KATHMANDU, Aug 25: If a room ever reflected someone’s state of being, mine would be a pretty confused one. Where do I even begin from? There is the huge bistara (bed) that I sleep in; with notes and books stacked at the end, with pillows that look like jute-bags of sand, my sturdy jhola carelessly lying on the edge, another pile of notes, and a recently gifted soft-toy that I have started fancying.
As soon as you enter my room, you will find yourself in the middle of a mess; a table full of khudra-khudris, a book-rack congested with novels and stationery supplies, and the floor that is lost amid papers.
This is my room; a space where I lose myself, find a cap of a pen and a pen that needs refilling, throw away my stresses, and mostly, sleep. However messy it might be, it still gives me that sense of privacy and independence that nothing in the world could ever give me.
I remember when I used to sleep in the “TV room”; it was like a mobile bed-room which turned into a recreational room in the mornings and afternoons and as the day darkened, it turned into a room where I rested. It was not personal and I felt like my life was being intruded upon every morning, as I had to move my temporary bed away.
The feeling of privacy is so empowering; it allows you to be who you are. It gives you that space where you can discover yourself, explore the unknowns, and imagine wonders.
I think the privacy of your own room is where you start to question, create, destroy, preserve, and express. Nowadays, whenever I visit my relatives or friends, I realize how having one’s own room is such a taken for granted notion.
Every child has his/her own room, his/her own table, his/her own bed, and the list can go on to personal belongings like video-games, laptops, mobiles and what not.
At the risk of sounding really aged, in our times, privacy had to be earned. I remember the first time I got my “own room”; trust me, it was a big deal. I did not make a show of it, but inside, I was ecstatic.
I had plans, I wanted to decorate it a certain way, furnish it a certain way, and arrange it in a certain way. Well, only later did I know how little control I had over these choices: the walls of my room are colored pink, I have three tables, and at times, I share my room with visitors. Nonetheless, it was my room; it is my room.
Now, imagine if someone were to violate this intimate field of energy that you constantly live in. Imagine if someone was to know the inside-out of your room without your knowledge; entered, rummaged through your belongings, and left at his/her own desire.
S/he had access to your thoughts, and took advantage of that access; what would that do to you, your trust, and your privacy? But it is not the access that would bother you right? Because my brother can enter my room, my parents can, my grandparents certainly can. But a stranger; a stranger who disrespects your privacy?
The fact that our rooms have become “virtual” and our thoughts accessible from anywhere; and strangers are only a click away from the access bothers me. I am all up for social media networking, chatting, and blogging; I would like to believe that I have a healthy social life.
However, there is a thin line between being social and being “stalked” and “harassed”. This thin line is a line that perhaps many of us are walking in; without even knowing that there is a line to be walked on. There are people, lurking in the dark of the internet (being dramatic), who cross these lines every day.
I would like my “virtual” room to be mine; shared by will and built with trust. Be it real life privacy, or virtual privacy, respecting it is essential.