Getting homesick in the initial days of your hostel stay is kind of a regular thing, which most people go through (or anybody who goes away from home for long for the first time). Me and my (new) friends were no exception when we left our homes at the beginning of our graduation three years ago. In fact, I guess I was the only one who lasted for over a month without breaking down over the phone. The moment finally came for me when one night I was on call with my mom and she was telling me how that morning my brother had walked into my room, switched on the lights and said,
“Even now, whenever I walk into this room in the morning, I feel you are gonna call out saying don’t switch on the lights, you’ll wake her up!”
It wasn’t anything very emotional but somewhere in there was the longing I’d felt since the moment I stepped into the hostel. With great difficulty I held back my tears until I kept down the phone and then immediately broke down crying. My roommate rushed to me worried if everyone in my family were alright. I couldn’t say anything, just hugged her tightly until my sobbing stopped.
What made the experience all the more dewy-eyed for me was that my brother was the last person I’d expected to miss me. Not that he didn’t love me or anything, he’s a great brother (the best there is), but we never got along well. Our personalities, choices, opinions and everything are like poles apart. We used to fight all the time and over the years that had taken away some of the warmth from our relationship. But a major turning point came when I moved to Bareilly for college. We still fight, but that is like 10% of what we used to.
Sometimes, I marvel at how close we’ve grown in these three years. Whenever I come home, he is always eager to share his treasure chest with me- movies and other shows we’d be watching together, his favourite games, stories he’d recount from the past six months and so on. I, on the other hand, show my love by patiently listening to all his experiences and occasionally cooking our favourite dishes (I love trying out new recipes, and the end result is usually something edible). The journey through this relationship that my brother and I have gone through has changed us in many ways. We have even started consulting each other on matters that are important to us and sharing some of our secrets.
So, amongst the numerable things hostel-life has taught me, developing a new perspective on my relationship with my brother has come as a surprise and it is turning out to be amazingly well for both of us! This makes me remember a Hindi song, ‘Duriyaan bhi hain zaruri…’ (Distances are also necessary) which kind of proved to be just the thing in our case!