Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roommates Only!

  Room-mates Only!

I stepped out of the auto trying to pull my suitcase out.It weighed a little more than 24kgs.The auto-driver was willing to help me.But not Nikhil.He stood there,oblivious to my plight,texting away on his cell.And to think I was going to share my room with this guy! To my relief he paid up his share of the auto-fare without my asking him to look away from his messages.This guy could multitask when he really wanted to..

Not that we really knew each other.We just knew each other.We were from the same college;knew each other by sight...and that was it.We were posted to this place on our first job along with an other guy who'd join us soon in our room.We had no other choice but to come here.And be roommates because we had no one else to turn to.

When Ajith arrived,it had to be in style.I had heard about his heroics during my college days,and got a first hand experience that day.
"Hey...I lost my wallet..could you pay the auto-guy??"was the first thing he said on seeing us.
No..Nikhil was not multitasking this time..I had to pay on my own.No longer had we settled down on our single beds for some rest after a hectic morning,Ajith interjected "Guys I can't seem to find my phone!".Nikhil and I looked at each other-clueless of what to do.We were room-mates now.We had to help-irrespective of how long we knew each other.We rummaged his bags,searched the whole room...and after a whole hour when we sat down tired,all he said was "Chuck it! It was just a dummy know...for emergencies.."I would have killed him if he was my friend..or even my enemy...but he was my room-mate.And room-mates couldn't kill each other...

I woke up next morning before the other two.I had planned this part well.I had to be the first,if I wanted to occupy the toilet as long as I wished to.I had decided I wouldn't compromise on that part-come what may.
Half an hour later when I came out,all Ajith could do was stare at me...Nikhil was busy with his phone again.
I had drawn first blood!!

Each of us wanted to set a trend by doing things his own way-so that the other two would follow.We couldn't argue with each other see.If I used the toilet first,Nikhil would use the bathroom first.Ajith arranged his clothes in the only cupboard..and politely asked us if we would like to share it(fully knowing we would say 'it's ok' and leave the cupboard to him).Nikhil had to make most use of the only charging point in the room.I would've offered to buy a spike-buster...but then knowing neither of them would share the expenses,I resorted to charging my phone in that first half-hour of the day I had monopolised.

A week passed and all of us lived together separately.Yes..that's the best way to put it.There wasn't any argument-probably because we avoided it.I'm sure we hated certain things about each other.I hated Ajith's habit of listening to music into the night.He hated my waking up early and doing a bit of  studying-he envied my being a little more intelligent than him you see.(I hadn't told him I had flunked a paper thrice in my BE-we were room-mates only for heaven's sake!)Nikhil hated Ajith's habit of losing things(wallet,phone..a girlfriend was the latest on the list).I hated Nikhil because he was constantly in touch with his girl-texting and calling her 24x7.We shared our breakfast,lunch and dinner-or rather the bill.I would pay exactly 22 rupees for my Idli,Vada and Tea-and walk out of the hotel first.Thanks to my roommates.I learnt eating fast!

A fortnight happened.Things were getting a little frustrating in the room.We had shared nothing more than expenses so far.No stories,no histories,no experiences,no jokes.The only progress was that we had become friends on Facebook.Talk was business-like.We missed a genuine rapport going for us.

We woke up one Tuesday morning Nikhil was awake already.He looked a little tense.I could guess why..but wouldn't ask.We were room-mates only.Ajith probably noticed it too..but again we wouldn't talk of it.It was a taboo to share personal info,between room-mates only.We got dressed and left for office.
Nikhil was on the brink of tears."I'm not supposed to ask"I told myself firmly.
Breakfast was silent even by our standards that morning.

We were travelling to office in a bus.There was a crowd as usual and all passengers were clinging to each other.Suddenly I noticed a guy trying to pick Ajith's pocket.Ajith didn't notice it as usual.The guy took his wallet out in a flash and got down.I shouted at Ajith and Nikhil and we got down from the bus as well.
The guy started running.We chased him.Nikhil ran the fastest.He caught up with the thief.Ajith and I pinned him down and wrested the wallet from him.I could see Nikhil thrashing the thief with all his might-possibly taking his pent-up anger and frustration on him.

Ajith was treating us in the afternoon.All barriers seemed to have broken down in a single moment.We were reliving the incident,moment by moment,again and again.Ajith praised my observation.I praised Nikhil's speed.And Nikhil,Ajith's generosity in treating us.I quietly asked Nikhil why he was upset since morning and the poor fellow poured his heart out in 10 minutes.It seems he hadn't called his girlfriend the previous night,and she hadn't replied to his messages since morning.
"Hmm.." was all Ajith and I could manage,not being experienced enough to laugh or sympathize.

We finished our dinner.Yes.It was our dinner.Each one of us would take turns and foot the bill each night.So it was like a treat each night."Bonding Exercise"-we had decided to call it.
We were returning to our room when Nikhil went to attend the all important call.We hoped for the best.But the worst thing happened.....Nikhil and his girlfriend had reconciled,leaving Ajith and me staring at our single status.

Nevertheless,we had a group hug.Nikhil promised a huge treat the next day-which we rather looked forward to.We were Room-mates now.We would last....

                                                                                -18th April 2012 


  1. Nice read!

    I've heard a lot of roommate stories and a lot of them have a '... but room-mates can't kill each other' sentiment :D

  2. :D...I suppose they'd want to,given a chance.. :p Life could be hell if they don't get along..:)But I've been very lucky w.r.t.the room-mates I've got so far.. :)

  3. You have written a brilliant piece, engrossing and entertaining.

  4. Sense in Simplicity :) It is an elegant piece :) Enjoyed reading it :)