I’m going back home and I am feeling very, very scared at the prospect.
Last night when my mother called (at ten), I was with the gang at my friend’s place, and we were about to start cooking dinner. Back home, they were ready to go to sleep. You had better not tell my Mom that the dinner was eventually cooked at midnight and eaten around two in the morning. I’m going to suffer from jet lag when I get home!
The TV is gone. One of the first things to be sold off. I had no emotional attachment with it, since I never had a cable connection. However, one corner of the living room has suddenly become empty. When you pick at one corner of a well-pasted sticker, the corner comes loose and that tells you that the whole sticker will, sooner or later, come off now. That’s how it is with the TV going.
I’ve forgotten how it feels to live with other people in the same house. I wonder if I can stand the smell of the existence of another person in my territory. I leave my house spic and span or a complete mess depending on how I’m feeling that morning. I don’t pull the curtains for three days if I don’t feel like. I don’t dust my books. My tapes and CDs are arranged in an intricate pyramid that will collapse if you sneeze anywhere around it.
I eat odd things at odd times. One banana and some roasted millet in dahi will not look like dinner to my folks. My waking up at one to cook dinner will not amuse them. My sleeping for three hours one night and twelve hours the next will infuriate them. My strange vocabulary will irritate them.
I’d planned to live on my own for a year. Twists in the story force me to go back after just six months. I’ve changed a lot and become a more difficult person. I want far too much space. And far too much silence. Want, not need. How will folks back home cope with this?
This is just one side of the story. On the other side, there are three happily-settled people whose lives I am going to rudely disrupt. I don’t have the courage to put myself in their shoes for even a minute.
You know all that sentimental ado about always belonging at home, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it is all true.