The raindrops clacking down on earth awoke me early in the morning. The smell of wet mud filled my nostrils and a thousand memories sifted through my mind. The giggle and chatter of me and my brother resounded in my ears. Those memories always left a trail of void, which agonized me for hours. And the cracks in my heart never stopped to sting the inside of me. It was time to say goodbye once again.
Suddenly the creaking sound of the window jerked me. I turned and saw my mother opening it. The room got filled with a faint ray of Sun and the thrumming sound of rain. She sat down beside my head.
I rolled over and buried my face in her lap. She caressed my head silently for sometime. I said nothing either. The quietude wasn’t awkward. It was painful.
‘Did you sleep well last night?’ She asked.
'What time is your flight?'
Another silence blanketed us. It’s strange how I had some hundred thoughts running on my mind at that moment but not a single one escaped my mouth. They instead choked my throat and I felt a droplet about to roll down the corner of my eye.
‘Next time I’d try to get more leaves.’ I said, sniffling back the tears.
She remained mum.
‘When’s Dada (elder brother) coming?’
She shook her head absently. ‘Maybe next year.’ Getting off the bed, she added, ‘get up…breakfast is ready.’
I grabbed her hand and left it almost instantly. Saying ‘stay…I need you, Mum’ seemed a lot difficult to this 30 year-old kid. I sat upright and looked out of the window. The rain had slowed down.
She turned around. ‘You look thin and weak…don’t you eat properly?’
‘Of course I do.’
She scrunched her nose in disapproval.
I smiled to myself. My life outside home, this city and away from parents was not dull. In fact it had everything one could ask for. If according to people, home is just a feeling, then I was not really missing it in the new city. I had made that 200 square feet tiny room my home. What I really missed was the smell of my bed, soft ray of the morning Sun that just touched my face, the fragrance that trailed my mother every time she entered my room, the playful tiffs I shared with my father and the peaceful nights I had left behind.
I forced a laugh. ‘You always exaggerate, Mum…see I’ve grown a paunch…I need to start a diet soon.”
She shot me a glare and left.
Home, I believe, is all these ineffable moments that your heart carries wherever you go. And so did mine…to the tiny room which I now call home.