What is Home?

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Dear friend, you ask me “what is home?” Hmm. What should I say? All homes that I’ve known on this earth are transient but they do have some characteristics. First and foremost, from “home is where the heart is” to Charlie Mackesy’s “Home isn’t always a place, is it?”, we have learnt that home is not always signified by a four-walled structure. Home is where you feel loved, feel safe and is in fact the company of your beloved relations. A house becomes home only because of its inhabitants. Hence, home is basically the company of loved ones. 


Home symbolises love: the unconditional love of the mother, the father, the grandparents; an endearment that no other place can give. The constant, trifle tiffs between siblings, the evening tea-and-snack get-togethers, the serious family meetings, and the memories impressed on the minds and imprinted on each of the objects, are some of the things only available within the warmth of the haven which is called home.


Home as a dwelling place is a shelter where one feels protected from the blizzards (metaphorical) of the world. Even after vacationing for a while the heart feels the pull of home, as we find ourselves anchored to the solace of our homesteads. 


There are many ways in which a home is different from other places in the world. It is the place to relax, recharge and steady yourself. In times of illness or struggle it is at home where you can stay and find strength with the support of family. While often the outside world requires you to behave in certain ways which is sometimes not really you, at home you are your true self. At home you can be just as you really are. 


“I think that when you invite people to your home, you invite them to yourself.” Oprah Winfrey

Home is a place where you are always wanted, always welcome. Where you don’t have to display your strengths or veil your shortcomings for acceptance. You are accepted just as you are. 


Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” — Robert Frost


A home holds numerous stories, stories of generations often, of success, of failure, of loss, of the golden moments, of highs and lows, of give and take, of anger, of feuds, of laughter and so on. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that the people in the later stages of life are especially tethered to their homes, cherishing all their years spent there and offering a kind of ode through the daily, unvarying rhythms of their greying life. 


It is also true, accept it or not, that home is a graveyard of your secrets too, good or bad, which you bury there before stepping out into the world. And in addition to all this, “home” can be many more things to many other people as I find this word as having open-ended interpretations metaphorically. 


“Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.” — Vernon Baker


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