The house I stay in right now, has this small extra room, which we rarely use. We have partially converted it into a storage place. But my toddler often visits that room out of curiosity and explores the stuff lying there. Also as my parents and my niece were here recently, I used that room more often in last two weeks. One particular morning, when I was in that Third Room, I felt this strange sense of calm. Also I felt, I have been to such Third Rooms in past. Like that store room, in my grandparents' place which felt cold and haunted at times, but it had those large metal trunks, the ones that held blankets and rajais (bed quilts/duvets) and may be some secrets too.
As a child did you ever escape into the world of your imagination while hiding in that metal trunk in the Third Room?
There was this cemented water tank on the second floor of the house I grew up in. Everyone stayed in that house - parents, brother, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. The space below that tank was a great way to hide from others and still enjoy the cold there in hot summers. The cold which might have frightened someone weaker than me.
As a child did you ever think of yourself as a master strategist planning your next battle move lying on your back in a damp space of the Third Room?
The annual grains' supply for the entire joint family used to come in large gunny bags. For few days before the grains were transferred to the steel silos, the bags lied there in a corner in a bulwark formation. The evenings were really exciting. The cops chased all the robbers with their toy guns. The games we played revealed who were on the dark side.
As a child did you ever wait endlessly in the Third Room, behind a wall of gunny bags, to spring a surprise?
The Third Room is not really a physical space. It exists somewhere in our minds. As we grow up, we lock it up and forget about it. It is a place which is a great escape from our routine. It is a place to reflect upon the next move in your life. It is a place which might spring a pleasant surprise. The first two rooms are all about your family and your work. This Third Room is about you. It is time you find it and open it. The key is right there. There in your own hands.