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Houses of the homeless

Wandering for Home"

By Naveed Published 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
131
Houses of the homeless
Photo by Clémence Bergougnoux on Unsplash

It's 7 PM, and I've been home for nearly two hours now. My legs and feet ache as if they've never rested. The dim yellow light from the floor lamp on the side table flickers, hinting that the bulb might give in soon. I should get up to switch it off, but the weariness enveloping my body renders me motionless. Today, exhaustion has seeped into my very being. I've walked miles, but why? I can't quite fathom. Dinner needs to be made, yet both body and soul seem to have mustered all their courage.

You might wonder why the need for all this walking. Have the buses and taxis in this city ceased to operate, forcing me into this ordeal? No, there's no such issue here. Buses and taxis bustle as usual. My predicament stems from within, a childhood quirk perhaps—an incessant need to keep walking, an impulse that forbids me from idling at home during daylight, compelling me to wander tirelessly.

My psychologist once probed into the possible root of my compulsion. She suggested I might be searching for something that keeps me in perpetual motion. We humans are enigmatic creatures—we say what we don't mean and conceal what we do. Initially, I vehemently denied it to her, but here I am confessing it to you today.

I'm searching for a home—scouting for a haven I've not laid eyes on yet, yet I feel it's nearby. If you chance upon it while driving or on a bus, please don't let it pass me by. That's why I prefer scouring on foot, fearing I might miss it otherwise. I observe my surroundings as I walk, vigilant, ensuring I don't overlook it.

My homes have shifted from childhood to adulthood—sometimes a country, sometimes a city, occasionally a house. Consequently, perhaps no place could transform into a true home. I openly acknowledge that fragments of my heart reside in all these places, but where exactly is home? I'm at a loss. Which city is truly mine, where I'd desire to spend my entire life? I haven't the faintest clue.

You might wonder why I walk so much. Have you ever stumbled upon a home while wearing slippers? Encountered a place that feels like home? It's a mutual happening. I've yet to find a permanent abode where I can unpack my red suitcase and arrange my clothes in the closet, but there have been instances when I've felt at home. It might sound absurd if you listen, but it's my truth.

At times, this house is the sunlight filtering through dense foliage, sometimes it's a kind smile from someone. Occasionally, a cool breeze in the summer feels like home, and sometimes, it's glimpsing something in a mother's visage. Sometimes, as I sit on a bench penning this column, it feels like home; other times, it's the tranquility and darkness of the night that seem like the home I seek. Sometimes, a chair with a large floral print under the lamplight at the office feels like home, and sometimes, the voice of Madam Noor Jahan singing Faiz Sahib's verses makes me feel alive, prompting me to simply unpack my suitcase and stay put.

If there's a house, it's this—the homes we've heard of in stories don't assume this form. Perhaps this is the reality of home—the essence of homelessness and belonging lies in a great luxury. Homeless people have the most homes because theirs aren't confined by time and space. Where the heart finds solace, it begins to call home.

You might wonder why this seemingly composed writer is so talkative today. Keep pondering. This is just who I am.

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131

About the Creator

Naveed

Let me submit, writing and solitude are essential. Writing is not possible in Mahfil Yaran. Why a person writes, how he writes, why he thinks, nothing can be said with certainty.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (68)

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  • MICHAEL ADEYANJU2 days ago

    bravo! I believe you just made me to feel at home going through this lovely piece

  • Ejike Okorie4 days ago

    beautiful story

  • azrey fazri5 days ago

    an intresting story

  • waleed kamel6 days ago

    An exciting and interesting story, wonderful work

  • Keep pondering... keep wandering 🙂

  • the universal longing for belonging and the elusive search for home, weaving together poignant reflections on identity and the human condition amidst the backdrop of wandering and displacement.

  • Movie Foo18 days ago

    Naved Bhai how are you? my name is shahid mahmood soomro I read your story with great interest

  • kristiono8 days ago

    an interesting story

  • MR.Marsh9 days ago

    Awesome..

  • Bogdan S.11 days ago

    Beautifully worded story! I had a lot of changing houses myself. Before I met my wife, I was constantly looking for a great place to be that resonated with me, and I thought that was about finding that place. Now, I know that my home is where the heart is, her heart, that is... Don't get me wrong, we both want a great place to live, but the essential part is that we found each other, and I believe there is no better home than this.

  • IMDoris12 days ago

    Top notch

  • Andrew Pretzel13 days ago

    I was pleasantly surprised.

  • olymoolla15 days ago

    I have subscribed you

  • JOSIAH NWOKO17 days ago

    you are indeed good. I appreciate and admire them keep up

  • Bishnu Mahto 18 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!!

  • Antoni Nima19 days ago

    Great story Naveed, I love your voice and I resonate so much with the theme of home. My favorite line: "I'm searching for a home—scouting for a haven I've not laid eyes on yet, yet I feel it's nearby. If you chance upon it while driving or on a bus, please don't let it pass me by." 😍 Great work! :)

  • Ryn Hussain20 days ago

    Your writings makes me remember an amazing writer I used to know. Beautiful work!

  • MR.Marsh23 days ago

    WOW..

  • Parvez Baloch28 days ago

    Hi bro can you help me I'm from Pakistan

  • Annie Edwards about a month ago

    What a beautiful way to get across such an important lesson we so often forget! Well deserved top story!

  • Marie Sinadjanabout a month ago

    Congratulations on having been a top story! I'm still catching up with the posts I've missed in the past months, haha :)

  • Sandra Matosabout a month ago

    What an important essay about what a home really is! There are so many with four walls and a roof who cannot find comfort within. Home is not a "thing". A house is. Thank you for sharing these thought-provoking insights.

  • Ina Zeneliabout a month ago

    Loved the message that home is not defined by space and time; rather, it is defined by where we feel loved ☺️

  • B.R. Shenoyabout a month ago

    Congratulations on winning Top Story!

  • sleepy draftsabout a month ago

    Oh, I adore this so much, Naveed. Gorgeous work and an important reminder, indeed. 💗

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