The definition of homes in a dictionary is so bland – it just says that it is the dwelling place for a person, family or families. This group of words is so different from the picture that pops into people’s heads when the word is mentioned.
The image of home for an elderly person is where they have spent a good amount of years, a place where they are familiar with each beam and girder and where they have so many memories to lose themselves in.
It means comfortable chaos for parents of young kids – the quiet resignation of the dual feelings of irritation at a messy home and the acceptance that it is temporary till the nest becomes empty.
It means the world of promise to a newly married couple with the dream of their small, perfect world in their shining eyes.
It means security to the young woman or man struggling in a new job – the knowledge that somebody was concerned about where she or he was and would call in to check on when she or he was late getting back.
It means the delicious food for the hostel-based student, who is living on the stuff that the hostel mess calls ‘food’ alternating with the very interesting ‘concoctions’ that he or she cooks up. It also means clean laundry at all times that he or she doesn’t have to worry about at all.
It means the comfort of a warm bed and comfortable surroundings to the pre-teenager, away at a camp where they call a rock hard surface as a bed. It also means all the electronics that he is missing – the television, the laptop, the tablet etc.
it means a familiar haven to the toddler just starting play school – somewhere safe and known from the new place and people that she or he is suddenly exposed to.
Not surprisingly is the home clubbed with the other two essentials of life – food and clothes. And no wonder, that a few words can never capture all that a home means. The dictionary makers are totally forgiven for this.