Life's Like That

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

House hunting.

It is a awful AWFUl experience. House hunting I mean. For the past one month I have been spending all weekends just following my broker around from one horrible little hovel to another. Ive seen all kinds you know. And had the most bizzare ridiculous conversations stemming from bizarre ridiculous houses. Such as these:
Conversation One.
Me(totally horrified and dumbstruck) : But why on earth is the loo inside the kitchen?
Landlord: Eh?
Me: The toilet. It is inside the kitchen.
Broker (looks bemused) : Yes Medem.
Me: But why??
Landlord: It is toilet. 24 hours water and geyser also.
Me: Inside the kitchen???? You cook food there. How can the food cooking area and the...er...(looking for socially acceptable way of saying food excreting area) toilet area be so close by? Isnt that totally unhygienic?
Landlord: No no. Full ventilation is there.
Me(yuckkkkkkk) : But its disgusting.
Broker: It is only Rs. XYZ Medem. Negotiable.
Me: Who cares about negotiable, its DISGUSTING.
Landlord (very affronted and aggressive): See noone has had problem with it. People love my apartment. If you have problem you leave.
Me: Of course I'll leave. Did you really expect me to stay in this disgusting place of yours? (turns to hapless broker), Mr. V, please take care not to show me places like this. The loo needs to be far away from the kitchen. Understood?
Broker(meekly) Yes medem.
Conversation Two
Me: Errrr, Mr. V, when I said that the loo needs to be far away from the kitchen, I didnt mean it should be away from the flat itself.
Broker: Sorry medem. What is the problem?
Me: The problem? The problem my dear man is that here, the loo is outside the flat on the terrace.
Broker: (mildly quizzical look)
Me: What am I supposed to do when it rains? Carry an umbrella to and from the loo?
Broker: You dont like it medem?
Me: NO I DO NOT. Even if the loo was inside, the flat is dark and dingy and depressing. I cannot fit a cupboard and a bed into that room. Either I will have to sleep on the floor or my clothes will.
Broker: Ok medem I will show you more houses.
Conversation Three
Me: Hmmmmm.
Landlord: So what do you do for a living?
Me : I work for an advertising agency (most people do not understand the concept of PR, so to save everybody's time I usually say advertising in reply to questions like this)
Landlord: Oh so you have irregular hours. (Looks grave and disapproving).
Me (Wonderng how my timings concern him in any way): Err...
Landlord: I might as well tell you now, that I will not allow any guests staying over. And no boys are to visit, even during the day.
Me(as rudely as I can) All right sir. I hope you find the nunlike orphan tenant you are looking for. Goodbye.
Conversation Four
Me: Yeah, this seems ok, but tell me, can you convert the Indian style loo into a Western style one?
Landlord (with undisgusied glee): Why you are wanting Western style loo? Are you having medical problems? (Looks up and down enthusiastically)
Me(Startled): No, I just...
Landlord (enthusiastically): No no you can tell me, after all we will be neighbours and we must help. And if I have to make investment changing toilets I must know exact reason.
Me(What the f***!!!!): OH forget it. I dont want to live near you. (runs away)
Conversation Five
Broker (Looking interestedly at Rahul who has been kind enough to take me to the house in question): Medem you will live alone or with family?
Me: Huh? Why do you ask??
Broker: No Medem. just asking if you are married Medem.
Me (siiiighhh): No I am not. But he will be a frequent visitor. Will there be problems on that issue?
Broker ( I can almost see the word Live Together, Sin and Scandal running through his head): No Medem some landlords might not like.
Me: Then dont take me to those landlords!!!!!
Conversation Six:

Me: This seems nice. Everything seems to be where its supposed to be. But umm, Im engaged and my fiance will come over frequently.Sometimes at odd hours. And I might have houseguests also, male and female. Will that be a problem?

Landlady: Thats your private life. I have no issues with your fiance or your friends. You can live in with your fiance for all I care. As long as you dont create a nuisance for the neighbours and they dont complain I dont have any problems.

Me (Halleluiah): Oh!! I see. (Crosses fingers behind back and looks around for possible flaws).

I signed the contract for the last mentioned place today. For the first time in my life I will be living in an apartment of my own, not my parents, not a PG or a hostel....an apartment of my own. And its nice, has attached Western style loo, and 2 balconies and a small kitchen and a nice living room and a big bedroom. And its furnished. And its in a nice area. I shall move in by April 1st. Nomore househunting....till next year when I get married and have to find a bigger place to live in. Until then...THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

45 Comments:

  • been doing this every year or so last couple of years - its a PAIN! Btw where was the first flat? I had seen one like that in Parle once :)

    By Blogger Prerona, at 6:48 AM  

  • Tell me about it. Damn thing is so frustrating.
    The location(and related things) of shitpot is something most landlords seem not to understand.

    Good luck on staying on your own. finding the house is just the first hurdle!

    By Blogger BangaloreGuy, at 6:54 AM  

  • Have fun next year. Hopefully while hunting for that bigger place you won't be meeting landlords who'll ask if you want to keep pets/in-laws-as-houseguests/ children-as-permanent-guests; in case you do we shall look forward to those conversations :D
    And congrats and have fun at own place thingy...if i move to your city will you give me tips?!

    By Blogger babelfish, at 7:53 AM  

  • Wow. Congrats. After 4 years of living on my own, I must say finding a house is one of the biggggggggest pains. A close second is a nosy landlord/landlady :-)

    But WTF. You're moving in on 1st April. Ma'am. You have a wedding to attend in Cal on the 3rd.

    By Anonymous moth, at 8:14 AM  

  • To add to weird conversations, my friend was searching for an apartment and he was asked about his earnings. On hearing about it, the landlord said "You earnings are on a higher side, we cannot give you the apartment" and I thought, I heard all the weird things in life.

    By Blogger Kausum, at 9:03 AM  

  • conversation two and conversation one were so hillarious.
    congrats on the new flat.

    By Blogger Dreamcatcher, at 10:05 AM  

  • Goddamn....brings back memories of my own househunts in Pune....

    'No girls.'
    'No dreenkeeng smokeeng'
    and at one point even 'No cooking'.

    Damn 'em flat owners from hell.

    By Blogger Soham Pablo, at 9:32 PM  

  • @prerona: every year!!?? you do this every year!!?? good grief!!! and all these flats are in bnagalore. the first one was in an area called cox town. i cant imagine how and why people would construct such houses!!!!

    @bangaloreguy:thanks. i know its just open of the first hurdles. thing is ive lived alone before, but either in a hostel or in a pg, never had to run a household before. i have a question, if i get a maid to cook for me, how do i train her to cook the way i like? do i just instruct her? or do i have to actually cook and demonstrate!? very difficult i am thinking.

    @babelfish: when rahuls brother and sis in law were househunting they actually met landlords who asked them if they had kids, and one refused to give them the flat because they didnt while another was most enthusiastic to hear that they didnt!!! landlords are probably the weirdest kind of human beings on the planet. and of course i shall help you.

    @moth: thank you. yes i know a bit about your househunting problems form ab's blog :) this landlady of mine seems most un-nosy. hopefully the neighbours are un-nosy as well. and dont worry child. im just moving in my stuff on march 30/ april 1st, coz thats when mom vacates this house. and then taking april 1st afternoon flight to kolkata. i shall return on 4th morning and then settle in. i shall most definitely be attending that wedding in cal on the 3rd. card ta taratari patha ma...we need to plan stuff depending on the time and venue.

    @kausum: huh!!?? im telling you landlords are reallly REALLY strange people!!!! welcome to my blog btw :)

    @DC: thank you. the loo inside the kitchen seems to be a very common phenomena. i dont know how people build such things and how people actually live in such places.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:45 PM  

  • @soham: why no cooking? how are people supposed to live without cooking and eating? or are they only supposed to eat outside food? i think landlords / landladys qualify as a separate species altogether. i hate this indian mentality of disapproving of other people's personal lives!! how does it mater to anyone if 2 adults want to live together?? i haaaaaaatttteee those personal questions!!! gah!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:47 PM  

  • House hunting: gosh - do these things really happen to you, or are you a serious comic? I really had grt lafs. Lage Raho.

    Womens Day: the ladder theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladder_theory) started off as a satire, but gives a more or less correct indication on how a guy's mind works. but shee! some ppl r really sick.


    The ideal man in 8 simple steps: i guess the latest xylus ads are carrying rahul beyond what he wants, but that's just an opinion. i like him more for directing one of my favourite movies - Everybody Says I'm Fine. Magic realism the way I like it. he started blogging but hasn't posted anything for sometime :http://www.intentblog.com/author.php?author=Rahul%20Bose

    and hey, check out http://www.intentblog.com/ : it has shekhar kapoor and deepak chopra blogging, among others.


    so long

    By Anonymous Vintage, at 11:51 PM  

  • "if i get a maid to cook for me, how do i train her to cook the way i like? do i just instruct her? or do i have to actually cook and demonstrate!? very difficult i am thinking."

    Well, we alternated between teaching her Hindi, cooking ourselves, and using sign language.

    By Blogger BangaloreGuy, at 2:15 AM  

  • Oh, my God...hee hee. Congratulations on your own space...it is a major achievement. Badi'r chobi dekhabe? Btw, tomake ei proshno ekhane korte odbhut lagche, but are you related to Mr. Abhijit Dutta? My dad heard about you and now wants to know. Sorry if this sounds like an invasion of privacy, you don't have to answer if you don't want. And happy Dol!

    By Blogger good morning, midnight, at 6:52 AM  

  • hello there. how've you been... i know the answer to that question is in your blog, but i'm too tired to read.

    congrats on the house. I know all about landlords. i live in a nice house now, except you hve to climb a lot.

    My fave odd-landlord was the guy who was ok with late hours, parking for 2 cars, loud music, parties, alcohol, girls visiting any time .. but ``Only thing, no non-veg food allowed.''

    By Blogger 4WD, at 11:36 AM  

  • Yes, landlords can be a irritating lot and it is not unique to India. Once a landlord in Boston, US said "No girls visiting" and the reason "The walls are thin, I live next door and I have young kids"!

    Could not argue with that.

    By Blogger Anil, at 1:48 PM  

  • @gmm: Abhijit Dutta??? That is my Dad. How does your Dad know my Dad? Actually its not surprising at all, everybody in Purulia knows everybody else. Get back qucikkkkllllly and tell me how our fathers know each other. You can email me if you dont want to discuss on blogosphere. ronitadutta@gmail.com
    And happy dol to you too :D

    @4WD: well considering he allowed everything else, the no non veg might have been ok dont u think??welcome back btw.

    @anil: in the US too!!!?? couldnt he have made his walls thicker? or educated his children about the birds and the bees?? heh!!!

    @bangaloreguy: hindi huh!!?? hmmmm *looks worried*

    By Blogger Ron, at 8:48 PM  

  • @vintage: oops! missed you there, sorry, was excited about the comment on my dad.
    ALLLLLL these things happen to me!maybe the conversations are slightly...only slightly mind you, exaggerated, but the situations are absolutely true!! long experience with myself has led me to conclude that i am a weirdo magnet! like my friend archana said, my life sounds like apg wodehouse novel...except that it isnt a novel, its my life :(

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:29 PM  

  • Congrats on the new flat! House hunti is one of the most stressful things in life ...right up there with marriage and changing jobs. But it's fun to settle in and do up the place! :) Btw, u in PR too?

    By Blogger N, at 1:58 AM  

  • @anindita: married!! well have a few months before that thank god!! and yes im in PR. are u in PR as well?? kon agency?? ur in bangalore right??

    By Blogger Ron, at 2:14 AM  

  • hey Ron, congrats on the new house!! ive been thru the whole grind and the i know how frustrating it can be... and im sure the living in an apt of ur own will be one heck of a ride!! enjoy every moment of it..after that u'll have to live with a dirty smelly boy !!(no offence rahul, just how women percieve us)
    BTW , nice post on the womens day thing..

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 2:50 AM  

  • @abhishek: helllooo. welcome back to blogosphere. and yes, i shall enjoy myself to the fullest :D

    PS: there is no reason for anyone to take offense, it is a known fact that boys are dirty smelly and stupid as well(only a bloy could think of washing shoes in a washing maching!!!) and that living with these people is quite a painful task!! hrrmph!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 3:54 AM  

  • O God Ron!!!!!!!!
    u touched a sore spot!
    We have had nightmares hunting for a place in Bangalore and have done this process twice!
    The first time was madness where when we said small houses we were shady broken down inhabitations!...and sooo agree with u on the loo outside the house bit..was sooo irritating when the brokers actually tried to make it a selling pt!--extra space in house..loo outside mam!
    Dunno how many fight Anand and me have had on this house hunting shit!
    All I can say is that....thank your stars its finally OVER...it lastest some 2 mths for me each time!

    By Blogger Ekta, at 11:56 PM  

  • been married for nearly 5 years! am joining text 100 next month. how about you?

    By Blogger N, at 3:13 AM  

  • @ekta: i know exactly what you mean! brokers have perfected the art of saying something and meaning something else.

    @anindita: ohhh!! im with vaishnavi. say hello to ayesha in the bangalore text office and satchit in the bombay text office when you join. ayesha is an ex colleague and satchit is a very dear friend. all the best, hope you have a good time at text. from what satchit tells me they seem to have really good hr policies.

    By Blogger Ron, at 4:24 AM  

  • Ya finding a house in bangalore is like solving a puzzle. The closer you are to finishing it the more complications your discover. But a friend of mine was looking to buy an apartment with a sizeable budget in hand but still couldnt find something she liked inspite of so many choices in bangalore

    By Anonymous rahul, at 3:36 AM  

  • Ron! Ron! Ron!
    Entirely agree! as The Wife has said, we had SUCH a nightmare while in Bangalore. That nightmare was to come again to haunt us here in HK! We must have seen atleast 60-70 flats! It was traumatic to say the least!

    By Blogger Anand, at 5:28 AM  

  • @rahul: i know. which is why next year you shall do all the house hunting and i shall sit pretty and give you useless advice over the phone and only come to approve the houses you have shortlisted...sound familiar honey ?hrrmmpphhhh!!!!

    @anand: in hk too? god!!! it doesnt get any better does it?

    By Blogger Ron, at 8:56 PM  

  • Ron..so whens the house warming party????

    By Blogger Ekta, at 12:51 AM  

  • @ekta: lemme move in first, then buy a fridge, washing machine etc, then find a maid...then i shall think of the housewarming party! :D

    By Blogger Ron, at 1:40 AM  

  • hey ,
    why do we need a washing machine or fridge to party??:-))we will adjust...no problem!

    By Blogger Ekta, at 4:46 AM  

  • Yeh. I havn't been to many parties where we all get together and wash clothes. can i come?

    By Blogger 4WD, at 11:52 AM  

  • @ekta and 4WD: ha ha!! very funny!!! :D
    i dono about washing clothes, but if you guys insist on parties before i settle in i shall definitely make you do the dishes, clean up the flat etc....*evil laughter*

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:28 PM  

  • Sweetie, this sounds sooooooooo familiar. At least you were not asked whether you are a veggie or not. I had that experience too!!! :O

    By Blogger Rita, at 9:28 AM  

  • Ron:- Done, I will "supervise" 4wd while he does all that!;-)

    Hye ron this is just the beginning...its not just landlord but I has crazy experiences with psycho neighbours as well!

    The people who stayed below us had a problem with noise(not loud noise mind u..just noise!)...guess what they had a problem with us walking in our house barefooted!...coz apparantly that made a "disturbing noise" and they actually sent complaint letters to the secretary!...hahah!

    We laughed our hearts out when we read that letter and preserved it for a few days as a sample for keeps!...

    By Blogger Ekta, at 6:59 PM  

  • hilarious (:D) but relevant post.

    my friend in delhi had similar problems. life in such facets is so easy in the US.

    By Blogger DD, at 7:16 PM  

  • @rita: yeah man! i dont know how that one didnt come up!!! im sure it will come up next year :D

    @ekta: very smart! you know what, you should have asked those people how they walked ont heir floors? did they glide 2 inches over the floor on air? did they wear padded footwear? you should have gone to their house and very seriously asked these things :D

    @dd: hello. welcome welcome!! i suppose people living alone on a smallish budget will have these problems in any city. have no idea about the US, but did u read anils comment about the thin walls and the young children? hilarious!! i guess landlords are a breed apart!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:25 PM  

  • hindi huh!!?? hmmmm *looks worried*

    Oh, that was cos we were in Cal and couldnt speak Bengali! :-D

    By Blogger BangaloreGuy, at 2:48 AM  

  • hindi huh!!?? hmmmm *looks worried*

    Oh, that was cos we were in Cal and couldnt speak Bengali! :-D
    Are u conversent with Kannada?

    By Blogger BangaloreGuy, at 2:50 AM  

  • :)) this is soo typical!
    I can relate to some of them - my parents keeping tenants on top floor! Sometimes unusual cases happen which makes landlords skeptical of all nice ppl too - like fake police complaints :P

    Congrats on being engaged! must be having a happening time with ur fiance being in the same city ;;)

    PS: came thru' ekta's

    By Blogger Ashish Gupta, at 8:42 PM  

  • @bangalore guy: ah! that explains quite a bit. and im not conversant with kannada...as in, i can understand when people speak reasonably slowly, but i cannot for the life of me speak the language myself. kannada gottila :P

    @ahish gupta: welcome welcome. well, my grandparents have had tenants for as long as i can remember, and for the last 8 years both our houses in calcutta have beenr ented out, so i guess my family has had long experience with landlordship...but i certainly hope they never ask potential tenants such straneg questions. i hope your folks dont either :D
    PS: what do you mean fake police complaints?? who makes fake police complaints???how strange!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:10 PM  

  • of course NOT! who could be dumb enough to delve in tenant's personal lives. But they do ask the timings since compound is locked at nite (of course they get a key each!) and drinking is a big NO NO!
    Once inside the house as long as they dont struck too many nails in the walls everything is OKAY with my folks ;)


    Oh nothing much! Sometimes some unique items do come along ;) A chartered accountant couple tried lodging an FIR that they were harassed when they did not intend to vacate the place!
    Its a different thing that the man was made to sit till wee hours in the police station and after cross questioning was threatned that if he again tried wasting their time they are gonna lock HIM up :P

    By Blogger Ashish Gupta, at 1:20 PM  

  • @ashish: hey i hope i didnt offend you in some way. didnt mean it like that really. interesting to get the other point of view actually :)

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:25 PM  

  • =))

    The first thing we learnt in Cal was "Amee Bengali Jaani Na"!
    not that it mattered anyway. practised more Hindi there than in 3 years of schooling in Hindi.

    By Blogger BangaloreGuy, at 11:39 AM  

  • Pardon my ignorance and not been in touch of late, but y suddenly house shifting, dear old village sister??

    By Blogger cyberoam, at 3:10 AM  

  • Forgot to mention, my number now is 98360 65420 and I have got engaged maane Ashirbaad hoye gachhe... kol-e ashle phone korish

    By Blogger cyberoam, at 3:12 AM  

  • Hilarious Ron !!!!!

    By Blogger Vijay, at 5:20 AM  

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