The word Dépaysement in Portuguese means the feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country. While I am very much in my home country, I’m having that same feeling now. Before you jump to conclusions, this has got nothing to do with demonetization or the sorry state of political affairs in my city – Chennai. I miss my home. There. I said it.
Over the past week every other person who greeted me, asked me if I had ‘settled-in’ in the new place and adapted to new people. First off, I was on a vacation, roaming around the serene beaches of Mauritius. You know that. It’s been just two days since I resumed routine work. I’m sure you are aware of this fact too. Wouldn’t it be wiser not to ask about my ‘adapting’ process? Wouldn’t it decent not to pry if I am doing all household work by or if my mother in law is ‘making’ me do it all. There is a fine line between being concerned and being inquisitive. I thought we were in the digital age, apparently I am wrong and stone age hasn’t passed yet.
The next common question I get asked is if I miss my parent’s place. I know you must be agreeing with the correct syntax I used to address the place which used to be “Home” to me. Well, don’t be too happy. It’s still home for me. It will always be. Nobody except me can change that mindset. Is there something gravely wrong in calling two places “Home”? I suppose, my upbringing is to blame for that mindset. My dad always told me that his house would always be home for me, immaterial of my marital status. He also imbibed in me that I should always consider my in-laws as my own parents and thereby making their house my home too. Seems rational to me. I pity those who aren’t blessed with the sanity like that of my dad’s. I digress.
Yes. I miss my parents. I miss waking up to my dad’s polite and mum’s angry wake up calls. I miss sipping that glass of strong coffee my dad specially prepares for us. I miss chiding my dad for walking too fast during our regular walks. I miss my mom’s food. I miss playing pranks on my sister and getting her all worked up. It’s hard not to miss people you’ve been with for 25 years. Of course, unless you are a wall or a stone. Not that my husband or my in laws aren’t good enough for me, just that there is this constant feeling of dépaysement. Not that I am not used to living away from home, just that this time when my brain knows that the shift is permanent my heart whines and protests. It is supposed to be a common feeling for all women in our country. My mum probably felt that way too, and my sister would feel that way too.
Pseudo feminists would likely be burning red seething with anger at this write up right now. They would reason that I really needn’t suffer separation and can always revolt to bring my husband to live with my parents. That would be like neutralizing the age old ‘horrendous’ custom of a woman leaving her house post marriage. That would be equality for them.
It fails to strike me as how that would be equality. As a matter of fact, isn’t that a choice? I choose to live with my In laws. They didn’t give me an option because they assumed I would be okay with it. Had I asked them otherwise, they would have obliged, probably, but not without feeling bad that I asked them. I didn’t ask. It is my choice. It’s as simple as that. They are good people. They treat me with care and affection. I grew in a household of 5 members. I would have probably gone mad if I had to live all alone with my husband. It’s an added bonus that my in laws are extremely nice.
Again, you, the pseudo feminists would be groaning at my praise for them. You can’t judge somebody within a week of being with them, you would reason. People change, people act you would say. I can’t help but pity you again for being so inhumane. There are no bad people. Circumstances make people behave the way they do. I believe the best in the people. That’s how I am wired. Next time you want to shake my faith, well, all the best.