Friday 1 July 2011

Thoughts on the words 'missing home'

While sojourning in Kerala, several things made me miss home. The newspaper was one such thing. But it must be noted that while in Chennai (which is home), I don't crave for the newspaper. This attribute made me reflect. The fact that in Kerala, my husband's home, subscribed only to the Malayalam newspaper made the difference. In Chennai, just seeing the English newspaper was a comfort factor. The comfort was that I could read the paper any time I wanted to and that it was in a language that I could follow, whereas in Kerala, the script of the newspaper and the foreign language gave a different feeling. Just a look at the newspaper gave a flash of home and the treat of reading the newspaper at home, made me think of home rather fondly. I wouldn't call this factor as 'missing home,' but I cannot get closer than that.

I write here especially about the newspaper as I missed reading the paper but the language that made me miss home was English, which is not my tongue. It is quite strange that despite the fact that English is foreign but that language made me miss home is quite amusing. Paradox, isn't it? Now gradually I begin to wonder whether the post is on 'missing home' or on paradoxes?

Another aspect were the smells. I missed the smell of home and there was no specific smell which I could think of but I guess every home has its own smell. Do you get what I mean? But those were the initial "missings." After that I got used to the new font (Malayalam) and smells. Humans are quite adaptive, aren't they.

And now . . . I miss the smell of Kerala home. Life goes on.

Image: Internet


  1. Ah missing home! Miss the streets and the idea of getting out for a walk.... Funny how we humans get attached to things!

  2. The thing i miss the most from home is my bed..


  3. Hello Susan:

    Yes, we are--adaptable, that is. I have been away from my homeland many years and do not miss it at all. I have become so accustomed to the sights and smells and sounds of this strange place. Actually, now my homeland feels like a foreign land to me.

    Funny, this life we live as human.

    Kindest regards and best wishes for your adjustments to you new home,

  4. The smells the language. Yes. Yes. Yes. I have been oscillating between 3 States in the last two years. The language.. even hearing those constant words has a effect on us. Like I don't follow a bit of kannada but I miss hearing it when I am back home (Gujarat) and when in Karnataka I miss hearing people speak in Gujarati. While south reminds me of the smell of Jasmine. Gujarat reminds me of the smell of home(The house). And Mysore-- Ahh! It smells like rain! :)

    Nice Post! You always make the readers think and connect to little something of their own. :)

    Have a good weekend Susan!

  5. i am out of town currently nd there are about 12 kids here, my boys included...i dont get to play as much when other kids are around so that is what i miss of home...smiles.

  6. I agree. . . many things to miss. Family first for me and then I agree with A! My bed! xo

  7. Wherever you lay your hat that's your home, but if its smell you miss, try a pair of socks

  8. Other than airports in England and France, the only foreign lands from the United States that I have ever visited are Mexico and India. I have visited Mexico one time, just port cities as a tourist.

    India has been my destination three times. The land of southern India is harsh in the hot summers while hot and humid in the southern rainy season. Early Summer and just near the end of the monsoons were the two seasons that I have visited India. I have mixed feelings about the country itself because it is so different than where I grew up in the southern U. S. India isn't an easy country to love or to even exist in. The people are another matter entirely.

    My heart goes out to the Indian people. They stole my heart within the first few days of my first visit back in 1998. The conditions that many of them live in is heartbreaking. My first day in Bangalore, I cried for an hour because of a baby whose mother was a beggar. I have never, even in Mexico, seen conditions so harsh and so poverty stricken. That first trip there was no middle class that I could see back in
    1998. The extremely rich lived behind walls that kept out the extremely poor.

    My last trip in 2007, a middle class had sprung up mainly because of the computer industry in Bangalore. Bangalore is a city of sounds and smells that takes getting used to. I have never heard so many car, van and scooter horns in my life. I have never smelled so much exhaust from all of the vehicles on the streets. The streets are full of ordered chaos with very few accidents where everyone seems to drive in every direction at once by the use of their intuition alone. Driving in India is only for the very brave. I am not one of those brave souls. I feel an excitement in myself while in India that I have felt no where else.

    Whether I ever return to India or not, my life has changed in many positive ways because of my 3 visits there. India taught me compassion. India taught me about spirituality. Namaste.

  9. Home (Cincinnati) for 35 years is 1,800 kilometers north of Naples.
    And I miss the smell of Half and Half pipe tobacco. If you read today's post, you'll see--grin!

    (You don't hafta read it, Susan!)

    Hope your life is SO much more then even YOU expected, dear Susan!

    Humans..."Adaptive"? Without a doubt!


  10. Isn't it interesting the little, important things that we miss?

  11. I haven't been in Kerala and yet I already love it from what I hear my friends saying about it...

    It seems a remote place to visit right now in my case...anyways...
    we have two things in common.

    I love English and yet it's not my mother tongue. I speak and comprehend it more than my native language...Yes, I totally feel what you just wrote :)

    And...oh the smell... it brings intense memories in my mind.My olfactory glands are the most active ;)...

    I just love how you shared your thoughts and feelings :)...thanks for the short walk in Kerala Susan :)

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  13. My fisrt thought... the missing word is nostolgic. Then I thought, I miss home when I need comfort, or non-judged companionship,or maybe its the need to be carefree for a while.
    Your post brought up some interesting thoughts and feelings. Hmmm....

  14. You're always spot on in your insights, Sus. I do miss both language and smells when I'm in a foreign land. Both offer a subtle sense of comfort - so subtle it's practically unnoticeable, but the moment they're gone, they leave a huge hole.

  15. Hmmmm.... interesting post. Blessings.

  16. Am a lil torn between missing home and living here. I love home a lot, and I miss my folks, bro, sisters, cousins and my friends. But I've had so many homes am not sure which one I miss the most. On the other hand, I love this place, Lamu, the most beautiful place in the world (I haven't travelled much but in my world it ranks up top).
    Sometimes I think home maybe where your heart is, but even hearts sometimes pack and move.

  17. Yes the missing never stops for something or the other. we are never content are we? I miss Kerala, lived there for four years.

  18. No matter where we travel the faint whisper of home and all things familiar never ceases to beckon me back.

  19. i think i'm one of the lucky people who live in their homeland.

    home sickness, nostalgia, missing home...
    funny how we humans get attached to things, especially home.

    great and insightful post, dear Susan.

    have a great day!

    betty hugs

  20. where the heart belongs they say.
    sometimes we miss things we are not even fond of. I still miss smoking, yet I was never more than an occasional smoker.
    I guess we miss what we are away from, just because we are away.

  21. Fortunately,we ,people, are highly adaptable.
    Usually home is where our love is.
    After all, that's what we all ultimately wish in life - to love and be loved in return.

  22. I'm just returning to blogging after a needed break. I was perplexed when I read your post. Was I so dense not to know you were married? Then I read some of your prior posts and learned that you just got married.

    Susan, congratulations! May you be blissfully happy. There will be many adjustments, but that's how you learn to blend with your partner.

  23. sometimes without meaning to, we do take somethings for granted. going away from home for a time always has that affect on me. Makes me miss it more.

    like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz says, 'there's no place like home'

    take care

  24. Sav:

    Quite true, Sav. The streets do make a difference.


    Bed is the least thing I miss. Smells and language do it for me.

  25. Mike:

    Thanks for your insights, Mike. Home means different things to many people.


    Glad to read of your experience. It happens to all those who pause and notice.

  26. Brian:

    Hope you are back home and with those with who you can play :)


    Family, well yes.

  27. Larry:

    But the smell of socks are the same no matter where.


    Welcome here. Glad to read your long comment. Good to know that you have come to our country. the poverty is quite unsettling and the sudden rise of the middle class is mind boggling. India is a country of contrasts. Inspite of all the different changes, I am happy that the visit to India has had a profound impact on you.

    Happy to read of your experience :)

  28. Steve:


    Glad to see you here.


    Ofcourse, yes. Small things make life, isn't it?

  29. Melissa:

    You should go to Kerala. I'm sure you will love the place. My olfactory glands are also the most active of them all.

    Glad to have your insight here, Melissa.


    I wish you share the thoughts and feelings that came as a result of this post.

  30. AJ:

    You are my kind of traveller, Age. Hope you are doing well.


    After a long time, welcome dear JBR. Thanks for coming by.

  31. Sergent:

    I wonder what is home when there are are multiple homes these days.


    Quite right. We always miss something or the other.

    Where in Kerala, Rimly?

  32. Jessica:



    QUite lucky, you are. Hope you are doing well, dear Betty.

  33. Myriam:

    "Just because we are away" is so very true. Got me thinking deep.


    We often love too many things at too many places.

  34. Myrna:

    :) Glad to have you in the loop again. Thanks for your kind words and wishes dear Myrna. Life is beautiful and lovely.


    There is no place like home, but what is the home we are talking about? The one in the mind or the one in a place?



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