I was out last evening with a friend I’ve known for over a decade now. We’ve seen each other grow up, from being awkward school children to being rebellious college students and now as overworked adults.
So he gulps down his beer and tells me “I do not want to go back home”.
"Home" means Kolkata to both of us.
While it’s been two years that I’ve been away, it's nearly eight for him.
“What do you mean you do not want to go back home?” I nearly shriek. "The music here is always too loud," I add trying to appear calm.
“It’s home, remember... we have our family and our house there...”
“I would want to visit once every two years, yes. But I can’t live there,” he cuts me short.
“But you just called it home. How can one not long to be home, even if it means dreaming of doing so some day in the future?” I almost tear up.
Visions of my terrace, my flowering plants, smiling faces of my cousins... become a little more blurry than my memories would have wanted it to be.
As I turn to face the live band, I can't help but wonder, would I feel the same way if I continue to live away from home? Would a 10-day visit every year be enough to take care of this homesick heart?
Or would I not long to be home at all?