The Heart’s Abode
By Saurav Ranjan Datta –
Saurav Ranjan Datta is an employee of a real estate company in Kolkata by profession, and a writer by passion. Apart from being a guest columnist with TOI’s Journal of Construction and Design, he is a researcher with KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati), the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ which is being hosted by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, and was also a researcher of NDTV’s ‘Tech Grand-master’ which was a quiz on technology. He has edited the first version of the travel magazine ‘Touriosity Travel Mag’ and has written for a youth magazine in Bangalore. Saurav also happens to be a Rotarian.
An earliest recollection, which would be cherished forever in my ever-expanding life, was getting back home from school. After struggling an entire day amidst Pythagoras, Euclid, O’Henry, Newton and the likes, it was almost the coming home ceremony of a warrior who has probably won some battles and lost a few. Wow, what a bittersweet memory it was. At one hand, the everyday drudgery of attending classes and at another, coming back to some lovely home made food, cartoons, comic books and unlimited fun with friends at the local playground. Home, sweet home, the very sight of it draws even the wealthiest or the weariest of spirits to take refuge in its soothing climes. Can anybody ever forget the Russell Crowe award-winning movie ‘Gladiator’? How desperate was he to win so that he could get back home to his wife and child. All characters and relations in life are just a mere representation of the bigger juggernaut called home. Even the wildlife out in the dark, the birds upon the sky, the aliens somewhere in this cosmos, are all ever eager to get back home.
So, why do we need a home? Is it because however wanderlust the spirit might be, the soul still needs a refuge? There are times when a mother’s heart has also been compared to a home, because at the end of the day, a human who is always a child at heart, needs an eternal place of comfort, security and love. So the question of a home is actually a question of a place of love and caring metaphorically, where we seek an abode of peace. A home cannot be just four walls of brick and mortar. There are times when questions have always been raised between the difference of a home and house. There are times, when the learned have reiterated that a house of four walls become home only when there is love and caring amongst members of that place. How many times have we listened to the delight of our own thoughts the very statement of home is where the heart is. So if a person has renounced all human interactions and is living a recluse life amidst mountains and jungles, that is his home, because that is where his heart is. We know that after completing education, one has to join the big mad world of business where travel beckons every now and then. So the concept of home takes a different twist altogether for us. When I completed my higher education, which again was outside my hometown, I remember how eager I used to be to get back home during my holidays. But when I joined a job, the place of my posting became my home, because it was not possible to move to my hometown ever again due to professional commitments. Hence, I shifted my family from my hometown to my place of work. So people really cannot be rooted to one place which they had earlier considered as home but changes place depending on their livelihood. But at heart, the place where they have been brought remains to be an abode of happy memories which they might associate as their real homes.
Even in the primitive age, our ancestors used to fight with all elements of nature basically for two things – food and shelter. The shelter is what our home gives. Shelter from unknown danger lurking outside in the dark, shelter from negative human emotions in modern times, shelter from wrath of nature, shelter from all other things. A home is something which should always be equated to life in general. That’s where our existence starts.
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