When I signed up for the Cherished Blogfest, I thought it would be quite easy. I hadn’t blogged since April and this seemed like a great way to restart. Writing about something I cherish, how difficult can that be?
But when I actually got down to it today, my mind was a blank. I wasn’t the sort of person to treasure objects and did not have any memorabilia or keepsakes. I believed in not holding on to the past, no matter how beautiful. That only stopped you from living fully in the present, didn’t it?
So I asked myself, what was the one object I valued the most right now.
The answer came quite easily: my phone.
I know that sounds prosaic and maybe I just lack imagination, but there is no getting away from the truth.
I’m not a gadget freak obsessed with the make or version; neither am I addicted to Pokémon GO. But I fear that if I lose my phone I may lose myself.
The first time I realized its importance was after a longish trip to the North East of India, where my folks live. Having spent months in that little village in the foothills of the Himalayas, big city Bangalore was disconcerting. I was headed home to my immediate family, but had a small part of me stayed back in the hills and tea gardens of my childhood?
Where did I truly belong, I wondered on the long drive back home from the airport. The city where I currently lived with my husband and son? Or the town where I spent my childhood years and still felt strongly connected to? Perhaps home was the village where my aging parents now lived? Or could it even be Goa, where we rushed to every chance we got, for some sea, sand and sorpotel?
My reverie was broken by a beep. Absent-mindedly I picked up the phone and began to scroll through the WhatsApp messages. There was one from hubby to say ‘welcome home,’ another from my father, inquiring if I’d reached safe. The next moment I was laughing away at forwarded jokes, chatting happily with friends.
And then it came home to me. That I belonged right there, in that moment, inside that taxi cab, stuck in traffic between two destinations. I belonged nowhere but was connected to everywhere.
They say life is a journey and one must travel to find oneself. But whenever I feel lost during this quest I only have to reach out for my cherished object. I am at home anywhere in this universe–as long as my phone is with me.