**** Gee!! This is the 101th post! :) I can't believe I made a century!! ****
We moved into our new house over this weekend. I must confess that this new house thing did give me a temporary high of being married. Like they say that crack or pot is a vulgar shortcut to the feeling of being enlightened and removed from the world, this house gave me the fake happiness of being a wife, at least a housewife.
My flatmate Shruti works as a receptionist at a clinic in the city and everyone including her boss gave something for “our” house. As University students, persecuted by lack of space in a small two bedroom unit in the middle of the city, we were even willing to sleep on floor if we had to ( that is how traditionally “students” are expected to survive in Indian culture). However the God of Abode or whatever is the Heavenly word for house was pleased with us. So we received a few big boxes of goodies. There was one where I found a deluge of cold and grey steel cutlery that nearly brought tears of joy in my eyes.
So as Shruti, her friend Kym and my friend Sergio drove around the city to all our “donor’s” houses, I took charge of putting everything that they brought in into order. When left by myself in the house I went through a series of contrasting emotions. The frenzy of using the brand new vacuum cleaner (that came out of our student budget and happens to be my favourite cleaning accessory), the peace of mind after having done it, the happiness bordering euphoria when all the shelves were lined with blue “non-slip-easy-grip-shelf-liner”, the nostalgia of watching my granny “do up” kitchens as a little girl, the crinkle of worry when I saw a string of black ants with some serious agenda going somewhere around the sink!
I have been diagnosed with a compulsive urge of inviting people over to dinner since we got this pretty house. Shruti has already had issues with my being “too cheerful” first thing in the morning but now she has something new to deal with. She rolls her eyes every time I take a sneak peak into the recipe book or every time I become a little “too friendly” for my personality just so that I can invite the other side over for an “Indian dinner”.
One particular evening as both of us were walking back after signing the lease, Shruti was thinking of getting the money together for the furniture while I was lost in oblivion with my fantasies of inviting people over. She does not let me order coffee at coffee shops or talk to mailmen because she is worried that I might end up inviting coffee-shop girls and mailmen over to dinner.
It is funny how every girl eventually turns into her mom. We used to tell aai not to invite someone over every weekend because she hardly got time off for herself but now I know what it feels like to be her. :)
Cooking is something that I would gladly do all the time if I have nothing to do. I have promised myself that if ever I reach a point in life where I get sick of my job ( which is a sickeningly negative thought I agree) I would start a restaurant or turn into a chef. :)
I tell myself that it is just a house. It means a lot however when you are far away from home. When people from different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities help you move and also make sure you have all the things you need. When a living room emerges out of two hours of vacuuming, democratic rearrangements and a lot of borrowed muscle power. When it is seasoned with flavours of humor, like the fully loaded pick-up truck going neutral on the steep slope or cracking the mystery of assembling the patio chairs!
It all makes you feel at home suddenly and you forget that you are originally from X land doing your PhD in Y land currently talking to a Zian. It is just you and as you unwrap that very last big wine glass, you say to yourself, “Yey!! I am Home!!”.