Its been a month almost that I have been living alone at home while my parents are in India. This has been happening since the last 6 years where in they have taken trips to India because of family and personal reasons while I have decided to stay back.
In all honesty I don’t like to visit India very often. I used to go every summer vacations of school for a month to India and even after I started Bachelors I continued it. Once a year to visit family is not too much to ask but more than that is a disruption to the normal life here.
The things that come with going to India is the change in body clock of sleep, eating etc. While here I am used to late dinner and lunches and also wake/sleep late, in India I have to sort of conform to my relatives routines. The eat their lunches and dinner early, sleep and wake up earlier and do a whole lot of things differently than what we do here.
The other issue is with the change in climate and also the change in type of food and the water we drink. That itself brings upon a host of issues like weight loss, getting sick, using the washrooms etc. While hotels are all well equipped with the fixtures that I have at home here, my relatives are just upgrading themselves in the last few years to match up for us. Maybe its a sacrifice for them but for someone who has never stayed in India I feel its my minimum that i need to be comfortable.
So while my parents have gone away this time and as I am older than the last few years, this time I have reflected on how this experience and the accumulation of the past ones can be a good stepping stone to learning how I will spend my life after my parents move back home .
Since I first started living alone in patches like these I had made up my mind about one thing and that is log all the money that comes in and goes out of the house while my parents are not here. In that way I knew where I was spending how much and how I could control it so it doesn’t spiral out because of the freedom I had.
Much of the credit for this thinking goes to my dad especially since he handles the finances of the house regularly and he has imparted a few thoughts of his. His one very important advice to me was that we can afford to buy the expensive stuff if you want but before you do think about its use and value for money. So with that always at the back of my mind my focus was spent on value and use rather than just novelty or craze.
Today I have a job, my parents are happy and I have a good close knit friend circle that I rely on heavily and I couldn’t ask for more as I have the people who give me good advice and support when I need it. I remember that when I got my first salary from this full time job, as is a custom I had to dedicate it towards god first as a donation. This is the thanks I give to god for giving me this opportunity to earn money on a regular basis and help my family and reduce some stress on dad.
Following up from that I also remember that a few days later I went out with my close buddy and I saw something in a store that I really liked. I told my friend that i wanted to get this and he replied “bro you are earning now, so go get it and pay for it”. I hesitated and instantly rang up dad to ask if I take it. He laughed on the phone and said get it.
After i reached home and showed my parents the T shirt i bought, my dad smiles and tells me “Son you are old and responsible now, you are earning money monthly so if you like something don’t hesitate and just buy it”. Inspite of that reassurance I still today hesitate.
Living alone has brought some different experiences and I have also learned from my friends who live here alone with families in others countries. While they manage their lives differently and focus on different things, my focus solely lies on how I can manage my money better and how I can keep my house in tip top shape all the while my parents are away.
It brings a different set of responsibilities as well. Like cleaning the house, washing clothes, making sure that the toiletries that have been exhausted are replaced with new stock. Also the fact that since my family owns 2 cars, I have to look after both and make sure both are in proper condition(Fuel, Washing, Salik, Parking etc).
On top of that with this full time job at hand living alone is not anymore a joyride as I have to manage my work routine as well. Uniforms, office reporting times etc are also at the back of my mind.
Its not always a smooth sail though. I have had hiccups while parents have been away. Few minor accidents with the cars, changing car battery and this year my 2 month old Nokia phone going back for screen repairs. These are just to name a few. I have tried to keep this part as low as possible and at one point when the phone thing happened I lost confidence to stay alone a bit. I actually felt that if things like this happen frequently then my life will be in flames in no more than 2 days. But the minor hiccups eventually get themselves sorted with some planning and thinking and things are back to normal again.
So in the end while living alone can be a fun experience for e.g. having friends over for sleepovers, or late night long drives etc, it also comes with the responsibility of handling the house and managing finances. Its basically a lesson in how to live without being dependent on family all the time and also how to get out of that comfort zone and face the music of life head on and deal with hiccups that may come. Its something I feel every child should have and as parents if your house doesn’t end up like the one in the “Project X” movie and your bank account isn’t 0, then you know that your child is ready for independent living. Living alone brings a maturity that not many other experiences can.