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'My roommates made me cry'
Gaurav Kumar
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June 13, 2007

We asked readers to share their stories about living with roommates. Here is what Delhiite Gaurav Kumar, a 26-year-old MBA student, had to say of his rooming experiences in Hyderabad, where he was working for an MNC:

I hope you find the story of my stay with roommates inspiring -- it may also help you in some ways, to adjust and live happily with those who migrate to big cities to work, and to make new friends.

I joined an MNC in Hyderabad as a fresher in 2003. I had never lived away from home before (not even in a college hostel). I was new to the city, and was looking to make friends who would be willing to rent a flat together. Luckily, I met three other guys in my office who were also on the lookout for accomodation. We were from four different states: I am from Delhi; my three roommates were from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

Rooming together was a new experience as far as I was concerned. I tried to adjust initially by getting to know my roomies, in terms of their their likes, dislikes and overall disposition. They were also very cooperative. All of us were new at our jobs, we were ambitious and wanted to prove ourselves early on in life. We soon formed a strong bond and were holding regular discussions regarding our growing up experiences, work and everything new and interesting.

For the first 12 months, it was like a honeymoon (not literally, of course!). Everything went well, from daily meals to spending weekends together at Durgam Cheruvu (Secret Lake) in the Madhapur area of Hyderabad. We grew very fond of one other, and supported each other like brothers. By nature, I am a little short-tempered and small contentious issues cropped up from time to time. But my roommate Manoj (from Madhya Pradesh) always managed to smooth things over.

Then, one day, one of our merry band left us; he got a job onsite. It was now just the three of us -- Manoj, Anand (from Karnataka) and me -- but not for long. I decided I needed to live alone in order to prepare for my CAT exam, and the other competitive exams I was planning to take so as to secure a seat in an MBA institute.

It came as a shock to my roomies, but they didn't stop me when I found a flat and moved out.

I survived for a month and a half. During this time, I couldn't resist meeting my ex-roomies every day (either at office, or at mealtimes). I was feeling lonely, and finding it difficult to settle down at my new place.

I missed my pals terribly and, one night, I spoke to them about it. They felt the same way; after an emotional half-hour that saw many tears from all sides, I decided to move back. We transferred all my luggage that night itself; I left my flat without even telling the landlord.

Since my exams were around the corner, Manoj and Anand helped me prepare in every way they could. They took up responsibility of managing the household chores (we used to cook our own meals); I was served food at my desk every day.

Of the two bedrooms we had, I was given one to study. I didn't even have to clean it; Manoj took care to see that everything was in order for me. Anand shopped for groceries. I was not allowed to do anything other than study.

One night, while studying around at 11 pm, I wanted a cup of tea, but there was no milk in the refrigerator. They combed the whole locality and managed to bring some home for me. There were many other incidents like this one; too many to mention here.

Whenever I was late for my tutorial classes, Anand used to drop me on his bike. During my exams, he dropped me at my centre and waited till I was done so he could give me a ride home again.

My roommates cared for me like a brother, and I will remain forever indebted to them. Today I am studying at one of India's top business schools, and have just completed my first year. I can't find the words to thank Manoj and Anand, and will always be grateful to them for helping me make my way here.

Currently, both of them are in the US; they are staying together there as well.

For anyone who is looking to share accomodation, here is some advice:

Finally, the crux of anly relationship lies in the ability to understand others, and to help them however you can. You don't need to pull someone down to grow in life. There is a lot of space at the top. We all need to avoid unhealthy competition and unethical practices.

Do you or did you once share your living space with a roommate/ roommates? We'd love to hear about your experiences sharing your accommodation with someone else. Roomie horror stories, stories of friendship, advice you want to share, we want to hear it all!

Write in to us, along with your name, age, occupation, contact details, and a photograph (if possible), and we'll publish your entries right here on rediff.com!


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