Something I thought Ill never pen down, simply because I never realized I follow them at all!
Here is something I wrote on M's persistence day before yesterday. Would have preferred it to be shorter, but then here it is, as it is (simply coz I dint have the time).
So here is an article-guide to living alone, in India, made for people who whine about it, since it is after all not so common here yet.
Living Alone. Something I always dreamt of, but wasnt sure that Ill end up doing.
For all the hype and hoopla, living away from where you were raised is not so big or scary. It is about finding yourself, and being capable to handle it. Sure your mother, father, brother etc are not there, but then it is something that us bound to happen sometime in your life. No matter where you were raised - Bombay or Ambala, you will at some time live alone, and it is wonderful if you do so before marriage.
In case of some problems, here are some tips from someone who has been living it up alone for more than 2.5yrs. Remember these are one-time things which can assure a hassle free stay. Thinking and planning it out once can mean peace for a longer time.
1. First of all, be sure of where you are going, and be comfortable about it. If you are joining a company, make some contacts before moving in, unless you know someone in the city. Keep in touch with the HR person, or frnd by mail or phone, whichever you think is comfortable. But remember, this is just backup, so dont go over the top in your number of calls/mails.
2. For the initial days of moving in, find a hotel/ hostel for a few days so you can look for a house in peace. While looking for a house keep in mind its location (closer to office or shopping areas, as per preference), safety features, neighbors, owner (my first landlord was a drunkard, and though he lived in a different city, I changed houses asap), society (no debts should be outstanding), water situation (24hrs, drinking water situation), electricity bill paid till date, closeness to shops (in case of heavy rains, earthquake, in short anything). Clarify the date of rent payment with the landlord, and stick to it.
3. Move in and make frnds with neighbors (basic talking terms) so that they can handle your couriers, your ironed clothes, maid or anything, if you are not home. Most importantly ask for a maid (and Jamadar) Try to get someone who can fit into your timings. Find out how much s/he charges from the neighbor beforehand. They expect it. You dont have to become pally with the neighbor, just basic details that you work, and are living here, and will be happy to extend your help in any society cultural thing. If you can manage, it is possible to be cordial without divulging company name if you dont want to.
4. Arrange the food intricacies - where you will eat, and whether you will cook yourself or get food from a dabba or get a cook. In both cases do adequate research, and be aware of the infrastructure required. In case of dabba get 2/3 sources and then hone down on one. Remember they will always serve you better food in the initial 1/2 weeks! If you keep a cook, sort out all details like who will be getting the vegetables, and when s/he will be coming to cook apart from salary.
This was about moving in to a new place. To keep yourself from feeling lonely, try getting a flatmate. Don t share a room, but sharing a flat sure can be fun. Only thing, get someone whom you are comfortable with. For that, meet people outside the company, make friends, and voila! Not only will you have a great time, you ll have good company too. Always try to meet someone through a referral - from someone whom you have grown to trust.
Try and cultivate a doing hobby - not just listening to music and reading. It will help you keep occupied on rainy days. You cant hang on to a phone forever.
Manage your finances, if you have a flatmate, clear the details before moving in. This will make you both comfortable. Set aside a certain amount each month in advance for the month, and yes, dont forget to be ready for any, repeat any eventuality. Keep spare keys, spare money, always have a set of clothes you can put on in case your present ones are with the laundry, keep some phone numbers and addresses at a handy place (apart from mobile) or memorised, know where the nearest doctor and police station are, and whom to contact in case of an emergency in the city.
Once you are done with these basics, try to keep your weekends as free as possible. Do everything possible on a weekday, and dont try pushing chores for the day your are meant to rest on. I assure you the key to a more or less organised and easy living is having a day completely to yourself. Plan the weekend, so that you dont have reason to feel lonely, but treasure them so you can priorities your entertainments. Try to keep away from office.
Its all about taking it in your stride and enjoying life. Even though I moved in to Ahmadabad where I knew nobody, living away from my family has not been difficult at all! All the best to you too!