My life began in an humble abode of a rental single room house in a small town. As a child, I grew up observing how my parents struggled to make ends meet with their monthly salary. A house to call their own was the only dream they had. I had seen this dream come true with great difficulty as the very little jewellery my mom had gathered over years slowly started getting traded for the costs and materials of the two bedroom house in the most remote part of the town which was what they could afford.
Living in a big city with endless possibilities was one of the dreams I had while growing up. I couldn’t wait to get out of my home town, to be a city girl with a job and beautiful urban family of my own. I took a big leap of faith and married a smart, well educated man working for a software company in a developing city. We started our married life in a small beautiful two bedroom rental house. The only hitch was that we lacked the much needed privacy as a newly married couple because the inlaws were also staying with us. So we constructed our own house with two levels which could give us our individual space. It was amazing to see it come to a shape so quickly. Due to my husband’s job demands, I was completely left in charge of handling the architect / engineers and my confidence to face the outside world grew along with our first house. As soon as the construction was almost complete, my husband got transferred to the US. We were both so excited about our next big move that it didn’t bother us that we will not be living in our new house. We left for USA – land of opportunities after helping the inlaws move into our new house.
What an exciting place it was!! The compact apartments, the amenities, the beautiful climate, the friendly people – we really had the best time of our life there. Exercise became a part of life as we had gym, tennis courts, basket ball courts and other sporting facilities within the community. Also there were beautiful parks with serene lakes, walking trails, trekking places etc within the walking radius. After living in a place like that, nobody would want to go back to ordinary. Hence we started our search for a nice luxurious apartment with similar amenities in India where we had to get back eventually.
Globally the quality of life improved remarkably with the economic growth. India was not far behind. By God’s grace we could identify and afford an affluent penthouse apartment in a posh locality of the IT hub of India. It seemed like a wonderful place to bring up happy kids. Very soon, we felt the need for a fourth bedroom for guests and a separate office room. Also a garden to grow our own veggies and greens would have completed our ideal dream home.
This is how we moved into our existing independent villa with a big garden. I was extremely proud of my home and would often have guests over for stay. Our house was admired for its resorts like ambience and inspired many people to go for a similar one. The practical difficulties of maintaining such a big house with a garden began to take its toll on me. Also my obsession to keep things in order and place made me extremely stressful and my happiness became directly proportional to the efficiency of the existing maid servant.
Now the multi level home has lost its charm as age is catching up on us. The run up and down the stairs which was once considered the only exercise in our busy life schedule is at an extremely challenging level with a toddler tugging at my legs. The lovingly tended garden is simply surviving without proper attention. Isn’t it sad that the home we so lovingly built soon becomes a major contributor of stress without our knowledge?
The grass is always greener on the other side. Having lived in all kind of houses – big and small, now I often think of moving out of this big house into a smaller apartment where I can only concentrate on the people and not the things that surround us. It is really ironic that I have taken so much time to understand this simple fact of life. Life definitely has come a full circle for me.
I now realise that we need only a smaller place to thrive and survive in this universe. Even God has given all of us – the rich and the poor, a similar compact space inside our mom’s womb which is ideal for our growth and development.
“There is no place like Home and any Home can be made a castle, if the King and Queen are in love.”
(Photo Courtesy – Internet)