Home Town

Sometimes I double up as tech-support (from CDs not mounting to social networking crisis) for a few friends. The other day a friend could not figure out how she could set up her ‘hometown’ field in Facebook, since only the options in the drop down were being shown for selection. So I went ahead to simulate the bug and just when I was about to write mine I stopped short. I have been to many places over time and did not know what to write.

1. Shillong – I was born here and my first living memories are about this place. But I lived here with only my parents and the other members of the family lived in the family home at Guwahati. My aunts and uncles also maintained similar satellite units with motherships elsewhere. So technically, it did not qualify as the root of the chart.

2. Guwahati – This was the place with the massive family home. But I never ‘lived’ here as in living in the long term. Only during vacations and did not have any social associations whatsoever.

3. Kolkata – We moved here when I was 10 , restarted school and my growing up years were spent here. But since this was a place with which we did not have any historical connections at all, it was always considered a home-away-from-home in the back of my mind.

4. Pune – This is the coming-of-age city where I established a completely independent identity of my own. Although my family still lives in the house at Kolkata and I keep going back ‘home’ from time to time, but for reasons mentioned in Point #3, it is not ‘hometown’ either. Although Pune is the closest I can call as ‘home’ mostly because it is integral to my current identity, it still is not hometown because I moved in here from elsewhere.

For various reasons I am attached to all these cities, in different degrees of affection which makes it even more difficult to make a choice. So what exactly is my hometown??

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