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.