I had (and still have) so many questions about the use of that phrase that I could scarcely mean it when I said it. And when I returned this time around, I actively felt a resistance to calling it that. But that's the way one falls in love, isn't it. Or at least it's the way I do. Fuck off I hate you until the very last minute, before a sudden sharp shattering fall straight (if it can be called that. It is anything but.) into desire.
But somehow when I look around at it, when I let it just just come from within me rather than from some idea of what I am supposed to feel, I sense an incredible thing:
This is my country. I am Home.
And travel I will - and must.
And have adventures in foreign lands - as a matter of principle, I will collect as many of these as can be contained within me.
And live with M. in a vine-encrusted, sky-kissed white house with warm golden light flecking the snow outside the window.
And complain, every time I come back - more and more and more, incessantly.
But bringing together all the thousands of little things that I've seen and heard and felt and touched and smelt and listened to and lusted after and rejected and been repelled by, is that tiny wordless feeling somewhere that I suppose could be called roots.
A gut-level connection, for better or worse.
And that, my friends, is how you can suddenly come home to visit your parents and realize, at 26 (far too late?) in a far deeper way than just saying it - This is home. Or at least where I came from. Apni zameen.