The worst is yet to come

That is for sure. It has been three days since I joined Tushar in this experiment of ours. Luckily for me, two of those days fell on the weekend, which meant no expenses for transport. Moreover, my mobile expenses were pretty close to zero as well. It helps not to have too many friends.

But, this doesn’t mean I have been been splurging on food (In fact, we have added to our reserves significantly). Except for the first day, I have not been very hungry, in spite of the reduced calories. But that first day was pretty darn bad. I felt my vision getting blurry around 4 pm (having had only about 500 calories until that point). Some chai and Parle G (this has to have the lowest price per balanced calories – Rs. .01, 65% carbs, 28% fat, 7% protein – of any food item; seriously wonder if someone has analyzed the economics of Parle G) held the symptoms at bay for a couple of hours, but the feeling returned during our badminton game. I was so hungry after the game that the concoction of bread, butter, milk, and sugar I ate felt like the best dessert that I ever had.

These are the things that stand out to me the most:

  • I miss deodrant. Talcum powder is o.k., but it is nowhere close to doing the job right.
  • Having a computer is a big plus. No, I am not watching movies or Youtube, but the reading I do on my laptop is definitely keeping me from going crazy.
  • Don’t miss meat yet. As Tushar noticed earlier, protein is ridiculously expensive relative to carbs and I definitely feel that I don’t get enough of it. But the high fiber content of pulses and veggies are keeping me satiated. Oh, and eggs help.
  • Glad that two out of the three days so far we’ve had friends visiting us. I assume that someone who lives on the average Indian salary stays physically close (walking distance) to his/her social circle. This has not been the case for us in Bangalore (probably an artifact of the ‘professional’ lifestyle) and during this experiment it would be critical for us to find ways to meet up with our friends, while adhering to the monetary constraints.
  • The lifestyle changes hasn’t made me bipolar yet (Tushar?). But, when I get there, I am glad that the apartment is big enough for me to have some personal space. Well, maybe not..
  • Hand washed my clothes today in the bathroom. Not bad at all – brought back memories from growing up in Kerala.
  • We account for two (food & shelter) of the three basic needs of someone. I wonder how much is the ongoing expense for clothing of someone at India’s average salary.
  • Had an interesting conversation with a villager about water. He talked about how he had to store water in multiple buckets because the city water supply was intermittent and unreliable. Even so, I haven’t consciously thought of the availability of water in the past three days. Something to think and write about in the future for sure.
Looking forward (who am I kidding) to the week ahead..
P.S: If we can get used to this lifestyle, it will be great for our salary-less existence.

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