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Take me home, to the place, I belong

When you’ve lived away from home for an extended period of time, you start to feel like a leaf, blown far away from its tree by the wind. Its roots though, which nourished and nurtured it, continue to deepen, as though replicating gravity that tends to draw you back to the earth you belong to.

The plane ride back to India from another country is a journey of nostalgia. There’s something sweet, touching and homely about it. Perhaps it is that warm feeling inside, a sense of belonging, a knot that seems to have been tied again. Perhaps just the change in air. The last few minutes before the plane hits the ground, with the seat tilting forward, ears blocked, thoughts turbulent, eyes trying to absorb the city lights outside the window…

And then it happens. The thud. The sound of tires screeching. Ears pop open to sounds you’ve known and lived among for years. The accents, the language. The smell of the air freshener, that you know will soon be replaced by salivating aromas. The blast of air that strokes your face when you step right outside the place, carrying with it  images to flood your mind. The warmth. Even the slow-moving immigration queue that you thought you’d become alien to, but not quite. And the lone thought that this is where you belong. Such is home.

In all the nostalgia, here’s my favorite poem from 12th grade literature:

To India – My Native Land
– Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

My country! In thy day of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow,
And worshipped as a deity thou wast.
Where is that glory, where that reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And groveling in the lowly dust art thou:
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!

Well let me dive into the depths of time,
And bring from out the ages that have rolled
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime,
Which human eyes may never more behold;
And let the guerdon of my labour be
My fallen country! One kind wish from thee!

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by

Hello! I'm Shivya. 7+ years ago, I quit my full-time corporate job and started travelling the world. I gave up my home, sold most of my possessions and embraced the life of a digital nomad. I'm passionate about sustainable tourism, offbeat destinations, solo travel and veganism. If you enjoyed reading this blog post, leave me a comment and let me know. You can also buy a copy of my bestselling book, The Shooting Star. Thanks for joining my adventures virtually! Connect with me on Instagram/Twitter @shivya.

18 Comments

  1. That’s a lovely poem to end the post. I don’t remember reading it during my schooling. The feeling of nostalgia you’ve described is awesome! One has to experience it to know the essence of it. I used to get this feeling when I used to fly from Mumbai to my home in Bangalore. So it is not surprising to see you to get that kind of feeling when you are coming to your country.

  2. @ Varun: It was part of the ICSE syllabus, though optional. Ah, inter-city nostalgia is something I’ve never experienced yet!

    @ guapachicha: 🙂

    @ Harsh: Haha, thanks Harsh. One & only indeed 😀

  3. hmmm….the sweet pain called nostalgia !

    // ” …… which nourished and nurtured it, continue to deepen, as though replicating gravity that tends to DRAW (not draws) you back to the earth you belong to” //

    *oh, the nit-picker inside my head* :-/

    and a good, tough (for me : ) poem.. had to check the meaning of ‘guerdon’ : )

    Excellent last line (‘ … one kind wish from thee’)

  4. @ vaibhav: Thanks for pointing that out! I missed it earlier somehow. Rectified it now 🙂 Glad you liked the poem. It’s a masterpiece!

    @ amreekandesi: Thanks 😀 You should go! It’s awesome timing too. Jet has some great deals!

  5. Feel good post dude. Real feel gud post. Loved the lines of nostalgia where u talk bout long queues and such is home.
    Home is is sweetest 4 letter word and love comes AFTER it, dont u think ?
    🙂

  6. I absolutely agree with u…..I too have lived away frm home for 7 yrs now…Nd now the saturation point has come where I want nothing but my family. The poem is beautiful 🙂

  7. Pavan says

    The nostalgic feeling was brilliantry described..:)

  8. jayesh says

    Hi Shivya, using this as an orkut scrap 😀 strange that I got a chance just today to read blogs n I would echo the sentiment in this post… I have had to travel to the UK for work…have been here for 4 mnths n hardly got any time at all… thanks for mentioning me on ur happy bday blog post 🙂

  9. @ Chiranjib: Thanks 🙂 and welcome to the Shooting Star!

    @ Anand: Absolutely! Though home is where the heart is 😉

    @ Valerine: I hope you’re visiting home soon 🙂

    @ Vishesh: Haha, thanks!

    @ Pavan: Thanks 🙂

    @ Jayesh: I think it’s a sign. India calling 😉 I’d been wondering where you were all this time. I hope you’re back in the blogosphere now. Your blog needs you! 😀

  10. manchitra says

    never been outside India but had to live away from home town and the same kind of feelings i get when the train chugs and enters my home state. good narration. good post. 🙂

  11. Ashish says

    Yes it is very true the nostalgic moment which I as well experience after I come back from a different country after every three years. It start right when you enter the air india plane.The sweet, touching and homely feeling – although I also seeing through the eyes of Aravind Adiga (in White Tiger) – the smell of paan, people spitting everywhere, dust flying everywhere, smell of ‘nallas’-gutters, very noisy traffic, children selling books on roads… then of course the greeting of rest of the relatives, friends… etc. and many more uncountable feelings which remain as we adjust to the change… but this is it.. Its my home.. My India!. but saying I absolutely/perfectly love it the way it is I think i would be cheating on myself. Their are some things in which I must contribute to change my country.

  12. Hi Shivya, I was told about your site by my aunt, Manchitra. The sentiment you described so beautifully rings true to my ears. Lovely post, will be visiting more often to check on the goodies you come up with. 🙂

  13. @ Manchitra: 🙂 thanks!

    @ Ashish: It’s true, when you read Aravind Adiga, you see a completely different side of India. Absolutely, we have to become the change-makers here. Welcome to The Shooting Star btw 🙂

    @ TheThoughtfulTrain: Thanks, and welcome to The Shooting Star! Hope to see you here often 🙂

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