Debating between watching TV and finding someone to bore over phone, I was standing by the center table when the phone rang. Thanking God for resolving my dilemma, I hurried to get the phone. I saw it was from my girlfriend and was grinning to myself thinking “Maatina paavam”. Roughly translates to “Poor girl. She has no idea what is coming her way”.
Turned out she called because a common friend we knew was returning to India for good. Some one who had been here in the suburbs of Phila for over 11 years. She had this friend over for dinner and the other girl wanted to bid adieu. I cradled the phone in the crook between my neck and ear and walked in circles tracing a well worn out path on my carpet. My thoughts were in a whirl like they are each time someone tells me they are making a life altering decision. We chatted for about 20 minutes going into details of where they were moving and when. The why part got a little hazy. She said they had always wanted to go back, but now that they were actually moving, she had no clue why she was doing it. She said for years India meant home. India meant family. Years passed by with me thinking that is where my heart is. Now as I pack my material possessions and with it memories, I realize this is home. This is where my heart it. She sounded lost and a little overwhelmed getting those words out. We finished off our conversation promising to keep in touch and exchanging new co-ordinates.
After I hung up the phone, I did not want to go back to watch TV. Instead I stood taking in my surroundings. I stood rooted for a long time. I realized this was home. It does not matter that I was born thousands of miles away. All that matters is that my heart is here. I am happy. There will be a time when I will mull the same questions my friend was thinking of yesterday. I need to remember then what I feel now.
Home is indeed where the heart is.