Be it an apartment , or an individual house a shelter is one of the most undeniably basic common need . Irrespective of whether we are searching for a temporary nest or a permanent settlement to live in it’s a herculean task . A “Produnova ” task ( the most complicated jump in gymnastics ) in itself .
Searching for a (rented) house as a bachelor has its own pros and cons . I was fired with plethora of questions even before the owners let me see their wonderful palace . These questions ranged from little bit personal to too personal types. Some of them are like :
Where do you work ?
Are you going to share and (if yes ) with how many ?
How much do you earn ?
Where do u belong to ?
Where are your parents ? and how much do they earn ? How many times will they visit you ?
Why are you still single? ( then they go on to quote examples of how in their times , like somewhere before Christ , girls were married before they crossed their teens .) etc etc.and many such extra useful information on getting married early , benefits of being a house-wife, you know , the information overload it never ends .
Usually the first set of questions were answered promptly , then as the nature takes its own turn we too become street smart , some are dodged , some are painted and some others skipped . I guess like the warning on the cigarette packs the owners should also be given warning ” Please DO NOT interfere too much , they will slip away before you know “.
In small towns like Rishikesh , it is extremely difficult to find a normal ventilated one- room set in a decent location . It is the same case with metropolitan city like Delhi , BUT , (yes a big but ), metro’s have options for scouting in one locality or the other , for sure that in a radius of 50 km we will find something or the other. The scenario is entirely opposite for a small town there will be hardly a couple of streets , that’s all , all your options are ceased .
The next time they see your face even in a market place , they will embrace you like good old , long-lost friend with pitiable questions like ” You still didn’t a find a place ? Do You ” , “Ohh You were the girl searching for a house!!! ” , as if I did something wrong or hurt their feelings.
Metros also pose hurdles but in some other way , I felt like a gymnast whirling and whirling on the floor but didn’t find a right place to stop or as I can say ” Spot ON ” . Here you are judged by the amount of make up on your face , the quality of accessories you carry like whether the handbag is from Sarojini market or from ZARA .
Unfortunately if you are a girl then how western the clothes are , how many English words you throw in and to what extent you pretend that you don’t know the local language ( in my case Hindi ) . Irrespective of my marital status , by this time I got married , these ‘ too’ personal questions haunted me again . Business is impartial but yes they prod in to too much .
My search began in good old Noida , where everything “First ” in my life happened , first job , first salary etc. The apartments are way too far away from market places , they are more commercial , more overpriced and less livable . RWA’s (Resident Welfare Associations) came to my rescue . These too have their own fault lines .The houses will be left empty but will not be given to direct seekers .The entry is ONLY through brokers / middlemen , and these jokers do make you shell out the amount equal to a month’s rent .
Huhh , hurdles , hurdles , hurdles everywhere . I do now realise why my parents hyper-actively searched and built their own nest while we were still kids .
Newspapers , magazines , journals and T.V. of course spoke out in a voice of million decibel on how Muslims were denied the houses on rent . Even Sarkaria commission brought out a detailed version of how much and how many discriminations do they face . I guess it’s time to bring out report on how GIRLS esp the singlets face the door banged on their nose.