Story of a house – I

Sector 35, Noida. Circa 2004. My second job. My first house. 6 months.

What do you call a place to stay which is somewhere between a 1 room flat and an enclosed space with a thatched roof?

Buzzzzz. A servant’s quarter. That’s the right answer!! And I paid for it every month.

An LG Flatron TV. A wooden bed. 6 AM knock on the door by a nice caring owner with a steaming cup of tea. A few “Bobby Da Dhabas” at a stone’s throw for the daily staple.

And if I threw a few more stones,  I even had a “Waves” mall. For the Saturday night movies. And some eye balm too. Nutshell. Everything what a bachelor, still fresh from staying in a hostel for four years, needed.

Except that one thing. Which you need for the sweat and the heat. The swelter that can make you go crazy. That which can make you strip down to your bare skin in utter desperation. Yeah, a fan. What else did you think?? That rotating piece of machinery, which throws air around and lets you sleep in peace. Especially during power cuts in the middle of the hot summers’ night of Noida.

It was the first insight I had into life’s myriad lessons. “A fan rotates fast.” It was an eye-opener. A silver bullet. Confucius would have wanted to say this. And I moved on.

Andheri, Mumbai. Circa 2005. My third job. My second house. 6 months.

What do you call a place that is somewhere between a servant’s quarter and a 2BHK?

Buzzzzzz. A 1BHK!. That is the right answer!

I also had 3 housemates. One of them was my first running buddies. And the last also, I guess. We used to run every night post dinner after 10 PM. I never understood then. I do not understand now, either.  But we ran after 10 PM.

Probably it was all part of the bonding process between housemates. Turned out we were the only ones to be bonding. ‘Cause the other two already had mates with whom they did more than just run. One of them was always on the phone. The other always returned at ungodly hours in the night.

And I always woke up with yellow wall paint peeled off from the ceiling.

This had nothing to do with the bonding process I am sure. A call to the house owner always ended up with

  • him saying that he would fix it, BUT
  • he would add that amount to the rent, BUT
  • we always refused to do that, AND

I ended up waking up with the yellow paint peeled off from the ceiling.

I learned life’s second big lesson. “A ceiling paint never peels. And it never falls all over you during the night”.

Confucius wants to hug me right now.

I was on the verge of moving out. And at around the same time, like a divine intervention, I was shipped off to Bangalore.

I learned life’s third big lesson as well. “Ceiling paint and software services are not related”.

I can sense Confucius confused.

Bengaluru. Circa 2005-2006. Same job. Different place. Third house.

What do you call something that is between a 1BHK in a village type place and an IT park and is only 10 minutes to reach from?

Buzzzz. A road! Yes, but a little more specific? A road, tarred in places and not so much elsewhere! That is the right answer! This has nothing to do with the post, though.

Easily, one of the best times I have had. In fact, third house = 2 houses. And that includes a motley crew of my engineering buddies. Waking up to strange guys lying sprawled in the living room, French toast and beer for breakfast, night outs and “power cut” intoxicants, fighting, laughing, et al. It was called The Mansion. And we were called the Homies. We listened to everything that sounded like music, cooked anything that looked like food, partied anytime, cracked poor jokes, swore at each other and generally hung around with no hassles at all. Cool stuff, really.

Oh. And I even started to fall in something called love. Will talk about that later.

While I was about to transform into a real Homie, the divine intervened once more and I got called back to Mumbai. Actually, Thane. Most people say it is not Mumbai. Whatever works.

I learned life’s fourth big lesson. “A Homie always drinks on Mondays”. Yo, Confu bro! Wazzup!

And I moved on again.

Thane. Circa 2006. Same job. Fifth house.

What do you call a place that has a semblance to what you call a “house” and looks like a poor cousin to Hiranandani?

Buzzzz. A 1BHK apartment in Rutu Estate. That is the correct answer! By the way, Hiranandani has got nothing to do with Rutu.

This 1BHK was one of the places I could call my own. Well, technically it was mine because I was the only one who lived in it and paid the rent. And it had everything. My own bedroom. My own TV. My own loo. And a fully functional kitchen where I had one of my very first encounters, among many with an entity called Dosa.

It was my first tryst at staying alone. And strangely, it did not feel strange to me. I guess I had grown up, although I could never get that Dosa to look like one.

Oh. Talk about growing up. I also went on a date once. You know, the kinds where you do not know if it’s a real date? Or you’ve been made part of a romantic scene of a Hindi movie with cameras all around and you just don’t know it yet?

Going by the general definition of a “Date”, it was all smooth and copybook. Like the bullet points I have written below.

  • I took a sweaty bus ride
  • I waited outside her place for half an hour
  • I took another sweaty auto ride. This time with her.
  • I spent the evening sitting by the beach with coconut water and listening to her talk. Mostly about herself.
  • Meanwhile, I held on to my drink, all the time wondering if watching a movie with pizza had been a better option. Do not get me wrong. She was a nice, pretty girl. But remember the point about the movie scene?
  • I took a sweaty bus ride back

Copybook and nice. Really. Only thing, it happened only once. Because, between this one and the next one that was being thought of, by her, she said something about her parents looking out for her and something about me deciding soon. I do not remember the “something” because it was around 3 AM when she said this. But I distinctly remember me not going to office the next day.

I had a bad stomach. And I had not even made Dosas.

Meanwhile, divine intervention happened. And I moved again.

I learned life’s fifth lesson. “A bad dosa or a bad date will cause a bad stomach” Confucius must be hungry.

I am hungry too. Will continue in part II. This is just to keep the curiosity alive. And kill the cat.

******** To be Continued********

******** Yes, will be Continued********

******** Quadrata Continuendum********

******** El Continu********

******** Continuum Mechanicos********

******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********

******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********

******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********

9 thoughts on “Story of a house – I

  1. macha, eagerly looking forward for your book on your dating disasters… finally i will have something that will make me feel like god 🙂

  2. You are a true Indian,lived in most of the places.Actually this post could have been named as ‘Going Places’ ,don’t you think? Loved reading this one just as anything you write 🙂

    • @Geetha: Thanks as always for the generosity! 🙂 It is actually about staying in different houses and finally ending up in one of my own which I bought recently. Part II is up and that completes the complete post! Different places happened as a consequence of it.

  3. Its always been a pain for me to read things(u must already b enlightened with that fact 😉 ), unsure why I actually opened to see the whole post…..it read well and kept me going. Must admit that I loved it ARSE!!…LOL
    How r u?? Its been a while we’ve been in touch. Send me ur number and will call u.

  4. Dude!! finally got time to read first…searching how to read 2nd… am too much out with this Old Monk that i got from Kol in JSR

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