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At the beginning I was ecstatic, and I can safely say that I was one of the happiest being on earth. The thought of so called ‘break away from home and being independent’ was all I thought about. I set forth on a new journey, onward towards a new continent, a new country, and a whole new world. Behind me the memories of my motherland, India and within her, the small coastal state of Odisha.
Ever since a kid, I haven’t had much pleasure of living in my state for long. My dad, having a job which forced him to move to a new place every two to three years meant that our family had to pack and haul our stuff every time I finally settled down in a place, started opening up to people and made friends. But, one thing was always fixed, summer vacation home to my birthplace, Bhubaneswar the capital of the state of Odisha. As soon as summer kicked in, I used to count the days and start packing on the last day of school before holidays.
I had no wanderlust whatsoever; my only destination was to travel home where grandma stood at the doorway welcoming me and telling me how underfed I looked. My cousins, all girls and one boy, would hurdle together for days in and days out filling each other about any information which would have potentially been left out over phone conversations. I am a 90’s baby and I can say something without one drop of hesitation that, those were the days. Number of minutes over the land phone was restricted, not everyone had a personal cellphone, and there was a sense of eagerness and longing for gatherings.
Growing up is a whole entire ball game. Things change and people leave. We grow out of our old self. We are influenced by people and places and the desire to get out of the house and explore the world sets in. Now, away from home for almost 2 years in United States and looking back, I can say that home is definitely where the heart is. Nostalgic and home sick, I long for the look on my mother’s face when I get home to sumptuous meals. I remember the everlasting fights I pick with my younger sister over the pettiest of reasons and my father’s silly dad jokes, his constant support, and late-night aimless car rides around the city.
I miss home, I miss the warm and cozy feeling of being surrounded by the people you love and people who love you, I miss the familiar roads and the boulevard that leads to my house, the sweltering heat of summer and the pleasant winter morning, I miss my friends. I miss the feeling of belonging. I miss home.