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19 Aug 2013

Ghosts Of Roommates Past

Ah, a topic I could write a book upon.

Caution: VERY long post ahead. ALL rant. At your own risk.
When I joined college 4 long years ago, I got the best of roommates (though I wouldn't have agreed then), so when I came to Bangalore first, I hoped really hard that I would find roommates who I could be friends with.

How difficult could that be, considering Bangalore is FULL of girls of all shapes, sizes, orientations, ideas, dress sizes and whatnot. Apparently, very difficult.

I shall elucidate (whether you like it or not):

Number 1 was sweet. She is what I am now, friendly and full of helpful advice but prefers to keep her life completely and entirely separate from mine. Not that it is a problem now but when you are a green, green girl fresh out of college, a kind word and a shopping trip would have helped my case. But she was nice and that's all that matters now. And I shall be forever thankful to her for my first Corner House icecream.
Duration: 1 month.

Number 2, I'd rather not talk about her. She was three times my size, from Hyderabad, had very loud opinions about 'mallus' and their 'chaluness', hated fresh air from open windows, liked the television on at high volume at all times of the day including midnight and threatened to crush me under her weight. Oh and she doesn't flush the toilet or throw away her toiler paper.
Duration: 48 hours.

Number 3 was okay. I always thought that she was a bit of cuckoo because she never used to understand what I was trying to tell her, which is surprising considering I speak her language and well, and also because she spends the entire day on Saturday AND Sundays making rice and steaming capsicum in the microwave. She kept to herself and was nice enough to offer me her rice and capsicum. She always told me that I could take anything from her food ration and cosmetics (including a heavenly bubble bath from the UK) as long as I didn't touch her clothes or shoes. I was A-OK with this and offered her the same liberties.
Duration: 2 months.

Number 4 was a mistake me and my big mouth made. I'd rather not say anything here for I fear lurkers. I think my back did hurt her poor, helpless knife though. Tch, tch.
Duration: 1 month.

Number 5 was a local and got me into a hell of a lot of trouble with the landlady, complaining about me in Kannada. This was happening right in front of me and I nodded along thinking she was saying something constructive about something else and she knew full well I didn't follow. At all. I wouldn't have minded if it were not for the fact that all the complaints were made with the intention of taking over my room which was the best in the PG (in terms of space and ventilation).
Duration: 1 week.

And finally, Number 6. Ah, she is a work of art, a piece that belongs in a museum, nonetheless. My biggest error of judgment and I paid for it with 9 months of sheer misery. Right from bullying me into getting a house with her despite not having the finances and having known each other for less than 10 days, she trampled her way through my life in ways I shudder to think of. The sucker that I am, she fed me a story of missing her parents and I fell for it immediately.

Shopping for the perfect kadhai for her to cook paneer in took precedence to my broken heart right in the middle of a messy, drawn out, painful break up. Between this crazie and my 'extremely understanding' ex, my life was truly hell in a cell those days and I shall forgive neither of them that easily, if at all. I remember sitting outside the room, tears flowing down my cheeks in a never ending torrent, heart breaking into a million pieces and throat clogged in the middle of an international call, when she came out of the room and yelled at me for not giving her company for dinner. I also remember being in the middle of a HUGE blowout that involved me, my mother, my ex and a colleague (you don't want to know) and she wanting me to get the internet guys to buy extra wire right then and there. Gave me days when all I wanted was to jump off the terrace parapet.

A few highlights....

1) She insisted that I eat the food that she cooked regardless of whether I wanted to or not. And if I, by chance, eat out with my friends one in a way or skipped food, she used to throw a hissy fit and not a pretty, I-care-about-you one.

2) She never 'let me' go for nightouts with my friends. I tell her I'm going, she says no, you can't, I'm scared to be here by myself.

3) She sits and looks at herself in the mirror for hours on end. After a couple of minutes, it is just plain creepy.

4) She played the most tacky of songs on infinite loop loudly on her laptop all the time. This includes midnight, weekends and any other time I choose to be home.

5) She has about 6 guys salivating after her, each convinced that she is going to marry him. They probably spend all the time, energy and money on ensuring that their princess is happy. I admire her ability to ensure that none of them know about any of the others. This is apart from flirty texts at midnight to the house owner who she has wrapped around her finger.

6) Every chance she gets she makes me take pictures of her, in different poses and clothes. This is every second minute and regardless of what else I am doing. 

7) She is so dirty. The kitchen hasn't been cleaning in atleast six months, the washroom has stains of i-don't-want-to-think-about-it, she doesn't flush properly, she sheds hair like snakes shed skin and every single square inch of the house is covered in it, she hasn't done laundry in the past three months and the laundry bag smells like no girl's clothes should ever smell. The kitchen clothes that she soaked last month, were still floating around in water when I vacated. The house reeks of the five day old bhaaji that she cooked for her puri and left behind. Open. In the cooker.

8) Creme de la creme. She hits people. Including me. And when I tried staving her off, she hit her own head against the wall and the door and threatened to call the police on me for hurting her.

And all this is only tip of the ice berg and I'm not even exagerrating.

The last couple of months, I have been afraid of going home, I leave for office by 8 30 am and get back home by 10 30 pm, spending more than ten hours in the office. I stayed away during the weekends as well, after a point just sitting at The Forum mall for lack of anything better to do. And when I go back, she still makes a face, makes derogatory comments and makes me out to be evil and uncaring.

She makes me wish the last eight months never happened. 

On 15th August 2013, I moved, extremely happily, into a handkerchief sized place with a clean, beautiful washroom (yeah, another OCD), cheerful in the knowledge of not having to go through the trauma of another roommate. I finally get to put out my books without fear of someone tearing them out, put up my fairylights to satisfy a life's ambition and keep the place squeaky clean and smelling of rose incense.

AHHHHHHHHHH. The Sweet Smell of Peace Indeed.

But, after 7 moves in less than 17 months, all these buggers have left me questioning myself, asking myself if I am that difficult to live with.


P.S: I know this is too long a post but it is catharsis, please bear with me.