Does your house depict your personality? #MondayMusings

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For some time now, I have been watching a YouTube channel Living Big in a Tiny House. I love watching videos of how people from around the world build their tiny houses as an extension of their personalities. There was this particular video on this channel uploaded 2 days ago which I have come to love absolutely. This video is about a tiny house built by a Filipino lady, Dolly, living in Melbourne, Australia. Her tiny house is a beautiful home with a clutter-free layout, decor which is an essential combination of pink and white and indoor plants and 2 lofts with one having 2 levels.

The channel owner and the host asked the lady why does her house have lots of pink to which she replied and I quote “Because this is so me.” She did go on to add in good humour this could also be a mid-life crisis.

What struck me even more than her house was her answer. How often can we say that my house or rather my home is so me. Can you?

I cannot. Not in the past. Not in the present.

My parents had a dream of building their own big house which they did. They passionately worked on the plan, layout and the furnishings. Our house took 2 years to complete and my parents were highly content with the hard work they had undertaken and how their dream house finally shaped up. They lived in it for 7 years before moving to Delhi for their children’s education and eventually had to sell off their house.

Not wanting me to go through the hardships of building a house in my lifetime, they preferred a match for my marriage who had own home in Delhi. This meant a house with an established character in tune with its inhabitants and I was an addition. I hope I do not sound negative or complaining here on. Having seen my mother always adding her own bit to our home, I was of this opinion this is natural for everyone. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with me. All kind of changes were perceived as ‘fizool kharchi’ and brought reprimands.

Then we moved countries and cities and life carried on in rented flats where the residences were temporary. Living had to be of minimal means and the only way to add colour to the home was through books. Do I also love the colourful glossy picture books for this reason? Maybe.

Life continues in a rented flat in a foreign country with a possibility of returning to India anytime. I have taken to minimal living. I do not step out to buy stuff other than necessities. I do not give in to impulses or instincts. As I type this, I lay my eyes on the centre table in front of me. It is in a state of mess with books, a Lego model, pencil colours set, sketch pens, one of Dhruv’s certificate, an empty olay cream jar, a dirty hanky and tissue papers telling the story of a family member who spent the long night here on the couch wiping the running nose, all lying haphazardly at different angles. Okay, so let’s just say my case is minimal living + messy living.

The reality is this while the dream is like Dolly’s tiny house – White, pink, green, colourful and beautiful.

After watching this video, I had a conversation with Dhruv.

Me: Don’t you think this tiny house is the most beautiful of all? I would like to have a house like this one day.,

Him: It is beautiful, Mummy. But, Papa is never going to buy such a house for you.

Me: I know it very well. So, I have a plan. I am going to write a book which will sell millions of copies. Then when I will get rich, I will build a house like this for me.

Him: Likh lena. Write it.

This reminded me of a story I had read in my Ist Std’s English textbook. The title of the story was ‘Dreamy Ganpat’

This also reminds me of yet another conversation.

My family lived in the plains of North India in the 90s. I was 15 when my family went on our first holiday in 6 years to Shimla. I took to the hills. I swooned over the landscape as the toy train meandered through countless tunnels and hill slopes. I mentioned it to mummy I would like to live in the hills for the rest of my life and my mother said, “Okay, we will marry you off to a Pahari boy.”

What if, instead, she had said, “You can build your own house in these hills when you grow up.”

I can’t help thinking.


You can click here to have a tour of Dolly’s Tiny House. I couldn’t have written anything else today. For me, Dolly is an inspiration.

Linking this post to Monday Musings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues.#Monday Musings

 

 

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25 comments

  1. Oh dear.I read a book called love the home you have by Melissa Michaels. That changed how I thought about homes.I am living in different rented space for the last ten years I so wish I could have a tiny home which could fly.#MondayMusings.Write the book ,Who knows!

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  2. I used to watch tiny houses on HGTV earlier when we had cable. They show cost effective tiny houses built for singles and families, customized for their needs and likes. Many of them were on wheels, so that they can travel with their house. The concept is cool, but not for me. I like regular houses which has multiple spaces to make myself scarce. My dream home consists of a room all to myself with a couple of desks and a bookshelf and a cozy lounge area and and…
    When I was a kid I wanted to build a house of my own before getting married. That was the plan; not falling in love, that changed everything.
    You write that book, Anamika. ❤

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  3. I do believe our homes reflect us. And it is only now, after shifting eleven houses, that I believe I am home. I have been making small changes which I really want and though I have a long way to go, it’s where my heart is at peace.

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  4. I love the tiny homes shows – I live in a little house that is reminiscent of me in some ways but not all ways. I often wonder about the freedom of building my own home – catered to my specific needs…but then I realized that a home is just walls and a roof. The energy within those walls is what makes it feel like mine. So I find comfort in that. ❤️

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  5. The last line had me! I wonder too…

    I have been living in rented apartments all my life and minimal lifestyle has been my style for reasons you said. But we are planning to buy our first home this year and I have been searching on Pinterest to find my style.

    Haven’t watched tiny houses, but there is a YouTube channel I am obsessed with- Mr. Kate. Love it!

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  6. This post put a smile on my face first thing in the morning. As a small child I used to dream about having a tiny house in the hills. Well, as we grow up, with the things we collect, even a big house is not enough. I guess, it has more to do with things than actual space. I once visited the house of my domestic help, she had a very tiny house, the size of my kitchen, but it was so beautifully arranged, not a thing out of place. It even had a bath area. Seriously, you need to see it to believe it. It made me wonder how our house always manages to look messy even when it’s huge.

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  7. I wish more parents told their daughters ‘you could build a house’. Personally, I feel a small but near house is enough for a nuclear family. Keeping it small also means less financial burden and also less maintenance, less time spent cleaning the house. But surely filled with more memories.

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  8. Your post makes me smile on your conversation with Dhruv and Maa…I know how tricky it gets with finance hanging on our head. Our family is settled outside India and me wanna be back to India super soon, where I find myself. We also have our own home abroad but a part of me thinking trying for a bank loan to do the part upstairs or renovate it that I can use as an alternate office or personal space may imply delaying my India plans forever. Let’s see how things can and might go. This post asks several questions about how home can reflect one’s persona. I think it should with colors and decor.

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  9. Hmm.. sometimes I wish we could meet. There are so many things I’m feeling after reading your post that writing it all down just wouldn’t be possible.
    The first thing I’ll say is – very few of us get that dream house. One because dreams often change and two because dreams are just that, dreams, they are often impractical – that’s the Capricorn in me speaking.
    When I was young I loved the idea of a duplex or even a split-level house. My parents now have a duplex and I see them barely using the room on the roof because of their knees. Ditto to the split-level which, by the way, is also terrible for toddlers.
    One can make a house ones own by stamping his/her personality in the things they have – tiny knick knacks. Your books, for instance, would make the house yours. Imagine how hard it would be to maintain a pink and white home. I for one get tired of the sameness – I keep shifting around the furniture, rearranging beds and sofas and tables.
    Perhaps half the charm of that house on Youtube is that you can never have it.
    That said I do hope you see some kind of permanence soon – that’s something I crave too with the Husband half here and half away. Sending you hugs.
    And off to the Pink House now.

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  10. I certainly believe that our house depicts our personality. Having grown in my parents’ house, the bungalow was tastefully done up with both my mother and father’s personalities reflecting. Once I got married, I have big dreams for my house … be it tiny or big. We have mostly been in rented flats through cities. Though even in rented apartments, I have tried to add my touch to each house we stayed in. Maybe that is the reason why I feel so sad whenever we get ready to move to another house. Last week I again shifted and made sure that my daughter had pink curtains in her room.
    I wish you all the best with your book…
    http://natkhatz.com/parenting/how-a-change-can-make-new-beginnings/

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  11. I can understand what you’re saying, Anamika. There are parts of my house that reflect me. But my house, sadly, is not a reflection of me. My husband and I have very different styles, and while we are both somewhat messy, mine is a “comfortable” mess while his tends towards a messy mess. And the fizool kharchi bit too; I would love to spend for the home, he views things a lot more practically. So we differ there too. It’s difficult sometimes to find a middle ground, so we just make the best of what we have, I suppose!

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  12. My home was so me…but, now since we moved into this house, I, too, prefer minimalism. So, I have stopped buying stuff for the house except for necessities (groceries!). I like to keep as less things as possible and keep de-cluttering as often as I can. Lagta hai, ek din, yeh ghar bilkul khaali ho jayega! 😛

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  13. Hey, I LOVED this house!!! I saw it on Fb some time ago, and began instantly dreaming that had I been ‘alone’, I would make such a house and live there with my Chikoo/Cookie….For so many days I dreamt this dream….:D It is so like the kind of house I would love to live in any day!

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  14. You know, I lived in rented houses all through my childhood. The home or bungalow I related to the most was that of my nana and nani. That kothi was so big with lush gardens where we played. So many fruit, vegetables and flowers growing. What an amazing home that was! Our houses were government flats or homes, purely functional, nothing spectacular though in Mumbai I lived in really large houses in wonderful localities.

    This home in Bangalore is the one we saw come up in front of our eyes. The husband and I with a toddler in tow would spend our weekends hunting for tiles and other stuff for the house. We planted the trees that grow here. Both my kids grew up here, so yes this home does represent me. It is warm and cozy, a bit messy but never short on love and laughter. In a way, I feel blessed and very grateful for this home. Perhaps tomorrow I will move. Who knows! But this home will always be special. That was a huge nostalgia trip you took me on, Anamika.

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  15. That last line. That deeply touched me. In few words you conveyed a powerful statement.
    I really want my house to be likeme. I am taking time to decorate it and add things that we both truly appreciate. I lived out of a suitcase for so long that now it feels like a dream to actually live in a house without sharing anything with strangers.
    I couldn’t stop laughing at Druv’s reply Likh Lena. The boy is so cheeky 😅 love him.

    I will check out the house on youtube. I actually love tiny well-maintained houses.

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  16. I can so relate to your thoughts on this post, Anamika. I think our country’s future would completely change if every girl was taught to build her own dream home and live out her dreams instead of being told to be obedient and nice all the time. I’ve always had to negotiate with my husband who always had very different ideas for the home we’ve lived in, so it was always a compromise! Dreams and dream houses are pretty much the same for me! I’ve lived in my dreams all that I cannot ever have for real and so, that video, (which I watched until the very end), is also like an extension of that fantasy world that I know I can never ever have.
    You better write that book, though, Anamika. Dhruv has foresight. He can see the future, I tell you. 🙂

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  17. I have lots to write. Be patient.
    One of my hobbies is decorating my home. Even as a child I always used to love well-decorated homes and always dreamt of a beautiful house. My mother was just the opposite and she never loved decorating her home. My dad had a transferable job and we spent most of our lives in government quarters amidst scenic beauty, yet my mother never spent time arranging her home and I always resented this nature of hers. But once I shifted to Hyderabad I was all on my own and till date that house is my favorite because it was ‘so me’. I can say that house truly reflected my personality.
    Then marriage happened and again we started living in rented apartments and nothing could be done. Eventually, when we moved to our own home in Mumbai it is only a 1bhk and hardly I can do anything to my heart’s content. This home is not me as it becomes quite messy to my dislike, thanks to husband, son, mil and a plethora of guests who keep dropping. So again I am waiting for that perfect home that I can call as an extension of myself.

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  18. Your conversation with Dhruv made me smile, Anamika. Really! Just go write that book already! Anyway, that last line kinda pricked my soul. Honestly, we all are at some point or other imbibed with such pre-conceived thoughts. It comes out in unlikely circumstances. Ah! But such a powerful memoir this is! ❤

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