I am on a house-hunt. Again. Last week, my landlady dropped the bomb that they needed the house returned; and this, after their broker had lulled me into believing the lease will be renewed. Apparently, that’s not the case. This, when (after all my doubts) I had actually started to love my current pad. I requested for a three-month buffer, and immediately dialed my regular broker. He all but groaned though nevertheless promised to help; after all, that’s his business.
I saw the first batch yesterday and like the previous two times, returned frustrated, grumpy & cribbing. Yesterday’s search added one more word from Bombay’s unique property lexicon: ‘converted homes’ ; and though I realize property is an unlisted but potent religion, still, the word flummoxed me, till the time I saw one such ‘convert’ . It means slicing an already tiny 1BHK into further two frustratingly tinier bedrooms; usually, the kitchen area is the sacrificial lamb in this sacrament, reduced to a mere apology of a sliver. In the first such house, I marveled at a family staying in this constricted space – consisting of a father, a couple *and* a huge dog!
I decided ‘Converted houses’ are not my cup of poison and I strictly forbade the broker to show me anymore such hybrids. Likewise, I also struck off any one-hall-kitchen; in one such home, I gaped with amusement at the kitchen (with a sink and gas stove) on one corner and the bed on the other. I crave my coffee cup early morning but to stagger sleepily out of bed and immediately face the gas-stove is stretching convenience even beyond my lazy limit.
Bombay is like a sea of houses: water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. The good ones are all beyond budget; and the ones within are cringe-worthy. Finding a middle-path is not easy. The first time, I took a harrowing three months. The second outing was comparatively shorter. This time I plan to cut it further. Experience, after all, should matter and I am talking about the broker’s experience, not mine.
A friend sagely advised me to purchase one so that I am saved this annual ritual. Plus, property is an astute investment. I agree. However, the thought of finding the perfect house is daunting. A house is an elaborate & long-lasting love affair and love at first sight is merely lust that may or may not work. And when huge monies are involved, that’s quite a big risk. “I ‘d rather stay in a place, get habituated to it and then make it a permanent life partner,” I told my friend. “I ‘d also rather have someone just give me a nice little space gifted with all the cumbersome and intimidating paper work completed without having to go through it,” I further wisely observed. But the first task is, of course, finding the right one. “And you’d rather have a law that provides for a house to anyone who has come from outside and stayed for over three years, right?” my friend added sarcastically. Touche!
The conversation is among the many we have had on this subject. Yesterday, on phone, in a fit of exasperation and grumble diarrhea I exclaimed, “Designing houses is an art, and Bombay is simply inept at it!” Having earlier borne my unending cribs on Bombay’s peeves, this outburst was met with a pause of stony silence and a resigned voice came back in all seriousness, “I have a better idea” . My interest piqued but nothing prepared me for what followed “Why don’t you just leave this city for good and in peace!” Ouch!
But I like Bombay and I will not leave it this easily. And off I go to view another batch of apartments today.
Powered by Zoundry