How long should one put up with bullshit?

During my 8 years in Pune, I have met a lot of people, as classmates, colleagues, and roommates; both good and bad. Classmates help you get through college, colleagues are there to help you feel better by bitching about the boss; but roommates, they form an integral part of your life. They are the ones who listen to all the bullshit people are giving you, they are there to abuse the boyfriend you just broke up with, to pull off the towel when you get out of the bathroom, and to dress you up for a date. Whether you want it or no, somehow you get attached to all of them.

With my luck with people (or the lack of it), I have mostly ended up with the worst of the lot. During my life here, I’ve met a lot of cases – the one with the lights on problem, the one who is too spiritual, the one who gives you a lot of gyaan, the one with the perfect boyfriend, and also the one with the perfect girlfriend. Little did I know that even after so many years, I was yet to meet the ultimate type – the one with the psycho mother.

It so happened that a few days back a roommate of mine comes to me, and tells me that her mother would be staying with us. And so we cleaned up the house, threw away the beer bottles, made our minds for the no-friends-over, and welcomed the lady (at least I then thought she was). All well for two days. And then began the dominance, in the tiniest little issues. I got to hear things like, “Why are you dressed up in such a tight jeans?”, “Why is your hair so curly? It looks so weird.”, “Why do you get back home at 9 if your shift ends at 6?” “Why can’t you contribute for a refrigerator if you can wear those expensive shoes?”, and so on.

Now, although I and this roommate had met just a couple of months ago, we had had the most amazing time together in that little while. We were inseparable, and lived like sisters. Our friendship meant a lot to me, and so I kept mum for quite sometime. But then it started getting out of hands with, “Do not put shorts when I am around.” and “Do not enter this room, because it’s all mine now.”

Now, my Dad’s daughter that I am, I wasn’t really brought up to take anyone’s bullshit. I then decided to give her a piece of my mind. But it was like throwing stones in a pool of mud. I gave up.

One fine day, she comes and tells me that she is going to be living in our house now onwards, for which she wanted me to leave immediately. Furious and outraged, I told her I wasn’t gonna do it. Then began the harassment. Getting into the bathroom right before I had to, occupying the kitchen in the mornings, even locking me in the house became the norms of the day. And my roommate, the timid, financially-dependent-on-mommy chick, was proving to be of no help. She could not stand up for herself, so I knew she sure as hell wouldn’t stand up for me. I had to something – I called up the owner to tell him about the happenings for which immediate actions were taken.

It’s still a few days to go until I get some peace, the mother is still living with me, and the daughter, my roommate (in an attempt to get some time away from the beast) has chosen to live in her hometown. In short, I am again being put up through the same torture (this time while trying to recover from typhoid). The woman actually sucks out all the energy out of me. Even closing the door on her face her doesn’t work. She is one of those frustrated poor souls who would keep talking to themselves and just wouldn’t stop. And even as a guest, and sharing absolutely no rent, her highness (no, I WILL NOT put that in higher case) has the audacity to use the gas, grocery, all our utensils, and keeping the lights and fans ON, 24×7.

Until now, the “lady” has addressed me as “garbage”, “a small town useless chick”, “a manner-less disrespectful being”, and a “bitch” (now that one I took as a compliment). Not that I have kept quiet, but I haven’t reached her expertise in abuse yet.

And I am actually getting calls from the previous roommates telling me that I am not the first person being subjected to this drama. And that several girls have previously been tortured the very same way. Why none of them raised a voice, I wonder! It just upsets me that they chose to put up with all this silently. If you cannot stand up for something like this, what are you going to stand up for? In India, a girl has to fight a lot of fights. And you somewhere have to stop giving people the Gandhi treatment. It just doesn’t work anymore.

And even after putting up with all of this, I have still lost my friend, since I raised my voice against her mother. Which makes me think … Would she have kept mum if it was the other way round? Would she have lived with a woman so whimsical, just for the sake of friendship? I took all that bullshit, I still am. But would she have?

Would YOU have?