And yet, as his own death drew near, Sakyamuni turned again towards the north....“ Come Ananda, let us go to Kushinagar”. Like the rest of us, perhaps he longed for home.
These words by Matthiessen in The Snow Leopard suddenly made me despondent. I want a home to go back to. I want a place, a city, a land where I can escape to, call my own. A place where I can go to at the time of my death.
The town where I was born is the town where my parents are right now. This is the place I call home as of now. But beyond that it’s a strange place for me. I wasn’t there when it grew up from a beautiful little hill station to a congested chaotic capital town.
The place where I grew up, I can’t go back to because nothing of my childhood remains. That mohalla and its people have changed beyond recognition. The house with its small garden where I used to spend still comes in my dreams sometimes.
Delhi has been an experience, of growing up for real, a place where restlessness rules even now. A place I would not like to return anytime soon.
Bombay has been a struggle for me on a lot of fronts and with each struggle I have grown to love the city and the city me. And I don’t see myself leaving this city anytime soon. But despite all this, whenever I come back from my travels, I always think, I’m back in Bombay. It’s never been – I’m back home.
Somewhere sometimes the Mountains beckon me, somewhere to the far east. But something tells me it’s not time yet to go home.