Home- It is amazing how one word can embody so many feelings- comfort, security, warmth, love and belonging. I have called many places home in my lifetime. So let me rewind and go back to the age of twelve and take you all for a visit to that place which I called home then. Actually, it is not one place but two.
The first was the place where I spent my weekdays. My Dad was an officer in law enforcement, which in India, is a transferable job. So, my weekdays, after I enrolled in school, were spent in our original house in the small town of Bandel, where I also used to go to school. It is a big house with two floors and six rooms, three on each floor. There is also a huge garden in front of the house, with mango tree, guava tree, a huge pine tree and numerous flower shrubs. It may be a huge house but also has always been a very full one. There was my Thammi (Grandmother), my Pisimoni (aunt), Chotto (youngest aunt), my Kaku (Uncle) and me, all staying under the same roof. My aunts and uncle are a lot younger to my Dad, who is the eldest child and after my Dadu (Grand dad) passed away, he took up the responsibility of bringing up his siblings. My aunts were more like my elder sisters and I was a spoilt brat since they used to pamper me to death. My most favorite childhood memories include sitting on the terrace and singing with Chotto, eating the tasty food prepared by Thammi and posing as a model for Kaku who was an amateur photographer.
The second place was the Government quarter where my Dad was posted at the time. At the time I was twelve, he was posted in a small town in Bengal called Bhadreswar. The building was almost fifty years old and had that smell that you typically associate with old places. The three rooms were also quite big and there was a huge balcony. Every Friday, my Dad would pick me up after school and we used to go to his quarter. The moment we reached I used to be enveloped by the small chubby arms of my little brother. He used to wait the entire week for me to come. I really do not know how it feels like to have a soul mate but I used to feel and still feel that my brother and I are part of the same soul. We used to spend the entire weekend playing outside under the huge mango trees, looking at strangers from the balcony and eating the tasty food prepared by my Mom.
I cannot complain. I have been indeed very lucky to have two places which I could call home. A home is a home not just because you rest your body there but also because of the people you share it with. Both my homes were and will remain special to me for all the wonderful memories of the places as well as the wonderful people in them.