There is old saying that you should live like a traveller in this world since this world duniya as we like to say it in Hindi /urdu isn’t your real home. You should never let the feeling of permanence satiate you , as we all have to depart from this temporary dwelling to our permanent abode.
But as a woman specially a married woman we often struggle to find a home and to feel at home. The home where we have grown up as nestlings becomes only our parents home and we set off to build our own nest. You can be lucky if you can have an independent house of yours and if you are married in a joint family the struggle to adjust in another person’s home and his family and to feel like home may take a while . Though I have build my own nest I often long for my family members to be living there with me like it used to be when I was young.
This time when I visited my parents’s home ( I have decided to call it this way now , before I always referred it as my home until my latest visit) I had to stay there for almost 4 months due to covid 19 lockdown. I was in India for my holidays and just a night before my return the lockdown was imposed, all flights were cancelled and I couldn’t travel back.
The realisations started when your 3 year old niece started asking you questions like phuppoo when would you go back to your home ? since I was supposed to be on a short visit. Why don’t you live with us always ? You have a room up but why don’t you stay here? Her sense of belonging was so much stronger and assertive than mine , it’s her house after all. She has been born there and in those 3 years she saw me once when she was 8 months and which obviously she doesn’t remember anymore.
I wanted to tell her that a part of me is always there in that house and a part of me which is here writing this piece is continuously missing her parents and the childhood home she grew up in (with her crazy brother). A long timeline has slipped in between. The house is no longer the same , my parents are getting old now , though my brother is still a bit crazy and there are new members added in the family now. Another thought passed meanwhile that may be some day my these thoughts would be her thoughts too.
We as woman are continuously searching for our homes meanwhile building new homes and settling in the new spaces and then later to resettle in the gaps which our kids would leave with their moving out. I cant say my mother has coped up with my leaving completely. She still cries every time we part .
A woman is the migrant about whom nobody talks about. Living her life in bits and pieces left in different corners of her childhood , her parents’s home and her current home . She comes as a stranger in her husband’s home and later in life she feels stranger at her parents’s home. The quest of a true home always remains on.