Home. 001

My younger sister, in the sunken gardens at home in the early sixties.

Growing up in India, was so different from living in this country.   My mother came from an aristocratic family of the Deccan plateau in India.  We lived well; the house was great.  Life in general was good.  Every time my parents went out for the evening, leaving us behind with the servants, we used to make such mischief at home that the servants would go crazy.  But the minute we would see the headlights coming through the gates, we would sit quietly on the sofas, pretending to be angels.  Mom would enter the parlour first, and hugging us, she would say,  ” it is so good to be home. I missed you kids.”  They would be gone only for a couple or three hours.   She would always say that.  She never commented about our flushed faces or the reek of sweat from our bodies.  “Coming into your own home, feels like there is no other place like this on earth.  My humble home is so much more comfortable than the Pudukotta Palace we just visited.”  Words like that made me wonder many times if my mother was normal.

Our home was not small by any stretch of imagination, but next to a palace, it seemed like a hut to me. She would also say, “when you children grow up and have your own homes, you will realize how even a two room hut would seem like a palace  When I came to this country in the mid sixties, I left behind my home; my things, my flowers, my beautiful sitar that I played, and above all my family and friends.  We rented a small single bedroom apartment in south St. Louis. It was on the third floor of a seedy looking building. I did not know how to cook. (That’s another story for another time.) So I started experimenting with vegetables and meats. Found some friends at the hospital, and we started hanging out with them.  It was then, when I remembered my mother’s saying.  Every Friday or Saturday when I was not on call we would go visiting friends, and at the end of the evening, when we returned to our small apartment, I felt like I was crossing the threshold into my own palace.

This is where my heart was. This was a feeling of belonging. There was comfort and peace in this little place.  This was my home. Now, my children have their own beautiful homes, but whenever they come here, especially Sayeed who used to live away, he makes my heart swell with pride when he would say, “Mom I love coming home!”

Home really is where the heart is.  The feeling is overpowering and is very blessed.  It is not a material thing that has to do with what you have. It’s a feeling. Like a warm blanket covering your cold feet on a winter night; like the roaring fire in the hearth that warms your heart, and makes you smile. These feelings describe to me what a home really is.

at home with parents and sister 001

This is circa 1960 I think. Taken with my parents and my younger sister in one of the rooms. You see me in the dark sari.

the family 001

Seated from left, my brother in law, who was a pulmonologist, my sister expecting her second son, mother, father with my sister’s first born and my brother’s baby in his lap, and my sister in law. Standing from left, my brother Akhtar, about him I have written much on xanga, he lives in Dubai, my younger sister, who resides in Fort Lauderdale Florida, yours truly home on some holidays from the medical school, probably around 1962, and my older brother who was a physician and passed away in 1992. Only the three of the five children that my parents had, are still alive. Thought you might like seeing some photos from home.

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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22 Responses to Home

  1. kaylar says:

    ah. love this! love. so neat, (pardon lack of adjectives) to hear your view, from your country. so sweet to hear some of your back story. AND, we’re on the same wave length; i just posted the same thing. (i needs to send you an invite, i needed to make the blog private.)

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Kim. I have been to your site already. When I “accepted” your current invite, I was told that I am already in your group of friends. I will go to your page now and see how much I can drool. 😉

      • kaylar says:

        sorry, yes, of course. I was so excited that we were on the same wavelength, that it wiped out everything else. or my synapse misfired. 😉 amazing; i just remembered another synch. i had a dream (yesterday, morning, before waking) in which i was hearing what i thought was a hindi word, that was an endearment, and i was seeing a cut-out photo of a little girl. i have no idea why, until now.

    • Zakiah says:

      I enjoyed reading about the dream. Thank you for sharing it Kim.

  2. Thanks for sharing about your home country. I’ve never been to India, but I bet it is beautiful.

    And it is always nice to come home.

  3. Humor_Me_Now says:

    I enjoyed reading this again here. You came from and have a wonderful family. You are blessed.

  4. beowulf222 says:

    Thank you for sharing these memories and pictures. Very touching to read.

  5. sunsetdragon says:

    You have such a beautiful family, and such beautiful memories in these photos.
    You home and your life is so wonderful and I love those words passed down from your Mother, even a small hut will be a home.
    Such wise words, no matter where we are, an don matter what we can afford-our home is our home and it is so good to come home.

    • Zakiah says:

      Hi Ruthie. Looking at old black and whites, is always so gratifying, especially now, when every one is older, or gone. I found these photos in my younger sister’s home in Florida. I made prints of all of them, and have put them in an album here.

  6. mrswrangler says:

    Thank you for sharing

  7. What a wonderful post! 🙂
    What a beautiful family, Zakiah! 🙂
    I imagine those photos bring back a flood of memories. Thank you for sharing some of them.
    I love what your Mom said and how she felt! She had it right…the way it should be!
    A person’s home should be a place of acceptance, refuge, joy, safety, love…
    I am one of eight children who grew up in a very small two bedroom house…a third bedroom was added on before I was born…eleven people lived there. Sadly, I don’t feel that “coming home” feeling about that house. I moved out of it…on my own…at age seventeen.
    But, some of the houses I’ve had since them (with my own kids) have been that place of refuge, love, security, etc. So, I’m glad I got to experience that feeling. 🙂
    HUGS!!! and ❤ !!! 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      Mom, though not a graduate of any school, was so cultured and had such a fine bearing. She taught us good.
      Thank you for sharing your life at your childhood home and the homes after you left that place. Love, refuge and security…. makes a small hut a palace indeed. ❤ <3.

  8. Your mom was wise indeed.
    Lovely photos, lovely family and lovely memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Zakiah says:

      Yes Elizabeth, she was a grand lady. Wise and very proper about advise. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I love looking at the old photos of home.

  9. I enjoyed reading this entry, the photos are great and really conveyed the warmth of your family.

    My sister is slowly putting together a lot of the family pictures. Somewhere there is a picture of me sucking my toes.

    • Zakiah says:

      LOL! I want to see that photo Matt. I hope you will post some photos too.
      Yes, my family had a lot of warmth to give to each and every one. Hope you are doing A-OK. Love and hugs to you.

  10. rudyhou says:

    beautiful vintage photos. i like seeing sepia colored photos. yes, home is the best place to be on earth. no matter how small or shabby one’s home is, it would always bring a sense of calm and comfort. everyone wants a place they can call ‘home’. a place to belong. a place to rest. a place to call your own. looking at your old house, it looks very much resembles those from a dutch-colony era, which we also still have here in indonesia.

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