It is only right that my first Table for ONE in New York is breakfast at Sarabeth’s: a meal that is fast becoming the favourite part of my day, at one of the City’s culinary institutions. I first dined here four years ago, and ever since then have craved their Fluffy French Toast ($16). All this time later, the breakfast doesn’t disappoint.
Sarabeth’s is a people-watcher’s paradise. I witnessed 3 birthdays, 2 anniversaries and tens of other celebrations. I forgot for a moment where I was until the guy sitting next to me at the counter asked me how I am (as everyone does in New York), and “Where is home?”
I think a lot about what it means to be ‘home’. Almost everyone in my everyday life is on their way to, or on their way from somewhere else. As am I.
- My childhood friend left India 20 years ago. She has a new life now but not a conversation goes by when she doesn’t reminisce about home.
- My colleague grew up in two countries and now lives in a third. It is always interesting asking him where home is.
- My Aussie friend hasn’t lived in his home country in nearly fifteen years and seems to finally be getting homesick.
- My sister has had to create a life 8,000 miles from everything and everyone she has ever known. And all this time, all she has wanted to do was go home.
“Home is where your heart is.” But what happens when your heart is in several places?
A giant part of my heart is in Bombay. It rests with my mother, and my two best friends Lina and Foram. An equally large piece of my heart is in Tifton because that is where my sister lives and my heart lives with her. My heart also lives in Hyderabad; home to my father and my happiest childhood. I suppose my heart is in London too, with me. And when I leave New York I know I will leave a piece of my heart behind.
Where is home then?
I don’t know yet, and for now it is OK that I don’t know. Until I do, to borrow from Maya Angelou, “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”