THE ROOM ON THE ROOF
While reading this book called “the room on the roof” by Mr Ruskin Bond, which was gifted by my father back in 2010 when I turned 17, I went through the Dark Caves of memory which got lit up when I entered into it. I also had a room on the roof, just like Mr Bond had. But My room will never be that famous, but the time I spent there was just so special. The room was just so tiny that only a table and a chair could placed into it, but it was indeed special for me because it was the room which I had always called as “mine”.
My room was on the leftmost corner on our not so big roof. It used to be a storeroom when I was a kid. we used to keep our electricity generator in that room as the power cuts were just so frequent in Delhi that time, especially in the summers to add the cherry on the cake. That tiny room was the one I was most afraid of because of the lizards roaming inside it. I remember that I used to tell innumerable haunted tales to my friends about that room. One of them was about a friendly ghost who lives there and never disturbs us, but he never let anyone enter in that tiny room.
When I was an adolescent, my parents thought that I need some separate space to study and without wasting any time, in the summer of 2008, my Dad called some labourers and plastered the ground after levelling it. We painted the walls off white and placed my age-old study table and a chair. We called an electrician and got connections of a fan and two lights. And “My Room” was ready. I still remember the fragrance of paint and thinner when I first time entered into that room. It was bliss.
I won’t disappoint my friends who still think that the room was haunted, as a real ghost started residing in it. And I was a bit friendly too.
My Room, not like most of the rooms, was lowly levelled. One had to come down via two little steps to enter my room. I generally used to skip those stairs and used to jump directly into the room. I also got hurt once or twice, but still, I never used those stairs. The switch for the light was on the right-hand side of the door at the entry of the room. I never sat straight on the chair, like any other fellow. I used to keep my legs on the table, mostly crisscrossed, and used to keep books on my lap, bending the chair a bit backwards. That was the most comfortable posture for me to read and write.
My room was never tidy. the desk was always filled with books, Notepads, Stationery material and an un-assembled yellow table lamp. My Brother’s Guitar was always placed on the back-side of the door, which he used to play almost every day.
The room was undoubtedly small, but there was a kind of energy which I always felt in that room. That little room has the tendency to take me at some other place. My imagination used to run wild sitting on that chair. I had read innumerable books in that room, I had studied for my examinations and have written hell lot of things in that little room. I even wrote my first story in an old notebook, which a dear friend of mine typed for me. I took a print-out of that story, xeroxed it and distributed it among my friends. They loved it and encouraged me to write more.
I had experienced countless rains from that little room. I generally used to open the door wide whenever it used to rain. The freshness I felt, watching the dark clouds pouring heavily can’t really be described in words. I used to enjoy thoroughly, sitting on the chair, reading a good book and in between gazing the wide sky from the corner of my eyes. I felt so lively sitting in that little room. I never felt lonely there. That was the room where I had my un-interrupted solitude. There is a big difference between Solitude and loneliness. The Former you Seek, The latter haunts you. The former means you are having fun in your own company and the latter one means you are not comfortable with your own companionship.
But one day, We sold our house.
I didn’t felt emotional even once while packing my material. I packed my clothes, my books and all the other important stuff. My Dad called a guy to buy my age-old study table and he gave him 800 bucks for that. He came back a few hours later and took that table away. For the very first time, I felt an indescribable pain. The room, “My Room” was looking abandoned. I went inside that room and pulled out posters I had pasted on the walls. I couldn’t stand there anymore because I was feeling just so emotional. I just came back and had a last glance at that vacant room. My heart was heavy, my eyes were blurred. I felt that the room was saying that it will never forget the mutual bonding we shared. The uncountable rains we experienced together. The songs I used to sing in that room, it remembers them all. I felt that it’s saying that “My room” will always be mine and won’t be able to allow anyone to sit in that room except me.
I didn’t say goodbye to any of my neighbours. I just sat in my car and drove away. And trust me, I never miss my old house. In this world, everything is just so darn transitory and home is never made with bricks and mud, its made with love and bonding shared between members of a family. But I still miss that little room on the roof, which I always called mine
A few days back, while passing through my old colony, I saw that my old house was completely shattered and a new building stood there. It was hard to recognize that it used to be the house where I spent more than 22 years. While coming back, I smiled when I thought that “My Room” committed what it said. It completely lost its physicality but never let anyone entered in it.
Though it doesn’t exist anywhere physically, it is there in my heart till my last breath. How ironical it is, I mean, where I used to reside some years back, now it resides in my heart, forever.