Friday, 12 June 2015

The Struggle to Adapt at Home After 4 Years of Hostel Life



Having lived in a carefree, responsibility free hostel life for 4 long, disappointing years, I’m learning to cope with the authority at home. I am not used to wake up early in the day. Okay maybe I am. I wake up at around 7 am but that’s mostly because of the obnoxious beds and slightly nauseous air of the hostel and even the slightest of noise, alarm in my case, is enough to force me out of the uncomfortable slumber.

However, my parents wake up at the dawn of the day – 5 am and by law of lineage I am supposed to inherit that property. My day usually begins at 8 or 9 am which is pretty damn late according to the Home Standard Time and pretty damn impressive by Hostel Standard Time. The usual taunts follow after my failure to break past the sweet lure of sleep – ‘Ghar pe itna late jaagta hai to hostel mein to sota rehta hoga. College to jaata nahi hoga nalayak.

Hostel has no one to comment on your physical appearances – the overgrowing hair, smelly clothes and whatnot. At best they’d just ‘Ugh’ and move along. Deep down we all know that we suck and accept others who really do. Home is a different place altogether. Your bath patterns are scrutinized and in spite of your willingness, you cannot miss a bath. On top of that, your hairstyles, beards, moustaches are under constant monitoring. Weekly reports are prepared and sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs which in return sets a strict deadline for the haircut.

Another aspect that hugely differentiates lives in a hostel and home is the food. Hostels are hated in unison the world over. Food there is awful. At home, everything is a delicacy. But there are complications as well. Every night I have to answer the routine question – ‘Kal kya khayega ?’ and the same question annoyingly comes across every day. 4 years of eating in the hostel mess has made me averse to half the food products. I haven’t had Rajma since I started living in the hostel. At home it reminds me of the tasteless Rajma of the hostel. With the preferences for food drastically reduced, I run out of answers for the above question. And one day I just have to blurt out, ‘Kuch bhi bana lo.’ But unfortunately this doesn’t free me from the responsibility. A specific answer is a must.

Also it’s forbidden to skip a meal. But is so happens that due to rising late and the delays in the usual morning chores, sometimes it becomes necessary to merge the breakfast and lunch. Lunch is followed by a lighter munching-session in such a case.

My parents are early sleepers as well. Myself being habitual late sleeper, I’m left alone to fend for myself past the 9 o’clock period. It mostly includes regular trips to the refrigerator and kitchen and scavenging for edible things. Some trips lead to disappointment but mostly I come back with something or other. I lay down and wonder about life and future plans and how I should start spending my time productively. Then I watch a movie or something before embracing sleep.

So far, life is good.

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