I have always struggled with the concept of “home.” When I was younger, I encountered a question that I didn’t know how to answer — something I hadn’t heard before. “Is home a place or a person?” The obvious answer is neither obvious nor objective. Home is where or whom you make it to be. For me, my house was simply my house, not my home. Even while dwelling in my bedroom, I would constantly have the same thought: “I want to go home.” However, I was already home. I was in my physical space which was a safe haven away from the outside world. My house did not feel like home though.
So my next logical thought was that home would be a person for me. Yes, that had to be the answer. I spent my adolescence reminding myself that home was people: my mom, my dad, my friends. Alas, it still did not feel right. I would have this constant nagging thought in my head, “I want to go home”, whenever I was with my mom, my dad, or even my friends. This is not to say I felt uncomfortable around the aforementioned people but rather it did not feel right. I could never be my entire self-confident and secure, while surrounded by those who were quick to judge my actions. Even my previous romantic relationships never truly felt quite right. I longed for attachment, for love, for home — but home was not them.
To be honest, I didn’t fall in love the first day I met him. I fell in love with him when he would kiss my wounds better, laugh at my attempts at Hindi, and teach me romantic Bollywood songs. I told my friends that he made me feel calm. He made me feel seen. And he made me feel at home. Home? Could this be my home? Have I finally found my abode after my arduous journey? I hope so, for this home feels real. He feels real. I never imagined myself falling in love with a man like him. When I pictured my “ideal man” the vision was a stereotypical Marathi boy who would serenade me and carry me when my feet hurt. My home is Sikh. He doesn’t serenade me: rather he sings along with me. He can’t carry me without dropping me, but before we know it he’s on the floor too, laughing.
Essentially, my home is not the dream home that I always pictured it to be. But this home? This home feels real, not fictitious or dream-like. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I am home. Home is a person, and home is him.