Define a home. What does that even mean? Have you ever wondered what a home is or what defines your home?
I know most of you would say home is NOT four walls, because that’s what we have been reading everywhere. But I say home is exactly that. Four walls!
It is the comfort that those four walls offer to cry shamelessly or the freedom to fart as loudly and as smelly as you want…home is your world within those four walls! Outside them, it’s not home. So yes, for me my home is those four walls!
Of course, it’s the small things within these walls that make it a home. Like a pair of shoes lying beside the door, a teapoy that has newspapers spread over it haphazardly. Or finger prints on window panes, and the ultimate “chair” that miraculously holds all the clothes that you could possibly need. There are just so many of such personal touches that transport a space into home!
But these are the things that you can carry with you to a new space. Like when we recently shifted to a new place, all our furniture remained the same, and all the messy personal touches quickly transformed an apartment to a home. But I miss my previous place!
Now since we have moved everything that made up our old ‘home’ to this new place, technically it is still my “home”. But somehow the space, the walls feel alien to me.
This space doesn’t have my memories. The walls have not seen me grow up. They are not flaked with the old crayon marks peeping out from the time me and my sister played ‘teacher-teacher’ and drew all over the living room. They haven’t heard the songs that my dad used to play every Sunday morning or smelled the delicacies that my mom made for years. Neither have they heard all the scolding or the laughter. The tiles are all new and don’t have scratch marks of chairs been pulled all over the place!
My bed remains the same with those little cushions that are never in the right colour sequence. But when I lie on it I don’t see the ceiling that has proudly adorned the faint traces of glow-in-the-dark stars that we so painstaking pasted up there. Now when I plop down on the sofa in my living room, I don’t see the iconic swing that looked perfect against the sunny red window frame.
When I clean up under my dining table I don’t find leaves that were blown in by the wind or the small crack in the flooring that gathers all the dust. The new sparking white floor tiles don’t have the memories of all the dances and dramas that my mother choreographed and directed.
These walls haven’t seen my dad with his soldering machine mending things or his fingers darkened with ink spilled from old printer cartridges. Nor do the rooms remember the games that we played squealing with imagination and laughter.
The curtained door frames that served as our patent photo-posing-place for all these years were left behind. The curtains along with their memories of all the smiles and weird moments for which they provided a picturesque background lie folded up in cupboard; and the twin door frames barren…
My new place is mesmerising with a breath-taking view. I obviously had fun trying to fit all our old and new furniture around. It is a perfect home now. I can cry and fart anytime I want…but it lacks in essence the stories that the four walls offer. The stories that jump out at you when look at a particular spot.
The walls are yet to grow old with faint marks of us living there. The windows yet to catch us day dreaming and a corner waits to be designated as a permanent photo-place. As the new door closes behind us, a new world awaits! A world where time is spent slowing down, sitting down, lying down. Time spent making memories of our world within the four walls…
© 2019 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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