MIDWAY: Life for rent

I left home in pursuit of higher education, to build a career or perhaps in search of myself. I took this route to uncertainty and landed with my humongous rucksack in Katmandu. I squeezed myself into an apartment. I always hated the idea of staying in a hostel because I couldn’t bear the idea of waiting in a long queue outside with a bucket early in the morning! There isn’t a nanny to check me for littering the house, or papa to turn off the music when I listen to it full blast.

I can watch my favourite channel without a battle over the remote; eat anything and everything, or nothing at all, without mummy forcing me to drink that glass of milk. And the list doesn’t end there. It’s my own house, there’s no one to answer to...

Still, setting aside the frills and thrills of ‘living alone’, there are loads of hard pills like, paying the rent, clearing the bills and persistent fear of getting locked out. It can all be handled — I once dropped my keys in college, spent the night at a friend’s place, and went to college the next day wearing the same clothes. And yet, there are times I feel solitary. A stranger in a strange land, where there are millions of people to ask how I’m doing, but don’t have the time to listen to my reply. Here, at times, even in the face of the humid breeze, the chill of loneliness does hit me. Especially when I get home after a long day at college, unlock the huge lock hanging on the door, and step into lonesomeness...

That’s when my cell beeps, “How is my daughter doing? How was the day in college? And did you eat anything?” I reply “yes mummy”, with suppressed irritation (because I’m hungry, have to lie and reassure her that I didn’t quarrel with anyone). I wish she were here to pamper me. I miss banana cake muffin and roasted chicken, eating home-cooked food a long lost dream! Not that I can’t move the ladle, but the entire process of cooking for one person seems too tedious.

Cleaning vegetables, cutting them, cooking and doing dishes, whoops! Now my staple diet is popcorn and juice. Despite this, I still opt for freedom over loneliness. Living alone is fun. I’m sure everyone in the singles fraternity has felt what I feel — the joy of creating my own niche,

at home, all by myself, away from home.