Home is when you start feeling for a house.
Home is tracking the cost of onions, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. Home is being able to identify every vegetable the bania sells (before it’s cooked). Home is always purchasing pao kilo of everything.
Home is cracking open an egg and half-frying it. Home is measuring out the minimum amount of water needed to make Maggi. Home is really making it in two minutes.
Home is guesstimating how many cups of coffee a litre of milk will yield. Home is buying, boiling, cooling and refrigerating it.
Home is admitting that running out of sugar and salt is a domestic calamity.
Home is storing the numbers of three electricians, two plumbers and one odd-jobs man. Home is remembering (and paying) the fees of the paperwallah, the cable fellow and the cook-cum-maid. Home is fighting with the dabbawallah over a misplaced tiffin.
Home is grumbling about the quality of service these days, at age twenty-one.
Home is calculating how much I owe the istriwallah and how much the raddiwallah owes me. Home is having a file full of warranties. Home is remembering when the contract for pest control runs out. Home is sensing when the water purifier needs servicing.
Home is stashing away a not insignificant boodle in the wardrobe locker.
Home is stocking up on soap. Home is inspecting my toothbrush for wear. Home is avoiding the toilet which flushes erratically.
Home is spinning a load in the washing machine only when I run out of clean underwear. Home is singing while I dry and fold the clothes.
Home is switching the curtains, replacing handtowels and getting the tablecloth ironed. Home is using trays. Home is occasionally bringing out the crockery.
Home is wishing for warning before anyone comes over. Home is dusting frantically, and shoving things into the nearest cupboard. Home is cherishing the gift of storage space. Home is hoping the sofa is stainless. Home is believing that a damp cloth can fix anything.
Home is sitting by the window when it’s raining, and feeling protected. Home is leaving the front door open to let the wind whoosh by. Home is early nights, two blankets and noon awakenings.
Home is privacy. Home is loneliness. Home is a prison. Home is freedom. Home is a chore. Home is comfort. Home is money. Home is worth it.
Home is not what I possess. Home is what possesses me.
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