So we shifted house yesterday. It was a crazy nerve racking day. Loads of arguments and nerve stepping. But in the end, the house looks great. So it was all worth it.
Spent Saturday, packing up the whole old house. Another very "fun-filled" day.
But as we picked up the last paper pins and packed away the last showpieces, a funny thing happened. I found myself asking, what now is "home".
Is home the place where you can roam around in the dark without bumping into a single thing. Where you remember stubbing your toe and banging your knee on the corner on every bed. Where you can find shapes in patterns of the Mosaic tiles. The place where you remember which year exactly the crack in the plaster appeared. Where you find forgotten birthday cards made for dad on chart paper with wax crayons.
Is home where you know exactly how much push every door needs to be given, with your hip,to close it. Where closing the kitchen drawers with your knee or foot and the fridge door with you butt, is second nature.
Where you know the arrangement of all the bottles in the bathroom cabinet and all the linen in the linen cupboard. Where every time you go home for the weekend, you know instinctively at what point in the hall, you can drop your bag and take that flying leap onto the sofa, and you'd land perfectly.
Or is home the place where aai and baba are a shout away. Where you can hear your parents murmuring suspiciously in the other room, discussing your life, in what they think are secretive ways. Where aai will still insist on telling people how many marks you scored in your engineering. Where you share tea on Sunday evenings and groan about going back to work on Monday - invariably, unfailingly every Sunday! :-) Where you sit and talk about aaji-dada and your aunts and uncles and cousins come calling. Where you laugh and cry, and scream and fight. Is that what home is?
I found the answer too. As I sat with baba in the new house, sharing a packet of chips and Mirinda Shorbet, and laughing about the "Ambrosia" bakery being right around the corner, discussing packing and unpacking, I realized with a twinge of something resembling relief, that home is where your family is, no matter what colour the bathroom tiles or the number of electrical switch points.
Memories are not stored in walls and windows, they are stored in the hearts and minds of the people who inhabit them.