Home is where one grows up

Home is where you grow up. Home is where you settle. Home is where one sighs in relief after a tiring day out. But home is not as simple as that.
My son Arjun, when he was in class XII at St. Thomas’ Boys’ School, Calcutta wrote a single-page article on what home means to him. He sent this in to a writing competition held by Sheffield University, UK. He was awarded the second prize. For some reason, I lost that single typed sheet. I have been looking for it ever since I started this blog—and finally, a few days back, my wife found the page, torn and tattered. Here’s Arjun’s essay—I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. And please leave your views and comments!

                            WHAT HOME MEANS TO ME

Home is where you are.
On the streets. People stare because you got yourself tonsured. You stare back because you find them interesting. You move your body. You spend money.
You use your brain. You catch a bus. You see them spit on the road and kick street dogs. You get agitated. In the day light, you feel safe. Guarded by the men in armour-plated suits and ties. At night you feel lost. You illuminate the earth. And then, like a blind man, you collide with the next person you see.
In war-fields. You hide from the bullets whizzing all around you while your loved ones wait for your return. You are too scared to use your gun. So use your conscience. While the president sits at home sipping wine, you collide with a bullet.
On a train. The landscape outside changes, the future becomes past. Your co-passengers change as the train moves from station to station. The summer breeze bathes your face. Different voices, different languages surround you. And then you hear the train scream. The trains collide.
In space. You turn your telescope towards the sky to look back at time. And maybe someone two million light years away is looking at an earth inhabited by Neanderthals. Two million light years later when you are turned into dust and maybe the earth is also gone with you they will stare in awe through telescope at the third planet from the sun. Beaming with life colliding against each other.
A discotheque. The guitar sound fades while the masses flow in. Voices boom out while lights flicker with the drum beat. Electronic sounds fill the room. You have left your telescope back at the work-place along with your brain. And then you reach out to grab it, control it, direct it, connect it. But you can not. You get confused. You get yourself a drink. Then you move your body. So does everybody. The light goes off.  Masses collide.
At some distance the empty space lights up. And then comes the delicate sound of thunder. And we are all one again. Tightly packed in a nucleus. Heavier than you and me and everybody and anybody.
This is home.
We will all explode again. To separate. Fight. Mark territory. And build walls.

      ST. Thomas Boys School


Unknown said…
It is wonderful.....sir....
R said…
Beautiful writing! Very lyrical.
mohdmukhtar said…
Your site is easy to navigate and presented in a very accessible manner.Keep it up! .
I remember reading Arjun's composition years back, when the proud mom showed it to me. My heart had swelled for the youngster......the depth of the writing is tantalizing. Writing runs in the family, eh?

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