Friday, March 11, 2016

Well, hello Gorpy. It's been four years and I'm back at the call of the Fellowship (here's looking at you, Jam) (what's the female for 'fellow' that in could use instead, I wonder). I've been up for hours already with the baby, joined by the seven year old and the two year old and finally the almost-five year old, all following that strange mercurial pull. Their compasses point always to me. I am their North.

I suppose you could say I am their home. That's where they began, which is fact. At some point in the early hours N watched me feed the baby, my eyes flickering between him and the opening of the curtains where I waited for the sky behind the neem tree lighten and remarked "we all came out of your tummy, we were all in there". Of course the conversation quickly veered towards how they came out, which I sidestepped neatly. Four a.m is not the best time to discuss how vaginas work.

Am I home? With them I am. I've never lived in a place that was only mine, that I imagined into life. My parents' houses, my husband's house which is really his mother's and now this sweet wonky rented house that I have made mine, finally. I stopped waiting for my forever house. Forever is only now, and wherever I am my books and record player and pictures will follow and make it home. I have only recently realized this. People come to sit in my verandah or on the bird-patterned chairs or the funny faded brocade of the study sofa and say what good energy the house has. I like to think I put it there. That all these years I have spent, Mrs Galloway style, throwing the dinner parties and dancing with the kids and all the baking and hanging of artwork and shelving of books have become a nest around me that is Home.

I do feel at home. Home is my funny tin sign that says Haseena Atim Bum outside the front door. Home is not having a proper drawing room carpet. Home is the gigantic teapot shaped like a red telephone box I use when I have several tea guzzling friends over together. Home is Louis Armstrong on the record player in the mornings and Zeenat absently doing a jig to Hello Dolly as she putters about. I made this. I made this house where people drop by, where K and her friends giggle amongst the trunks of winter razais in the box room. It's why I call the sitting room the gol kamra, because it reminds me of my grandparents and also of Moonface's house.

It's really quite the best, feeling at home. In my skin, in the persistent baby flab even, the new silver hairs. The gold octopus from the Natural History Museum the girls are obsessed with. Sometimes I am that tentacled, juggling thing, but sometimes I am gold too.

Mina at 8:50 AM

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