by Geetika Sodhi Lohan
I am a middle class Indian Girl and as per the protocol I was meant to cry at my departure after the wedding ceremony. Something similar was expected of my mother but I did not and so didn't she.
Whenever questioned I would simply laugh it off saying that "I have been a hosteler for a quarter of my teenage."
When I left my home for university the first time, my brother cried dogs and cats. Whenever I would come back to stay from hostel I would be treated like a princess. That was the story of my very first year, away from home and family. I was 17 then. But At the end of the first year when I returned home for a two months vacation my brother made sure to ask me very often, "so when do you return?" as if I was a guest at his house(no offense brother, I really love you).
Later when I was bidding adieu for the beginning of the second term of college I had seen my Mom crying. Rather she would cry every time I would leave for hostel as she would miss me dearly.
As the chronicles reached the fourth year and the vacations were almost ending my Mom came to me with curiosity "so darling when do you leave?"
That was the time when I realised how temporary we humans are. Even the most loving people get used to living without us in short spans of one or two years. People don't forget you only in the case when you are intentionally not with them. Rest everybody learns to live without you.
My first marriage was almost done when I was sent to my hostel for studies and what had happened in ceremony was a formal declaration of a prerequisite that "this girl who had lawfully separated from us is now finally over with us as she is all set to get habitual to a new life wherein she won't need us. As far as we are concerned we had gotten used to not having her around when she had left for her studies and post returning, her job had been her first home as she would return back only to eat and sleep."
Love is not a bonding but a habit we have to be with each other. That probably is the only reason why people don't stay with families when trying to attain enlightenment.
From where I see it I have no habits to spoil me. Or devastate me. Everything is dutiful but not bounded to people.
I was a hosteler and probably would remain till the end of my life. A hosteler who would do all her stuff on her own, be dependent on no one, breach all the rules, be awake late nights, do all the chores at the last moment, expect the unexpected and still manage a solution, stand by those around me, cry only when alone, sing songs even when not feeling well, have Maggi when food won't be good and go for a long drive when the weather would rock. ***