April 20, 2005

The Prodigal Daughter

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.


shub said...


Khushee said...

I've never had the experience of living by myself, and I don't think that I'll ever get the chance.

the nonsuch said...

You just have to learn to strike the right balance between independence and dependence. And believe me, it's so much nicer to go home to someone rather than to an empty house. That's one thing I just couldn't cope with. Awww, you'll be just fine.

Deepak said...

My CD collection forms two towers of Babel and I don't even need to sneeze for them to collapse :)

Rash said...

You'll find our space. It does feel a bit difficult but you will.

OrangeCloud said...

You are going home.

Kahini said...

It'll be just fine. Don't panic.

Stone said...

hmm..sometimes being the first person to switch on the light daily hurts!!

Ink Spill said...

@Khushee: Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am. One tends to forget that easily.
@The nonsuch: Hmm
@Deepak: I can well imagine that. :-D
@Rash: “Our space”? :p
@Orangecloud: Yes. To Delhi. Your fave city. I’ll give India Gate a hug on your behalf!
@Kahini: I should be packing instead of panicking. You’re right.
@Stone: you bet!

manuscrypts said...

.. and sometimes you go back and feel you hadn't gone away at all.. :)

Anonymous said...

Mujhe nahi bataya TV bik rahi hai? :(

On the other hand, dinner ya lunch reh gaya... sorry for that. Kal wali banana sandwich hai? :P

-- Heretic