Being new to the city, I had no other option but to take help from my dad’s friend to find out a good place to live-in. After his a few days of constant search, he found me a place close to my office, which was more of a house than a hostel, where the ground floor was occupied by the house owner, and the first and second floors by us. By ‘us’ I mean ten or fifteen working women from various parts of the state. I moved-in soon, but was surprised to see the ‘kennel-like’ room that I was allotted, with no door lock. When I asked the reason behind this special ‘construction’ of the door, I was told that the bathroom attached to my room was actually meant for five, which includes me and my roommate, along with three other girls from the dormitory, and the door lock was removed for the sake of everyone’s‘convenience’ to use the bathroom whenever required. Although the dormitory and our room had a common door which could be locked safely, I never wanted to take chances, and hence used to lock our room too, by tying the door to a nearby iron window, using a very tight rope. To assure my safety, I also used to keep a sharp knife under my bed.
We were two in the room, and my roommate was someone whom I would call the queen of flirts, as she had almost three to four boyfriends at a time, and spend the whole night chatting with them, taking turns every two hours or so. Initially this didn’t hurt my sleep, but there came a point where I started getting troubled, and had to tell her on the face that she was getting on my nerves. That didn’t stop her from the daily ‘night shifts’, but she stopped disturbing me with her gibber jabber.
After a few days, a girl of the dormitory, with whom I had little interaction, told me something about our house owner, sending shivers up my spine. The fifty plus man used to show pretty high interest in women. He invariably joined the inmates gang in evenings uninvited, flirting outrageously with everyone. Though I kept a safe distance, I never took him to be a womanizer. Later I started noticing his manners closely, and was taken to surprise when I saw him getting ‘pallier’ with a few inmates. A self proclaimed Reiki specialist, Reiki was just an alleged reason for him to touch the hands and shoulders of the inmates.
We had a hard faced and uncouth maid who used to decide the daily based on her likings and the likings of the house owner’s family, or in short, we were the ones who were paying money, yet were denied even the right to have the kind of food that we wished for. Kitchen, a pigsty, was maintained as that, the reason why I was once badly infected with food poisoning and was bedridden for almost a week. I was in my room tired and exhausted of constant vomiting, with no one to take me to the nearby hospital. My mother had to travel long two hours to reach the city to take me to the hospital, and till then the house owner and his ‘dutiful’ wife were keenly watching the one international cricket, and the maid enjoying some classic songs.
House owner a ‘wrinkled Romeo’, a ‘kennel’ for room which lacks every means of safety, an in-hygienic kitchen managed by a rude maid, with a few cantankerous inmates; failing to take in all these anymore, I vacated after three months.
Thus I moved to the third hostel, which is my present abode.