Recently, I finally reached that stage in life when you suddenly (or in some cases, rather slowly) realize that you have to for once and for all take that plunge, to prove to yourself rather than others, that you truly are independent and self made, to some tiny extent possible at least.
And hence I took the bold step of stepping out and searching for a new place to live, alone, a place to make my home.y
Of course I took Grumpo along to keep myself from getting too freaked out by creepy brokers.
And, by far, it was…one of the best decisions of my life.
The decision about taking Grumpo along, not the one about being all grown up and stupid enough to live alone.
Because for some weird reason, no romantic Bollywood movie ever shows you the simple not-so-easy part of the normal middle class Mumbai. They’ll show you the rich brats partying across town, or they’ll show you the poor bloke whose pocket got picked, luggage stolen, purpose lost, and footpath found. I wish, I just wish, someone would make a movie about a simple person searching for a damned apartment in this place.
Believe me, with my limited budget, I didn’t have many demands in life. One simple room, kitchen, bathroom.
Not too much to ask for, right?
But then by the end of the weekend, I realized I was being too simple, and perhaps I should’ve clarified, and added a few other demands to my list.
I want a simple one room, kitchen, bathroom.
Ideally, I don’t want the above three amenities as three open corners of the same room.
I would like to be able to stand in the bathroom, without bumping my head on the generously constructed false ceiling, or falling into the cracked pot.
Oh wait, no one could actually even aim efficiently into that tiny pot, let alone fall into it.
I wouldn’t mind a drainage system either.
Oh, wow, you have a window too? Like air? Seriously?!?
Elevators are not a necessity, specially the creaky groany wobbly ones.
Of course I don’t mind a store room! Oh wait…you said in a store room?
I would like to be able to reach my gate without going through the slum latrine.
Hmm…a room in the slum? Can we keep that for later?
I might want to avoid neighbours who are poultry farmers, neighbours who like to show last evenings alcohol consumption with empty bottles lined outside their flats, and neighbours who run slaughter houses in their flats. I mean, I like fresh chicken and all, but still, thanks.
Yes, I want a place in Mumbai.
No, I’m not completely daft.
P.S. Dear Broker, next time, when you get off your bike, it might be wise to not check out your customer from top to bottom.
Oh, and something that a friend wisely shared with me that weekend:
“Is sheher mein ek hi gham hai,
Har ghar mein ek kamra kam hai.”
- Javed Akhtar
Oh, and this is my 100th post, btw :)