Friday, October 18, 2013


Musings about Home Sweet Home

By Promod Puri

Back in 1972, when I immigrated to Canada and made my first home in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, I happened to meet a very helpful and friendly
person by the name of CR Bector. He was a distinguished professor of
mathematics at the University of Manitoba. And out of respect, as he was my elder and held an academic professional status, I along with other close acquaintances addressed him as ‘Doctor Sahib’ or ‘Doctor Bector’. He was not a medical doctor but had a PhD degree in his extensive portfolio of

CR Bector, although to most of us in the Indo-Canadian community sounded
like an English name, especially since the surname hails from Punjab and is typically Punjabi. He was a popular personality in Winnipeg simply because of his informal, lively and sociable temperament.

However for me, the enticing thing about him is that his real name is Chajju
Ram. It is really an old-fashioned North Indian name as we seldom come
across people with that name any longer. And his first name, Chajju, immediately strikes up memories of the famous Indian proverb “jo sukh chajju ke chobare, na balakh na bukhare.
Translation: East or West home is the best.

The name Chajju certainly resonates with the importance of home
as it is part of life’s triangle, rather I would say the most
sought-after trinity of “roti, kapadra aur Makaan”, meaning
food, clothing and shelter.

The fact is anybody with a home in reality owns his or her little sovereign
kingdom or queendom. It is one of those virtues of life which one aspires to have. Life begins and revolves around home and we also enjoy the pride of
having that possession.

Home is not merely a physical dwelling of walls, windows and doors; floors
and roofs. It is not just a rest spot either, but a cozy place of peace and
tranquility in the midst of family or friends’ lively togetherness and
entertainment. Home is the place of absolute independence within acceptable social norms.

Home sweet home is a simple expression carrying deep feelings of that warmth
and comfort which one yearns for.

If the home does not give all that is expected then it is a house, and for
that reason home sickness is better than being confined under a sort of house arrest.

Home is the place of everlasting nostalgia of living with parents,
brothers, sisters and dear ones, the childhood anecdotes of little fights and
laughs, the home-cooked food, books and beds, and a lot more. The physical
remembrance of each and every household item is also a somewhat nostalgic

Home is where we accumulate our cultural values, connect with our heritage
and acquire our family’s social, linguistic and religious identities.

Home is that place of security and independence where with elated feelings
one can unwind, recline and relax.

As eighteenth century English poet James Thompson has exquisitely expressed:

“Home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace, and plenty; where
Supporting and supported, polished friends
and dear relations mingle into bliss.”

But that bliss is denied to millions of homeless people all over the world sheltering under the open sky at the mercy of Mother Nature. It is this sad aspect of humanity that is visibly invisible as life goes on in busy metropolises.

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