Returning Home

Everybody should leave home.

One, we get to see what’s there in the world outside the small world that we live in. Most of the things we hold as true, aren’t. We see shades we have never encountered. There’s surprises galore that will shock and awe us. 

Two, it’s a wonderful feeling to return. The place is warm and your people invite you back in a way that you feel at home. With the experience of the world outside, our own world becomes slightly richer. The sense of comfort is satisfying.

After a while, we should leave home. Again.

10/10/10

Please note that the date in the title is in the dd/mm/yy format.

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Three years ago, this day I was in a popularly acknowledged exotic place in the world – Fiji. Traveling long distances has always been an intriguing experience. The context of it all – being so far away from a familiar place. Everything around you is different yet, you are the same. That instant difference and the sameness is the intrigue, and therefore the excitement and curiosity. This photo in particular gave a sense of a gentle touch, a connection with the environment I was in. It could have been taken in Mumbai, for all you know (it wasn’t), but the fact that it was taken on the other side of the world, made it ever so beautiful.

Not all discoveries you make during travel are about the places you see.

The House Must Mean Something – II

I owe an apology to my readers for the previous post. Of course, I’ve already apologised, at the end of the previous post. So, this apology is for those who gave up before they could reach the end of that post. It was a post full of possibility that was, unfortunately never converted.

But this post is not about the apology. It’s about the last post. So, it’s a post about a post. Or a non-post, if that’s what you would call the previous post. (which is potentially a non-post).

A long-lost-and-now-found blogger friend offered an insight into what the actual content of the previous post could have been. Well, she didn’t actually suggest that it could have been the content, I made up that part for myself. It was about Going Home. There is envy when you see such beautifully written posts, but there’s happiness in equal measure, because you were able to experience it.

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The House, for me has always been the predecessor to a Home. A home is an existent experience of many a splendour and wondrous things. A house, not so. The only thing it can mean anything is a possibility — of being a home. You know what I mean – the oft-quoted cliché: “four walls make a house and four people make a home” and the various permutations of that idiomatic expressions. And while I still cannot put a finger on the genesis of the title of the previous post, the house does mean something. Just one thing, actually – a possibility. And in that, there is much we can do; much we can achieve.

And, of all the things that we can do with it – is that we can make it our own; make it our home. That is what a house means. But we will have to be open to that possibility, give it due consideration – walk around in it and see where we can hang our dreams, how we will fix our hopes, and with what hues we will paint our joy. Some houses are easier to consider than the others. They are stencils that provide a sneak preview of how our home could be. Some other are blank canvasses. They are a little difficult, yet full of opportunity.

And when the house is your home, it can mean much more; much, much more.

The House Must Mean Something

It is not always necessary that the title of the post has to have significance to the content of the post. At least not when it’s on your own blog. If you are writing for someone else and the success of that post will get measured in some form, then perhaps it’s a good idea to have a title relevant to the post.

Long time ago, there used to be meme’s asking if you write the title of your post before or after writing the post. I don’t remember what I said. Nowadays I don’t bother. I write the title when it comes to me. Sometimes in the middle of writing the post.

This title? I wrote it before the post. I wrote it before I even knew what the post was about. The phrase came to me and I thought it would be a nice title. Actually, the original was, “The House has to mean Something” – I changed it because I was not sure if ‘has’ and ‘mean’ should be capitalised. Anyway.

I now have to retrofit some content for this title. Because the context in which the title came to my mind now eludes me. I was reading the post of a blogger who I used to follow a long time ago. She continues to be prolific and an excellent writer that she always was. A recent post by her resonated strongly. I would write about it – but as has been pointed out by some of the folks who read this blog; the gloom index of this blog has been bullish. I tried defending; what’s being considered gloom is really introspection, but I value my readers’ comments. (when they do choose to comment).

So, perhaps the phrase came to me in the context of blogging. Blogging is like home. Warm and fuzzy, elaborate, elegant and expressive. And her blog reiterated what it feels like being home. But I was not sure what the “mean something” meant, in that context. Also I thought House, not homes.

Maybe it was about homes, literally. In between switching social media sites, I saw a friend post a photograph. She recently shifted homes and experienced enough stress. That feeling is alien to me. I have shifted more homes in my life than I care to remember. But like before, people shift homes, not houses. I thought of a house.

It has been (almost) five years since I shifted homes. Perhaps it’s the itch to move. Perhaps it’s a photograph I saw on Bookshelf Porn (it’s safe) that I wanted for myself. But given that I hardly read nowadays, I wonder what would be the purpose of building a library in my house other than to serve the purpose of decoration.

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So here I am, with you my flabbergasted reader, without any useful clue why I thought of the title. My apologies.

Leaving India and Leaving Indira

One of the things I like about blogging (and, generally speaking, the ability to post your thoughts for the world to read) is the power of expression it provides, which, a few years ago was limited by means and by reach. The entire scope of expression was limited to a specific audience. With the Internet and the tools to express, the scope is now global (limited, still, by those who have access to the Internet, but a significantly larger audience is available to you).

And while it is a good thing, it also means that you are opening your expression for criticism and debate from a much larger audience.

Recently, a post by Sumedh Mungee was featured in the NYT’s India Ink section: Why I Left India (Again) – his experiences on coming back to India from the US, and his reasons for going back (again). He has his own reasons and I leave it to you to read the post, if you haven’t already. Needless to say, the post has sparked various reactions from various corners of the world. If you have the patience, you will find the some of the 226 comments (at last count) amusing.

And of the many reactions that have been the result of this post, I’d like to highlight one.

Why I Left Indira (Again)!

All the emotions that all the people have felt due to this post are all worth considering; this response by Amit – to my mind is the best, I have seen.

Enjoy!