I spent exactly 4 months looking for a house to rent in Bombay. From the 9th of February to the 9th of June, when I finally signed the lease documents.
I almost felt like God!
I can’t say the house I ended up taking up was something I liked. I had to settle seeing the signs of the onset of the horrid Bombay monsoons. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rains. But you know how when it rains so heavy it literally incapacitates you? Those kinds.
Back in 2017, I made a series of stories on Instagram that took the audience through my various failed attempts of getting an Aadhar Card (something like your social security number). What should have been a 15 minute activity, went through 45 days of me making repeated attempts at various Government assigned centres. They’d be people queuing up from as early as 6 AM and I’d make a joke about it being the queue for a Supreme drop and so on.
Fast forward to 2018. I am really excited about moving to Bombay after 2.5 years in Bangalore. The fact that I had not ported out my number all this time with the hopes of returning to my favorite city soon, should tell you how much I love Bombay. I got the role of Creative Director for STYLABS, I was going to be living on my own for the first time, I was kicked. I decided the place to lease an apartment has to be Bandra. Because that is my favorite part of town.
Let me give you perspective on the cost of living between these 2 cities. I could rent a 2 bedroom apartment with a covered car park and elevator with 24 hours security and power back up in Bangalore for about INR 20k in a really good area. On the contrary, for a 1 bedroom apartment in a run-down old building with no parking, I had to work on a budget of INR 50k. Can you imagine the shocker? But then again, given the budget I had set aside to lease an apartment I was pretty confident I would land a place within 2 weeks. I flew down to Bombay and told a friend (@midspectrum) that I would stay at his for 2 weeks and then move out when I got my place. I also had just a suitcase of clothes that would be enough for the 2 weeks.
Little did I know, the debacle would last me 4 exact months.
I had, at any given point, 5 real estate agents looking up places for me over these 4 months. Several times, I would end up seeing the same place through these agents because they all circulated what was available in the market. 3 days a week, 7 properties per day on an average. People thought I was making this entire thing up or was being too fussy. Ok, I was kinda fussy. My requirements?
A 1BHK semi/fully furnished apartment in a pet friendly building with car parking. The house had to have either a balcony or french windows because Scratch is a little bugger and I wanted him to either have a view or a free space to run. All this on a budget of INR 50 – 65k a month.
Add to it, the places that I shortlisted. I lost one apartment because I was a “Christian who eats beef”, while another because the previous tenant who was also single would do drugs and “bang chicks”. Lol.
It got to a point where I felt embarrassed to ask a few hours off from work to look for a place. But fortunately, the people I work for are kind and understand the struggle. But all that is now bygones. I finally have my place. But if you think the struggles are done, you are quite wrong. Because now I have to spend precious resources (time and money) along with some brain matter on equipping the house to make it feel like home.
Nah, there aren’t going to be any unboxing videos of toilet rolls and shower curtains. But strap on for the ride. I am sure there will soon be something I struggle with. And when I struggle, I entertain.
Hoodie: Almost Gods
Tee: Born and Raised
Trousers: Stone Island
Sneakers: Air Jordan 1 Bred
Bum Bag: Supreme
About Almost Gods: Started in New Delhi (March 2018), Almost Gods link streetwear with art. Their first drop, launched during HG Street, is called “The Garden of Earthly Desires”. They challenge tried and tested silhouettes with cuts that aren’t conventional, using fabrics that have their roots in India.