My roommate left for a 2 week trip home. I suppose all these months I've been pulling the disappearing act on her a lot, and it's a little strange coming back knowing that if someone rings the doorbell at 11, I should scream.
You'd think that living in a crowded city like Mumbai would make you value the few moments you have alone, away from the maddening crowd. That's what I used to think, before I wound up on Dadar station one afternoon on Janmashtmi. For the uninitiated, Dadar is a bustle of activity at any given point of time in the day. A walk across platforms gets you smelling like 14 different people. and probably a few electronic items and cash cards poorer. As I walked onto the Platform No. 6 on the Central Side, I was suddenly disoriented. The platform was empty. I was then absolutely petrified.
Safety in numbers - everything else puts you on the backfoot. The empty local compartment, the vacant lane from Hawaiian Shack at 2am, the pin drop silence of the office corridor when you work overtime - suddenly anything is possible, and you are most likely to end up with the "wrong place wrong time" epitaph.
I guess its a strange paradox - we all want our space, our method of dealing with conflict normally involves seclusion - "I'm going to my room", or "Leave me alone", or "I just don't feel too social right now", or the infamous "I need some space". Funnily enough, when it comes to it, we all are also scared of being alone, perhaps, like Bridget Jones, of being discovered one morning having been half eaten by an alsatian. Most of the effort put behind personal relationships is devoted in a large part to trying to strike the balance. Achieving the Oscar Award of every relationship - the "Comfortable Silence".
So here I am, home alone. It doesn't bother me, but it may, when I feel a slight bout of dizziness, or when I hear a bump in the night. The bump, in all probability would be my upstairs neighbour (is that correct English? are neighbours allowed to be upstairs? or are they only next door?) who keeps 1. pounding masala 2. moving furniture 3. having sex 4. teaching classical dance 5. all of the above (Cosmopolitan's Hot New Sex Tip No. 64!).
So now, I try and sleep in peace.