Most of us are conditioned to living in an environment where men and women are seen as two entities that should mingle as less as possible. But Ashoka is one of the few universities in the country to challenge these preexisting norms. How do the dynamics change if they start sharing the same floor? Awkward? Funny? Liberating? I interviewed some master’s students about their experience of living with the opposite gender and well, their responses were more comforting than you’d have thought.
Q. In three words explain what living in the same dorm with the other gender feels like.
Tarushi: Free, smelly, normal.
Anonymous: It’s rather okay.
Anonymous 2: It’s totally fine.
Aaron: Normal, natural, comfortable.
Q. Do your parents know about this? How do they react?
Tarushi: Yes, they do and they are absolutely fine with it.
Anonymous: They do not know about this.
Anonymous: Yeah, they know about it and they are cool with it.
Aaron: Yes, they didn’t care. Parents generally don’t care about such things if you are twenty-seven!
Q. What were the things you had to adjust to in the beginning?
Tarushi; Since I was a YIF and we had no curfew or restrictions of any sorts, there is no such change I had to make.
Anonymous: Not any major adjustments but a few about clothing. You cannot always roam around in your comfort clothes and have to run quickly from the bathroom if you forget something.
Anonymous; I did not change myself at all. And that means I still roam around in my towel when I want to.
Aaron: Making sure I do not use the other washroom.
Q. Do you prefer living like this to living in an only women’s or men’s dorms?
Tarushi: Doesn’t make a huge difference if there is no curfew.
Anonymous: I’d prefer an only women’s dorm.
Anonymous: Doesn’t make a difference.
Aaron: I prefer living like this.
Q. Are there any interesting floor events or parties that you have held together or plan on holding together?
Tarushi: Nothing much except a few birthday parties
Anonymous: Have been here for only two weeks so I really cannot recall any!
Anonymous: Not really.
Aaron: No parties as such. But we do meet to eat together in the pantry, like friends, like a continuation.
Q. What was your most embarrassing moment in the whole experience so far?
Arusha: No such moments!
Anonymous: Not really
Anonymous: Thankfully, none.
Aaron: I came out in my boxers while a floor meeting was going on with the warden. Then I had to make my way in between everybody. Awkward.
Edited by Vedika Gupta
Images curated by Sanjna Mishra