Living in India automatically rules out much time alone at home: domestic helpers, a parade of vendors all day long, and a culture which encourages casual visitors who drop in without notice and serious guests who come to S-T-A-Y. Home Alone just doesn’t happen.
In our house, that goes double.
It has been, seriously and truthfully, at least fifteen years since I have been alone in my own house. Mummy, now nearly 97, almost never goes out – and when she does, it’s with me. Likewise, Moy Moy, 23, except for her daily trips to college, goes out only if I take her.
I adore my family. I love my friends. I cannot do without our amazing staff.
But OH! Just for once to be alone in my own home! What a gift that would be.
So I work around my reality. I stay up very late because everyone else in the house goes to bed early. After 11, the house is mine. I play music. I pour a glass of wine. I do my writing and I think my thoughts.
And every now and then, very, very rarely, the house empties out.
Last Sunday, the whole family was invited out for breakfast. As we couldn’t all fit into the car anyway, I decided to stay at home with Moy Moy. Bimla, our helper, was also at home.
But everyone else (everyone else!) went off.
I stayed home. Alone.
HAHAHA. Whatever that means.
Bimla, of course, was also there, though she is as quiet as a mouse. Moy Moy, of course, was also there, though she was sweet enough to sleep in a little.
Long enough for me to have breakfast alone.
Breakfast alone. A table set for only one person! When was the last time that happened? Who cares what the meal was? An apple. A cup of coffee. A slice of bread.
I see a book on the table. A book! I see a book. Imagine reading a book while eating breakfast.
Needless to say, it didn’t last long. Moy Moy woke up. The gang came home. But I drank that one cup of coffee all by myself. I read six pages of my book.
I read six pages of my book.