Pallavi, my roommate came to Hyderabad in July 2019. She shifted to my room some time in mid August. After my sister moved out, for a long time I was living alone in the 2-sharing room, a junior came for a month in between. She left after her summer internship had been over.
Pallavi is about 2 years junior to me. She joined an IT company in Hyderabad back in July, ’19. She speaks in Hindi. Originally from Bihar, but lived in many places in India for her father’s transferrable job. From day 1, she seemed to be very friendly. She assumed me as her same age and started addressing me like that. Later after finding out about my years of experience, she started calling me Di (which means elder sister).
Being called “Di” in Hyderabad was a little bit weird for me first. Here all the people I know are through my work. At work, everybody calls everyone by first name, when communicating in English. While speaking in native language people call each other brother/sister or whatever suits the both, however I do not have Bengalis around me. Mostly I have to communicate in English and sometimes in Hindi in informal setting.
Coming back to Pallavi again, she seems to be a nice girl but there are few things about her that drive me absolutely crazy.
- Extremely unorganized.
I am not the most organized person in the world but I like neat and clean room. I make my bed every single day, I fold my clothes symmetrically and keep them nicely in the closet. Pallavi on the other hand keeps all her used and dirty clothes on her single-sized bed. I must admit that our hostel room is painfully small but I cannot imagine sleeping next to a pile of sweaty and stinky clothes every day. I just can’t see someone doing the same.
Here’s one more example. She unwrapped a bathing soap sitting on her bed. The platic cover of that soap was on her bed for like a month until she changed her sheets.
I must not be complaining about somebody being loud. Till my graduation, I always saw people talking in a high pitch. After entering in a professional atmosphere, it took me a while to get accustomed to people talking nice and slowly. Not many people could complaint about me being “loud” as I talk very little in general, particularly when I am at work. Pallavi is fresh out of college and probably needs more time to adjust her tone. Whenever she talks to me I feel like being shouted at by someone.
Also she slams the door very loudly which I find very annoying.
I am a hygiene freak. I would not mind to clean the room every once in a while. But I feel there are few things we can maintain in a room to make the experience better for all of us.
i. Leaving no mess while using the toilet. We all are full-grown adults here. Can we not flush the toilet every time so that the next person doesn’t get grossed out? Pallavi just doesn’t get this point. I don’t know how I should confront her on this- maybe suggesting to read this blog? What do you guys say?
ii. We girls have long hair and every time we comb hair, there are hairs everywhere. I think it is a good habit to collect all the hair from your comb, clothes and floor and throw it in the trash.
iii. Our rooms are not mopped every day and it gets quite dirty when the roomcleaner misses the room for a day or two. Using a separate pair of slippers for indoors can keep the room cleaner for longer period of time. If you walk outside on the streets of India, there are plenty of dusts, mud and other stuffs you are going carry in your shoes. Walking in those shoes in the room kills me internally. This one I could manage to tell Pallavi to follow.
- Terrible retching sound while brushing teeth
On a usual day, Palalvi leaves for offive before me, she gets up before me as well. The most disgusting thing that I would wake up every morning to is the retching and gagging of hers while brushing teeth for 15 minutes straight. I don’t know if I am being over-drammatic, I do not like retching sound in general. It just grosses me out. Now on googling this stuff I got to know that some people actually have more gagging reflex than others, because of which they make those noises while brushing teeth. I didn’t tell anything to Pallavi. But waking up to that every single day makes me hate her a little bit.
- No sense of politeness and being too interested
I have always seen her cutting me off middle of a conversation for something totally irrelevant. I know she doesn’t want to show disrespect but her choice of words would not implement the same… She always has too much interest in what I order for food etc. She doesn’t order much from outside but she would keep asking me questions about the restaurant, about the food and this and that.
- Unlimited questions
And last but not the list, Pallavi asks me a hell lot of questions- it could be about anything and everything. I just wonder why can’t she just google and find this for herself… I am not here to educate her.
Here are few highlights of the types of questions she asked me-
- Are not UK and US same?
- February 28th comes once in 4 years right?
- How do I tell this in English?
- What is that called in Hindi?
[I am not a native Hindi speaker, I do understand Hindi because of watching a lot of Hindi movies. Asking a Bengali such questions does not make sense to me.]
- Why does Lakshmi Aggarwal not go through a plastic surgery?
[Lakshmi Aggarwal is a public influencer, who survived a major acid attack. Her complete face is burnt.]
- Aren’t passport and visa the same thing?
[This she asked when I was packing my bags for Ireland]
- What is the difference between foam face-wash and normal face-wash?
- Why do you have this toilet-cleaner?
- Do you think owner uncle is hitting the gym these days? He looks slimmer and younger.
- How do I wear seat belt on a flight?
- What is checkin luggage?
- Can I go to washroom on a flight?
- What is one-night stand?
- Do people run out of money after going on-site(visiting customer site for work)?
- Who orders from these expensive restaurants? [Not asking rhetorically]
- What is pancake?
- What is waffle?
- What is Kulcha [Indian bread]?
- What are prawns?
- What is ambiance?
- How do I order from Swiggy?
I feel that few of the things she should have known being an Engineering graduate. It’s a not about the degree, most of the things are known to any literate youngster. Pallavi might be an innocent girl trying to learn things but I am an impatient person to keep up with her quest to understand things without using Google.