Mom, I'm Thinking of Moving Out
Moving out is like a C Section. It hurts your mother more than your father.
I grew up in a functional middle-income household. Despite being a typical 2 BHK, we didn’t have rooms, we had functional spaces. There was only one room for the beds, and hence it was christened The Bedroom. The other room served multiple purposes. During the exams, it would be the study room. It had open shelves for clothes, a steel beero, and the microwave oven (because the power sockets in the kitchen were too small for the plug). The hall was the awkward assembly point. If you had nothing to do, and lying on your back all day was too boring, you would come and sit on the couch and flip through channels on the TV until you got bored and dozed off. You wouldn’t be asleep for long, though. Some elder in the house would wake you up to tell you to go sleep on the bed. They never considered how the act of getting up, walking, and lying down again would itself wake you up. Now, you’re in bed, bored, and wide awake.
Privacy was fiction. If you wanted privacy, you’d just have to face the wall. Two and a half decades of this existence later, I decided to consider moving out. I didn’t start looking at potential homes or contacting brokers, I somehow enjoyed the idea of an independent special existence. One day, I asked my mother if I could move out. It was a simple yes or no question in my mind, but my mother responded with spontaneous tears. Mothers don’t like being given options. They want to be the only option. While taking breaks from snivelling, she told me I was to never entertain such thoughts.
Moving out is like a C Section. It hurts your mother more than your father. In both cases, the father’s contribution isn’t much. Long years of marriage have prepared him to make peace with everything, including his marriage.
I wanted to move out because I was curious to find out if I could live on my own. Not just because I wanted privacy and freedom. Growing up, my mother taught me everything I needed to know to be a responsible home-runner. Yet, she didn’t want to let me out of her sight. It was like topping your university ranks and joining the same university as a professor.
But, all is not lost. Fortunately, I had friends in need. My house is far from work, and I quoted this functional reason as an excuse to not go home every day. I began backpacking in my own city. Here’s where growing up without a room was actually the best thing to happen to me. My clothes and my ride were the only things I owned. I don’t have a favourite poster, and I’m not possessive about mugs and rugs and pillows and mattresses. I was living on my own, finally, albeit in instalments. I wasn’t just crashing at a different place each day. It wasn’t rent-free. I made myself useful. I wasn’t just a guest. House sitting, helping out with dishes and cleaning, pitching in for smokes and food and even groceries sometimes. I finally knew I could live on my own.
As I try and figure out my finances before actually moving out of my house and finding a home, the only thing getting in my way right now is climate change and a mother’s wrath, both of which can cause mass extinction.