I am a normal person. Well, mostly I am. So, like all normal boys, until a few years back I didn’t realize that knee joints, back of the earlobe etc were actually parts of the human body. Of course, then hormonal changes took place and much to its dismay, these hitherto undiscovered parts experienced the alkaline taste of soap. Similarly, now being a bachelor, there were parts of my room here at IIT Madras, which I didn’t know existed, for instance, the dorsal side of the fan, the space between the wall and the tubelight holder, the insides of the latch etc etc. I have discovered them now. The reason? Well, mother was in town.
Among the many things that should be a strict no-no for parents, the one which tops the list and wins hands down is visiting their son’s hostel/room. And especially, if you know my mom or have visited my home in Bangalore you will know what I am talking about. There is not a speck of dust in my house. It is immaculate. You could as well use my house for manufacturing semiconductor devices. Things are ordered and arranged and labeled. Monica Geller is extremely messy according to my mother. Once the much fabled great-morning-cleansing-ritual starts at an ungodly 6AM, I get rudely woken up, asked to move from place to place, dancing while I try my best to get out of mom’s way as she moves hither and thither with a broom, the vacuum cleaner and a scotch-brite, mildly resembling a superhero. The ritual goes on for around three hours every day. Then, to worship the sanctity of the place, I am instructed not to climb on the bed or mess up the place in anyway for at the least an hour.
On the other hand, I am infinitely messy. Normally, half my wardrobe and all my books are on the floor. For instance, right now next to my shoes lying in all its glory is a half-consumed cucumber, a brick to break open the lock and my tie. So, it is no surprise that I strongly discourage my parents from visiting me here. I was mildly successful in this regard, with my parents visiting me three times in the past four years even though they are hardly a night’s journey away. In May, while I was just about to go to Mumbai for my internship, my mom drops the atom bomb. She said she was going to visit me when the semester starts. I was traumatized. I had just stuffed whatever clothes I could lay my hands on within a two feet radius into the bag before leaving for Bangalore. There were lots of Kurkure packets lying on the floor, a dozen bottles of coke strewn all over, cheese stains on the bed, well..I can go on and on. So, I called up Joseph who had my spare key and asked him to clean my room. The back-stabber refused. Can you believe it? He actually refused!! I came to know that Umashankar was staying in the campus for the summer. I asked Joseph to give the key to Umashankar and I decided to fly from Mumbai to Chennai without mom’s knowledge and clean the room. What other option did I have?
I don’t know how it exactly happened, for it happened really really fast. It turned out that I would be arriving in Chennai one full day before my mom. Relief!! So, I arrive at Chennai and the first thing I do is start cleaning my room which, trust me is a daunting task. After three hours of intense cleaning, I felt like a warrior just out of the battle. And the first thing my mom said when she visited me was, “Eeeek!! How can you live in such a mess?” and proceeded to start the cleaning. The area was cordoned off and I was banned from my own room. The cleaning lasted for all of five hours(Note that my room here is 8X8 feet in area). Much to my chagrin and my wingmates amusement she had got curtains, scotch wipes, table cloth, small pillows for the bed and many more things to beautify the room. After vehement protests from my side and lots of negotiations a compromise was arrived at. The table cloth can stay, but everything else had to go. Finally, around 5PM, it was done. I went back with my mom to drop her off at the hotel. My wingmates were wonderstruck at the transformation, my room had undergone and have taken photos. Well, I am not complaining. My room is right now, I am proud to say is the cleanest in the entire campus. 😀