Random musings of a wandering soul

Home Alone

kavala“Mmeee…”, we would shout after opening the gate. If it was morning, she would come out smiling from the kitchen. If afternoon, you would first hear the shuffle of slippers, she would be getting up from her daily afternoon siesta, again with the very same smile on her face. And if late at night, there she would be sitting on the sofa, after her customary bath in the evening, with a liberal splash of Cuticura powder on her face and the smile would still be there.

The house was no more a home after she left us four years back. Visits went down drastically and almost came to a stop after the remaining lonely soul also moved out to be with the son. Home had always been a place where the doors were open with lots of laughter inside. And now, there I was, trying to pry open the rusted lock on the gate, looking around at the dried up plants, the cobwebs and dust on verandas. For the first time I had returned home to closed doors, with only memories for company.

That I would feel depressed and may even break down in bucket full of tears was a given even as this trip was planned. And I was totally prepared for excatly that as I opened the gates. But as I walked in and opened the door, a sense of calm seemed to envelope me. The rooms were covered in dust, there was work to be done, but all through this, a peaceful feeling permeated my whole being and it seemed to tell me, this is still your home.

The room on the western side, the’padinjaare muri’ , as it was called was a haven for us. My mother used to complain that her kids disappeared to this room as soon as they reached home. There was something about it that instantly gave you a warm feeling, that soothing feel that lulls you into a sleep that was calm and free from worries. Why was I even surprised that nothing had changed? The moment the house was spruced up and the girl who helped me had left, my body hit the floor and mind and soul eased into a much needed sleep. It was as if the walls made a soft cocoon for me and the cool breeze was singing a lullaby.

The next few days were no different. My sister reached that night with our fairly new sis-in-law. We had one of the best times in a long time. No men and kids, just us meeting up lots of old friends and family that we hadn’t met in years. Hearts truly grow fonder with years. Two meetings will be remembered fondly for a very long time. Incidentally, both were my brother’s friends, and we must have last met them more than twenty years ago. The sheer joy on ther faces, the non- stop, “I can’t beleive it”, and the wide grins as we talked about those fun filled, care free days, is going to stay with me for a long time.

We spent some relaxing time with some dear relatives just listening to old family yarns, some skeletons tumbling out inadvertently and some still kept very safely in family vaults. The end of those four days, there I was , tired to the core physically, but totally relaxed, happy and content in mind and soul. I had gone home expecting to come back sad and depressed, but the journey taught me a few things…….

……that yes, it is the people in a house that makes it a home. But a home is a home as long as you have happy memories associated with it
…..your dear ones take care of you in a deeper sense, irrespective of whether they are with you or not. I could feel my mother’s calmimg presence within those walls of brick and mortar. It was as if I could almost see her in her usual places throughout the house
…..distance actually makes hearts grow fonder
…..accidental meetings can sometimes give you more joy than planned ones
……old memories are as fascinating to the young ones as it is for the older generation. My young cousin was sitting open mouthed all through our reminiscences with regret writ largely over his face that his childhod was totally different
…..and most of all, the fact that we are actually much tougher than we think we are. Our yard was a virual riot of colours when mummy was alive. Now it is almost arid. But , there are still some toughies that survive on the love that was showered on them when they were growing up. Isn’t it so true for us as well? When things seem to go wrong, when a feeling of sadness tries to creep into us, don’t we always delve deep into the reserve of love and strenghth that was poured and sometimes stuffed into us? Like these lovely flowers that still spreads cheer as I opened the gate with trepidation in my heart..


Comments on: "Home Alone" (39)

  1. Such a warm feeling this post has left me with! Hugsss!

  2. hey bindu didn’t know you lost your mom. But what a lovely to bring her back to life – through memories!

  3. Wow!!! what a post and what an ending. I completely agree with all you have mentioned. I am glad to know that you had a pleasant time. A very nice way to start the year.

  4. πŸ™‚ yes its the people that make the house into a home .. Warm warm post

  5. Beautifully expressed. I quite understand what you mean!! And, welcome back!

  6. bettyanil said:

    Binchi in tears when reading through..no words to say hw im missing all specialy mumm korangi.

  7. Such memories are essential to keep us grounded. And we are all fortunate to have them.

  8. Tht was a packed post! Peace descending on a place tht has most of our pleasent memories makes so much of sense rt!

  9. Loved the post Bindu….I cd imagine every bit of it…seriously because u wrote so eloquently.
    And both the pictures are beautiful!!!!

    p.s: That unexpected meeting [brothers friends] after soooo long…must have been fun not to mention nostalgic;-D

    • Thanks Nancy!
      Unexpected meeting – we must have last seen them as 8-9 years olds, so you can imagine our joy seeing the look of delight on their faces, that feel is going to stay with me a long , long time πŸ™‚

  10. woo…its super! its grate ! yes, our mouths are still open πŸ™‚

  11. K.V.Rajeev said:

    It is the same feeling I am having when I visit my home in Kerala. I posted its photo on my
    Facebook and wrote..Empty nest-revisited
    -KV Rajeev

  12. Finished reading with tears in my eyes….

  13. No words, Bindu… We are kids as long as our parents are there… Once they are gone, the place loses its warmth and life. I could feel each of those emotions(you are an expert at expressing them). Beautiful place, can imagine the type of memories associated with every corner of the place…

  14. Hugs Bindu! Thats a beautiful house you grew up in and have so many wonderful memories attached to. Loved this immensely touching and warm post of yours πŸ™‚

    Take care..

  15. What a beautiful post! As Swaram says, it left me with a warm feeling inside.

    I didn’t know you lost your mom. Sorry to hear about your loss, but glad to know that you have such fond memories associated with her. Hugs!

    I can relate to this post of yours very well because we just sold off the house that I grew up in in Ahmedabad. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that it is no longer my home, and that it might not even look the same in some time. I am still getting over the fact that I will have to book a hotel whenever I visit Ahmedabad next, or stay with relatives, not going home as I always used to. I might never be exploring Gujarat the way I want to now, the Gujarat that was my backyard for 25+ years and I never cared to explore. 😦 Your post gives me hope.

  16. Beautiful, Bindu…touching and deeply emotional, but I’m so glad you created new memories for you and your family. I’m sure your Mum must be smiling. β™₯
    The Cuticura powder mention set off memories of my grandmother and her fondness for it. How we associate people with fragrances, don’t we?

  17. Such a touching, heartwarming post, Bindu. And that’s a beautiful house you grew up in! Hugs and take care.

  18. i am constantly scared as i see my mom aging too… this makes me realise the best way to go about it is to savour each moment

  19. Make memories.. and remember them.. because in the long run, it may not be the people, but the memories that stay and give us that comfort πŸ™‚ the house reminded me of my mother’s tharavadu..I went on a quick recap as well ..with you to my childhood memories .. of a house surrounded by trees, and a lake.. we jumped into ..

    • Yes, memories….I seem to get lost in those nowadays….my mother’s home at Pulincunnu may be sold off soon, we are planning for a family get together there in April

  20. Bindu chechi…. that was heartwrenching! I moved back to the US after a 2 yr long relocation stint in Chennai. And I lost my father most unexpectedly on the day the movers were in the house packing to come back to US. A part of me i think died with him….! But life still has to go on!! I am coming to India in June for the first time without him there and i am kind of dreading going home…It is not the same, but as u said there will be simple pleasures which might give comfort, easing the pain!

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