My bedroom looks lived in but not exactly cozy. There is hardly anything on the walls and my bed looks ‘basic’ with just one pillow and a small blanket that I keep folded up in the corner. I remember thinking that I would need a small stand of some sort for books and things, but I never bought it.
All of my other rooms, in San Jose, Boston and Paris were heavily decorated and felt cozy and lived in. For some reason this room is different. How come I have put such little effort into making it home?
Perhaps this mindset towards my room reflects my feelings towards my residency in India. I feel familiar but not assimilated.
No matter how accustomed I feel to the streets of South Kolkata, it doesn’t prevent people from staring at me like I am walking on the footpaths for the first time. Everywhere I go people stare. I don’t always care why people are staring but its hard for an observant person to miss when a child is yanking on his or her mother’s sleeve, or a girlfriend is tapping her boyfriend’s shoulder to point at me.
To the small fraction of the 14 million people that live in Kolkata and see me once, I am still a novelty. It doesn’t matter that I have lived here since June. When I leave home or school, I am quickly reminded that I am an outsider.
Is this the reason while my walls are bare? Why I still only have one pillow when I have preferred a minimum of two on my bed my entire life? In many ways, I’ve dived into life and Indian culture but I’ve also held back in some ways too. I see this so clearly in the sparse decoration of my bedroom.
Its funny how the mind works sometimes.