The Smell of the Ground

Today, my thoughts are about “munn vasanai” (In English: the smell of the ground)

Home.

What does the word mean to you?
Is it a place? A house…..4 walls….nice roof? A mountain perhaps? A country? A town? A sweetheart’s arms?

Home.
Is it a thing? Is it a feeling?
What is it?
What does home mean to you?

Home.
Not house.
Home.

It means so many things to me. I have moved so much…that the material world meaning of house doesn’t mean anything to me anymore.

I still remember Thatha’s house. His fields. The tamarind tree in the back. The swing on the tamarind tree.

I still remember Appa and Amma’s house. My favorite spot there to hangout….where I spent 1000 hours of reading, studying, chatting with Amma or Appa. My favorite spot there to eat.

I still remember my dorm rooms. Filled with cheer and fun. Filled with so much studying.

I still remember the first apartment that Kumar and I were together in as a couple.

I still remember the first house that we moved into. All the lil things. All the plants we planted. The house that the boys were born in.

I still remember all my friend’s places where I felt like I home.

I still remember all that. Yet, I don’t.
Those “homes” have passed me by.

There is a term called “munn vasanai” in Tamil. It literally means, the “smell of the ground”. Figuratively, it means a place that you remember and cherish. As the first rain drops fall, the ground gives out a fragrance. That is “munn vasanai”.

Today, as it rains, here is Austin, I can smell the same “munn vasanai” of Thatha’s fields. I can smell the backyard in Appa and Amma’s house.

I think, home is where you are.
The rest of the mumbo jumbo about home is just biochemicals in your brain.

I am home. I am happy wherever I am.

I hope you are home and happy wherever you are too.

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Ambal Balakrishnan

Global Content Marketer #Cloud #DevOps #IBMer #Author #Blogger #Wharton #Purdue Alum #Mom to 2 boys #DogOwner #Mountain #Climber #TEDx Curator #ViewsMyOwn

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