“When will I be home again?” I sighed.
Home is a thought that conquers my dreams every morning since I cancelled my holidays in May due to the pandemic.
The question of uncertainty burdened me as I remembered the place, my heart longs to escape to every day. The feeling of home starts in there, where my soul lies.
My childhood home, where my tiny feet took the first steps of the journey towards my destiny, a beautiful nest gathered with love in Thiruvalla-a town in the Indian state of Kerala.
It’s the place that takes me back to my childhood. When I think about it I’m filled with a sense of warmth that imparts in me such memories.
The place where I saw the abundance of love that belongs in the universe wrapped in two human figures: my grandparents, (who I fondly called my Appachen and my Ammachi). The most carefree days of my life are connected to this place. Evenings filled with the enchanting voice of my Ammachi reciting hymns, and bedtime stories of Jonah, Noah and Elijah, that were repeated almost every night.
But still I listened to each retelling as though hearing them for the first time.
The beauty of the home not only lies on the people who live there. But every little thing that surrounds it, that binds it and makes it whole. Each brick on the walls of my old home has a story to narrate. Every piece of wood and metal in there watched me grow. Every flower, the bushes, and the trees, have seen imprints of my hands. And the memory of my footprints still lies embedded there in the soil.
The fragrance from the bloomed jasmine flowers filled my dawns, while the beauty of the red hibiscus plant was intensified, in the mid-day sunshine. The taste of the ripe pomelos, passionfruit and mulberries charged my tastebuds in the lazy afternoons, as we sat together sharing the delicacies of nature. The plants my Appachen planted made the garden colourful and full of character.
Even though my grandparents had departed, and things looked different as I visited my home last year, I realised what vibrant, precious memories they had left behind for my heart to cherish. Today a glimpse of any of the images mentioned above, or the jingles of hymns similar to those I heard as a child takes me straight back to that time. Every scene of those beautiful days is engraved in my soul, with no fading to its glory. I look back now to see that every bit of me is a piece of that jigsaw, carefully joined in the right place by their utmost love and care, the same way they built their ideal home.
My Appachen and Ammachi.
~ Chinchu Gibu
(N.B. Rewritten and modified a previous blog as part of an assignment about a place that has significance importance to me and how my last visit made me feel.)