“..but dad, you roam around the world, meet so many new people. Life has been gracious to you, and you have been gracious to life. You heart has always been filled with kindness of the people around you, nerves with adrenaline, and mind with experience. You are a wanderer you said. You have gathered wisdom as a collectible from all the place you have been to. With all of this and more, how could you ever miss home?”
Smiling with his eyes, he replied to his ever so curious daughter, “that is very well put. Impressive for a 10 year old my love” he smiled now, “whatever you said is absolutely correct and I do stand by it. So tell me, can you define what ‘home’ is?”
Dad never treated me as a young girl. He always talked about the world, of its varied cultures and people, about writing and what it meant to him, about love and affection, about life, about beauty and the philosophy that surrounds it. He never treated me as a young girl. But more like a friend. A friendship that I feel was beyond the imagination of any individual, including me. As insightful as he was, I fell in the opposite category. Knowing a person and understanding them are two very different things. And I always caught myself in the middle of this bewilderment, especially when it came to my dad.
“tell me, how would you describe a ‘home’?” He questioned, eager to hear what I had to say. In less confidence, I replied “umm..a home is a place where you live with your family, a place where you feel warmth and love and security”, I glazed at him, hoping it gets accepted. “hmm, technically that is accurate, but humanly, or to be precise emotionally, it isn’t”. He took me in his arms, making me feel the warmth of his body, which was never less than a thousand degrees! I counted his heartbeat, humming along the beats, that is when he asked, “how does this make you feel?” “lovely” I replied, “elaborate that a bit”, “I feel warm and loved when I am in your arms daddy”, “Do you feel safe?” he asked, “obviously I do!”. “Now, doesn’t that description sound similar to they you described home?” “yes it does” I replied. “Home is where you feel love, warmth, and security, and it is not limited to your family or to the four walls of your house. It goes beyond that, I feel at home when I am with you beta, similarly, a man who is fond of reading will find it in his books, a performer feels at home when he is on the stage. A man feels at home when he is in the arms of the woman he loves. A child feels at home when he or she is showered with love of a mother. A pet feels at home when he is patted for his loyalty towards his master. A person can feel at home because of his friends, hobbies, a passion or even places! You may call me a wanderer, a man full of wisdom and experience, and its very heart warming that you have such things to say about me my darling, but I do not have an identity, and I shall belong nowhere, if I don’t have a home.”
I was startled. The concept, the basic understanding of a home transformed after I was given this particular insight. Ever since then, I found many homes and I lost none. I was made to understand that it was something more profound, and that this is a feeling that can be felt only if its genuine and strong. My beliefs, my values and my principles come from my father’s teaching’s, from what I was taught, and from what I learned out of it. I might get shattered, but my foundation is strong, powerful enough to help me rise from a downfall. Thoughts need to be revolutionized. That is when we comprehend the true significance of things.
I did nothing but smiled after what my father told me, as my eyes were enough to tell him how happy I was to have known above the mediocre. I curled in his arms as he hummed a tune unknown, fell asleep, though I felt awake.