Yesterday, I was talking to a girl on Whatsapp, and she said she was alone in her room and scared. I asked her how big the room was, because smaller rooms are usually less scary than big ones, and she sent me a picture of her room.
I’d never seen a girl’s room before. I gaped at the screen, my jaws miles apart and my eyes stretched in awe. What IS this!!??
The wall was painted in ochre, and not like Pinku the painter paints houses in my home town, but like SRK paints in that Nerolac ad. It was a beautiful pattern, an artwork, the ochre sprinkled in a heedless manner, an abstract appealing to eyes. Embellishing it were framed paintings and glamorous lamps. The curtains, pulled back, matched the walls. The incandescent daylight flooded in through the window. A stack of pressed clothes stood on a table at one corner. The bedsheet was plain, as if it was ironed everyday. It was so tidy and arranged that Monica Gellar would find no job here.
“You there? “She asked.
“Yes. “I typed and sent. Then I looked at my room.
Books, mirror, comb, lock, chessboard, Nivea Men, Colgate Plax, Bikaner Sohnpapdi and Noga Tomato Ketchup cluttered on the study table. The books stacked precariously – Upindar Singh’s mammoth history book over my little Wuthering Heights. The sight reminded me of post Tsunami beachhouses. Below the study table lay unused thermocol sheets, empty mineral water bottles and the hair oil I’ve never used. The Flipkart packet that once carried my sd card also found a space on the floor. Then, orange and white sheets beside my bag which was sent to me two months ago but which I never found the time to open. The unwashed bedsheet and pillow cover dumped over it. The velvety handkerchief, which I once used to wipe my face with, now lying by the bag, sometimes used for mopping dal stains on the floor. Then some more unused thermocol sheets. The bucket and the mug. And the facewash and the knife in the mug. The bag, sitting on the chess board carton, propped against the wall. The chess board lying beside that. The dingy walls, the webs in the corners, the drab ceiling. The chair loaded with a heap of clothes, some washed and some dirty and there’s no way way to separate the two. Then the shoebox and my board exam marksheet sleeping in there. The broken extension board on my bed. My blue colored bedsheet with red floral designs which I probably would wash in December.
Am I living in hell or what!!???
“After seeing this, I’m never sending you the picture of my room. ”
“Hehehe. Why? ”
“It’s so messy. ”
“You know what, I’ve to keep it tidy just because I’ve a roomie who’s super-clean-freak. I like messed up rooms. ”
And then I thought about it. Organised places might look neat and graceful and pleasing, but they don’t look like home. I can’t survive in that atmosphere, no matter how appealing it looks for some time. It’s not because I’m lazy or crazy, but the reason I keep my room like that is because I like it. I like the asymmetry, I like the stupid precarious arrangement, I like the clutter. It reminds me that nature isn’t organised, computer files are. I’m an artist, I like the discord.
Mess is beautiful.