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Home Truths

June 24, 2011

I recently visited my hometown, my home after a long, long time. Eight months to be precise. It didn’t feel that long to me somehow. And I was in two minds about my decision to go till I reached there. Two questions rankled my brain in a million manifestations – What will I do at home for ten days? Won’t my parents drive me absolutely crazy?

Then I felt a little ashamed.

How did it come to this? I stayed at home for first 22 years of my life and when I left, it wasn’t to ‘get away’…it was to discover myself. And now, six years hence, I do not even always like the person that I have found. What an irony!

The weather was hot. I stayed in for most days. I ate little and slept a lot. I threw away my phone somewhere. The life as I knew once continued to exist without me with me in it. I fitted just right in. In the end, I would not have minded ten more days but I returned nonetheless.

At times, I help a neighbor’s fourth-grader with her Hindi homework (Hindi isn’t her first or second language). Yesterday, a poem had to be written describing how much a person loves her home. She was blank. I hate to spoon-feed so I insisted she come up with some ideas at least and then I will make them rhyme.

The kid (and I quote verbatim) –“I don’t have any ideas for this homework because I do not like my home and I don’t like my parents because they love my sister more and I will not make up stuff and lie so either we write about what things I don’t like in my home or you make something up.”

I felt so taken aback…discontentment from being ‘too loved’, does it start this early these days?  I wanted to tell her that in her next twenty years she will say this twenty million times and be proven wrong every single time. And she will never learn not to say it because we never do but still, somehow, in the end, she will always fit just right in.

But I kept my mouth shut (why be a spoilers-sport in her life drama).

I wrote the poem for her. I didn’t even have to lie.

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