Bread crumbs

This morning, a couple of crumbs from my bread fell into my Milo and milk. I really wanted to complain about this to somebody. In all probability, Aai. I don’t like bread in my milk. My Maharashtrian genes may demand that I dip everything edible in tea, but the more I stared at the white spots, the more it annoyed me that no one’s concerned about them altering my mood fractionally this early in the morning. This entire episode of indignation must have taken a whole of 12 seconds. It had to be conveyed to Aai nonetheless.

Of course I couldn’t. Grumbling about specks of bread floating in your milk is not something adults do. Not especially when you need to call your mum from some hundreds of kilometres away. It’s supposed to be brushed away nonchalantly. Why am I even writing about this?

I paused. I haven’t seen Aai for 23 days now. I don’t particularly miss her or cry to sleep or miss anything about home (quite a surprise because at 4 I’d cry at night in my grandparent’s place to go back to Aai who was in the next wing, and the need to be around her never really diminished) but I sat down to count after three weeks of being out of home. Which means I’ve not hugged a parent in 23 days. It’s okay, I don’t need or miss hugs.

I was speaking to a friend who asked if I felt brave about moving out. Brave? Really? Brave is what Vedang does. Or what Shriya is, every day. Brave is Ashwin because he stays alone in a place that is nothing like home, the way I see it. Brave is Vivek and how he walked through last year. Brave is what you call real people with real challenges. Staying alone is not brave, it’s an experience that I’ve decided to take. There’s no daunting challenge, emotional discomfort, threat to security. It’s just not what I had at home, but it’s definitely not filed under brave.

I wish people stopped making a big deal about change. Change has to happen, whether you like it or not. Taking it in stride is a glorified way of saying that you’re living another day. Spotting a cockroach in the fridge, having to buy your own groceries, dealing with a particularly painful period, getting locked out of the house, paying the cook on time – the first times are okay but nothing worth writing in a journal simply because you’re only lucky that you had a family to share these things with and perhaps even whine about the minute nothings they sum up to.

So dear crumbs of bread, forgotten and stirred and swallowed with the Milo and milk, you’ll be thanked for the thought process, but that is about it.