We were newly married and had just returned from a flamboyant offshore trip and were on the lookout for a house, since my hubby’s job involved travelling we thought it would be best to live in the safe enclosure of nested houses so we finalised on one such haven and ended up paying a bomb for this dingy hole and moved in one fine day.
But soon it dawned on us that even a small sneeze would wake my neighbours up and vice versa we could detect their slimmest farts, to add to the injury the company had changed its travel policies after marriage or so I was duped. A late night movie at the mall meant that we lost our premium parking space or perhaps the gate would remain locked forcing us to jump the gate like thieves to get into our home, the icing was when a fight broke in one of the nests or a rogue child cried __ the effect was complete like in a cinema tent but love was in the air everywhere and so were the close relatives whose close proximity haunted us frequently at all odd hours. While I romanticized a masculine musk imagining his footsteps like in a typical Sidney Sheldon novel a harsh truth filled the air with a pungent garlic odour emanating from the neighbour’s wok clouding our windowsill, a nice jazz music would often be interrupted by a crass neighbour who blew his nose hard and cleared ½ a kilo of sputum from his chest, in short our new marital home and all its surroundings had all the ingredients like in a ‘Chameli ki shaadi’ and I decided enough was enough so we hurriedly shifted off to my mom’s place as my in laws lived in another town. We were back to square one with our house hunting series season 2 the expeditions of which was very tiring as either the house didn’t match our requirements or didn’t fit into our budget and when they did it was in the outskirts of my defined boundaries so on one such day my mom suggested that we could as well stay in the ground floor house and that the tenants would soon be moving out. It sounded good and mutually beneficial too as my mom was staying alone and my presence would be a moral support to her and even I wouldn’t be left alone whenever my hubby travelled so we readily agreed to this offer and we settled down for good.
Weeks and months passed by and life got busy visiting and hosting friends and relatives immersing myself in the nitty-gritty of married life, soon we were blessed with our first child and my whole life seemed to revolve around my baby. My mom was a pillar of support during these trying times of new motherhood and we showed our gratitude by being there for her whenever she needed yet ensuring that both were independent but together without infringing upon the others space and without any financial exploitations and this combo seemed to work well. As my child grew up I even took up a job totally banking on my mom which began to nudge many on the wrong side. It had never occurred to me that I needed to own a home to call it mine until I decoded many daunting verses from close aides that set me thinking if my staying here really reflected my image.
Elsewhere several miles away lived many cousins whose lifestyles never mattered to us but since I showed my face around locally I was tagged as the local daughter-in-law amongst my people because success to many folks in India still means taking up an onsite opportunity and posing up in hot pants as this was a default qualification that every other cousin possessed, it was almost religiously undignified and petty to be staying here back home in India that too in my mom’s place, Nayyy…..!!
Years had turned like pages in this chapter called life where the material aspect had risen above me to become the protagonist and I was now seen merely as a poor little wretched child tossed from a wok to a pan on one side while the others thought I was a staunch mommy’s girl living in my mother’s strong castle dancing to her tunes and it echoed wherever I went, although I was thick skinned enough to brush the ills aside the frequent roasts on both sides did err and stir our minds if not for image it was certainly for our children who were now growing and needed more space to play around and even we needed a novelty in our expressions and more so a space that we could call exclusively ours fearlessly because ‘Apnapan comes with Apnadhan’, fortunately we had invested in a flat sometime back and it was now ready for occupation, it was really hard to come out of my childhood shell but we decided it was time for a session 3 but we knew our destination this time. #StartANewLife