Heimat is a German word with no exact English equivalent. You could call it “homeland” but it is a lot more than that. I think of it as a sense of belonging to a place, people, feelings, smell, taste, language and everything that makes you feel home, psychologically. Heimat often comes from childhoods.
Aditi wrote to me once asking which home was I talking about: where we are now or what we left behind.
And then, I saw this 10 year reunion picture on Facebook yesterday. It was made of people who moved away across seas and made their lives in foreign environments, with effort (and I do believe it’s not easy). However, when they use words like “immigrants” or talk about getting new passport, that’s when the seriousness of it hits me. I feel I do not belong in that picture any longer or anywhere currently. Because while I have no idea where I will be in the next 3 years, even 4, but my forever right now belongs solely to the subcontinent without a doubt. And I am being challenged to think this through more.
I really feel quite horrid. After 10 years, am I supposed to tell myself that making a future that involves seeing my parents once in a year is a good one? I really want to know how anyone is making peace with this or finding a way to solve for it. Am I too soppy for not being able to understand?