Saturday, 17 August 2013

From Calcutta To Substernal Space

Over time,I have come to draw some very objective conclusions and deductions about life, as I suppose everyone tends to do with the passage of time and the collection of memories.
Stability was a virtue that strongly defined the first eighteen years of my life. But with a change of address came a stark sense of shakiness and confusion making me as unstable as a free radical. I lead a vagabond's life, largely by choice. There is a certain sense of comfort in doing as you please and running behind leads guided by mad impulses. To know that I wake up every morning to a different adventure, however silly and inconsequential it might be, is the sign of a life well lived.
Home used to spell my fifty-year old house with the high ceilings, and the cacophony of different voices, and the mosaic of paintings and framed family photographs on walls that have witnessed four generations of my family. Home was the garden where I played as a little girl climbing guava trees and making makeshift swings out of old deflated tyres. Home was Calcutta.
Home will still always be that beautiful house, and that beautiful city, but perhaps the definition of home has changed in my dictionary. Homes are made from memories, and memories are made from love. Someone once told me that home is not a place, but a place in time. Perhaps when I shift back to Calcutta and I reminisce about Poona, the thoughts of my tiny little hostel room here will make me think of it with a certain secret fondness. When I think of all the madness I've experienced with my friends here, perhaps I'll miss even the dingy little stalls where we sat and gossiped  over cups of sickeningly sweet coffee. Perhaps when I move away, Poona--or at least the past half decade here--will seem like a once-upon-a-time home to me.
Life is so funny, and so very overwhelming. And you realise with every day that passes that everything is so transient, and everything is so unsure. The only thing that I'm sure of is that no matter where you are, where you live, home is where the heart is. So I'm keeping this heart beneath this sternum, secure behind this bodily shell, so I can live my life with an honest smile on my face like the free radical that I am, impulsive madness firmly in place.

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