by Aanya F Niaz
Home. I’ve been away from the place I was born, raised and molded — 7 years and counting, into the wild. I’ve been blessed to travel and spend quality time with new countries, scattering pieces of me everywhere I go, carrying lessons to and fro. Often I’ve attempted to categorize my identity’s belonging, and each time I believe I’m that which I take with me, from everywhere. So what does that mean? Home becomes everywhere I go? Yes and no.
The places I reside in do take permanent residence in my heart and mind; the individuals I meet, the connections I form, the weather I become accustomed to, the novels I read in those places — All these develop a new sense of home.
However, the one “home” base is Lahore, Pakistan. The neighborhood where I was raised, where my most cherished and loved ones live or have lived. Where my bruises were mended, my grand-parents celebrated my birthdays, where my siblings and I laughed and cried together — where my schooling was, where I learned to take in and let go. Where I physically spent 18 years, without knowing I had to define a place called home.
That very place which did not demand of me, a finite definition of home – It did not make me conscious of where I was, it did not ask me to explicate why it was home, that place is home. The sanctuary, to me, becomes the place which does not know it is just that; it is only when you walk away and look back, your heart shudders at the thought of losing it.
Home to me is my place of origin, for it never questioned or deemed it necessary for me to own it, but simply was mine.