Home Sweet Home

We had just newly arrived to Bangalore from Mumbai when we set our eyes on a beautiful house. An independent house with two storeys. Plants and animals all around it. A calm, gentle breeze blowing. We all fell in love with it.

Though it was located near the main road, the peaceful atmosphere was maintained. We had lots of friendly neighbours who helped us settle in. Our neighbour grew a lot of plants, so the natural feel in the house was even more increased. Gradually, we settled in.

In the morn, as soon as you stepped out of the door, cool breeze whipped your face. The acupuncture veranda beckoned you to jog. Outside, the road was buzzing with activity. Women making rangoli, flower-sellers calling out their flowers, children getting ready for school, well, I am getting tired now.

In the noon, dogs will be lying sullenly under cars on the road. Cows are swatting flies with their tails. People sigh and fan themselves. The atmosphere is hot and sluggish.

Morning repeated itself in evening. The same old scenes – except children are visibly more happy, playing under the Evening Star.

It’s night now. There is nobody on the road. The dogs are fast asleep. People yawn and wish each other good night. The day ends.


For Writing 101, Day Eleven

Where is home??? Wherever Hestia is…

Getting back to your home after a long vacation is truly a delightful experience (unless the next day is a Monday).

Only few have truly relished the experience of being back in the familiar territory of your home. No one to question you, no one to stop you from doing what you want, unless you’re a teenager, that is.

Whatever be the matter, we have all got a love-hate relationship with our home. Like they say, home is where the heart is.

But for the Ancient Greeks, things were different. To them, home is where the hearth is.

Get it? A hearth is a type of fireplace, where Hestia, virgin goddess of the home and hearth, is believed to reside.

The  daughter of Cronus and Rhea, Hestia is also known as the last Olympian, due to her calm and gentle nature. She was the first to be swallowed by Cronus and last to be disgorged. So, like Zeus, she is both the Alpha and the Omega.

Formerly among the twelve Olympians, she gave way to Dionysus, the party dude, to prevent heavenly conflict.



Homeric hymn 24, To Hestia, is a brief invocation of five lines:

¬†“Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise: draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.”


The Romans worshiped Hestia as Vesta. Though kind and gentle, she was equally fearsome. Ask Rhea Silvia, a Vestal Virgin (priestess of Vesta), who broke her vow of virginity. She underwent eternal agony. Rhea Silvia gave birth to Romulus and Remus, the sons of Mars and founders of Rome.



The Greeks and Romans always carried a piece of coal from the hearth during long journeys, in the hope of returning someday with Hestia’s/Vesta’s blessings. As the hearth is unmovable, so is Vesta; she could neither change her perception about something nor could she partake in the revelries of her (not) estranged nephew. According to Ovid, Vesta is the Earth itself:

“Vesta is the Earth itself, both have the perennial fire, the Earth and the sacred Fire show their see.”