Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Where I begin documenting my life again.

"It paid, she said; it was camouflage. If you kept the small rules, you could break big ones."

So, I moved (again). Living the life of a single woman in an Indian city is not nearly as glamourous as Konkona Sen would have you believe. There are no dusty, cute apartments with beach-view terraces. Neither are there random guys you meet in randomer parties that you gate crash into who then get their friends to haul all your furniture for you. There is however, a lot of paperwork. SO, here is where I attempt to create a realistic guide for wannabe grownups on filing the paperwork required for living, tentatively (and unreasonably ambitiously) called
Growing up for Dummies.

Episode 1: Through the Loophole (since rabbit-hole was getting old)

After years of living with roommates, and not-really-mates, Providence decided to cut me some slack. Which in the present situation is code for momentary-lowering-of-parents'-protect-single-daughter-from-the-world-and-herself-but-mostly-herself-shield. Which goes on to prove my theory that with parents (or at least parents like mine) the best approach is really slow exposure. Have a difficult decision you need them to sign off? Don't spring on them in the last minute and expect them to jump on recklessly speeding bandwagon (in the interest of near-complete honestly though, more often that not it is jumping off the wagon, not on, that you need them to do). Mention it casually in a phone call months before the actual event ("So, I might get this new job. So I might have to move. Since I might have to move, I am thinking, I will just get a place of my own.") Show your willingness to fight for it ("I'm 28 years old, and I am NOT sleeping in a bunk bed in a room with 4 other look-like-adults. WHADDAYA mean it may not be safe for a single girl to live alone?"). Then drop the topic and pretend you've forgotten about it for months. ("So, my boss did the damnest thing today. How are the neighbours?") Collect data to support your cause and casually drop it in daily conversation ("Remember that friend of mine from college you approve of? She moved into the city, and she is looking for an apartment. No she does not want a roommate.") And then months later, just as casually, in your best (non-confrontational and seemingly well-adjusted) adult voice, announce that you would, if they so agree, like to go ahead with the plan, probably. "So, I saw this ad online about this place that looks very neat. I was considering checking it out this weekend.) Pretend they are, and always have been, on with the plan, and ask for suggestions. ("I was thinking, I will look such and such areas and such and such rent. What do you think I should look out for?")

By that time, they would also have thought about it ("Why can't we have a nice, normal girl for a daughter?") and decided that they have bigger battles to fight ("Listen, we need to tell her that she needs to wake up at 4 am to sit for a puja to bribe gods to please find her a boy.") See, emotional blackmail and barter work is a two-way street after all.

In that moment of confusion and vulnerability, when they haltingly concede that may be your decision is not so gasp-inducing and the society may just live through the shock, you swoop in and quickly move into your cozy little studio apartment, above the homemade pastry shop and across the street from the neighbourhood library. Ha ha, I kid of course. This is the point when your chick-flick and Bollywood influenced naive brain meets the minions of Satans of the modern world, aka, the prospective landlords. But that is a story for a different day. (One must at least attempt at cliffhangers, no?)


Anu said...

mwahahahahaha! love it! :) speeding bandwagon and its abrupt stop. I like the restart of the blog with this post. Life isn't what Konkana Sen says it is. It sucks, like I always knew it would. :D

crumbs said...

Anu, yes, but one needs reminding, periodically. No?