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Where is a woman’s home?

Where is a woman’s home?

On a blissful winter morning, the sun had slowly begun to spread it’s warmth as it’s marigold colored rays replaced the dewy fog.  At quite a distance a bird was humming a song, butterflies in the garden were leisurely playing hide and seek over the winsome flowers, the trees were laden with lustrous oranges, and amidst all this, I sat there on the floor leisurely, cross-legged; as my grandmother oiled my unmanageable curls. Closing my eyes, I swayed my head as my grandmother began to sing

Sada chirian da chamba ve, babal assan ud jana.

Sadi lammi udari ve, babal kehre des jana.

Mera chhuta kasida ve, badal das kaun kade?

Merian kadhan potrian, dhiye ghar ja apne.

Ours is a flock of sparrows, dear father, We’ll fly away

On a long, long flight, We know not to which land we shall go.

In your mansion, dear father, Who will do the spinning?

My Granddaughters will spin. You go to your home, O daughter.

The crooning of my grandmother, the warmth in the atmosphere, the aesthetic nature that girdled me, all coupled was having a mystical impact on me until the last lines of the famous Punjabi folk song reached my revolutionary ears “dhiye Ghar ja apne”. Signaling my grandmother with an instantaneous moment of hand, ‘to stop’, changing my sitting position and venting out my thirty years long frustration, I questioned in exasperation “Granny where is a girl’s home?”

When I was a kid my brother jovially used to tease me that my parent’s home is his home and not mine. For having lived in hostels and paying guest accommodation, where putting the nail on the wall can be the last nail in the coffin, I was sure enough that if I made any altercations as I desired for my convenience in the accommodation, then, aunty police bula lege. After marriage when my mother-in- law and I were inclined to add a souvenir or two on the bachelor walls of my husband’s room, he humbly denied saying that he doesn’t like ornate walls. I lived in military accommodation where the sahayak (buddy is army) made me very clear as he said in a tone of humblebragging, “Memsahib, You cannot make changes in the accommodation. This belongs to Fauj ”

My grandmother, not realising that I was a difficult pupil made a vain attempt to cheer me up as she said, “This is your home”. Though it was technically correct as I had spent the larger part of my life at my grandparent’s home, yet that was not the answer that I have been looking for. Judging my unrest, and patting me on my back, she said,“A girl’s home is in the heart of the people that surround her. She lives in the heart of her own family, after marriage she is a soul for her in-laws. She is the life of her husband and breath to her children. She is a mentor to her siblings and happiness to her relatives and friends. She makes a home wherever she goes. A single home for her would be too small a place to live.”

I guess that day I got an answer to the antagonism that was boiling in me for ages.

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