Some of you already know that living out of your house is not great and all is not hunky-dory but only when you go to live in a boy’s PG do you actually get to experience hell-on-earth. It is a truly enlightening experience.
#1. There’s a distinct lack of privacy.
Privacy? Ha-ha, what is that? This is the state I have had to live in for the past five years. Over time I’ve sort of become an expert on the subject with people peering into my computer screen, looking at my texts, opening my cupboard and generally being more of a nuisance then they tend to be everywhere else. It is more like a community shelter. I’ve often wondered why I pay to live at these places and then I realize that my job pays me so much that I can’t afford my own place without mortgaging myself and nobody will even accept as collateral.
#2. Even your bottles gets stolen.
You have to get used to the fact that you no longer buy things for yourself but for everyone who ventures into your room to use your deodorant, eat your snacks, drink your juice, sleep on your bed and even drink the water that you kept in the fridge five hours ago so that it could get cold. In the end, you still get to drink hot water in 45 degrees Celsius. Your things get used and then they don’t even get replaced because you obviously brought it for everyone to use. You stop expecting people to fill your bottle and keep it after they drink from it because no matter how much you scream at them, indiscipline is the only principle that is followed with religious zeal everywhere.
#3. There’s no space to even
walk around breathe!
The paying guest business is booming and if I had enough money, I’d buy a place and rent it out too but since I don’t I’m waiting for someone to gift me some property. In the meantime, PGs are so cluttered that you are overwhelmed with the sheer number of people in your vicinity. I had a sense of personal space about five years ago. It got violated the first time I stepped into a PG and I’ve never managed to reclaim it ever since. You gradually realize that the only place you have a modicum of actual unadulterated air to breathe is on your own bed. The moment you get up, it’s like a Mumbai local but with considerably less chances of getting thrown out and dying.
#4. Food habits change with every new place.
Like South Indian food? Like Punjabi? Like Indian-Chinese? Like Gujarati fafda-jalebi? Sorry, who cares what you like. Most PGs hire people who can cook a maximum of two types of food. Sometimes, it’s just one type. So if you manage to find a place that serves different food on different days, you’re in luck but if you’re getting too cocky, don’t. You never know when the cook might get changed for stealing, making everyone sick or because of a payment issue. You might want to search out a safe alternative place that will deliver food to wherever you stay. It makes life much easier. But you always have the option of staying alive on tea, biscuits, wafers and good old Maggi. Damn! Is that an endorsement? Will I go to jail?
#5. Contracting a communicable disease is relatively easy.
If you read the third point, you know how it would be as easy as one sneeze, one cough, one handshake, one snot-barrage to spread any air-borne or touch-based communicable disease. PGs are what you can describe as the perfect environment for malign viruses and bacterium to flourish. It can take anywhere between three days and a week for the common cold to infect everyone. Now you know why I had myself checked for swine flu every time I coughed or sneezed. If you didn’t already know how dangerous this disease is, go check the stats, this article can wait. And now imagine that you are living in a place looks clean but harbours more diseases than the WHO lab in World War Z.
#6. Utilities always seem to run out.
There are usually 4 – 5 people in a household with one water connection and an electricity one. Now you take the same house and fit 18 people into it. Voila! You have the makings of a dirty, unwashed and sweaty frat house of guys dehydrated to the point of fainting and/or in the in a semi-conscious state. In the summer, water keeps running out and it only ever comes once in a day instead of twice. Because scarcity. People can’t have a bath more than once, can’t drink more than a rationed amount of water and can’t shit twice a day. Lovely!
#7. Electricity bills looks like the nation’s defence budget.
Well, not quite but you tend to make up an exaggerated metaphor when you have to contribute to paying it. By the way, the rent totally includes the electricity bill but what with the heat and lack of sunlight due to the barred windows, fans and lights work overtime and contrary to popular thought, electricity companies don’t give student discounts. Anything extra above a certain limit in the bill, the residents have to pay. And God forbid if there is an air conditioner, you have to dish out half your salary even before paying your rent. Add to the fact that irresponsible people often leave the lights and fans on even when they’re not in the room. These people tend to get shouted at and sometimes roughed up just a little bit to get them back on track.
#8. Paranormal things happen to your clothes.
Yes, they absolutely do. You put your clothes in the washing basket and you might get them back a totally different colour because the washing guy didn’t realize it was freaking white while washing it with other clothes. Clothes also tear mysteriously because they were not pegged onto the wire and fell into the neighbours rose bush. Ripped pant = cool. Ripped shirt = aw hell no! Clothes might even go missing when they go off to get ironed. The delivery by will shrug and your favourite trousers? Gone forever.
#9. Neighbours act like jerks.
These people are perpetually looking into your windows or glancing through your doors giving you even less privacy than you get inside the place. Looking suspiciously at you when you pass them and avoiding you like the plague investing the neighbourhood are just some of the delightful things they love doing. Constantly complaining about the noise and shirtless hunks sprawled on the veranda apparently annoy them no end. God save you if they don’t give you a piece of their minds if they see you smoking. And if you stare one microsecond longer at a woman while blankly wondering about the purpose of life, you might get beaten up because you’re an indecent punk.
#10. You turn into a selfish opportunist.
Well… if you weren’t one already. You try to compromise with others initially, trying to be nice and gentle but with time, you realize that everyone is not nice and the world is a cruel and harsh place where every man is only for himself and you can go die and see if anyone cares. You tend to run into the bathroom when someone reaches for their soap, you drink your cold water before someone touches it, you grab the charging point before someone else plugs in their charger and you hang your pants when someone else removes their shirt from the hook to wear it. Not only does the PG make you hate your life, but also makes that feeling worse every single day. But you’d have better luck surviving in a post-apocalyptic world with this training than a US Navy SEAL. So, benefits, huh!