Let us admit it.
Despite having welcomed the ever-evolving universal culture from the
world around us with open arms, India remains conservative in its approach in many
ways. Moving out of one’s parents’ home while still in college is commonplace in the
West, at times even frowned upon if one continues to camp on the living room sofa
beyond teenage years. In India though, it isn’t yet common to see teenagers moving
out of their parent’s home without career or education on their minds.
However, “living on your own” has caught on in India too, albeit with different
connotations. The Indian youth is open to living on his/her own in quest of acquiring
education or to make a career in a distant city or country (with this, the nuclear family
just shrunk further).
Spiderman once said “With Great power, comes great responsibility”
Living with unbridled freedom can be liberating for most of us, but don’t expect life to
be a bed of roses (“Friends” is just a television serial). Reality can be an eye-opener
with bills to pay, nosy neighbours to deal with, not to mention the responsibility that comes along with the territory
Check out the ten things you will discover when you move into your first apartment:
1. When things break down, you are the one who has to get it fixed
This is YOUR home. The responsibility of fixing that stalled washing machine or the
broken-down flat screen is YOURS too. Calling the technician (you have his number,
right?) and making it home in time when he drops in, will have to managed without
2. People will steal anything from doormats to newspapers to waste
The fancy doormat that you bought from the supermarket to adorn the entrance to
your home is likely catch the fancy of your neighbour, watchman, courier boy,
sweeper etc. People have had newspapers, milk bags and even waste bins being
stolen from the front door so watch out.
3. Noodles will become your favourite meal
Once you move into an independent home, managing meals will be an everyday
challenge unless you have “Mom” to cook for you here too. Those who have
experience hostel life earlier, welcome to an encore of bygone years. Here too,
Maggi Noodles will become a staple diet while apps like Swiggy and Box8 will become saviours after late nights at the office or during group study. Nutrition? Well,
looks like it will take a backseat for now!
4. Friends will have to be kept on a leash
Bachelor homes often become a haven for friends and colleagues who love to spend
time with ….err….their friends. You could find yourself locked out of your own home
at times, since your friend forgot to return the keys. Keep such “friends” on a tight
leash if you do not want your home to become a preferred choice to hangout, leaving
you without any kind of privacy of your own.
5. Relatives and friends will drop in anytime and discover the mess in the house
Be prepared for that rushed feeling when the doorbell rings and you see your long-
lost relatives through the eye piece. The house is in a mess (the bai bunked today
too) and the only option is to sweep the unwashed clothes, shoes, newspapers and
leftover food under the sofa or the bed or dump it into the cupboard (only make sure
no one opens it)
6. Budgeting will drive you crazy
Rent, groceries, Electricity bills, payment to the domestic help, milkman…. The list is
endless and unless you have a budget (AND the determination to follow it) to prop
you up, payments could drive you crazy. Go the old fashioned way and prepare
envelopes to take care of essential expenses. Pay bills at the beginning of the month
so you don’t fall short later (yes, that weekend trip to Lonavala can wait!)
7. Wild parties no more after warning from neighbours last Friday
Its Friday night and you are off to bed at 10 pm?? Seems quite likely, especially after
neighbours complained to the society management about loud music and smoke,
both arising simultaneously from your home. Wasn’t this one of the primary reasons
of moving into a separate apartment? Hard luck, mate!
8. Your home’s security is your responsibility
Hope you are not a light sleeper since barking alley dogs and over-enthusiastic
neighbours could keep you awake all night. The slightest sound at the main door in
the middle of the night could sound as challenging as the presentation in office the
next day. Secure your home with locks, padlocks, security alarms or maybe a fierce-
looking dog. This is your home and its security is solely your responsibility.
9. Parking hassles could drive you crazy
With parking being available at a premium, your two-wheeler/four-wheeler could be
stranded on the road since some smart guy took a liking to your designated parking
area. And since Dad isn’t around here to sort things out, guess who has to call up
the building watchman at unearthly hours.
10. You will learn what interior decoration is all about
Once you are on your own, priorities will change and so will your dream to decorate
your home in a particular manner. You may have to forego that lovely coffee table
you saw at the mall (you haven’t paid the electricity bill this month, remember?). The
paint job too will have to be pushed on to the backburner. That’s life!
Having said all this, living in your own apartment can be a wonderful experience and
a fantastic learning curve that is bound to hold in good stead for you in the future.
Treat the above list as a primer to help you to tide over difficult times. After all,
independence does come at a price, wot say?