A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

It feels like home..

Posted by Pepper on March 9, 2011

In the past few years I’ve led quite a nomadic life, changing cities and even countries every now and then. While the optimist in me feels privileged and happy to experience different places and savour different cultures, the pessimist whines because it makes me feel uprooted a little too often. I long for that feeling of home.

And for me, to call a place home, it needs to have the weight of my history. The mention of ‘home’ should bring in that rush of nostalgia that comes only with a long term association. It should be a place where you can visit your memories and see your past. Going by this logic, we can have only one home. For me, that home is Bombay. Unquestionably.

Ever since I moved out of Mumbai, I’ve been in search of a place that feels ‘like home’. I studied in UK and have fond memories of that place. But it is not a place I can live in for long. Each time Mint talks about moving there, I protest vehemently. And I have no answers to give him. I just could not connect with the soul of that place. My mind was aimlessly wandering in search of an unknown destination.

Surprisingly, after I moved to the US, I felt a greater sense of attachment to the place I lived in. While Ohio was good and I actually miss the city we lived in, it still didn’t feel like home. There were some invisible barriers that prevented that feeling of belonging from seeping into me.

Things started to change slowly after we moved to California. I was falling in love with the Bay Area. This is such a beautiful place. Everything is so scenic and picturesque. More importantly, the Indian food available here is fantastic. It is actually better than what you’d get in India. Probably because this place is so full of desis. I see Indians everywhere I look. So much so, that most of the times I forget I am not living in India. The weather, though a little cold by my standards, is still so good compared to the rest of the country. But this is not about the beauty, or the food, or the people or the weather. This is about the one mystical element I was in search of. This place has that elusive ingredient that makes it feel like home. I am in love with my surrounding and feel like I can live here. If not forever, for a long time at least.

And that, is not necessarily a good thing. Because our life right now is so unpredictable, I have no idea where the coming time will take us. I don’t know how long we will be here. It may or may not be long. And that scares me and makes me hope I don’t become too attached to this place. But I will worry about that another day. Today, I will just rejoice, for I have found a place that feels like home.

42 Responses to “It feels like home..”

  1. R's Mom said

    Awww! thats such a sweet post

  2. Rang said

    Very true what you said 🙂 “home.”

  3. Ashwathy said

    I completely get what you mean…. I’ve led a nomadic existence for most of my life too 🙂
    And yes Mumbai is one of the places I feel home too so I totally understand…

    As of now, enjoy since you’ve found a place you want to be in. Somewhere along the way you’ll find it. Until savour the sights and sounds you get to experience along the way in different places and faces 🙂

  4. Deboshree said

    I am glad you have found another place that feels like home. 😀 It’s a very strange thing – this attachment. We tend to get attached to the place, its sights and sounds, the way the sun rises there, even the way it smells. Moving away then feels terrible.

    Hope you have a long rejoicing time this once. 😀

  5. Chatterbox said

    Ah! I can totally relate to all you said having changed cities and countries quite like you have 😛
    But I tend to fall in love with every city I’ve lived in,so if I am to make a choice where to settle finally,I’m going to have a tough time deciding 😛
    Enjoy life in California,just the way you love it,till whenever you are there 😀 😀

    • Pepper said

      I end up loving cities I live in too. But they might still not have that ‘x factor’ that makes it ‘home’. Oh guess I am just blabbering.

      When you decide to settle somewhere, just flip a coin 😀

  6. to me the cities that makes me feel at home seems for now to be Delhi and Boston. I am blindly in love with everything about these two places.

    Unfortunately I don’t like California and I miss the silence and cosiness of Boston 😥

    • Pepper said

      I think I like Cali because its not too quiet. I mentally connect that to the buzzing sounds of Mumbai..
      But you’re right. I know so many people in love with Boston..

  7. Bikram said

    Dont know whats wrong with UK.. its a lovely country, and much better then US for sure , I have been to US and seen it there too.. PEople in Uk still got the family touch unlike out there ..
    but i guess it all depends where you were or who were with you …

    and glad you are enjoying out there , hey come back to UK .. you will enjoy it more once you settle down now that you got ur hubby to keep u company here tooo .. it will be different then when you were single 🙂

    Take care

    • Pepper said

      There is nothing wrong with UK. It definitely is a lovely country. I only said I could not relate to it, for some unknown reason. And about it being better than US? I think that is subjective na..

      And yeah, maybe being there all alone had something to do with my outlook. Maybe things will be different now, if I have Mint there. But somehow, the ideal of moving there just does not appeal to me, much to Mint’s disappointment.

  8. Comfy said

    For the longest time ‘Home’ was back home. D used to get so mad. ‘What this is not home?’ he would ask. But in all seriousness it was not. Now home for me is where D and Buzz are. Cities and places I don’t get too attached to since I have moved soooo much.

    • Pepper said

      I wish could be like you Comfy. Being in sync with the place is important to me, else I can’t shake away that feeling of being unsettled 😦

  9. neha said

    Oh, you live in the Bay area?! Me too 🙂 Moved 3-4 months back after staying in Boston for 3-4 years.
    And I agree the indian food here is better than what you get in most other parts of US, but still it does not come close to what we get in India! I mean, thats what I feel, atleast 😀 But I do agree that it is very scenic..its a hill station where you need to go to work every day 😀

    • Pepper said

      There might be certain things which are obviously better in India, but for the most part, I like the food better here. For example, I never really got to taste authentic South India food while I was in Mumbai, but the Bay Area has been such a treat. I guess it all depends on the region and the cuisine then? 🙂

  10. Seena said

    I can totally get what you are talking. I was not staying in any city for more than 2 yrs. So I am going through similar thoughts. I have many friends who live in Bay Area and they love being there. I have been there(or rather my first place out of India) and just love everything. Enjoy your time in Calif,Good luck..

  11. Pixie said

    Very nice! 🙂
    As they say – “Home is where the heart is!”
    Even though life takes us to various places, for me, home is still Mysore! 🙂 🙂

  12. Nidhi said


  13. Ohh! another Nomad couple:)-just like us..
    I am glad you found a place that feels like home 🙂
    But you know what.. we moved here so that we could stop moving.. and now I am getting restless…LOL!!

  14. ajay said

    Nostalgic post. Home is a special place. The very mention stirs up memories.

  15. Tanishka said

    Good that you finally feel like home… 🙂
    Your decision to rejoice today and not worry about tomorrow is just perfect…. 🙂

  16. Aww, am sooooo gald it does feel like home Pepper!

    I totally second you on the 2 points –

    -The place which has the most memories and associated with most of the past, in fact, always remains to be ‘home’. ( Mumbai to you..my hometown near M’lore to me)

    – You hardly realize you are out of country especially here in the Bay area 😀


  17. mahes said

    Nice post! Agree with you. I’ve been in SoCal for the past 12.5 yrs, it has begun to feel like home. I was very homesick for a number of years, now that we have put down some roots, made some memories, this feels like home. My first home is always Coimbatore.

    • Pepper said

      That is exactly what I meant. A place can turn into home if you’ve lived there long enough to grow roots and create your own set of memories. I’m glad you’ve found your home in Cal. The first home will always be special of course 🙂

  18. S said

    Home is where you Heart is 🙂
    I could relate with the nomadic life part totally!
    Since childhood, I have moved around several cities. And when somebody asks me a simple question- “where are you from?” I am puzzled! I donno where am from.. I have my bits n pieces all over the country!

  19. scorpria said

    it’s strange how we get attached to certain things, people or places for no real reason.
    In that same sense, I dislike Bangalore with a vehemence I just can’t figure out — but I’ve been living here for about 4 years now, and i sooo hate it.

    Good to know you’ve identifies your next-to-home place 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Oh! So you know what I am talking about then.. disliking a place without any rational reason. It’s so hard to explain that to people .. 🙂

  20. So So true!!!! Just remain happy in that moment!!

  21. SH said

    You have no idea how much I agree with your post. You defn have to connect to a place for it to feel like home. I liked in UK for 2 years and I totally connected with the place and was heartbroken when I had to return. But I lived in bang for 1.5 years and even though I had such lovely friends there it never felt like home and I could never explain to the countless people who asked me why I never felt comfortable there. So I am with you on this one girl 🙂

    Btw I am a lurker and I love your blog 🙂

    • Pepper said

      So good to know other people feel the same way. Sometimes the connect happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. Its hard to explain to people, who constantly want to see reason.

      Thanks SH. Hope you stay delurked now 🙂

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