From minute things in life, like going to the movies to decisions like going to a university, parents are by our side making sure we don’t do anything stupid, but then this is the catch. We want to do stupid things, fall, get back up, fall again, bounce back up again, make mistakes, cry, learn, fly. This is why after 18 or so years of living with your families, when we get the taste of freedom we never want to go back.
But, none of us can deny, that there will be certain things, and comfort attached to home that we will always crave for. Let’s take a look at 6 things only people living out of their house will understand.
1. Maggi is Dinner. Everyday.
When I lived at home, I cannot remember the number of times I had a row with my mother over her cooking, and how it was the same old, almost boring, routine food all the time. Now, every day after the hard day at University, when I finally manage to drag my lethargic self to my room, I’m too tired to fuss over food or brainstorm on what an appropriate meal of my choice should be like. This is generally followed by ordering in all sorts of junk, or doing what I did last night – 2 packets of Parle G with a mug of hot tea…for dinner.
I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for people who move abroad to places like China, where consuming a lot of rather different kinds of meat, than what us Indians are used to, is the social norm. To survive in a place where frog legs are the usual delicacy, will most likely be the end of my appetite altogether.
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2. There is no national language. Not really.
For someone who has spent most their life in the North, moving to Chennai accounts for a daily struggle with rickshaw-wallahs who cannot understand anything other than Tamil. A few days ago when I found myself at the Pune Police Station to lodge an FIR for my recently lost phone, I was met with Marathi-speaking men, who’d converse with me in Hindi and then proceed to chat amongst themselves about me and what had happened, in a language I did not know. At times like these, making a few friends fluent in the local language is the only way out, to get things done properly and in lesser time.
3. A thumps up might just get you killed:
This is for people who haven’t just left their peaceful homes but their much-loved countries. The cultural difference in itself stares you right in the face, to an extent that the whole idea is psychedelic. Where in India, interaction with the opposite sex is generally not encouraged, outside you’d see people living together, and indulging in public display of affection openly, which might be a little awkward to get used to.
There is difference in climate, and surroundings, too. For example, when I moved to Ghana, West Africa, from India, I was in awe of how the palm trees were in a shape of a hand fan, all aligned in a linear way, the leaves standing straight up. This was definitely differing from where I came from.
Apart from that, a thumb up is hideously offensive in the middle east, in West Africa and South America. You learnt that thumbs up may mean good luck or good job in India but in Iran it may get you killed. Saves you the trouble of finding it the hard way, eh?
4. Ready-made beds:
Do you remember the blissful feeling of coming back from a tiring day at school, and having a warm, neatly tucked in bed with clean sheets and fluffy pillows, just waiting for you? Nope? I don’t remember it as well.
Despite the necessity, whenever I do go back to my house away from my real house, I see a huge pile of laundry that needs to be done that I have carefully scattered all over the bed in an attempt to look for white formals I needed to wear in the morning. Then, there is of course books from the assignment I slept working on, a mess of entangled chargers, headphones and LAN Cables, lying atop a bed-sheet I don’t remember washing in the recent time.
Then begins the process of dumping everything on the nearby chair with a false promise of cleaning up after myself from the next day.
5. Laundry and I are not friends.
We all know that our laundry is a traveler It travels from our closet, to the laundry bag when not in use, to our chairs when not in use, to our beds when not in use, to everywhere around the world… but one place, the washing place.
What will I give on some days to just put away my laundry and get a clean set of clothes, all folded up nicely, returned to me. At home, the magical force of making this happen was my mother, and presently I am nowhere even close.
6. The cycle of ‘Being Broke’:
I don’t manage my finances. Why you ask, considering that it is strictly recommended that one should? Simple, because I don’t have finances to manage in the first place. This is how the cycle of ‘Being Broke’ work with me every month:
1. Receive money. Yay.
2. Pay bills.
3. ..and, you’re broke.
In between the lines you will always try to save up 1k or 2k for party nights. Which is almost as rare as eying a dodo bird. Other than that, forget about the ‘basic’ luxury of splurging on anything that comes with a price tag, since the evil game of budget-ting won’t leave you with much anyway.