Tagging along with wifey for all her interviews is a perfectly valid reason to justify my travel! The season started with visiting the steel city, Pittsburgh. We had booked an AirBnb which happened to be a 100 year old Boho house.
Back in the eighteenth century, artists worked under the patronage system as servants to the noblemen, which plunged them into poverty. Many took up a nomadic lifestyle, lived cheaply, and wore worn out or used clothing. This gave rise to a new cult called the Boho, or the Bohemian lifestyle, which later became a fashion. Boho style consists of loose clothing made up of natural fabrics, restrictive garments, ethnic designs from Indian subcontinent, China and Turkey, colourful scarves, robes and kimonos etc.
So, our host was a Boho. I was not aware of this until I entered the room and saw silk sarees used as window drapes, and colorful handcrafted bed linens with bright red and orange colors and a headless mannequin covered with layers of ethnic Indian clothing. There were all sorts of hats and scarves hanging from the walls which made the room look beautiful. Most of the decor was from Nepal, where she had met her husband.
We met Nancy (name changed to protect identity) as she greeted us while giving us a room heater as the house was set at 68F, and she did not want us to feel uncomfortable. The house was dark, dimly lit and unlocked. Not even the bathroom had a door lock, forget about the main entrance. Upon asking, Nancy said it was a hundred year old house in a safe neighborhood and she never really felt the need of locking it. (Amhala amcha shani shingnapur athavla!!). The house was filled with stuff. It was cluttered with all sorts of stuff. You name it and it will be there; in all different colors and proportions, on the walls, floors and also hanging from the ceilings. Stuff like drums, pottery, musical instruments, archaic utensils, paper decor, food items, bowls filled with scents and perfumes, garments… the list would go on!! It almost looked like nothing was thrown out of that house for all the hundred years.
Nancy appeared to be a friendly woman. It looked like she lived there all alone with her eight year old son, a cat named Tod and a puppy named Tomu. She has made a little playground in the front yard for all the eight year olds in the neighborhood. The evening when we arrived, there were close to twenty kids playing around the house and it was very noisy and lively. But then for the rest two days, the house was deserted and eerily quiet. All I could see was a glimpse of her son one morning, standing near the window facing outside. We never saw Nancy and her son again. Tod was outside all night in freezing cold, whereas Tomu kept wondering in that dark, dimly lit house.
We were minding our own business in our room until the next morning when we checked out, leaving the house unlocked. Overall that deserted house, small puppy wandering inside and that glimpse of the child felt pretty spooky.. especially when Halloween was around the corner.
But.. that’s why may be Bohos are said to not follow the societal norms!! It was definitely a fun experience. Oh yeah.. and the interview also went well.