My Roomie!


Okay, here’s the deal. I live-in with a guy. He’s not my brother, definitely not my husband (God forbid!), and, no, he ain’t my boyfriend either. What he is, is quite fundamental – he is, quite simply, my roomie. As in, he and I share the same salt, coffee powder, cooking oil, cutlery, and split the electricity bill. Notice I didn’t say ‘bed’. That’s it. Don’t waste your time attempting to read in-between the lines. Coz you sure ain’t going to find any meat worth chewing there.

It happened quite by accident actually. I needed to share my small two-bedroom apartment with someone else who could afford to split the bill with me, and pay me half the rent as well. So I put in an ad, which was promptly answered by a couple, one of whom needed accommodation. I, naturally, presumed it to be the girl, and assured the availability to them. When the misunderstanding came to light, I didn’t want to go back on my word, and, quite honestly, I didn’t really feel any need to.

And, as a matter of course, Raj moved in. and he was a godsend.

We got used to the other surprisingly swiftly. I now had someone who would, unlike my boyfriend, objectively criticize the way I looked and dressed. He’d patiently wait while I got ready (and quite a long wait it would inevitably be!!), and then gently tell me, as only good friends (and not lovers or boyfriends) can, that my hair looked like a hastily constructed nest, and that my make-up was grossly overdone.

He became my confidant, my best pal. I never did have to feel confined and conscious before him – ever. I continued to walk around in my skimpiest (read most comfortable) best, and he, in turn, never hesitated to change into his boxers during a particularly hot afternoon. He was devoted to his girlfriend, and even if he didn’t have one, it would not have made the slightest difference in the quality of our relationship.

Our harmony rested upon the strong foundation of some mutually agreed upon dos and don’ts:

  • Do not knock on the bathroom door with the humble query – “How much longer?”


  • Never leave empty coffee tins, sugar packets or cooking oil bottles lying around so as to breed friendly rodents.


  • Do not use up all the hot water every morning armed with the excuse, ‘But, I’m a bathroom singer.’


  • Understand what the most precious commodities are: Milk Powder, Toilet Paper and Shaving Cream. Make sure that a steady supply of all three keeps streaming in.


  • All phone massages are URGENT. Except bill collectors and ex’s.

There was no pressure on either side to be, look or behave any differently than normal. Raj became my furniture-mover, shoulder-to-cry-on and breakfast-cooker all rolled into one neat half-bill-paying-package. We soon graduated from being roommates to best friends, and have by now seen each other through break-ups, patch-ups, job changes and disastrous hair cuts.

I found the ideal roommate in a slightly different packaging than most people do – one with muscles and an excellent eye for the gals!