At some point of life, much like 18-year old American kids, Indian kids also have to move out of their homes, or as my mother puts it, “Haye kapde kahaan dhulwayega mera bachcha?“. The said event is mostly for studies like MBBS, MD, DM/MCh, Fellowships, Diplomas, and more such things that medical society comes up with to ensure that doctors attain enlarged prostate and sagging organs before they can put ‘well-settled’ in their matrimonial ads. I moved out of my home 5 months ago, and living alone has, to put it mildly, not been a cakewalk.
Pardon me for being a little sexist, but girls have it easier when it comes to living by themselves. More girls know about cooking than guys, they know the rocket science-level techniques of using a broom, and have problems living in a room with floor full of pizza boxes and chips packets. Guys, on the other hand, live among ants in the bedroom, with fungus-inhabiting expired food products in the fridge, and a toilet that can be entered thanks only to Odonil toilet fresheners.
I currently live alone in a one BHK in Shahdara(read about it here), which is just a normal one room set but calling it BHK makes me feel like I’m living in Gurgaon, and only the sight of naked kids relieving themselves at the edge of the ‘naala’ interrupt my imagination. Also, living alone is not easy. Mostly you only have one companion to make you feel better, your glass of BudweisBOURNVITA I SWEAR MUMMY I MEANT BOURNVITA. That, and Punnu Ji, the kind person who delivers food to me from Gobind Dhaba. He may not realise it, but I have never loved anyone more than him in the last six months, obviously in a platonic, approved by BJP and RSS kind of way.
When a guy lives alone, he expects a Bollywood lifestyle, where he plays music at high volume, stores crates of beer in his fridge and always has females staying over for parties. The reality, however, is that the South Indian family below my floor does not appreciate, in their own words, “Luchcha North Indians and their pathetic music”, I store packets of flavoured milk in my fridge because my parents threaten me with surprise visits, and any woman would never risk respiratory failure or heart attack coming over to my place because I live on the fourth floor of a building without a lift.
I have a big balcony and also a rooftop, where I go every night to
cry about my loneliness look at the sky and feel philosophical. The mornings are peaceful, and even though I was apprehensive earlier about waking up on time without anyone banging on my door, but the group of pigeons who make out with each other in a huge avian orgy on the top of the window AC make enough noise to wake me up at 7:00AM, whether I want to or not. And ironically, that may be the maximum ‘action’ my ‘BHK’ may ever get to see.
I am trying to stay alive and happy, and thanks to my friends who come over often, and Punnu Ji with some freak bidi-smoking-yet-four-floors-conquering lung capacity, I might just make it through the next few years.