Thursday, August 30

Should have known better

So, room mates.

6 years ago, when I first moved to the U.S., they seemed a mysterious species, giving ample opportunities for exasperation, bewilderment and of course, humour. College really is largely about these emotions, and my first roomies left me with a cornucopia of fond memories on strange habits, beliefs, cooking styles, diets and other assorted practices.

When I moved to Bombay in 2009, an assortment of circumstances led me to share a house with my now ex-roomie, A. Having known each other as neighbours in Pune for years prior to moving in together, we weren't called upon to recalibrate our expectations, ideas or living styles. We respected each other's privacy and predilections, most of our communication being thoroughly brusque in typical guys style. After 3.5 years, he went off to phoren parts to study, leaving me to either find a new house or a new room mate. This was in May.

Determined as I was to live by myself for the first time since 2006, there were geographic and financial factors that coughed gently and shook their heads disapprovingly in my direction. As I was about to give up hope and haul myself away into the suburbs, some long-distance connection of A showed up and moved in. As I said in 'High Speed', everyone was satisfied. I should have known better.

Now, Mod and Grandpa set the bar very high on room mate eccentricity. If I can be frank, and I can, I'd say I never expected to meet another set of people like them. And I haven't. I've met (and am currently rooming with) the guy they took notes from. Ladies, gentlemen and other assorted sundries, I introduce to you, Anthony Perkins. Not the man himself, but let's just say, if they ever decided to do a proper remake of Psycho (not that Vince Vaughn crap), this is the guy who should get the title role.

He looks a bit like Norman Bates and, gathering from my experiences over the last 2 months, is tapping into some rich supernatural vein of inspiration from that legendary icon of thrill & madness. The guy seemed normal when we first met. But they all do. Heck, even Mod did. But he triggered off a chain of strange events that continue till today.

First off, our gas cylinder decided to pack it in 1 day after he moved in. Usually, there's those big orange flames that indicate that its running low, but not this time. Can't blame him for that, right? A couple of days later, he happened to not notice a glass that was sitting on his table, a few inches from his face and swept it right off. Gravity did the rest. No biggie. He locked himself out of the house that weekend, and since I wasn't there, the landlord was forced to come from his house (not anywhere nearby, mind you) to open the door. The ante was upped when I was out of town for a week, with the flooding of the house when the washing machine's outlet pipe came off. Of course, the house wouldn't have flooded if someone had noticed the considerable amount of water creeping across the floor, but that's neither here nor there.

Then came the day when I came back from work and discovered that the iron had been left on for approximately 13 hours. After which I came back from a weekend in Pune to find that the cooker was being used as a steam-inhalation vessel (for a very blocked nose) because someone did not believe in searching the kitchen cupboards for another, more appropriate vessel. He can also, apparently, stand the smell of very rotting fruit. Or thinks the garbage bag will come alive one day and politely walk out of the door by itself. Actually, if that bag had been there another day, this was a strong possibility. 

Then came the day Reliance Energy came to the house and inexplicably cut off the power, 2 days before the bill's due date. This has nothing to do with Norman, but I'm just saying. My prayers. Slowly and surely.

After that, things were relatively quiet for the last week, basically because we were both busy with work and I wasn't here on weekends. I began to relax. Stupid mistake. Today morning, I open the door to the loo, only to reel backward thanks to a strong smell of jasmine. There's also a lot of water everywhere. I ask Norman about it, who mentions that he cleaned the place, culminating the exercise by wiping down the commode seat with Lizol. Yea, the stuff we use, diluted in a bucket of water, to clean floors. I explained to him why the skin of his buttocks was a valuable thing to continue having, and then proceeded to clean the commode with a LOT of water.

Some days, I wonder whether it isn't time for me to become a hermit and head for the hills.
Or get married.

Still, to be fair to Norman, I gotta say...

Song for the moment: You're only human - Billy Joel


bhumika said...

this, i say, i yet another sign.

Get married :)

G said...

Ha! Well, I might be driven to that option eventually, the way things are.