Was it a dream?
No. But it does feel like one, now; not in the dreamy sort of way, but, you know, like a dream?
I still remember opening the door to my 1BHK apartment in a cluttered lane in Bangalore. After briefly estimating the space, I concluded that the large windows in the hall were suitable enough for me to sit and read the Hindu newspaper, in peace. I also imagined mild rains in the backdrop to enhance the appeal of the small room to my senses.
“It’s not great, but I might end up liking this house if I could do what I just imagined”, I reinstated my thoughts to myself, even as I went about arranging the mattresses on the floor in the next room.
My roomie interrupted my reverie.
“Shall I hang these green curtains here?”, she asked pointing to the windows in our bedroom.
[Let me now introduce you to my roomie, ST- I vaguely remember her. She was like that innocent belle from the country side, in a nice sort of a way, I guess.
She was a messy cook who left the kitchen like a bomb blast zone after cooking; she would listen to romantic songs on the eve of Valentines day and would talk about her ambitions of becoming X,Y and Z. I never really spent time with her- thanks to my other relationships, but there were some things quintessential about her, that are hard to forget]
Both of us (me and ST) worked for the same consulting firm which was about 6 Km from our house. We could have arranged for a better residence, given the distance of commute, but, ‘new’ as we were to the place, we took what we readily got. We arranged for the office cab services-for Rs.2500/month, we could get ourselves a home pick-up and drop.
We made friends with a nice chap who would give us a missed call- indicating the time for us to start from home. On our way to the cab stop, we would walk together, sometimes discussing stories from work and many other times, in silence.
We would wait at our stop near the US Pizza outlet and get into the cab at around 9:15 AM. Radio 1- RJ Prithvi’s show would be on air (it was a morning show in which the RJ would attempt to learn new Hindi words from the listeners).
During the journey, I would sometimes engage in merry conversations with my cab mates (read friends) until we would be dropped at work at around 9:35 AM (if there was no traffic and the roads were smoother than usual).
I would then go for breakfast with a couple of my other friends to the Chettinad mess- a south Indian dhaba behind our office, and would open my laptop around 10:30 AM (to begin office work).
The day would be filled with work, lunch, tea and work.
After a routine day at work, we would get into the cab once again at 7:00 PM sharp and reach the home stop at around 7:30 PM.
On our way back, ST and I would get some vegetables from one of the several grocery shops on the lane, and amble our way back to the house.
We would then cook a meager meal (with the little energy, we have left after work) and open our laptops again to monitor our social networking accounts.
My roomie- she would sometimes talk to her parents for over an hour, and then we would sometimes engage in small talk, crushes, leg-pulling etc. before calling it a day, and hitting our beds.
At least, this is what we did, for the first 3 months of our life in the noisy, yet lonely house in Bangalore.
Things changed after those 3 months, for me.
I started disliking the place for its remoteness; I found the company of the only other person in the house, painful; I yearned for better, and more company- loads of friends; I found the mundane-ness of the household unbearable- I started going out often with refreshing and regaling people.
But, while I moved on, my roomie- well, she didn’t.
She found herself stuck to the loneliness of the household and, did not try hard to change the way it was. I would sometimes come home to watch my roomie sulking or crying in the corner. I knew that she needed a break- some more friends, maybe. But, unlike me, she never attempted to get out of it, and continued to live with it. In some ways, I think she enjoyed the self pity that she felt for herself.
However, one fine day, after 1.5 years of monotonous living, she decided to tie the knot.
I was happy for her- at least, she was making an attempt to move towards a different life!
Within 3 months of knowing the guy, she got married, and moved to a different location.
I moved on too; a nice apartment with loads of people and plenty of ventilation.
[This is when I realized the importance of a happy house. To me, the way my new house was built, made a whole lot of difference. Some structures could make you feel depressed, and some others, happy. My first house belonged to the former category. Had it not been for the company of friends, er, to be precise, “that someone” who came into my life, then (not my roomie), I’m not sure if I would have been the sane person that I was, when I finally vacated the building]
It feels like a dream- my life in my first residence in Bangalore (which incidentally also had a name sounding like that of a ghost Bungalow- Vittobai Nilayam).
Because,I probably never “lived” there…
I want to document more on my stint in Bangalore- random instances; I shall do that soon, and in greater detail J