A few weeks back, a friend had thrown a grand party at his place to get us introduced to his fiancée who was visiting him. When I say grand, I do mean “Grand”. There was the most delectable food to choose from, free flow of wine, and rounds of poker and video games to play later. There was every kind of great food you could stuff your stomach with, and even more. After food and drinks, everyone settled to their choice of games or simply chatted and idled lazily. I was all sleepy and groggy eyed, and no matter how good the evening had been, I realized that all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. Yet none of the people were in the mood to leave, and I needed a ride back home. Not wanting to be a party pooper, I kept staring wide-eyed, unable to sleep, yet not quite active to participate. The hostess must have noticed this, for she soon started to stuff cushions under my head. Yet no matter how comfortable she tried to make me, all I wanted to do was to GO HOME. And I had never been more glad to be home.
Yeah, I am one of those people who have to get home by the end of the day. It’s not that I return to a house full of kids playing around, laughter, noise, or a significant one. Most of the times I talk to the bare walls. But no matter where I am, I want to get home at the end of the day.
There have been times when we were shopping all day and after that, G would insist me to have food with them and stay back. Yet no matter how much I wanted to, I would always find myself catching the last bus home. Another friend of mine has this posh condo on the 26th floor that overlooks the Elliott Bay on one side and the panoramic view of the city on the other side. Yet no matter how I swoon over my friend's place, I want to get back home.
I was staying at G’s place when my new home was not quite done, and I had merely dropped by my new place to keep some stuff. And suddenly something occurred to me and I knew that I was home. The place was unfurnished then, there was this one dim light and carpets on the floor. Yet the moment I was there, I decided to call G and let her know that I wouldn’t be home. Because I WAS HOME. I had cooked Maggi out of the one packet I could dig out, and had slept on the carpet. Yet the comfort in the knowledge of being home was unparalleled.
I don’t mean to demean my friends’ hospitality and warmth. They have great houses and the best hospitality to provide me, and I am immensely thankful for that. Yet no matter what, home is where I want to be at the end of the day. Familiar bed, familiar rooms, things familiar to touch and smell and see. Most of the times my room looks like Hurricane Katrina has struck it. And then when I can’t take the mess anymore, I spend hours cleaning up the place spic and span. Yet my familiar pillow, familiar blanket, familiar stuff has an extraordinary appeal to it. There have been times when I have hated to be the party pooper when everyone else wanted to stay back. I was once in the middle of an amazing party where an astronaut had brought his powerful telescope and everyone was having a great time watching the Jupiter and the craters on the moon. Yet the first opportunity, I slipped out and was given a ride home.
The point is, no matter where I am throughout the day, my home is where I want to get back at the end of the day. The familiarity, the joy of having one’s place surpasses any feeling of alienation or loneliness. They say the home is where the heart is. For me, my heart is where my home is.