Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Moving Story, Reloaded

It's that time of the year again, the annual event that happens every 11 months.
There's a nip in the air, the birds are chirping, the cellphones are ringing, and as my lease expires, I am out again, back on the Hunt For House.

An elusive beast, it hides in the concrete jungle, brilliantly camouflaged in dug-up roads, malfunctioning lights, absent owners and unavailable keys, ensuring you don't get to lay your eyes upon it.

But if you're patient, persistent, and have a healthy dose of sheer bloody-mindedness, you can penetrate this first layer of defense and see the house.
That's when the second line of defense gets activated - leaking roofs, the worst possible neighbour to have (i.e. the owner), termite-ridden beds, a dead rat in the kitchen (I swear there was one, and it had been eaten by other rats. I know what a patch of coarse black fur, bones and a stain means), A fairly deaf sadhu baba in a short-short kurta and nothing else answering the door, a continuous low growl coming from under the sofa with a harmonic that says 'I've nearly chewed through the leash, just take 2 minutes and check the loos again please', pigeons (!!!), dust allergies born of some spore imported from a pharaoh's tomb, violent red walls and silver furniture... the list goes on and on, often too painful to talk about.

But finally, you will find the perfect place. Like a presidential plane knowing there's missile launched at it's tail, a last-ditch countermeasure is deployed - financial chaff. Deposits, rent, brokerage, registration fees, parking permissions. Owners are ok, but the brokers are all-out to increase the rent so they benefit. Thank God I have access to one of the few good guys.

But as of last week, it's all behind me - agreement, registration, biodata, police verification, thumbprints and passport photos, society letter, reposession letter, Form 20-A and Form 29, witness signatures, receipts, et al... and I am the proud possessor of a heavy pair of of keys (and appropriately enough, on a golden keychain) which shall lead me into my perfect apartment.

Now comes the shifting... but that's another story.


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