Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I just watched Mississippi Masala again

I'm sorry to backtrack such a long way but i just watched the movie Mississippi Masala again and it go me thinking about the way the movie commented on the idea of 'Home', and about my own ideas of the concept of 'Home'. This movie does a great job of demonstrating how home can mean vastly different things to different people based on their life experiences and the environments they find themselves in.
In the movie, the definition of home depended on the lives of the characters. Although all of the characters probably would have each responded with a different definition if asked for the meaning of home, they all thought of similar qualities and requirements for their 'homes'. In the end, I saw that most of the characters agreed that they identified home with where their families were. Meena's dad, Jay, said it best - all be it cheesy - when he wrote to his wife, "home is where the heart is, and my heart is with you."
When I watched the movie closely, it made me consider my own definition of home as well as the definitions of home of some people close to me. I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and although i have traveled, I had lived there all my life until college. When I was selecting my college, everyone around me told me that I belonged in California. Although I have enjoyed my time in California, I have never felt like I was 'Home' when I was at school in California. Right when I arrive back in Texas, however, I feel like I am more relaxed and that I belong. I feel more at home when I am alone in Texas than when my family joins my in California. For me, my definition of home depends more on the comfort I feel when I am in the space in which I have spent most my entire life.
When I got to thinking about my own definition of 'Home', it made me consider the different way in which my girlfriend thinks about home. Her parents split up when she was young, so she spent time in several different locations as she grew up as her parents moved around and periodically swapped her. This mobile lifestyle growing up made it so she hasn't developed the same sense of attachment to any one area that I have developed towards Texas. In fact, she has a propensity to wandering and wanting to settle in a variety of different places. Her definition of 'Home' centers on being comfortable around the people in an area, as opposed to my definition centering on the comfort I gain from being in the place I am most used to.
Obviously, there are any number of ways of thinking about the idea of home. Any given person's definition of home is unique and shaped by their life experiences. Do any of you in the class have a different definition of home? and where does it come from?


Ashley said...

My second paper was based around Mississippi Masala and home is where the heart is. Yes it is cheesy! My definition of home is where you smile the most. I have traveled many times, and chose to live in different lifestyles. Through all of that I can distinguish where my home is and where my houses are. My homes are in my town I grew up in Running Springs CA. I smiled more there growing up then anywhere else. My second home is Lake Tahoe, I met amazing people, and learnt so much about who I really am. Lastly my home right now with my husband, I smile anytime I walk through the door. I hope that helped, it's very similar to where you feel the most comfortable.

Denelle Peach said...

When coming to college I struggled with the concept of leaving my 'home.' I first went to Cal Lutheran and was there for a year and a half. When I would travel back to my hometown of Yuma, Arizona, I would refer to CLU as home. I was say "ok, I am going home now," which drove my mother crazy that I would refer to a dormroom as home. But when I really thought about it, I was just using home as the place where I had been sleeping for over a year. As cheesey as it is, home is where the heart is and I have realized my heart is in Arizona. I love CA, but I know that I could not live in CA. I am the most care free and comfortable when I am in AZ no matter what part I am in. I have traveled around throughout the US and Europe and I still consider my home the state of AZ. So I am not picking a certain location for my home, but rather an entire state! Basically home is where you are loved and where you are comfortable.

Lucas said...

I feel so unoriginal now because my first paper was also on "Home is where the heart is!" And to think, I thought I was so clever. Like Ashley, I grew up in Running Springs, CA (how's that for random? The city's elevation is larger than its population, yet two of us somehow find ourselves in this same class). This is the end of my first semester here at the University, and only now, is it starting to feel like home. I definitely feel at home in Redlands. I've lived here for the past four years, and I went to high school here as well.
But the idea of home is very important to me, so I hate travelling. If I get too far outside my zip code, I start to get antsy. I like to know where things are. I also have the world's worst sense of direction, so I define home as any place where it is impossible for me to get lost.

Nichole said...

I agree with both Ashley and Denelle about home being where you are the most comfortable. I have lived in and around the Redlands area my entire life, and when it came to picking a college I said "I'm getting out of here!" I ended up going to a school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.. yeah that's right Oklahoma. My family said I was nuts and my friends said I was crazy, and I guess in the end they were right. I went to school there for two years before transferring back to Redlands. No matter how much I wanted to leave I still found myself coming back home. I had a good time at my other school and I had made lots of new friends but it wasn't the same. Home to me wasn't necessarily about where my friends and family were, but more about where I felt at ease. My home is definitely California, I love the lifestyle and the sunshine, and nothing could ever replace it. My home is the place I feel the most attached, the place that makes me the most comfortable.

Sugar said...

I have come to despise the question, "Where do you live?" "where are you from?" is not in my good graces either. Particularly since I got to Redlands, I have faced an absolute onslaught of these origin-type questions. And, i have not yet found an answer I am comfortable with. You see, I have moved around a lot. Not as much as my friend Rashmi - 22 "homes" before fourth grade including several european countries - but, I have lived in hotels, retirement homes, and houses on both the East and West Coast. For the past 9 years, I have not stayed at a school for more than two years. Although this mobile lifestyle has it's perks (I have friends in nearly every state), I have come to realize that i do not feel comfortable naming a single place as "home."
Home may be where the heart is, but what do you do when your heart is hundreds of places?

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