Archive | May, 2012

Bombay Blues it is!

11 May

I’d had enough of Bombay after eight years of breathless partying, cold friendships and an even colder bed. In those eight years I moved five addresses, three of which had heaped themselves up on me in the span of 16 months.

Life happened, elsewhere, unforeseen (read: Reiki, yoga, Spanish, not writing); after a gap of two years, I’m back in Bombay trying to rent out my bite-sized apartment. I expected it to be easier than looking for a place. After all, I get to sit in one place while the others run around, right?

Turns out, sitting in one place is harder than I thought.

I  ->  met my broker through a friend  ->  through a colleague  ->  through family. Of all the brokers I have met in my eight years, and I have met many, many many, he is the only one I would give my keys to, except that he doesn’t want them.

Unfortunately, not everyone seems to be in as much of a hurry to rent my flat as I am in renting it out and getting back to Calcutta. I met three clients the day after I confirmed my broker, and one on each subsequent day for the next two days; each praised the place only to never return. Who can explain that? No, it’s not the rate for the rate is negotiable and none of them even tried.

The only couple (siblings) who got back to me turned out to have given false references. I agreed to the second meeting because they were the only ones who returned and loneliness engulfs me every night. The girl came first, and I felt her pleasantly straightforward, except when she started talking about her late latif brother. When he did arrive, my first impression of him was a complete no-no (he hadn’t scoped out the flat the previous evening). He spoke very little, very quietly, and I can understand someone being embarrassed about bad English. What struck me as being odd is that neither of them could agree on his age. They work for the same company but yet, the agreement was being drawn up in her name. She started out by saying she would pay by cash “for IT reasons”, and when I insisted on a full upfront payment, she switched unblinkingly to cheque.

My broker dismissed my misgivings.

I accepted their token, even had pictures taken for the police NOC, informed my friend and parents about my decision, but my disquiet didn’t die. So off I went to Leaping Windows to use their wi-fi. Inexplicably, my mini took a strong dislike to it and refused to function, but Bidisha (yes, that’s right) and Utsa generously let me use their desktop. I got the numbers, made my calls, and was I surprised to learn that the brother did not work there? Or that the girl had worked there for just 2 days against her claim of 40? Nope. For no matter how right things were on paper, or how to the left-brained mind everything appeared kosher, my right-brained mind had been restless and frantic about it. By now, it’s no surprise to me that in a face-off between the two, life always vindicates the latter.

So here I am, alone and friendless, counting paper plates in my kitchen and buying squeezee tubes of ketchup, waiting for the right person to walk through my door, very close to scratching out days on my canary yellow walls.




Japleen Pasricha

Founder of Feminism In India. Feminist. Activist. Educator. Traveller

Author, ranter, dad

All Quiet On The Wench Front

Herstory at its fucking finest.

Ashish Shakya

Writer. Stand-up comic. General idiot for hire.