As I stand here under the light of a fancy and retro neon lamp in our car porch, I can’t help but feel enormously happy. No, I didn’t win the lottery, I didn’t get a free ticket to Paris and I certainly wasn’t invited to dine with my favourite author ( Ooh, la la , does anyone smell hypocrisy?)
I’m happy because of the new fancy light and everything that came with it.
For 20 years, I’ve lived alongside the same switch panels, the wise old creaking fans and half plastered walls. Even the furniture, crockery, pictures, rugs, cushions, vases and door handles which were once carefully assembled by my young and hopeful parents had not budged an inch for twenty long years. They peacefully sat there, took roots and grew old with everyone else. They never begged to be moved even as they lay victims to the torture of two dogs. The charm of their newness soon wore out to give way to what we called home. There was something very kind, loving and accepting of those chipped wall paint and rusted hinges. Something that said, “we’re all flawed here, relax, you’re at home”
Our home felt dignified but approachable. Artfully sculpted in Red Bricks, the house managed to balance five lives in it. It embodied our spiritual values and merits with utter care and gentleness. Fifteen years into living very chaotically inside our home, we realized that this gentle structure whose only life was what we lent it had ultimately gone the limit. The charm of the rusting hinges were once comforting but now it irritated. The fan creaked but it no longer managed to lull us to sleep. The mysterious weeds which began to grow on the sun shade were no longer a mystery and officially a threat. But, since, life gets quite the thrill in taking us on a radically different course than what we hoped for, we overlooked attending to this aged edifice that gave us security. In short, it became quite an impossibility to continue living there. And so after seven exhausting and long months of revamping the house, it is back to good health.
Every nook and corner brims with happiness. As I run around clicking the new switches off and on, they sound overjoyed. The lights blink in confusion of finding themselves in this new place and the paint emanates the smell of bloom. Why, even the stench of the varnish has some delight to it. And now once again the process starts. Once again we get to grow older together and as I stand here under the fancy retro neon lamp, I see that some spiders have started to wrap the lamp in cobweb to call it their home. And now we are home and we are happy.