As I’m boarding yet another plane to go home I almost stopped to question what that even meant to me at this point. I find myself so busy that my apartment has become somewhere I get my 8 hours of beauty sleep. So in reality do I even consider that “home”? According to the dictionary, home is defined as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” I think it goes beyond a place or where you stay. I’ve traveled so much to discover that home to me is defined by the people I love, feelings and the joy I feel knowing they are always here to greet me when I come back.
First and foremost home to me is my family. It is walking into my parents’ house and being attacked with the aromatic bursts of seasoning my mom is applying to the variety of my favorite traditional Bengali dishes. Before I even say hi to my parents, it’s the bombardment of my twin sisters and Sami (pre-teen brother) greeting me with their eager grins and hugs so tight I might just lose a little bit of air. It’s the warm smile that lightens amu’s (mom’s) face and her smile that sparks her eyes when she sees me as she greets me and asks “tumi khecho?” It’s her giggles as I walk over and hug her after days of not hearing her lectures and taunts and feeling her motherly love transcend into my heart. It’s walking into the living room finding my father on the couch watching TV but the big smile he always provides me as soon as he sees me walk into the room. It’s the little space between him and the corner of the couch that I force myself into as he asks me how my trip went. Suddenly I hear loud thumps of someone coming downstairs and I smile as I await Tanvir (my other younger brother) to give me a big hug as I find something clever to say to him. It’s my older brother walking through the door and calling me names or making a childish remark about anything he can think of. When I’m traveling my mind sometimes wanders to this scene that repeats at least twice a week for family dinners. As we grow older, we realize what family means and the importance of their roles not only in our lives but our hearts.
Of course life would be barren without my best friends. Home is not only defined by the family you’re born into but the family you make along the years. It’s my best friends that make me laugh so hard you’d think I’m sobbing. It’s the meals we have together as we talk about our lives. It’s the friends who have been by my side for so many years knowing every layer to my soul and yet loving me the same if not more every year. It’s the silly remarks we make at each other that only we would understand. It’s my bunnies (gay best friends) weekly dinner dates that entertain me but ground me as we have our heart to hearts about life, love and everything under the stars. I’ve been to so many cities, seen so many faces and talked to so many people but there’s not one single person I’ve met that can replace any of you. If anything I see you guys in nooks and corners of every city as I laugh knowing the comment each of you would make at my interesting experiences. It’s when family drives you mad so you run to the arms of those you can dance with freely.
Aside from family and friends, home is the person who lays their head on the pillow next to you. It is the person all your walls come down for. The person who fills your heart in a way no one else can understand. It’s the soft kisses on your cheek and forehead. It’s the warm embrace that causes your heart to race and make you wonder why you left in the first place. It’s the person who listens to your daily rants and stories. The arms that wrap around you as you get ready to drift off to dream world. The hands that hold yours in place creating a safe haven. It’s the person you find next to you as you’re cooking dinner. It’s the person that helps define love. The one that patches up all the cracks and allows the light to fill the darkness. The face you see first thing in the morning reminding you they’re always by your side. This part of home is something not all of us have or find. It’s the part people spend their whole lives looking for. If we are ever so lucky to come across someone who reminds us daily that home is a heartbeat not a place, we should consider ourselves lucky.
Last but not least, home is you Houston, Texas.