In a matter of few hours, it’s amazing to see how continents change into new countries. In a matter of few flying hours, you’re transported into an entirely different place.
About nine hours ago, I was in London, and here I am right now at 3 am in New Delhi, India, waiting for my next flight to Kathmandu—a journey home.
But as I sat by the window, staring as daylight turned to darkness and the spatial canvas changes its form, sometimes invisible when blanketed by cloud and other times little dots of light shimmering through pitch darkness. As the landscapes changed, as I was making a journey from my new home in London to my ancestral abode in Kathmandu, I was battling with my thoughts trying to understand what’s home for me.
I’ve been away from home (Kathmandu) for a long time now. Since 2005, I’ve been on a constant move; I’ve had a new home every few years or even months.
I’ve had a home in New Delhi and Mumbai, I’ve had homes in Irving, Fort Worth and even Oklahoma City, I have a home in Kathmandu and now I also have a home in London. Come to think of it, what do I make of this word called home—is it just a place to live or is it more than that?
I think it’s the latter. With every place I have lived, with every new home I have found across the continents, I’ve had several memories inked.
The first time you step into a city, it’s always strange; the new city is always a stranger. But it’s amazing how you start to develop a relationship with that city. You indulge with the city that was once a complete stranger. And in no time, you become attached to that city, you feel comfortable—you call it your home.
I remember stepping outside London for the first time in September. It was a complete stranger and so I was scared. I didn’t know a single soul. But I survived. Through every day, weeks and months now, the city is no longer a stranger to me. The streets are familiar—if not all but many. I am falling in love with the sights and sounds of the city. And above all, I am no stranger to the city or vice versa. I know people. I have friends. I’ve developed that relationship that has made me connect to London in some strange way.
And as I left London this morning, there was this strange feeling—something I can’t out to words. It’s just one of those feelings you can’t explain. And as I am sitting here in New Delhi en route Kathmandu, it’s the same feeling.
I’m actually going to one home to another but which one is which—it’s confusing.
As we’re in a constant move, living in this fast-paced 21st century world, always trying to explore and move, the concept of home is rather ambiguous, at least for me. I presume Kathmandu as my home-home, somewhere I belong, a place I can always go back and settle for good. (Is a place where you can settle down for good home then?)
But in between me and Kathmandu, I think there’s more. I’ve had many homes and I know it’s not the end. For now I’m happy to call London home.
As they say: “Home is where the heart is.” But for me, someone who rather falls in love quickly, it’s difficult. As for me, I think I’ve left pieces of my heart in many places—in all the cities and neighbourhoods I have lived. There are memories everywhere. And for me, I think that’s what a home is—a place you’re connected to, a place where you have memories and a place that you can look back and cherish.