A few days ago, I moved to Andheri West.
The decision was a long time coming. I wanted to be close to places that were full of action. Or places where I have some connections that can get me into the scene. At Ghatkopar, I was not able to even though there were Anubhab, Powai, IIT students, Mirum and more. Let’s see how it is in Andheri. To be honest, I dont have any one person that I can lean on but for some reason, I am more optimistic about being here than in other places.
Plus, there is some anecdotal evidence – In the week I moved, I saw a play at Prithvi, stumbled on an idea for a film that I could work on, met a couple of filmmakers, hung out with a colleague and more. This happened rarely at Ghatkopar. I am hoping this is a lot more here. Let’s see how this goes over the next few days.
Apart from the work and serendipity and all that, the biggest pain of this move would be that I will have to do up this house – get ACs, mattresses, furniture etc. And I hate these chores. I mean I have had to do these at most places I moved to, just that I dont want to own anything or get attached to anything. Minimalism, you know. Plus, I haven’t done this in the last 3+ years (thanks to a fully done-up house I took up and after that, I lived in Vivek’s). And I am spoilt. Really. At V’s place, I had everything, including a 24-hour domestic help. I did not move an inch.
At this place, I am having to think about how I’d get my clothes washed, ironed etc. I have to figure out my food scene (I want to eat healthier, lesser) but I dont want the mess that a kitchen creates. I need to get the internet / AC etc installed. And there are 100 chores like that. And other things like that. At 400086, I did not even know how to dispose of the garbage. It would disappear just like that! I had things served to me on a platter. I will have to do these now.
No, none of these is unique or different or strange. Everyone does this. Most even make a sport out of this. One of my very dear friends says that this is a great romantic activity for a couple to engage in. Prak volunteered to drop everything and help me with this. However, to me, truth be told, this is a nuisance and I want to avoid it at all costs. I can’t even call Paras and ask him to fix it. Cos, well, different tastes.
The thing is, I dont like cluttered places. And yet I love comfort. I want fewer things but I want each of those to be tasteful, thoughtful and handpicked. Not just things, but the people I choose to spend time with need to be handpicked. No, I am not asking for world winners and figure skaters and trophy winners or whatever. I want people that are special and most of their ethos are in alignment with mine. Wait. I know the word. Elegance. I want each thing around me to be elegant. AK calls it Panache (read this and this; she called this vibe till a few months ago, dont be surprised if she starts calling it something else in a few days). I call it elegance. You may call it something else. But you get the drift.
Whatever you got the drift of, I want to create that at the place I live at. And even though this is a tiny space with some weird maths thrown in (in terms of design) I think this seems like a place that I can convert into one that I would like. Let’s see how it goes.
This is all I have to say at this time. More in the next few days.
Oh, for the benefit of others that need to rent houses in Mumbai, please make use of this checklist. Here we go…
- Ensure that the building is not older than 10 years.
- Your house can NOT face the road, how so ever tiny the road is.
- The neighbours can NOT be senior citizens. I have nothing against them – my own parents are as old as they come. Just that they tend to be, well, eccentric and that could be a problem if you are young (at heart).
- Do not settle for “living in the hall” trap. It is THE worst thing you can do to yourself. Even though you would pay a lot, you would still not have any personal space.
- You have to have walking access to the local train stations, metro lines or rickshaw / taxi stands.
- As I am growing old, I want to be living close to a major hospital. You may ignore this.
- It’s ok to pay for location. If you can, the house has to be bang in the middle of where your work is going to be. Even if you have to pay a premium for that. It will ensure that you have more time to spend on your vocation (and with your family, if you plan to spend time with them)
- I like walking access to Starbucks. This is my default place to hang out as I get my energy from others.
- Everything else is easily findable (chemists, grocers, restaurants, domestic help, gyms etc) at most places in Mumbai.
Of course, standard disclaimers apply. I know that I write this from a place of privilege. The rent I am paying is not less for an aam aadmi. Finding a house that allows you to manage the quirks of the landlord is tougher.
Guess this is about it. I have more to say and write and share but work beckons. Oh, other posts like this are 400072 to 400050 (from 2016), mess in my head (from 2019 and this one reminded me that each time I move houses, I get fucked in this head. This time is no different. However, the fuckery is a lot less cos I got the house from a friend. And of course, I can crib about a thousand things but I think I will be ok), there and here (from 2019) and this Twitter thread.