The Way Home…

The way back….

“How do you know you are home?”, he asked her one evening as the rain hummed its solitary tunes to itself outside their window. And she looked at the streaming rivulets on the greying window pane and told him that you never really know such things, you only feel them. He changed his question then for he really needed to know or to feel whichever way you looked at it and asked her how one felt such things. As the glistening rain drops slid down the waxy green leaves and cascaded to the ground, she asked him to name three of the most precious memories he had ever gathered. He was quite for a while and the rain with its patter decided to join the silence of their conversation.

And then he told her that his first memory was of lying next to the large water tank on the terrace of his old rambling home as the water made a curiously soothing, plopping sound as it made its way to a dark green circle on the roof, a soft indistinctive sound, not a sound of reverberation but a muffled one because there was soft moss growing in the area where the water met the roof. And he told her then, that in the throes of a scorching and unforgiving summer, if he listened long enough and hard enough he could hear the journeying water and he could almost feel the cool, cemented surface of the water tank between his palms.

His second memory he said was one of dusk when his mother used to light an oil lamp in the paved portico of their house as night was about to descend on their little garden. He told her that as the evening shadows lengthened and clear images became blurry outlines and the cicadas played their symphony outside his window, his mother tended to the little lamp each evening and trimmed the wicks that were fat with warm oil. And he told her then that on some evenings when a lone bird twittered in the high overhead trees above, he could smell the oil and see his mother’s hands cupping the flame as evening walked into his yard on stealthy feet.

And as she smiled he told her that his third memory was one of a solitary tune echoing across a lonely house at night as he paced his cramped balcony to see the girl of his dreams make an appearance, as she sang to herself behind curtained windows. She was the music and she was the creator of the music and he told her that she taught him that sometimes an unknown voice could give you the sweetest melody that you would ever hear.

“Now answer my question”, he said and she said she didn’t need to, he already had answered it himself. She as looked at his puzzled face, and she smiled a smile that came right from her heart and told him that home was where old memories lingered with a rightful place with no fear of them ever being usurped, home was where time could stand still because you didn’t have anywhere else you would rather be and home was where even incomplete dreams were beautiful because they were safe and nurtured.
Home was where anything could be beautiful because everything had possibilities.

He looked at her for a moment and then he looked away, and he noticed that the rain had stopped too, as if to listen to her. “I still don’t get it” he said, as he tried to take in her words. And she sighed and wondered if it were true then, that if you travelled far away and long enough, one day you forgot your way back.



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