My theme for the A to Z Challenge is: Life on another continent.
When I moved to the America in early 2015 little did I know how much I would change as a person. I've changed, drastically, mostly for the best. America will remain one of the best life lessons I'll ever receive. On independence, on myself, on what motivates me, what depresses me and what I expect from life in general. I think America laid the foundation for all the relationships I have, had and will have. By America, I don't mean the country, but my life in the country.
When I arrived in Detroit some time in March, it was freezing and being from South India, the lowest temperature I've experienced is 20C and may be 4C when I was in Lucknow briefly, but that was it. So when I was hit with -22 C, I didn't for the life of me comprehend it. I didn't think I'd survive it. Honestly. After a long long flight from B'lore to Paris and then to Detroit and then to Pennsylvania it was maddening. However the Jetlag, the cold outside and a general anxiety of having to deal with immigration melted after I saw a familiar face at the airport that made everything worth it.
I never wanted to live anywhere other than India, I didn't really think I could ever be anything more than a tourist anywhere else. It is very easy to define home when you're in your own space, you can just simply say its where I live. But what if, where you live and where you come from are two different places? Can you begin to call something else home? Why was I calling India home? Was I calling India home because I was Indian? Was it because everyone I knew was from here? was it parents? was it my education? Why did a geographical location become an unshakable part of my identity?
'Home' such a difficult term to define. I started thinking of what I was thinking of when I said home and it hit me. Home is solace. Home is where you can walk around in a T shirt and not have anyone judge you. Home is not people, it is a feeling. Home is a feeling you cannot shake off. It's a craving to cannot satiate. Home is the ultimate luxury.
My "home" was a tiny little space in the middle of a forest. But that's not why I loved it. I loved it for a very different reason. This "home" was a physical structure that was testament to my time there. The place that saw one too many laughters, a place that saw my cooking disasters, a place that saw a mess that I can make. The place that saw me jump like an idiot when I saw it snowing, the place gave me sparrows. A physical space that I'd grown emotionally fond of. It was my (our) first home. I'd put a lot of time into it. I'd put a lot of thought into. I find my eyes welling up as I think of the place. I don't feel or understand the glamour with living in the US; but my home, that's the place I'm going to miss, perhaps forever.