I am introduced to artist Masooma Syed by family friend and artist Salima Hashmi, who knows Masooma through Lahore, where Masooma grew up. Currently based in Delhi and married to an artist from Kerala, Masooma has offered to help me with VBB’s Borderlines project.
Inevitably, the conversation shifts to the subject of home, a subject about which Masooma has a lot to offer:
Home is being myself – where it’s not always a comfortable path and where one can be uneasy also. The experience of “home” doesn’t have to be static. Home travels with you and gets transformed. Home is a living entity.
Both Lahore and Delhi are home for me. I can’t say one is more than the other. Recently I would have only called Lahore home, but Delhi is becoming my skin. Home is more like an experience, and not a sudden realization. Home is a gradual seeping in, a realization of it and an acceptance. I have a lot happening in my life and I’m adjusting.
After a month of coming back from Lahore to Delhi, I do feel lost at times. What I feel is something more like a wish – that I could stop longing for the “other”. Because I do have the longing, and more than anything it’s about people.
It’s a slippery path to home where ever it is. I cannot intellectualize “home” in fine words, but it is an immense source of emotions. I do miss home whether here or there. The moment I get connected with people, hope comes near, be it for a little time.
And I like to clean my house! – Masooma Syed
This conversation is part of my What Is Home? project that is funded in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artistic Innovation grant.