It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. The sound of the wind's coming in through the crack in the window, accompanied by the pitter patter of the rain. As I write this line, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake are crooning 'Carry Out' in my ears. I'm at peace with the world. At this point in time, I love being alone. There's peace of mind. There's silence and there's no one else.
That's the best part.
Living alone can be a bitch at most times. Especially when you don't cook, hate cleaning and doing the dishes. And when you're a sucker for home-cooked food. But on the upside, you can have corn-flakes for lunch (like I did today), have friends over whenever you want (provided they have clean feet) and wake up at 1 pm on Sunday (again, behaviour that yours truly exhibits beautifully).
I love the freedom Bangalore gives me. It gives me enough time to catch up on a life I'd been missing out on for at least five years of my life. There's a living to be earnt here, but there's also a life to be explored. You have enough time to spend hours in that new bookstore lazing around, or you could go to your favourite coffee shop on your way to office and spend an hour there before you head home. You have enough time to gym (yes, yes, I'm joining one soon). There's a lot of time to do things I didn't do before.
I think I like living alone. Not because of the mad freedom I get. But because it's nice doing things on your own. Knowing you have to make your own decisions and can blame no one else. You forage for food, you eat outside, and pull up your socks when you look at the alarmingly receding bank balance. That's when you get a dabba delivered at home. There's lots to learn, and no lesson can be a waste, can it?
Perhaps you should consider some of the following things when you're living alone, though. Like:
1) Try living alone instead of at a PG, if your budget can allow it. PG owners begin to think they own YOU and are extremely strict about the stupidest things. Also their deadlines are quite silly. You don't want to be home at 8.30 pm on a Saturday night, do you? In fact, on most days, you'll end up stepping out at that time.
2) Have your own vehicle. Or at least be best friends with someone who does. In Bangalore, auto drivers are willing to use a meter only if you speak Kannada. Otherwise, you're an 'outsider' who deserves to be ripped off.
3) Speaking of Kannada, try picking up the local language. Very useful. With locals and auto drivers alike. Till then, you're an outsider. I have no clue why the world laughs at Bal Thackeray. Come over here and you'll know.
4) Your neighbours will tend to be unfriendly if you don't know their language. I've been living here for two months, but I still can't say I can identify who lives next door. As far as they are concerned, I'm the slutty girl next door, who has boys over, who steps out at all odd hours, lives alone and wears skirts and wears shorts at home. When you look for a house, try getting a place that has a young vibe. Try noticing the kind of people that are walking in and around the building and if they fit your profile. Helps. I was conned. Badly.
5) When they say that the house has water 24 hours, don't believe them. Actually, don't believe anything they say.
6) Try and be inconspicuous as you can. Don't piss off the building by bringing noisy friends over and making a racket. No one likes noisy neighbours, especially if they don't like you in the first place.
7) If you're Muslim, good luck getting a house. Chances are you'll have to build your own house. The house agents here are generally given strict orders by owners NOT to get Muslim tenants. Sad, I know.
8) Everyone is out to rip you here. All services are grossly overpriced. Haggle till you're blue in the face. Or if you suck at bargaining like I do, take a local friend along, who knows the language.
I'm no guru, and I don't display the most exemplary 'living alone' behaviour, but I hope to goodness you don't spend your energy fruitlessly cussing at your house owner, when you realise that your new geyser doesn't work because he hasn't got the building plumbing repaired. Till then, it's heating water in a microwave for me. One more thing I can't be arsed to do is, cook. The thought of buying groceries, putting them away and chopping stuff after coming from work and cooking is something that makes starvation look like a pretty option.
So don't learn from me. Actually don't learn from anyone. It's a brilliant feeling to reclaim your life and make your own discoveries.
Having said that, don't purposely walk home just to see how long it takes, despite your friend's judgement. It always takes 1 hour 10 minutes. My aching shin confirms this.
Well, have you lived alone? Are you still doing it? Share experiences! The floor's open for comments.