Away from family
"They serve the most disgusting food ever!" she shrieked as they all were criticizing their days at the hostel.
"And why aren't we allowed to use our phones?" the other said as she threw her hands in the air.
"It's a great thing that you aren't forced to stay in a hostel, Shambhavi! You have your house in Pune itself. That's an amazing thing." My friend said as she sat down next to me.
"Rather, I think staying in the hostel is so much fun. You don't have to constantly listen to your parents, you don't have to study much, you can roam around as much as you can, you can eat outside, you can shop, you can just enjoy without any limitations. That's just so cool!" I said as I contradicted all my friends' whining.
But they didn't seem convinced. They were utterly upset with the hostels that were provided by Fergusson College. But they looked quite fine to me. They had proper sleeping arrangements, windows, a study table and one big wardrobe.
After the big debate, I came home. I ran to my room, threw my bag on the bed, rushed to the television room and switched on the TV. As I was lying on the sofa, I asked my mother to give me something to eat. She came inside with Maggi and a glass of milk as she said, "You are getting all this just because you're at home. Once you leave this house to stay in a hostel or somewhere else, you'll know how difficult it is to live there." And then it struck me. The whole conversation then started to make sense.
They weren't actually complaining about the hostel. The hostel was great. Why they were complaining was because they were comparing their hostel to their homes. Over here, in the hostels, they couldn't throw stuff here and there. They had to keep everything tidy. They had to wash their own clothes and take care of themselves. There was no one to bring them hot coffee and tasty food, they had to make it for themselves. They couldn't watch TV all day long. They had to save money and use it carefully, they couldn't use it carelessly.
But, as people say, there are two sides to every coin. There are disadvantages of staying in a hostel, but there are equal, or I would say more, advantages of staying in a home.
Most of the elder members of my family have had experiences staying in hostels and staying as paying guests. Maybe someday even I will have to stay somewhere else. My family members have always shared their experiences. Some aren't all nice but some of them are extremely hilarious and it's funny to listen to all the fun that people and their friends can do in a hostel.
One of the problems that children could face in a hostel is ragging. Ragging involves bullying the new students that join hostels. But ragging is now banned and strict punishments are given to students who approve and are involved in cases of ragging.
One of the advantages of staying in a hostel is that you learn to help yourself. You learn to do everything on your own. You become independent. You learn to adjust to situations and even learn to tackle problems on your own instead of running to your parents all the time. Learning all this helps us in our future. You even make great friends. You always have fun studying and living with them. You don't have to be under the nose of your parents all the time.
The next day, I rushed to college and met my friends near their hostel. As we were walking to college we talked of what I had been thinking about. They agreed. They even said that their homes could never be compared to hostels. Hostels were nice too, but they could never be as warm as our homes are. They said that when they stayed with their parents, they couldn't wait to stay alone, and now that they had officially gotten a chance to stay alone, they were dreading it. They were desperately waiting for a chance to get home and spend time with their parents and other family members.
Even now, when I sometimes fight with my mother, I think how much easier my life would be if I were staying at a hostel where I could do what I want, go out when I wanted and enjoy without being questioned all the time. But then I think of the evenings, when I go home tired and then mom makes me delicious food, cleans my room for me, picks up all my dirty clothes and help me complete my submissions. I think of the days when I'm bored to ride to college so my brother drops me. I think of the days when I have some stupid projects to do and my sister helps me stick pictures and makes the project look well done. I wouldn't be able to give all of this up for a little freedom. Everyone wants to live on their own and enjoy, but the real happiness is in these small things that your family offers. Now when I see my friends missing their families, I see how lucky I am to get to stay with my own family. I will have to stay in a hostel someday in life and I do look forward to that time. But for now, I'm glad I'm staying with my family.