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The many faces of home

For those tuning in only now, I recently revamped how Everyday Asia is organised.

It is now ‘Home‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Work‘ and ‘Play… with a few other menu items like About, Quarterly Review and Start here..

You would think ‘Home‘ would be the easiest to do. Just slap on a new label to ‘Everyday India‘… except it raises a rather interesting question.. what and where is ‘home’… and why?

Clearly Canada is thehomeof my birth, where I was raised, where many fabulous adult years were enjoyed too!

Equally, India has been my adopted ‘home’ with earlier flirtations in 1990 and 1995 – 96 with several trips back n forth between Canada and India until settling there in 2003.

Yet my predominant work ‘home’ in the last few years is Indonesia! I miss Jakarta, friends, the rhythm of work and life there…

I also call Singapore an alternate ‘home’ as it is where my company is based, my jumping off place to consulting work and fun.

For the purposes of Everyday Asia, I’ll stick with home being defined as Mumbai / Bombay where my partner and I unpack our bags and spend most of our days. A place to share stories about our everyday life in India.

Even better… after all the repair work, we finally have our home back! And are enjoying a short respite before work begins on the 2nd bedroom and we are plunged back into another month or so of hell.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

Anyone else struggle with the definition of home? Or have multiple homes? Or just so darn grateful to have your home back…???

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10 Comments

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    Home. That is such a tricky topic. I wrote about that a while ago on my blog. Having moved from Melbourne to Malaysia and then Singapore and back to Melbourne, home for me isn’t a physical place. Rather, it lies in the social relationships around me, and it lies in memory. Though I’ve lived in Melbourne for almost a decade now, I still can’t bring myself to call it home…I think part of the reason is because I don’t take much pride in material objects and instead cherish small moments and interactions around me, the latter of which gives me fuzzy feelings 🙂

    Good to hear you have your home back and it sounds like the repair work went well. Good luck with the second bedroom and hope it all won’t be too noisy 😀

    • Isn’t it just? And I completely agree that home is an emotional connect with core people and memories. There are parts of Winnipeg that jump out and speak even across decades! And for my partner, he can be anywhere in Bandra (honestly most of Mumbai) and regale you with a tale of what bungalow used to be there, the family, who they were, their stories and more.

      Objects and material possessions have ZERO weight in such an equation. As you say – it is the small moments that matter.

      Hence my ‘home’ is where my partner and I are in the same place together. And it is sooooooooooooo good to have it back with no workers tromping through daily!!! Can’t you see me sporting a giant grin ear to ear??

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        “home is an emotional connect” So agree with you there! Though memories fade, sometimes feelings don’t. And when we just happen to see something similar to our past, the feelings come rushing back 😀

        I can certainly see you grinning and grinning. Home is where you make it to be, right here, right now 😀

        • Hehehe! It is indeed! 🙂

          However… the workers are now outside our flat… meaning I’m working in my office with about three guys at my window.

          Normally you would never see our windows closed & curtains drawn… now we do… my grin is fading…

  2. I for sure know what you mean about home being in many places. Vancouver is definitely home even though we don’t actually have a home there – our community is there, our friends of many years. Canberra is home since it’s where I grew up and my family is there. Then wherever we are housesitting is home, whatever apartment or hostel or hotel room we’ve paid for becomes home for as many nights as we’re staying. We’ve really learned that home is a state of mind, not a place.
    It must be wonderful to finally have your Mumbai home back. Enjoy!
    Alison

    • And that’s what makes it fun! I had a feeling you would relate to this quandary Alison. 🙂 And I completely agree – home is indeed a state of mind more than a place. However at the moment – my mind is programmed to call our wee flat in Bandra home and revel in it finally after many months belonging just to us!! 🙂

  3. TheLastWord says:

    Ha! On this sticky note I keep on my left to remind me about things to write about, I see #2 is “Roots – A Deep Down Discussion”. It was prompted by being asked for the umpteenth time “Where are you from?”

    • Here is the funny thing about roots – neglect them too much and they wither. Keep going back and shower with water and attention and they’ll keep growing long n strong!

      I know, for example, if I walked into a small farming town I spent much of my childhood, there would be very little connect as those roots have not been tended in nearly 40 years. However my Winnipeg connect keeps strong with core people keeping the link alive supported by occasional visits.

      Do you have a place in your past like that?

  4. Home for me is where my favourite bed is (preferably with my favourite person in it!) Currently I have a floating home and previously I have had homes on wheels, making ‘home’ rather moveable! Home is that comfy, safe space that is full of your things and loved ones.
    I always thought that Mumbai will always feel like home as will London. However, following a visit this week to the town I grew up in I was left with a hollow empty feel, even though I had stomped down many of my old pathways, trod a million times and filled with a million memories. Those roots have definitely withered! Maybe they withered because most of the people I loved there have moved away or lost touch.
    I tried my best to imagine moving back there – maybe mooring my boat on the river there for a bit. While my boat would still definitely feel like home the city certainly wouldn’t. Home is definitely where your heart is- shame I can’t sail my boat to Mumbai!

    • Haha!! I think your houseboat home is so fabulous!! Pity you can’t sail it to Mumbai. 😉

      and completely agree that home is that comfy safe place with some of your things (let’s not be greedy – a slightly nomadic tribe tend to have things scattered in more than one place!) but most important – loved ones!

      I can completely understand that a physical place that no longer has a core set of people to bring memories alive through sharing and joking, looses something.

      Congrats on finding your ‘home’ and will look forward to welcoming you back to Mumbai anytime! 🙂

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