The Call Of Home

23 Mar

The last time I went to Bangalore, I brought back with me two measly packets of filter coffee powder. Measly because I’m not an everyday coffee drinker and even if I felt like my coffee drinking habit was going that way (because omg it’s filter coffee and what’s not to love and get hooked on to!?), I’d put a stop to it immediately…therefore the option to carry a very limited supply of coffee powder that we do not get so freely over here, was chosen. Not having it every single day also ensures that it retains its novelty, its crisp ability to make me feel all that I want to in an instant when I miss home…stocked enough to give me my sense of happiness when I need it. There’s so much attached to an experience of sipping (sometimes loudly when no one’s around) that mug of strong, hot, aromatic, earthy coffee.

But then I had a chance to restock my supply and so I’ve been drinking it with more freedom and less guilt the past few days. However, it was just yesterday when I was sitting all by myself with this mug of rustic goodness only to be immediately transported back home on sipping it. It’s not the first time, but I let it soak in and see where the experience would take me. I have a home of my own now, like my previous posts have been testament to. But here is this one association that has become so innate, so spontaneous and so powerful that sitting so far away from my mother’s home, I feel like I’m immediately surrounded by the essence of her place. No, she isn’t a filter coffee drinker as such and neither do we perform the (sacred) ritual of preparing a decoction and going through the entire experience on a daily basis. But filter coffee has, over the years, become a very strong and definitive link to what I associate with the feeling of being home.

No, it does not feel like I’ve been transported back to Bangalore when I sip on my coffee. On the contrary, it feels like Bangalore has come to me, that my associations with the city and its ways, habits, culture, have come right to me and intermingled with my space here. It’s a heady feeling to experience this amalgamation really. Isn’t that really the essence of home in its entirety…to be able to feel comfortable wherever you are…to not feel out of place? Sitting in Delhi, steeped in a climate so unlike Bangalore’s, surrounded by people so different from Bangaloreans, walking its ways characteristically far removed from Bangalore, will always be a reminder that I’ve left home for good. But like I’ve been saying in my earlier posts, we do tend to add facets of what we’ve left behind into our present spaces to give it that added touch of comfort, familiarity and soul. It’s no wonder traditions never fade, at least the ones that really matter.

For me it’s a cup of filter coffee and the taste of coconut that lifts me up and makes me feel like I can be here and there without physically moving. It’s beautiful to see how strong these associations are and how we realise them only after we’re so far removed from where they buried themselves into our very core. It makes me believe that home can, and will be wherever we want it to be…it brings to me the realization that perhaps we never really leave home at all. Such a radiant moment of realisation, isn’t it? I’m thinking we carry home in us, because as clichéd as it sounds, haven’t we always been told or haven’t we always read that home is where our heart is? These clichés really are more weighty than we credit them with.

But it’s a good thing, and so very, very reassuring…it makes moving out that much more comforting and less daunting.

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Just a simple cup of desi joe, some quiet morning time interspersed with the ruffle of a newspaper and the chiming of birds, the whir of the fridge, the seduction of crisping toasts, the fine fingers of sunshine touching yours, the tease of the breeze outside, the call from Time to tell you to just sit still… I’m thinking this is nothing short of meditation. Except, this has food. So it’s got to be more than great right?

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