Sunday, March 26, 2006

adventures in house-gathering

I finished reading my first Terry Pratchett novel on Friday night, said novel happening to be Night Watch. I thought it lacked tension, but it was funny and smart and good enough for when life is playing Silly Buggers with you. I also read more Barbara Trapido and am amazed by how good and how obscure some writers can be, although the maiden-fantasy gent, who also makes an appearance in this novel, turned out to be an adulterer and somewhat stuffy to boot. I would much rather know Vimes and Vetinari.

The rest of the weekend, when not engaged in idle banter and hair-washing, was spent house-hunting. The flatmates and I have lived in our cozy little 2BHK marble halls long enough for the landlord to raise the rent, and we've decided to cultivate advanced notions of privacy and upgrade to a 3BHK. Our guide in this endeavour was a demure, doe-eyed young biker in flared jeans who insisted on taking us to places uninhabited by 'bachelors'. Do married men commit less sex crimes, on the whole? Or was it that he thought that all the carrom tournaments and lying about in faded lungis that bachelors are supposed to carry out all the time would offend our sensibilities? (It would.)

He took us to a quiet little situation with a Swami Vivekananda poster on the wall and enough storage space to please a cartload of Regency heroines, by which we were floored. We were almost ready to make camp there, until the inevitable occurred, and his gentlemanliness forebore him to open up the balcony off the third bedroom. This looked out onto a graveyard with lumpy little headstones populating the square patch between us and the road. We gave in to superstitious hyperventilation and the entry of new, sinister doubts in our minds regarding the watchman, the neighbours and the possibilities of actually being grabbed by the ankles when going to bed. I don't suppose any of us could have abided staying there for a moment alone. Suppose the electricity went off, or a thunderstorm came on! Ghastly thoughts. The flatmates and I were never impressed by this goth nonsense in our dissipate adolescence and we're not about to start now, even if the gravestones are all painted in bright primary colours like nursery school chairs (they are. I do not kid.) and overgrown with shrubbery. Paint will chip. And shrubbery will creep.

Our young man grew steadily more despondent and ended up taking us to just one more house that we could not enter as a key was not available. We were pretty much ready to go back and nibble on Britannia cheese and Dairy Milk for comfort. Then by luck or instinct something someone said about an available apartment struck us, and we decided, once the biker deserted us, to travel recklessly into a dim-lit bylane close to our house and take a look at it. There were no graveyards or winding alleys lined with electrical goods shops on our way to ___ Towers, a magnificent edifice that consists of three dumpy floors. We took the towering to be symbolic and sallied forth.

And the house was lovely. It had swanky grey and black granite flooring, fancy woodwork, heaps of storage space (again!) and a hall big enough to please the heart of any guest. We were shown around by a security man who spoke no Hindi and a grandmotherly woman who spoke nothing but Telugu. Anxiously they mumbled that they wanted only a) Hindus and b) families. Anxiously we presented ourselves as three model young women with jobs in a prestigious software company who worked regular hours and bathed in the mornings. I wonder if they'd have had us if we presented ourselves as atheist lesbians, but this would have been a lie, as we are all very hetero, and one of us is an extremely devout Christian. Our landlord-in-the-offing, an elderly gent, hoped we all had at least a Bachelors in Science and begged us not to behave like students. We hoped inwardly that he would never drop by and see us living amid our mattress-seating, faded bedsheets and lack of television. Worse, we have flimsy, gauzy curtains from FabIndia, which none of our stolid two-grandchild neighbour families do.

So it looks as though we might soon be inhabitants of ___ Towers, but we are keeping our fingers crossed and a hold on the money, esp. as we're going to have to pay the rent in both places come April so as not to piss off either landlord. Savings are for the weak.

Eeee. At last, a room of my own - with closets!

current musix: cafe tacuba - el aparato

[In closing, Sting is profoundly irritating for all that he is an Easy Listening arteeste. The only people he really feels comfortable addressing direct and up front are out-of-reach prostitutes and himself in a vague, second-person manner. What is the deal is with all these schmaltzy songs that talk about women in the third person? There is no deal!]


  1. Your exciting apartment-seeking tale has only made it harder for me to wait for this summer when I get to go find an apartment in Ithaca! My own place, permenant address, no more writing my parents' place on things. Mine! Yay.

  2. My own place, permenant address, no more writing my parents' place on things.

    *sigh* Wonder when I'd be able to say that... not counting my cabin on ship or the service apartments during office that is :(.

  3. @ kray and nicole: it's a nice feeling, alright. although because i don't own my flat my permanent address is still chez parents. and office. :)