Ever since I left home for my university education, I lived out of suitcase for about 9 years moving houses and cities too often. Once I moved 6 houses in one year due to some reason or another. All this made me feel very rootless at times. So when the time came to get married, I was equally happy to finally ‘settle down’ in one place as much as I was happy to unite with the guy I loved.
But as fate would have it, I didn’t stay longer than 7 months in that house either and had to move to a new city for the job. We finally decided to buy a house in Pune so that we could settle down there and not move around too much. We spent enough time considering the project, locality of the house, reputation of the builder, it’s distance from basic amenities such as market, shops, hospitals, bus stops, highway, school and what not! It was our favourite pastime during weekends. To pick one area of the city, browse through it on a bike and visit all the under construction projects. When we were not looking at houses, we would visit the newly popped furniture malls, dreaming about the perfect home, listing down the things we would buy from there once we own a house. During these visits, one tea coffee & sugar canister set took my fancy. I had it on the top of my shopping list when we have our dream home.
Finally, we bought a spacious apartment in a locality suitable for our pockets. The building was under construction so we could get everything customised as per our choice. We spent countless hours in designing the layout, where the furniture would go, what all electric points were required, the hooks for the swing chair, our vision for the terrace. Our builder commented a couple of times that we had the most customised apartment and most no. of electric points of all the apartments in his building. We ate, breathed and lived the dream of living in our own home eagerly waiting for it’s completion. I wanted to buy that canister set the day we booked our apartment. But hubby dear held me backsaying that we shouldn’t start shopping till we move to the new place as our existing apartment was not big enough to keep all the things we fancied.
But, again we had to leave India even before getting the possession of that apartment. Our hearts broke to leave the dream home behind without having lived in it for a single day. It’s been 10 years since we bought that apartment and yet never got to live in it. After keeping it empty for many months, hoping to return it to soon, we finally rented it out. We never got an opportunity to return to Pune. We spent last 6 years in Mumbai and 3 years before that in London. All those years we yearned to live in that house in our imaginations while being pushed further away from it in reality.
Throughout our stay in London and during initial years in Mumbai we kept our wishlist on hold, telling ourselves that we will buy all that when we move to a permanent home. 3 years ago, we moved to a beautiful rental apartment and went on a shopping trip to buy a few necessary things for the new place. While picking up things, there it wa,s an even prettier set of Tea, coffee and sugar canisters. I looked at it and sighed. It took me back through last 10 years of longing and rootless feeling.
I decided that we’ve had enough. I had spent too many years longing for that feeling of home and I was not going to wait any longer. I made a list of all the things we wanted and convinced hubby dear to buy all that. Although it was a rented apartment, we loved it from all our hearts. Even if we had to leave it after a year or two, I wanted to feel at home. We had lived long enough with minimal furniture, utensils and we were not going to do it any longer.
The very next day I went and bought the canister set for myself. And I realised one thing, it is not a matter of money, sometimes not even space but still, we keep pushing such small pleasure away from us giving excuses to ourselves. We decorated that apartment to our heart’s content. For the first time, I felt happy, at home. Every morning when I took out my canisters to make tea they would lift my spirits. And the realisation dawned upon me. It is not about a perfect time or perfect home, home is where our heart is. We felt sad to leave that apartment when the time came but the countless precious memories of living in that house soothed that pain. Today we don’t look at our still rented out apartment in Pune and sigh deeply. Rather we decorate the new place (again rental) as we like and live happily there. I am thankful that I finally feel at home no matter how many times we change the place.