Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Disclaimer: This is a rant. Not necessarily a logical one. Definitely a cribby frustrated one. Feel free to skip this. And yes, I know happiness is not about materialistic stuff. So go, be happy, who's stopping you?!

Let's talk about Housing.

It’s the one thing that is by far the biggest headache I’ve faced in this cramped up litter box of a city. The one thing that Bollywood conveniently skips over in all their dreamy-starry-eyed-in-Mumbai stories. Yes, I’m in a bad mood. No, I’m not over-reacting.

It’s been six and a half years since I first stepped into this city, where I started with staying in a dilapidated PG, sharing a room with two other girls, paying a rent of 6k. Because that’s all I could afford. And that’s all I thought I needed. And life was good, for quite some time, until of course the ceiling collapsed in one room, and the ceiling fan in another. Then someone tried to break in through the window at another point of time, but that’s another story.

Salaries go up and so do basic needs. And then the wants. I have by now stayed in 6 different houses in Mumbai, for different durations of time, and been house-hunting for around half of those times.

And house-hunting in Mumbai is a surreal experience. Actually, yeah, that’s exactly the word, surreal.

From creepy brokers who spend more time checking you out than your requirement, to houses that are so horrifying that you wonder how people actually live there… from kitchens that would ensure that I don’t even enter them once (from the 3-4 times a year I might right now)… to washrooms where you literally bathe on top of the pot… from owners who think it’s perfectly normal to demand your life’s savings as deposit, and a pound of flesh as rent…. To brokers who you’re not completely sure might just have underworld linkages.

To the dream house, that seems just beyond your reach, that you start considering selling your soul for that comfortable bed and clean living.

And then everyone has an opinion.
People who have never searched for houses.
People living comfortably with their parents.
People so far from reality.

And first you laugh.
Then it starts creeping up on you.
The horrendous truth of it all.
Of how this might be the city of dreams.
But dreams remain just that.
Because while you chase your dream, you sell away parts of your life that would be basic requirements for sanity anywhere else.

And you wonder.
How you got yourself into this vicious cycle of un-pleasantry.
Where wholehearted happiness is always
Just a bit too far.

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