Walls of homesickness

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Photo credit: Rahool Singh

In my 26 years of existence, I have changed homes more than 20 times. I have had a room, which had a beautiful view of the rising moon amidst trees that stood the test of brutal times in a house that was used by the British Army during their time in India. I also had to share a room with my sister in a house where a poor Army officer had committed suicide and where I felt or imagined the bulky bed vibrated, moved a little like I was being put to sleep whenever I put my head on the cushions in the afternoons.

So many rooms, so many memories, so many places I call home… But when I go back in time — isn’t that what it feels like when one travels to a place they had breathed and lived? When I go back, my heart trembles, not with recognition but with the slamming truth that nothing about the place where I had once lived reminds me home.

The shelves that held the meaningless that was collected over time, now have no meaning themselves. The posters that I stuck on walls to make them look pretty look just like any other wall in a stranger’s house.

Hiraeth: A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the loss of your past.

There is a word for everything, even when the sweet sounding word can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Hiraeth… as the mind gently reminds, yet the heart fails to understand… so many memories, yet not a single leaf of familiarity?

Lost, even when the heart insists on searching. If home is where the heart is, then what happens to a place that the heart refuses to budge from even when it knows it should to survive?

How then does one effectively learn to separate the tangle web of four walls where one spent so many tears and laughs?

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