Citizens of a Paradise- Lessons Learnt in sharing a Room

Have you ever shared a room with five other complete strangers?Did you ever believe that sharing a room would teach you lessons for life? (On a positive note ;-) )I was first cynical about staying in a hostel. After a search which seemed like an eternity, I found this Royal Women’s Hostel in Nungambakkam(A better and safe place to stay- sarcasm at its best used here)

It was a Monday morning- and I had just started my hostel life in a 12*18 sized room, where there we
re five beds spread across in a fashion which reminds you of a hospital atmosphere at the first glance. It had an attached bathroom which had a western closet and I cringed at the sight of it. Yes, I had issues sharing a closet with four others. I was worried about my things and wanted to get a lock at the first chance.

I scanned the room once again, there were no locks on any of the cupboards. I wondered how the inmates trusted each other and left it unlocked. I quickly gazed at the photographs and other stuff which were on their shelves. The pictures conveyed all of them were happy people and seemed to be at ease staying here. I waited till evening for all of them to come back to the nest . And then it all started……

Since that day, I have seen people of different kinds in the same room. The aggressive kinds, the submissive ones, the one who would not nudge at all, the ones who always keep talking irrespective of whether you listen or not, the one who always snubs you, the cleanliness freak, the lazy ones, the calculative ones,the moody person,the one who is always on the phone, the one who screams over the phone when all others are sleeping, the one who would not switch of the light. And I have survived all of this.

There were a lot of extremes that I felt time and again.

I was hyper when I stepped inside the room, they wanted to get cozy on their bed after a hard day’s work.

I was thick skinned and wanted the ac to show 16 degrees throughout the day, they wanted it the “human way”.

I did not mind eating on the same plate/road side, they sulked at the very idea.

I hated to cook and wash, and they were sweet enough to even pack my lunch box.

I wore a new dress for everyone’s b’day and would be dressed for their cake cutting, when my friends hid me in the other room, so that I don’t spoil the surprise essence.

The was a person who would always maintain zen like calmness, which people like me would attain only after reading ten self motivational books and after attending twenty workshops on the just said.

On the brighter side, in spite of all these differences I have been one happy person there.

They taught me how to press my shirt, fold my kurti, make my bed neat after I got up,. They taught me that there could be other colors except for “brown “ in my wardrobe. They taught me table manners, how to cook, how to relish my food. They taught me how to share things and they understood my mood swings perfectly.

Till my last breath, I would hold my memories of all the surprise b’day parties, the lovely time spent window shopping, late night dance moves,screaming loud enough to scare the next room people while watching horror movies,fighting on who gets to use the bathroom and the mirror in the wee morning hours. They taught me how to tackle the strict warden,how a heart-to heart talk would be a solution for any difficult problem. I was fortunate enough to know all the hotels in Chennai through them and most of all they taught me how to use a kajal and mascara which I would not have known otherwise.

And not to forget gay(gayathri). There were times every time she spoke ,I would resist the urge to stuff an unwashed sock into her mouth or use her like a treadmill or break a bottle on her head or at-least break her nose. We argued and fought so much, that it would’nt have shocked people if we slit each others throat.But she taught me how a smile and a hug after a fight could set all things right.

I sensed sisterhood with them.

As I write this, I cant express the extent of my nostalgia. Such is the gravity of my thoughts.

I have no regrets till date on my staying in a hostel for last two and a half years. These lovely roomies have seen my peaks and lows and have made me a better person from what I was.

Finally I learnt a valuable lesson- Life is all about small compromises and adjustments, that would make it seemingly beautiful.

P.S : This post is dedicated to all the people who share their rooms. Now that, I am left with a new set of people completely and thrown in the sea of new fishes, I still look forward to have wonderful memories.

Till then,
Mel.

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