Main woh ghar hoon tera….

Sometimes Ghar, Home is a person and not a place. Someone who makes you feel secured enough to be carefree, so that you be YOU, in a judgement free zone.  Sometimes a person is your home.

What makes a place of dwelling a Home, varies for every person. You can decorate and spruce up your house but to make it a home one has to add some intangible elements to it. Like that dash of her hand-pounded masala that grandma used to add to make a simple lentil into succulent, mouth-watering daal. The fact is that no matter in which direction the front door of your house opens up but if you are alone in it you are definitely going south.

“Man is a social animal”, I had read in the first chapter of my 7th grade Social-study class. I didn’t grasp its essence until I started working in Manhattan in the year 2001.

New York City is wannabe Mumbai. It is chaos but orderly, which makes it even more predictably monotonous.  Initially awed by its glamor, I soon realized that people were hiding behind phones, books, magazines and music.  It didn’t take me long, to follow the pattern and find the rhythm of the rut.  Before I even realized I was a part of a big stream of human faces dissolving into what is called the rush hour in order. When there are so many faces around, you lose the individuality and the relevance of yours. So, you hide! Deep inside you know that everyone is starved of real human connection. A city of mirrors reflecting mirrors, different faces but similar images.

I decided to implement my 7th grade social-study lesson and started to make friends. The ‘Curry in a Hurry’ uncle at the intersection of the 28th and 6th, Jeff the Ticket-collector in the 7:30 Amtrack, my first Female boss at HP -Elaine, Aftaab my Client at Ziff Davis. It helped…It always helps. Years back I had done the same thing in Pune…Make friends and befriend the city. There are only few cities where I can walk alone, endlessly. Pune is one and NYC is the other. Log badal bhi jaayein, yeh shehar mujhe jaanta hai.

It is not the stature of tall sky scrapers of a city or the exotic wall hangings of a house that make it cozy. It is the company of the people who live within these walls that warm it up. The bling and the branded collectibles on the display can impress someone but cannot make it endearing. Cliched’ hai magar sach hai…

Home is not manifested when the crisp cold air of the air conditioner touches your face but it is experienced in the aroma of a freshly brewed adrak chai overboiled on a gas stove or the smell of old books in the trunk. Don’t get trapped into stressing about how your house should look to the visitors, make it yours first. Let your emotions smudge the walls, memories fill the albums, liberate it occasionally into something that only you can see… Let it nourish you… Stir you. Let it remind you of your silly self.

Sometimes a person does that…That’s when that person becomes your home.

Then you may changes houses but are always home…

This song is probably talking about that.