About ten years ago, I was setting up my first Facebook profile. I can still remember how I felt when it asked me, “what is your hometown.” Though a seemingly obvious answer to many, I had the awkward and somewhat hard-hitting realisation that I had no hometown. As an only child, with a father who loved travelling just as much as I do today, my parents were my only constants. They were my friends, my confidantes, my mentors. And just like that, the three of us became a unit. One that travelled the world together, from city to city, one experience to the next, imbibing aspects of different cultures, yet finding a way to remain connected to our Indian roots at every opportunity. We lived a simple, happy life, where our world was a blank canvas and opportunities were endless. And well, that’s all I ever knew. That’s all I know today.
Over the years, I had several friends and boyfriends. Sometimes, I knew that the relationships were going to be short lived. I was okay with that. In fact, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Because through my travels I knew that some people come into your life to bring something unique to it- to surprise you, to challenge you, to push you to explore the depths of your imagination.
Sometimes, they teach you about love and sometimes they bring heartache. But there is always a reason. And it is usually a good one. There were definitely points in time when I wondered if I could imagine myself with that person for longer. Dare I say, forever. I used to have a mental test.
I would imagine myself in an empty kitchen. Just me and him. Alone. In a city where we didn’t know anybody, just like all the years I spent with my parents. I wondered, if it was just us. Just the two of us. Would it be enough?
I have distinct memory of when I realised my husband was the one. We were both doing our MBA in Barcelona. He came over for breakfast and we spent 5 hours chatting in the patio of my apartment. The sun was shining. We were laughing. And I thought, I would love to laugh with him in an empty kitchen forever! I found home in his heartbeat. And it felt amazing. I realised, home was never a bound to place. Atleast not for me. That was not my life. But on that day, I knew who I wanted to build a home with. And it was the most beautiful realisation.
They say, “In love, you look eye to eye, but in friendship, you stand side by side.”
I wanted someone who wanted to fly next to me. Who didn’t want to follow, or lead. Who didn’t want to define or decide every next step of our lives. But someone who wanted to explore endlessly. As a team, waddling and flying across the world, just like two birds, in tandem.