Home is the place where you have divine adrak ki chai in the morning which can give Starbucks a run for its money. It’s that one place where coffee and tea are both made perfectly. Even the best cafes in town are an expert at brewing only one of these (if any at all).
Home is where you skip the entire main newspaper and start reading the supplement Bombay Times. Somewhere else, I usually bother myself with neither.
Home is the place where you grow plants. And then have discussions about which one is growing in what way and which one needs more sunlight and hence must be moved to another place.
Home is the place where your mom gives you a relaxing head massage with a concoction of oil which smells both of countryside Kerala and an expensive spa at the same time. It is also the place where you braid your hair into plaids and have no issues with staying that way the entire day.
Home is where you never have to think about what you want to eat and when. Because your mom can’t stop finding things to feed you. First the fruit, then the breakfast, then the post breakfast, then the juice, then some kovil prasad right before it is time for lunch, all served with the unparalleled taste from my mom’s kitchen. Home is where you sit down with your entire family for meals and in my case, eat them with your hands with no hassles of spoons or forks unless it’s chowmein.
Home is the place where you get fresh, clean towels and sheets all the time. And you never have to wait for your queue at the washing machine, in fact you never have to face the washing machine directly. You just throw your clothes in some place and they magically appear washed and ironed in your shelf later.
Home is a place where you know more about your maid’s family more than I will ever know about my dorm neighbour. It is also where you are updated even about your uncle’s sister-in-law’s fourth cousin. You know all about who is getting married and who is planning to buy a house. No other place are you so sure about people’s immediate agenda in life.
Home is where the kids from your building turn up after play, tired and thirsty to drink a glass of water because your house is on the ground floor. Because they dare not go to their own house before the deadline for playtime placed by their parents.
Home is where you accompany your mom to the vegetable market and feel proud of her excellent negotiation skills. Where you see complete logic in demanding discount on green chillies and free curry leaves because you just bought a bundle of coriander.
Home is where you keep shifting furniture and forever keep trying to change the way the curtain flies into the living room. Somehow, they never fly as gracefully as in Karan Johar’s movies and it makes my heart sink a little and my hair get all messy every time I try.
Home is where you find your childhood preserved. All the good parts like the school drawings, the trophy you won for elocution, your Tinkle comic books and sometimes even the bad parts like the skipping rope, your exam writing pad or those weird photographs in retro spectacles!
Home is where shopping is truly an experience. My entire family shops for my clothes and it is a grand exercise in eating pani puri, mosambi juice, vada pav, dinner, ice cream all interspersed with some shopping in between.
Home is the place where you cannot open your laptop first thing in the morning and you definitely don’t get to watch vampire diaries. Yet I like it, because home is where the phone or the email doesn’t haunt you. Where you know that things can wait. It’s a place where you go beyond all the electronic beings in your life and start paying attention to actual living beings around. Like the stray dog below my building who thinks it’s his right to relieve himself on top of my car tyres.
Home is where you watch serials with your parents and listen about its story which either barely moves from the last time you saw it or takes leaps and reaches 20 years later. It is where you change channels on the slightest anticipation of an on screen kiss. Where it is totally acceptable to have had a crush on Shah Rukh Khan for the biggest part of your childhood years.
Home is where your parents quarrel about pettiest of things like the place to park the car or the whether to eat an ice cream during winter. And somehow you are the person deciding who is right in all such complicated decisions.
Home is where you sleep with your spectacles on top of an open book and wake up to see yourself sleeping with a pillow and sheets over you, spectacles removed and kept to your side. As a kid, I would sleep on the couch itself several times, and I would be proud of my teleporting skills when I magically woke up on the bed.
Home is where festivals mean a lot more to you than they actually might anywhere else in the world. Diwali, Ganesh Utsav, Pongal, Christmas they all mean a lot more. You dare not miss the early morning oil massage cum hot water bath during Diwali or not go visit all the Ganesha mandaps, especially the cricket inspired ones in your locality and beyond.
But most importantly, the biggest thing which makes it home is the people you share it with. They love you unconditionally and never judge you no matter what. If you promised to go jogging early in the morning and slept through the morning, it’s probably because you are tired and need rest. If you decided you won’t eat rice and crumbled completely at the sight of lemon rice, it’s because you don’t get enough home food. There is something nice in every fault of yours and home teaches you that it’s ok to not be perfect. Its ok to not able to achieve what you want, as long as you have the intent and try. All that is important in life, is to be you, because YOU are all that matters when you are home :)