The Roommate Chronicles- The Sequel?
So I’m now supposed to start a new series of the Roommate Chronicles. I’m in a new city (four weeks isn’t a very long time, after all), and I’m just about two weeks old in this flat, thrown in yet again amidst a set of new people.
And this time I’m not complaining.
When people groan in unison at the story of business school aspirants who unanimously declared that Chetan Bhagat was their famous author, you know you can strike a chord with them. Pottering around the room, you find an unmutilated copy of Animal Farm and you know you will never be short of good reading. An abundantly-stored ‘larder’ and plenty of fruit juice in the fridge tell you snacking will soon become your second-most-favoured pastime. And finally, when on your first day among three girls who’ve been through college together, you’re not treated like an outsider but are gracefully allowed to watch the Formula One race without demur, you know you’re going to enjoy living here.
I am the Old Maid of this house, over six whole months older than the eldest of them. Staid, sober and steady, I’m supposed to be a towering pillar of influence and an epitome of good sense. Which, of course, I’m not. When we’re ordering dinner on a Sunday night, I conveniently choose to just say yes or no while the others pore over the closely-printed menu. “Madam!” calls out one of the girls, the spunkiest and funniest of them all. This is a sign to me to get my nose out of my book and make a pretence at decision-making.
I live with three girls from three different states in North India, so Hindi is inevitably the language spoken most at home. I give thanks for the gazillionth time for my decent knowledge of the language- my years in the North haven’t gone waste. I don’t speak with an accent (and certainly not the kind that a bad actor fakes when doing a crass imitation of a Tamilian speaking Hindi).
The IPL matches have helped a great deal. Divided loyalties lead to pitched battles, but no, we haven’t gouged one another’s eyes out yet. We unanimously trash advertisements (and the IPL has brought along a spate of some astonishingly terrible adverts which make you nostalgic for the old ones with bad special effects- really, they were much better!); drink very milky, sugary coffee with potato chips- this, because we’re sick, almost literally, of the boxes of Frontier biscuits that have been pouring in from Delhi. We know the uncles and aunts love us, but we could really do without the pampering.
And as I write, we’re waiting for the cook to come and rescue us from the throes of hunger. Why settle for noodles when we can actually have a proper meal! The spunky girl cannot bear to look at food on television for now- it is a painful sight to comprehend on an empty stomach- and the rest of us have settled down to the bliss of nothingness on a weekday night. Commentary-infused peace reigns.