Sunday, October 2, 2016

I live in a HOME!

"I live in a Home!"

It was not a statement but sort of a question.

These five words, she spoke casually, but with a stress on the word 'home'. There was a pregnant pause. Her eyes wide open, were questioning everyone sitting across the dining table. She was trying to gauge our understanding. She wanted to know if we were able to grasp what she wanted to convey.

She resumed her story only after scanning the eyes of each one of us and assuring herself of our understanding.

The expression of her face, the quizzing eyes and the confused lips that didn't know whether to spread in a smile or quiver to cry - it was a moment that is going to stay in my mind for long, if not forever.

Her wide questioning eyes brought back so many feelings in a flash of a second. They dragged me down memory lane when I was an adolescent and living a carefree life in my 'home', protected by loving parents and siblings. That was the best time of my life - no worries, no tension only eat, play and study. I never tried to analyse or dig deep into the meeting of the word 'home'. For me, it was simply a place where my parents were and which gave me happiness and where I felt safe, protected, loved, happy and carefree.  

However, this young girl changed my perspective and compelled me to look at the other side of the coin as well. Her 'home' was different to my 'home'. Her experiences of living in a 'home' are different to my experiences of living in a 'home'. 

She is 15 and lives in a Shelter Home. I will not name her or share her whereabouts as I respect her private space. However, I must share my feelings which have been bursting ever since, inside me.

Until I met this girl, I couldn't fathom that one simple word like 'home' can have such different connotations for different people.

The meaning of the word 'home' has changed for me, forever.