Away from home since 2002. Fifteen years. Fifteen long years. It sounds surreal that for the first 22 years of my life, when I was at home (my home, more specifically, my parents' home) I never imagined a life of a nomad.
But then I just left home for work (read greener pastures). I lived in and traveled to many cities since then. I even went to few other countries for business or personal reasons. A large part of these 15 years were spent in rented places. Temporary accommodations. I stayed with my wife and my parents visited often. But I always felt I was away from home. From my roots. I bought my own matchbox sized apartment in Mumbai, three years ago. I felt that now I have something of my own to call home. But. But that feeling of being away from home never went away. I missed the home where I grew up. I missed my hometown always. As I got bogged down by the daily grind, I started thinking less about my home, my town Ludhiana. But the "missing home" feeling grew stronger.
After staying for 12 years in Mumbai, I got a new job in Chennai recently, a land farther from my moorings. I shifted for betterment of my career. I know for a fact, that I will never be able to call any place my home apart from the home where my childhood was spent. No luxury or material benefit will be able to replace that happiness of doing so many things for the first time there. Nothing can replace, not even my own house in Mumbai, the warmth and love of my home.
The feeling of being away is something I have learned to live with though. But one day, at the end of my life, this feeling will vaporize and we will get to our true abode.