Generally whenever we have been asked this question that “Where do you belong/ Where are you from?”, we come up with some place’s name as a reply. Okay! That’s actually we are supposed to say. But I have a little different way of answering this question when it is asked to me, especially informally.
We belong to the place where we are born or raised up or where our parents own a house or where we go in our summer vacations to meet our grandparents. But if I talk about the travelers such as the Banjaras (the nomads/ people without fixed habitation), what would they respond to this question, as they do not have a definite place to build a house and live in. I have heard a lot of times my father saying that our lives are like that of the Banjaras, as we have to move from one place to the another, with our house packed in a few irons and wooden boxes, that travels miles. Actually, my father was in Air Force, seeing transfers after every 2, 3 or 5 years. This is the reason why it’s vaguely typical and more exciting for me to answer this question when anybody asks me. I’m accustomed to it.
I have been to the extreme south of the country and extreme north, I have seen the art of the East also. So it’s hard for me to answer in just a word that where I actually belong to because I have seen my parent building home at very places we’ve lived. I have seen the long road trips and the sun rise in Kanyakumari, Howrah bridge in Kolkata, Film City in Hyderabad, Leh Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir and Toy Trains in Coimbatore and more. There is one more place which I would want to mention separately, which is the place where I was born, the place where my grandparents lived, the place where I have been every summer and winter vacations, sometimes in autumn breaks also, the place where my grandpa used to put rope in the ceiling and made me swing.
I belong to all these places, there is no single place, there are places where I have lived, where my childhood was spent because for me belonging doesn’t only means the place you were born but also the places you have poured a major piece of your heart in.