Soon after my final exams, I moved to Delhi for my management studies. I lived in two hostels, there, neither of which I look back on with fond memories. My fond memories of b-school are of being in the canteen, on the college lawn, or even - gasp - in class.
I got placed in Gurgaon. I vowed never to live in a hostel again. With some help, I found a room with attached bathroom and kitchen that I could rent. I was very proud of living alone by myself, but the weekends were terribly hot and lonely. It was summer, and I had no AC, not even a cooler, no vehicle, no friends nearby, no TV.
I decided to move into a new friend's posh expensive apartment. That was definitely the swankiest (ok, the only swanky) place I've ever stayed in. Marble floors, granite bathroom - and to top it all, my roommate had an AC. Of course, it was too good to be true. Within a month, she decided to move back to her hometown and I was left holding the baby - in this case, an apartment with a rent that was nearly half my salary.
After some searching, I finally moved in with another new friend. I stayed there for about six months. The flat was large (or it looked so as we had hardly any furniture) and airy, and the colony was beautiful: clean, well-maintained, nicely lit, and with a lovely garden - with swings! Most weekends, my roommate would go home and I would have the house all to myself. I would walk by myself in the colony in the evening, or sit in the garden. It was peaceful, though admittedly lonely.
Then I moved to Pune. My employer put me up in a hotel for two weeks, though I spent some of that time with the Guy and his roommate. Then I moved in with them while I looked for a place. We found a dank flat in a run-down colony and took it because it was cheap and not too bad. We lived there for a year. (Technically, I lived there, but the Guy only went to his rooms once in a while, to sleep - he had moved too, by the way, because his earlier roommate was getting married and wanted to stay on in the same flat).
We got married, and the Guy officially moved in. We stayed on in that same flat for a few more months, but it had begun to seem increasingly small and shabby, especially as we had houseguests for much of the time.
We moved to a large airy 2-bedroom flat with nearly double the rent. It was summer, and the flat was so filled with natural light that our bedroom would heat up. I got heatstroke - partly due to that and partly to the bike rides to work, no doubt. but we were happy in that house. We felt well-settled, extravagant, having an extra bedroom with no occupant for most of the time. We lived there for over a year.
Then I changed jobs, and we moved to be closer to my job. We got a tiny one-bedroom flat half the size of the one we were leaving for nearly the same amount of rent. And then we found a flat we wanted to buy and booked it. The Guy went away for 2 months, and I appreciated living in a small flat. It was cosy, intimate, and comfortable, where I would have felt lost and lonely in a big house. There was hardly any room for furniture, though, and we wanted, at last, a sofa and a proper dining table. (Our earlier flat had come with some furniture - including a sofa, a double bed, and some cupboards.) We considered moving into a bigger flat. We considered renting one in the same area, so that I could be close to work, and putting our flat on rent. But finally we decided to move into our own flat.
The flat just got completed, and we got the keys some days ago. We hope to move in in a couple of days. It feels good to finally move into our own flat, to have the furniture we want, to 'settle down'. But I don't want to settle down. Part of me is a nomad at heart, and I hope we will move on from here as well in a couple of years. Till then, we mean to enjoy it.
Notice: We are moving tomorrow and likely to be without an internet connection for at least a week. I'll be back - do pray that I survive this ordeal.