm that are taking me from here to there

In the tolling temple bells and muezzin calls that wake me up much before the alarm goes off

In the conceding tears when prayers go unanswered

In the blink and miss sage like calm moments I pride myself with on rare occasions

In the detachment that comes only with age

In the valuable lessons that failures teach more than successes

 

In the slower monochromatic times of peaceful yesterdays

In the fast paced chaotic times of today filled with a riot of colour

In the gap between a day and night

In the silence between two consecutive breaths

When my heart says Yes and mind says No and I don’t know who to listen to

In all the things I have touched and all the things that have touched me

In all of these things that will die with me

In all of these things that will stay on even after my death

In the ashes of my bones that will scatter themselves over the entire expanse of the planet someday

 

Where is HOME?

It is in your eyes as you read this

It is wherever we are now

It is Everywhere

It is Nowhere

It is Here today with us

It will be Here tomorrow without us

Home just IS…

Always will BE…

 

Behind the scenes:

A simple question by one of my favorite bloggers Matthew of abysspost in response to an older poem of mine made me ponder about what HOME means to me while on a road trip to the innermost part of my Dad’s home town.

His Question after he read the poem titled Beyond You:

Are we ever home?

My reply to him was with another question: Depends on Where is HOME, No?

Once I reached my humble brick and mortar abode after that exhausting trip, the answer to my question flowed. Like a River in spate.

Who can define what Home really means?

Despite my lengthy unrestrained attempt, it still feels like I have just touched the tip of the iceberg though!

In 3 little words, HOME just IS.

HOME is in all the disintegrated parts of me that have merged themselves within the things I have written about and in so much else that I have not been able to…yet.

HOME is in Family, in Love, in Nature, in Music, in Cinema, in Sleep, in Dreams, in Failures, in Laughter, in Silence, in Fears, in Tears, in Imperfection, in Vulnerability, in Decisions, in Consequences, in Faith, in Madness, in Letting Go, in Contentment, in Breaking Rules, in Chaos, in Harmony, in Boredom, In Randomness, in Being Incomplete and most definitely in Death too.

And HOME is certainly in all the lives we couldn’t live so we could live the one we willingly chose to.

 

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24 thoughts on “Where is HOME?

  1. Home just simply is! I love it! Home is where the heart is! And that could be anywhere and nowhere at the same time. Whatever guides and controls your thoughts, wherever it takes you! Great read as always Lalitha! Your detail and clarity is uncanny! Imagine my surprise to see my name mentioned! I was reading and stopped and I said wait what… awww! Thank you! You are so kind! Your words are always right on time! Thank you for being you!!! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sabrina! Well your blog was one of the first ones I fell in love with, so obviously it’s HOME!

      Thank you for the validation Sabrina. I needed it this time. Sometimes when I write something that digs deep into my core and it goes unnoticed, there is a sense of hollowness I get left behind with which takes time to heal. Thank you for your comforting presence and your words of love and appreciation. Every single time. It’s much needed and appreciated. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lalitha,
    your words give me wings and let me soar over great distances to share a bit of your life. Thank you for welcoming me and all who read you into your home. You have given me something wondrously tangible and inspiring to nurture and comfort my soul. You have imbued every instant with the deepest meaning, and coloured existence with such simple, yet profound brush strokes. Your poetry reminds me of Walt Whitman’s. You bring me back in time, to a place and emotion I thought only I and a very few had experienced. You have brought that place and time to the present, and have allowed me to breathe that refreshing, inspiring, life-affirming air once again. I thank you.
    Dear Lalitha, I am so happy you stepped down off that ledge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The first time I read this, I was in puddle of tears. Thankfully I was alone on my evening walk!

      Matthew, you are the reason the poem was birthed. So Thank you!

      When I first began to write, I was scared that my style doesn’t fall in the realm of poetry. And my sister suggested reading Walt Whitman. I did and I was good to go. I was no more afraid. Today when you compare my humble words to him, it feels like I have come full circle!

      So much of ME went into this poem. I am so happy you read and took it to your heart and your part of the world. Your words touched the deepest part of my core and it took me a while to understand why I dissolved into tears.

      Rarely do I get feedback that makes me want to love myself a little more and which makes my incessantly depreciating mind to fall silent even for only a little bit. Thank you so much Matthew.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment was sent a week ago!

      But turns out it came back to me and not you ! Weird! So resending it again.

      This morning I woke up and finally felt my usual spring back in my step after a week of laying low with a bout of Pneumonia. It felt incredible to be alive! I didn’t think it was possible for me to be happier than I already was!

      And now I am fumbling for words! I didn’t think it was possible to break down the walls of the miles between us. Turns out we can!! Never felt so close to a person across the oceans before!!

      Never felt humanly possible to make valid connections with another human in this lifetime! Thank you for busting that myth too, Benny!

      I’m actually a wee bit happy you shed a tear. It only proves my words must have touched a chord. I do it many a times when I read you…so it’s mutual!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been reading this for a while and for a second there I felt I was you and had lived you life to the smallest or details . I even saw myself sewing. The concept of where home is extremely Exciting. It’s where I find love, warmth, peace and memories that leave a mark. It’s truly not a place but the experiences in particular moments. Nice one Lalitha. Don’t hypnotize us though. I might end up buying a sewing machine after having lived as you through the post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks to you I read my own poem and Im not going to pretend to be modest now. It is damn good! It took me to a place I rarely go. My tea is going cold in my hands in my mug right now and Im still wondering how I managed to write something so gorgeous! I guess I was hypnotized myself for a few moments…Thank You!
      I see myself building on this poem, there is so much I can add to it!

      BTW You have no idea how much love a sewing machine can give you! You know when you are one with it. The blood, the pain and some frustration later you see the divinity behind it all. It’s tough love! Words can never replicate that feeling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s more like it. You’ve owned that your writing does magic does magic to us fans. That’s why I come back. Powerful stuff Lalitha. I know more great things, of course hotter than that tea are brewing within you

        Liked by 1 person

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