Sunday, August 07, 2005

Living and Living Alone

I’ve always been a loner. When I was in school and lived at home (I feel that I’ve lost my home now. When I go home now, I feel like an outsider. I hope it’s only temporary.) I was happiest when I was in my balcony – alone with just me and my thoughts. I loved those private moments. Moments when I could think, I could imagine, I could day dream. Think thoughts that I dare not share with anyone.

Hostel took away that privacy. Over here, I had to live with a room mate, who was alien at first then became an acquaintance and then almost rose to the importance of my spouse. I’m not gay mind you but that is how close you actually get to your room mate. But he’s not the best of my pals and he knows it too. I cannot share everything nor anything with him. And I miss my privacy.

I was looking forward to coming to the new hall where I would finally get a single room and my privacy back. Once I again I would be able to spend those endless hours alone. But that was not to be. Till now there has hardly been a moment when I’ve been alone in my room.

Some people have a knack for never realizing the exact time that they start becoming unwelcome. I have a couple of these friends. I would not name the first one but he has the annoying habit of coming to my room and not leaving until he’s specifically told to. To be honest, I don’t dislike him. In fact, I quite like him at times. We have a variety of matching interests and I like talking to him on occasions. But I don’t like his perpetual presence in my room. He behaves like my trunk which is always there the corner. Or like the alarm clock, ticking away on my shelf. He’s constantly present in the periphery of my vision. After some time I ignore him completely, in the vague hope that he’ll leave. But he doesn’t. Poor me.

The second person is Atul. And before he becomes angry let me point out that no, he’s neither the trunk nor the alarm clock. He seldom comes to my room. His vice is persistence. A typical conversation is like this :

Atul: Would you like to come for a walk?

Vinod: Um . . . no, I don’t feel like it right now. (What I’m actually thinking is – his walks don’t usually end till 3:00 am and if I go with him now, there is no way that I can attend the lecture early next morning)

Atul: “Chalo na, please.”

After this, no matter how many times I say no, this guy would not leave my room until I go with him. He’s actually sat for an hour in my room before I had to give in to his request. And he does this with all his requests. He really gets on to my nerves after some time. After all there is a time and place when and where I prefer to do things. Why should I do things at his convenience? But like I said – he’s persistent.

Let me now make the confession that this blog was actually intended for – I had a quarrel with Atul over this. Once day I really lost my temper over his behavior and said nasty things. Atul, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I admire and appreciate you a lot as a person. But please try leaving me alone sometimes.

Sometimes I think I’m being mean with these people. After all, they stay with me because they like me. They want my company. I’m grateful to them for that. Very few people actually like me and I cherish all those who do. Really, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m immensely grateful to all the friends that I’ve got over here.

Perhaps it’s good that I get no loneliness over here. When I get out into the big bad world, I’d be lonely like hell. All the loneliness that I could want would be there. I should be thankful for these years. But then again that was exactly what they said when I left school – you’ll have to face the world alone now. It turned out that it wasn’t that bad. So maybe it wouldn’t be that bad when I get out of this place too.

All things appear to be weird until they happen – growing up, going to college, having a job, having family all appear to be difficult until they happen. But when they do happen they seem like the most natural course of life. When the time comes, nothing remains extraordinary. Everything seems normal.

So, I’m still searching, for my bit of loneliness.