I shift base in a couple of months. I move outta the house I’ve lived in all my life and I move to ‘the greatest city in the world’. I’m mostly excited, I suppose. It’s unreal most of the time. This is something I have dreamt of for as long as I can remember. So there is huge happiness and a certain amount of apprehension. For most part, I have no idea what it is going to be like and I have not thought of it too much.
Today it struck me. While I was brushing my teeth, it is such a routine. I can walk into my bathroom, stand in front of the mirror, reach out and get my brush. In a couple of months, I’ll have to get a new routine. I’ll have to check if the bathroom is empty. I can’t live there infinitely. I walked out onto my balcony early this week and I looked at the shadow patterns the trees formed. And then I looked at the tree. I’ll never see the tree that height again. When I come back, everything will be different. I take so many things for granted. I know where every piece of furniture is, I know where every piece my Mum places around came from. I know where Amma folds the clothes, I know when the cushion covers are changed. I know where my cat curls up. In a few months I leave and when I come back those things will be unfamiliar. I won’t know when the sheets change. I won’t know when the brass was last polished. I won’t know when something small changes.
I drive through chaotic streets. I eat bhajji on the beach. I dance till the club closes. I yell myself horse for the Chennai Super Kings. I drive through empty streets at midnight. I eat ice-cream with friends after a great day. I stress while sitting next to my sister who is learning to drive. I wake up to a warm glass of milk. I enter the house after a hot day to a cold glass of buttermilk. I listen to my Dad tell stock stories while watching cricket or eating salad. I watch my mother hold our lives together. I lie on my bed only to find Precious already on it. I take routes out of instinct. I know where to get the best cupcakes and the best deals. I know whom to call for what. I know where speedbreakers are. I know whose house I can crash at. I have a tightly woven support system. This is the only world I have ever known.
Everyone knows I’ll miss the people. The ones who make my life. But I also have everything from Skype to text messaging to keep them around. But will I know when the bathroom runs out of soap or the plants are replaced? Will I need to know? It is the small things I will miss, that is for sure. And small things matter.
No matter where I go or how far I look, home is home. And it is where the heart is.