I am moving into a new house this decade end. It’s a little duplex, an independent two-bedroom house, not far from where I stay currently. At 900 sq feet plot area, it’s rather modest, but those with a propensity to exclaim “so cute” won’t find many reasons to hold the complement back.
There’s just about enough parking place for my little car in the front; then there is a hall, followed by stairs that lead up to a bedroom on the first floor which opens up to the terrace where I shall be spending mornings brushing teeth, and evenings, laying on a bean bag. The stairs are followed by a small kitchen and a room which opens up to a backyard that can accommodate four coffins in a two by two file.
I will finally un-wrap my television and put it in the hall, thereby ending nearly six years of forced abstinence. I am also going to fulfill the ambition of having a pet-fish. The fish-bowl too goes in hall. Somewhere in Bangalore there exists a fish yet to be christened Deember (While chatting with a friend about how different this December is, the “c” was missed and the result was immediately recognized to be an apt name for a squirrel).
Kitchen will have the usual things along with the only matchbox I have ever bought in Bangalore, six years ago. The matchsticks are still crisp, fully capable of burning, and have somehow mastered the art of reproduction inside the box.
The ground floor bedroom (the one with the creepy backyard), will be my supposedly-absurd-thoughts-room. It will have books and my personal laptop, but no internet connection or any timepiece. The room will largely be empty and devoid of any physical clutter.
After immense considerations, the internet connection goes to the first floor bedroom which will be my otherwise-normal-bedroom. (Wi-fi is not an option since the supposedly-absurd-thoughts-room must remain sacred). I didn’t check the attached bathroom of the first floor bedroom because by the time I was taken upstairs on the visit, I knew I was going to take the house, no matter what existed beyond the bathroom door. Besides, it’s too embarrassing to check the bathrooms in a house still inhabited by others. And the one of ground-floor had all things expected of a bathroom.
The current occupant (a colleague) and those in the know, emphasize the benefits of specially arranged security in the locality. At this stage of my life, security is the least of my concerns, but I still mention it when describing the place to friends/acquaintances and they nod their heads approvingly.
I kind of feel guilty towards the current place for being so eager to move out of it. This was my second house in the city. I have become so indifferent and condensing towards this place that I calculated the total rent I paid for the place. It’s nearly three hundred thousand.
All waiters in the area can predict my orders. The car-cleaner, maid and dhobi know me enough to look at me with pity. That’s one thing I got going for me. I am prone to be pitied upon, regardless of how I might be placed in various spheres. It’s an evolutionary trait perhaps.
There are quite a few schools in my current locality. I will miss watching poor kids rushing to school, mugging up on exam days; my daily dose of schadenfreude with a bit of nostalgia thrown in.
As I will move into the new place, I am bound to discover some drawbacks. The rain might be too noisy, there could be big fat rats (or even small ones), some new construction might begin in the area causing noise and dust, and so on and so forth. One negative that I have gauged already is that the neighborhood offers no chance of amusement or adventure.
My first house (in Gurgaon) allowed for hearing to the next-door twenty-something accusing his father of discouraging him at different stages in his life and the examples he used to cite were funny and deserve an entire blog-post.
We were thrown out of our next house from a posh apartment in Gurgaon because boys staying in the room next door used to make porn. We saw neither the porn, nor the actors. They were caught later on and the news was covered on Aaj-tak. Following that, Society Council pushed all the bachelors out.
We shifted to a nearby Society which employed a swimming pool supervisor with erratic timings. Our apartment didn’t offer the view to the pool. If the boys in the neighboring building, which offered the view to the pool, were out smoking in balcony, we used to infer (almost always correctly) that the pool is open.
Later I moved to Bangalore and have been staying on my own since then. My first house in Bangalore had three college going girls on the floor above. One fine day in March years ago, four girls knocked on my door and drenched me. We played Holi. They invited me to come along and I politely refused.
The next house, which is the current one, has pink walls, pink basin, pink tiles and pink toilet-seat. I was summoned to police station once when I had a drink-party with loud music on the terrace. The matter was solved “amicably”. And there are a few pretty faces around this place.
But the future house, on first inspection, offers nothing promising. The current occupant assured me that there is little to worry about and everyone is peaceful and all the houses have families with kids.
I will find solace in my supposedly-absurd-thoughts-room. And in Deember.