My roommate was a gay
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'Roommates are like couples'

By Gaylaxy Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 18:21
When Parth left his home to study engineering, he was apprehensive about who his roommate would be in the hostel. His father convinced him that roommates are like couples. What happens when he gets stuck in that situation literally?

Parth, 22, is an engineering student. 

Reflection of our own personality

We cannot choose our family, but there is a relationship, which we can choose for ourselves and that is friendship.

Friends become our company and our company determines our personality, so there will be no exaggeration in saying that friends are a reflection of our own personality, so they are easily formed. But it isn’t easy to maintain a friendship and I, for one, had never nurtured or maintained a friendship in my life, at least not yet.

'Listen Parth, you still have time, if you don’t feel like staying here, come home with us, take admission in some university there ... You have topped your school, anyone will take you! We don’t even know who your roommate will be here, what religion, what caste, whether he takes a bath or not. What if he smokes and spoils our innocent son..' said my mother. 

'Okay stop it, Chintanmukhi, you are talking as if our son is a saint! Go sit in the car, and let me have a chat with him man to man,' my father said, scolding my mom. 

'Yes, I am going, take care Parth. I’ll let the father also give some advice to his son,' mother said, bidding me good bye. 

Roommates are couples?  

'Son, the thing about roommates is that they’re almost like a couple. An arranged married couple who have just been married but do not know anything other than each other's name. The nature of both is still covered with a veil and fog, when it is removed, they will either be your new friend or just a roommate. But whatever it is, you have to live with both the circumstances. Finding similarity in variation and for each other will make this journey easier but do not mould according to each other, otherwise our Parth will get lost in it somewhere. Now I’ll leave, before our Chintanmukhi comes fluttering in here again,' my father said. 

Papa was gone but he left me thinking. Something as complex as Shashi Tharoor’s English, which could only be understood using a dictionary.

His name was Arjun, his height was like mine, dark colour and my eyes kept looking at him. It was not that he was beautiful but he was 'voh'!

Damn!! What happened, the partner in my room is 'Woh'! If my parents found out, they’ll call me back home. Will have to file an application for change of room again, right now!

Why not make separate hostels for such people now, okay the law has given recognition and I do not hate anyone, but how would I live with such a person for four years? A wave of fear was flowing in and my breath was getting deeper with the vibration.

Can't even be enemies

"Hi, Arjun! He put his hand forward and I did not deliberately swear back, but I did not dare to shake hands with him. O Ganga Maiyya, where have I been trapped? What sins have I committed? It seems that Saraswati was seated on Dad's tongue. We really had a couple feeling and it didn't take long to spread the word. Everyone started making up things too. My application to change the room was also rejected, the reason given was, 'You are the youth of a non-communal country, this reason was not expected from you.’

And I did not expect this from this university! For four years engineering will eat me on one side and fear on the other.

Forget friendship, I can't even be enemies with people like him. Could life get any worse? Arjun-Parth was the name of the same person, but here the gender is also different. Which equality should I find now!

Thankfully, our department was different, otherwise life would become hell. Well, the days went by, we only talked when needed or else the rest of the day would go by in the library or in other friends’ room where they would ask dirty and stupid questions and make fun of Arjun.

Angered at my own luck, I too would participate and without even realising two months passed by, and I never would have if not for that night. If there were no similarities in the differences, then the story of Arjun-Parth would not have been written.

Story of Arjun-Parth

I was lying on my bed as usual, then I had a stomach ache, for a while I was lying on my stomach, then suddenly a slight scream came out and the next moment, I was in the hospital. Don't remember what happened in between, nothing!

But when I woke up everything was clear as a day. My hostel had two-three friends but there was no 'one', there was no Arjun, but something was strange. Then my friends told me that Arjun called an ambulance, informed my family members and brought me here with my friends.

Well, everyone would do this much, I mean even I would.

Then I came to know something that made me realise that not everyone does everything. The doctor then told me that Arjun gave the advance which went before my treatment. I had suffered from food poisoning and Arjun gave me first aid too. In the form he had filled, he had written a relationship with me, but that relationship which he had believed since the first day and fulfilled today that I had never even thought of, was of humanity!

He considered me his brother and I did not even consider him an enemy. He left the hospital to save me from my discomfort and I would walk out of the room every day, making him feel like an inconvenience.

I made him realise every day that Arjuna is 'Voh', but he also found similarity in this difference. Not me, but he learned to live in conditions. I do not know whether this variation is a disease or just thinking; but this can never become a restriction for a friendship and my roommate really adjusted for my happiness, just as friends do. He may not be my reflection but yes, my friend became my inspiration.

The persons in the picture is a model and names have been changed. 

The story was first published in Gaylaxy e-magazine on May 14, 2020. Gaylaxy is India's leading LGBTQ e- magazine that is available in English and Hindi. 

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