Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is home?

The older I get, the blurrier the definition of home becomes for me. Is it where I was born or is it the dwelling where I spent maximum number of years growing up or is it the place my husband and I started our lives together? Do geographic boundaries matter or is home truly where your heart is? By that token, can you have multiple homes because my heart is in New York, in India where my parents live, and the boarding school/college towns where I grew up. I have questions with no right or wrong answers.

When I shared my essay (“Homesick in My Thirties"), published in Khabar Magazine, with my friends on Facebook, I received responses echoing the same sentiments and challenges I face as an immigrant. And for people with children, the situation seems more difficult. For the younger generation born in the US, America will always be home but for their parents (born in India and migrated to the US), both their motherland and adopted land remains home.

But not just that; even people, who haven’t moved out of their own countries, are unable to define one city as home. Globalization and opportunities have turned us in to both willing and unwilling nomads. When was the last time you met someone, from my generation, who had spent the last two decades in the same city or country?

Am I wrong to believe that the generation of immigrants older than mine has settled (emotionally) better than my people? See, things were different when people migrated to the west about forty-fifty years ago. Their home countries didn’t have much to offer, so they could make peace with their move. But my generation didn’t leave India because there weren’t good prospects there. The change was initiated by the search for a “good” life/different experience/ability to travel the world. 

Sometimes I wonder if having a choice is more difficult than not having one and if it makes the definition of "home" more nebulous?  

On a completely different note, a few of you told me that you couldn’t read the links I had attached in my last post (List of published poems). Here they are again:


More until next time, 


Copyright © 05. 13.2010

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” – Charles Dickens


V said...

Good write up Sweta.
I have very clear view of having choices…I would rather have choices than none. One is always in a better place in life with choices- if the right choice is made….college admission, job etc ( was going to say arranged marriage but that is going little far).

s said...

I don't know, how i missed reading this when it was out ...But true "what is home."
Blame it on Globalization :)