Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Home of the Mind

Cinematic Orchestra - To Build a Home

We make a home wherever we go. We make them with our memories. Our happy zones, our comfort spots, our favourite people, our soothing music – stuff that spells nostalgia in bright neon lights or with the smell of a warm kitchen smelling of freshly baked bread. In my case, it can mean being able to hear Indian accented English or even smell sambar (a South Indian staple).
These are smells, sounds and sights that we unconsciously register. That we often take for granted. But the very same things that trigger the rush of memories, and eventually…nostalgia.
To be clear, I knew that I wanted this change. This change will do me good and I knew that it won’t be easy, it would take a while before I make my own friends and even find my own emotional moorings here. I knew it all intellectually and the emotional understanding…I waited for it to come assail me.
Two weeks in a new country. In a country which I have visited fleetingly once before. A country, the ways of which are alien to me in a lot of ways. A country where I might be for the next few years. Or more. This is called the land of opportunities. Things are easier here in a lot of ways compared to my emotional home – India. A place where I have been for most part of my conscious memory making years. But, I can’t help but feel a pang of loss and sadness over the fact that when I go back, things would never be as I left it.
People are going to change – they grow older, busier, with more responsibilities. They start to have families. In case of parents, they grow older, slower, more feeble. My friends are going to change. People are going to change. My life is changing. I can’t imagine being able to experience what I have in the past 3 years.
With so many memories swirling in my head, I know that I couldn’t have been where I was all along. I needed to move on. Grow up. Change. Shoulder more responsibilities. Experience more of life, perhaps. But…the home that I had created in my mind, that I can never go back to in reality. And that is a sadness that makes me want to weep over.
Now this is what change would feel like. Emotionally. In psychology, there is a requirement for a mourning period for every big change that you face in your life. The loss of what was. And it may, oftentimes, never be possible to retrieve or get back to. Like a loss of someone close to you, a change in residence, a big change in life circumstances.
This mourning period is the phase of emotional understanding. A time to reminisce over the past and remember every snapshot memory that stayed stuck in your head over all these years.
But, this too shall pass. And I know that as I had made a home there, I will make a home elsewhere. Create new memories, new friendships, families away from the family. Home away from home.
This is when you realise that home is just a state of mind. But a state of mind that makes a huge difference!
So here’s to creating a new home. One that you always carry with you, wherever you go. To live through the joys and sadness, ups and downs and of discovering new comfort zones.

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