The home is a place of stability in this novel. The home represents safety and protection, but it is also the keeper of people’s larger lives. When Rukmani packs up her home to go, she leaves it only physically. Her home lives on in her memory, and it travels with her as she struggles to pray. Ultimately, Nathan and Rukmani dream of returning to their home, and to the memory of the life they once had. Their home is not a place that exists any longer, but it’s a space in memories and emotions that symbolizes their sense of belonging. When Nathan and Rukmani’s sons leave home, they are leaving behind their whole lives. Selvam and Ira, who chose to stay in their village and take back their mother, represent the hope of stability and love. They have become a spiritual home, which is a familiar comfort for a dying old woman.
Nathan’s home is the land, while Rukmani’s home is wherever her husband is. Arjun and Thambi could not be at home without financial assurance, and Ira’s home is where she can be accepted with her child. Different characters locate their home differently, as home is not a physical location but a state of mind dictated by comfort.
Home is equally a space of comfort and confinement, depending on whose perspective you’re considering. For example, the only way Kenny can be comfortable is by having no single place of comfort. He is at home in his own displacement.