Homecoming.

: (n) an instance of returning home.

“So, where are you from?”

Deep breath. Deep deliberation. And then I attempt to craft an answer that satisfies both the parts of the question – where I belong and where I was raised (since it is not the same place).

My parents have government jobs and they had to move now and again. But the moving came to a standstill when I was around 10 years old. As I write this, I am sitting in the living room of the government quarter in the heritage city of Mysore, Karnataka, India where I spent my growing years . Sitting on the same sofa that I have used for the past 11 years, I start thinking about the memories made in this house over the past decade.

Waking up to the call of Fajr (the Islamic prayer at dawn), the orderly routine in which me, my sister and mom would get ready for school. Rushing through a 3 PM lunch to go out and play until the late hours of the evening. Prepping for countless exams and juries, making seamless fantasies sitting in the balcony with an open textbook in hand, dancing outside when it rains, feeding poetry and prose into numerous journals, doodling, watching vehicles pass by and seasons fading into each other. Summers would be filled with the zest of plucking unripe mangoes and pickling them. There are many more instances, stories and objects woven into this house, this government quarter, which we have now come to call home.

Now, I work in Bangalore and visit home sporadically. Years have passed and nothing has changed. My windows are draped with the same curtains, my walls are painted the same green, blue, yellow and pink and the garden is covered in a mat of the same yellow flowers every spring.

There is no surprise, no enigma in my home. And it is this absence of enigma that makes this place more endearing to me. I have drawn a deep attachment to this house. A few years from now, even when this won’t be our house anymore, I know that the memories I have made, the stories that have been written, the objects that have been collected and most of all the comfort of familiarity is what homecoming is always going to mean to me.

 

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