This House.

This is the house I decided to train myself to be comfortably alone keeping in mind my life ahead. This is the house that marked my work-at-home freelance consultancy phase of my career in design. This is the house I began to stop apologizing for my class privilege, with more rooms than I needed because I didn't want to deal with the mindfuckery of keeping a desktop in the only bedroom-cum-study-cum-living room.

This is the house that allowed me to be inherently unorganized and messy, helped me learn how to manage and contain it within one room, so that I could stop paying attention to the constantly ringing voice of my ex-army dad in my head warning me how my indiscipline is a marker of how I'll never be good for anything.

This is the house that brimmed my mom up with admiration for how finally I had a nicely done up house. "So uncluttered and spacious, something I could never achieve."

This is the house I was educated for the first time of the reciprocity in love, the drug like high of being subsumed by it and albeit, how heartbreakingly short it can be. This house taught me to be strong and not barter myself with the scarceness of love. This house told me, I would be okay.

This is the house that consoled me how it's okay to be a homebody, and not let the guilt thrown at you from friends for not partying with them every weekend, get under my skin. This house told me it's okay to be asocial, and reassured me of the peace and stability in solitude.

This is the house I decided to settle down in life with and invest in something long term, that would sustain my sanity throughout loneliness. This is the house that welcomed and nurtured the promising, yet short lives of Hera and Pheri. This is also the house that stood silently witness, to the ruthless violence of distemper. This is the house that quietly let me shut myself up in the study to grieve for a month infinitely looping Frame Remix of Donn Bhatt's Say it Again to numb my mind. This house then encouraged me to cope with the grief, by fostering Buffy and Sherry for another absolutely batshit crazy month. It took me two years to get over it, but now I am finally getting the damned all-chewed up table fixed.

Arjun Nagar, December 2014

This is the house that prepped me to garrison for some dark times ahead. For one month, I was cooped up again in that same room, watching all six seasons of Lost back to back just so that my mind could be on a standby mode, surviving on the worst of easily accessible junk food. The house woke me up suddenly one day and demanded me to take a look around. I had an excruciatingly painful ulcer and the house yelled at me, about how I needed to get my shit together. This house brainstormed and strategized with me on how I should manage my depression, starting with taking the control of my life from it. It enabled me to start working out and return back to the therapeutic joy of cooking (including rediscovering the sheer bliss called 'Dal'). It taught me of the versatility of its space, when I spent another three months in the study again, creating Shakuntalam.

This is the house that sat me down and told me how I needed to seriously think about my career and said how it was okay to take the leap into teaching. This house patiently saw me through the initial frustrations of a change of profession and smiled quietly when the job started to pick up. And it picked up like how. Once the actual teaching started, it stood speechlessly at my bafflement of discovering how insomnia can be a dangerous by-product of extreme stress. The bedroom stood up and said, 'That's it, I'm taking charge from here' and strictly regimented my daily sleep schedule away from all distractions, even if it meant that I lay awake night after night with storms of self-doubt and obsessively unending checklists for next day swirling in my mind. In the brief pauses between the lullabies Norah Jones crooned, this house whispered in my ears, 'Don't worry. You'll get a hang of it.' And so I did. Turns out I'm quite good at it. So far at least.

This is the house in which I was liberated of my body dysphoria. After years of desperately scavenging through Grindr and PR, while fending off most of the time transmisogynist and body shaming bullshit, not realizing the desperation was not for an unquenchable sexual gratification as I had erroneously rationalized it; but rather simply, an innate desire to be desired; I met this guy. I don't have words to describe those two months of peak winter when room temperature made no difference to my skin. I never thought all those corny fables of pure animalistic uncontrollable mutual attraction would actually be true. To be the object of a man's absolute lust. To hold such power to unleash the beast that would devour every part of my body, if he could. To be wanted to such an extent, that all the conflicts outside of sexuality with which we drove each other up the wall, in spite of which, we just couldn't. Stop. Fucking. It was feverish. It was hypnotic. It was a rapidly aggravating nuclear fusion well on it's way to devastation. Until the point, we lay in each other's arms one evening, staring at the still ceiling fan; without saying a word we realized it was time for goodbye. Before the desire turned destructive. It's been months since then, I haven't gone back on PR. I don't feel the need to. There's a strangely stable contentment, that feels like it's here to stay and I don't know why. Perhaps, I just needed to know of the existence of one person, who desired me exactly the way I was irrespective of the body I possessed. Every part of this house is etched in his bittersweet memories, drawn between the cracks of what you want and what you can have. And it is also time, to wash these drawings down.

This house, laid next to me one sunny morning, and said, it's time to let go. With all it's flaws and histories, it's time to close this chapter and move on to the next one.

26 May, 2017

30 something, trans* graphic designer from Delhi with many a things to be said, though much ado 'bout nothing