I am in Florida helping with wedding preparations for my brother’s wedding. The days are filled with aaloo paratha brunches, afternoon chais, and then the down to business tasks of meeting with photographers, decorators, organizing the guest list, and addressing envelopes. It’s a deep sense of peace to be in my parent’s home, a place in which I am still their child, to be with my brothers and to hear the familiar voices of my family so close to me.
And yet- there is this sense of udassi in me. As I prepare for his wedding, I remember my own. I was the first to leave, the first to sever the continuity of the dynamics of our five person family. It is always more difficult for those who are left behind. This is one of the rare weekends I’m here on my own. I can’t help but feel a nostalgic ache at how precious these moments are, the five of us under one roof, still children in our parent’s eyes. But my baby brother is grown up. He’s getting married. How fast did time fly?
I can’t stop thinking of my parents. How did it feel for them when I left? How did it feel to have family dinners without me at my usual chair? For decades we were the universe they inhabited, and then one day seven years ago, it became a memory of the way it once was. I moved on to my married life. My brothers moved on to college. Each time we meet, the same routines that decades entrenched in our psyches resume. Aisha cuts the salad, the others set the table. The same jokes, the same needling. Yet now we are all aware how temporary it is.
Perhaps it is this which fills me with udassi, a sensation like a rope swirling against my heart, tugging it enough to make it bleed. You create a family and then your family grows wings and flies away. And this ofcourse is how it should be. Yet, the truth is, your parent’s home is always your home, and the homesickness no matter how faint it grows over time, always remains.