i don't have a hometown


it’s funny what i thought of today while walking home.

what is my hometown ?

first, what is a hometown ?
my guess : its where you feel you really belong. where you know everything, everyone. your sanctuary. major portions of your life were spent there. wherever you go.. you’ll always return. back home. like in the title song of ‘cheers‘ 😛

i was born in madras (now known as chennai), india about 23 years ago.. but was barely there for 3 months. since then.. i barely know the place. have spent a lot of time there cumulatively.. but its not a hometown. its my birthplace. can’t really think of it in any other way. yeah, and it has the most amazing bookstores 🙂

i spent my initial years in dubai, UAE.. with flitting visits back to india. about eleven years were there.. but that is no “hometown”. yes, a major part of my childhood was there. and a lot of memories. but hometown i will not call it.

major places of visit from dubai were always bombay and madras. but these visits can’t be classified as being part of this.. they were like month-long parties with family. loads of fun. great memories again.

about 10 years ago.. i returned to bombay with family. to settle. spent those all important teen-years in bombay. school, college, undergrad. learnt a lot more about life.. and how to live it.
but its not exactly my place.
i mean, i do love it. just that spirit that a city has.. something that zings you to the moon when you’re within 5 km of it. will always find it the place to be. it is a major part of me. however.. i can’t be said to be a major part of it.
“not the typical mumbaite”.. i’ve been told. sure, i have the spirit. but that is something that enters you.. the real feeling of being from that place is something i don’t know.

since then, i’ve been here in aberdeen. amazing place.. really discovered myself here. have some of my best times.. best friends all found here. not a hometown. never.
call my patriotism sentimental.. but india is india. and this place can never compare.

“where are you from ?” is a pretty common question. and i’ve made a variety of answers.
“south indian”. “southie, brought up in mumbai”. “mumbai”. “india”.
thus depending on how complicated i want to make my answer 🙂

family’s hometown ? barely know who figures what. birthplaces – barely been to them.

now, where were we ? yea. hometown.

maybe i’m overlooking the obvious. maybe i’m just being paranoid about nothing.
perhaps, today no-one really has a hometown.
perhaps, i’m one of the few people who can’t say that about any place.
is it really a necessary thing to know ?
note to parents: this is no reflection of you guys.. i know i couldn’t have asked for better from you. its just a general wandering of my mind. thinking aloud.

it feels like it is something that should be a major part of me. some kind of foundation stone of an identity. something that defines who i am. where i want to be.
it feels weird that i haven’t thought about ths until now. you would think that such things should be all charted out in my mind.

maybe i’m simply yet to find it.
maybe i will… that’s it. maybe i will.

or maybe not.


3 thoughts on “i don't have a hometown

  1. Only popped in to say hello… been …gone, yeah. But never forgot ya. I’ll have to catch up later cause now I’m going to go to bed.
    Sleep well..

  2. Dude,
    Its the same story everywhere…Not to explain in detail….I have been living in Kashmir, Jammu, Mumbai and Bangalore…So at times when people ask me where are you from…I stop and think…The answer that comes out is based purely on the situation…So I guess it is not so different from what you just jotted down…

    And come to think of it, I think we have a long time to go still and we will sure get our hometown…place where we have all our family and grow old with the person you love….I believe we will get that for sure…

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