Homecoming is a ceremonious event in my life. What makes me say this ? That’s because the occasion of homecoming comes only once or twice a year for me (and my husband). Ever since I left my hometown finishing school, the frequencies of returning and being at home became less over the years. Graduation from college, landing a job, settling down after marriage – I reached all these milestones of life in places different from one another. As a result, the physical distance from the place, where I have spent the best years of my childhood, grew bigger.
In the midst of all this, the Almighty did me one great favour. When He constructed my one-way life between different cities and countries, then He realised there was no U-turn that could lead me back to my home. He rectified the disastrous mistake at once through His match-making skills and glued my destiny with a person belonging from my hometown.Therefore, it always feels like a blessed and grand affair when both of us plan a trip back home.
To me, homecoming means spending quality time with family members, meeting relatives and catching up with friends. It’s my time to relax, have fun and put a ‘No Entry’ signboard to stress. Still, how is it possible to get anything free of cost in this world? The joy of homecoming is clearly not above this rule. Do you find it hard to believe me ? Well, I can’t help that. However, I do experience certain ‘homecoming blues’ when any such plans are around the corner. There are some socio-economic & environmental constraints that come in my way of enjoying the charm of homecoming.
Patience check with packing :
If there is any list existing for the most disgusting tasks in the world, then I will happily put ‘packing’ in no. 1 position there. It might be simply the job of dumping stuffs into a suitcase for many. I too had such carefree days long time ago. But I am afraid it’s not that easy for me now (specially after my marriage). I need to keep other things in mind before putting my clothes in the suitcase. Else it becomes a bone of contention in my otherwise happy married life.
- The suitcase should accommodate all my necessities and leave enough space for my husband’s clothes (because he prefers to travel light).
- It should be of manageable size and shape.
- Belongings put inside should bear the invisible label of utmost significance. Casual packing is a big NO.
- Luggage (at any cost) shouldn’t exceed the permissible limit given by the airlines (who wants to pay for extra luggage ?). This is, in fact, the most important factor which decides the fate of tasks mentioned in points 1,2 & 3.
With all these terms and conditions stored in mind, the simple job of packing gives me nightmares before a trip. Needless to say that I end up messing at least one or two points mentioned above. My husband finally needs to interfere and rescues me from an overstuffed luggage with his supervisory skill-set.
Environmental adjustments :
I have my own issues with summer. If you ask my opinion, then this season should be banned from appearing in this planet. You will always find me complaining about the sweaty, sticky and tiring summer season.To make the matter worse, summer dominates most of the year in the place where I hail from.
Winter and spring play a ‘blink and miss’ role there. Ironically, my homecoming trips are also planned mostly during summers. It’s like going in front of a high flamed oven directly after coming out of an air-conditioned room. At the end of every trip , I promise myself to not plan my next journey in the middle of summer. However, like many other promises, I fail to stick to this one too each time.
Getting hospitality within own family :
How will you feel if you are treated as a guest in your own family? I feel strange, awkward and funny. Within a few days of arrival, I find myself in the center of lunch and dinner invites (sometimes even breakfast and afternoon tea as well). Now, you might think, ‘What’s there to fuss about? It’s good that people care for you so much.’ Well, one or two delicious lunches and dinners are absolutely fine. But what will you do when you are going at someone’s place only to have six-course meals?
The expected casual meetings with family members during homecoming takes the shape of a serious and formal food carnival. Food becomes the sole medium of communication, expressing love and concern between the host and ‘situational’ guest. Bonding, relaxing, enjoying, mood uplift- the core essence of homecoming appear secondary in the picture. My weight is the only thing that gets a sincere boost after all these love and affection.
Patience check with packing :
Feel like déja vu ? That’s because I confront the same scenario while packing my suitcase (with same terms and conditions implied) at the end of holidays. There is just one small difference this time though. It is the additional number of clothes and food items (only Indians can understand what I am trying to say) trying their best to find space inside my travel bags.
Credit for such challenging situation goes to my series of successful shopping ventures in malls, high street sales and online shopping portals. We plan and purchase certain amount of extra pounds for luggage while booking return tickets. Still, somehow the luggage succeeds to ditch all the preventive measures taken. Travelling light has never been my forte.
Anyway, even after these ‘socio-economic & environmental’ constraints, I can’t describe in exact words the excitement associated with each trip back home. As a matter of fact, all the above ‘homecoming blues’ contribute in their own way to make the trips more appealing and memorable. After all –
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Do you have any such ‘home coming blues’ ? Would love to hear some of your experiences.