Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Making and the Breaking of a Dream (HOME)

As the story goes: Last Saturday (yes, Independence Day) we woke up to a “pleasant” surprise when our godforsaken broker (who had haggled for the deposit money, who had sent three men late at night to our place and who had made our lives miserable) called up to wish us “Happy Independence day” or so we thought. But no, the real idea was to inform us that we are being thrown out of our house (the dream house, which we made our home for the last three months) since our landlady wants to sell off the place! Obviously two days of frantic calls to our landlady was of no use, as this forty year old woman refused to pick up the phone and was apparently scared to talk to us! US: two little kids, new to the real estate underworld. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were homeless once more, out on the streets (literally) serving a month’s notice. So every morning on my way to office, I would stop by at random buildings, chat up suspicious security guards asking them if there were any vacant flats available for rent. They would look at me suspiciously, ask me to come through a broker and on rare occasions, try to be helpful. So while we did manage to almost fix a deal at a nearby apartment, it eventually didn’t work out, and we were back to square one, me half afraid that all the buildings in my locality will now sport a new signboard, “beware of dogs and Shimonti.”

So this weekend we set off on our househunt with renewed vigour, determined to seal a favourable deal. But the houses shown by our moronic broker were either too expensive or way out of the way where only the cream of society can afford to live, because they don’t use public transport and are willing to pay extra for superior furnishing, modular kitchen and smell of fresh paint. Such houses intimidate us, such sophisticated societies scare us and clearly, we don’t belong there. All we wanted was a functional house, with functional bathrooms, in OUR locality where the security was chilled out, where Welcome home delivered groceries and we had “black forest flirt” ice cream when we were either miserable or ecstatic, not to mention where friends dropped by at odd hours and left at odder hours.

Now that we had had enough of our broker and his “Palatial Heights”, we decided to put Padosi on work! And 15 minutes and one phone call later, we had done it. We had a new home, same complex, same rent, similar amenities, and yes, most importantly, same security and same entrance. Who knew finding a house in Mumbai was less time consuming that ordering pizza (Soumya’s perfect analogy). So yes, Padosi has a new alternate career option as a real estate broker.

We shift next weekend, we get rid of our confused landlady and our blood sucking broker and we begin a new life: hopefully a less complicated one. And this time, we try to be less emotionally attached to our home, because, as they say, “nothing lasts forever!”

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