Skip to main content

Ghar ke side-effects

Statutory warning: The title and the following post can remind you of the plots of many Bollywood movies, but I can assure you that it is purely non-fictional and un-inspired from reel life.

It's been a long four years of having the most coveted milestone of "owning a house" under our belts. Now, if you belong to the salaried class who is constantly trying to climb up the slippery wall of affluence, only to see the wall dismally getting higher and more slippery and your legs and hands weary of climbing, not because you cannot but because you're worn down with the weight of EMIs, loans and soaring expenses, you'll understand what a big deal this is. If you do not belong to this category, I suggest you move on because what's coming next might make you laugh or cry, depending upon how you view this class:-p

The first year of the arduous house hunt involved turning down projects because they were either so ridiculously priced that you wanted to laugh hysterically at the marketing sales guy who sold a mere 1000 sqft flat for "just" 1 crore (not all inclusive), or they were located in the farthest most crevices of the city and just the mere thought of crawling out of the hole and getting to the nearest school, mall or office in the (in)famous Bangalore traffic could make you tired and hungry! So, when at the end of it, when we found a property that didn't burn down our pockets and was relatively in a good location, we carried smug looks around and pitied people who missed the (our) bus.

The second year flew by fast and we didn't realize until much later that our beloved little home hadn't really metamorphosed into that beautiful haven we had been promised over pre-launch talks and welcome drinks. It was just struggling to gain some shape after the cocoon of fraudulent marketing broke. Now, of course, I can choose to think of it as a blessing in disguise because in the process of extracting work from the workers who had brick walls in place of brains, I soon learned the ropes of plumbing, masonry and other sundry construction work. Anybody looking to build their house can please contact me.

Finally, we decided, like many of our neighbours, that we move lock, stock and barrel to our abode which was, albeit a little under-finished, quite literally an effort of our sweat and blood. We began to settle in as a community bonding over the common misery of being cheated. Oh, the human mind! There's so much solace in knowing that you are not the only fool and you have company in suffering.

We prided us on our multi-tasking skills by getting on with our normal life ( as normal as life could get with leaking pipes, broken tiles and ignorant handymen) and taking the builder to task to finish the pending work using the Chanakya neeti of saam daam danda bhed. If only, Chanakya would've been alive today, he could've seen how even his neeti proved ineffective on unscrupulous goons of today who made the Aam junta get entangled in the maze of timelines. Many a times, I did feel like rolling my eyes and bellowing at the goons like our Sunny paji, "how dare you keep giving us tareekh pe tareekh?!" But, I refrained because, sadly, I lacked a dhai kilo ka haath.

Even this was becoming a new normal way of living and it seemed even adventurous to many. I swear none of us said, "yeh dil maange more" but the universe misheard us and gave us more strife. This time with additional villains in the guise of neighbouring landowners. They seem to be influenced by our country's notorious neighbour and claimed a share in our property. We might soon take training in guerrilla warfare. Life is certainly happening here and as things stand we might soon go down in the annals of history for fighting at our LOC a la mini India-Pak border war.

"Har Ghar kuch kehta hai" goes the Asian Paints Ad. In this case, I'd like to add "har ghar khareedne wala bahut kuch kehta hai". If any of you is planning on taking a movie but is at a loss for ideas, please feel free to get "inspired". You could even feature hapless residents like us during the credit rolls singing, "oh paape, ghar khareedke pachtaya." 


  1. Sorry that you are going through this, Uma. Your post brings out all the agony you have been facing. I do hope you find a good, legal solution to all these issues ASAP. Hugs, my dear.

    1. thanks, Shailaja! Actually, wanted to make light of the story..not sure if this seemed funny enough, hehe :-)

  2. Oh the hassles of dreaming to have a roof and 4 walls of our own! Fortunately we didn't have so much struggles in buying our flat, maybe because its not in Bangalore, and we were OK when the deadline became dead and dragged to 2 years more than initially told. Nice read, Uma and happy to see you back here. :)

    1. Dragging deadline is one thing and cutting corners left, right and centre is completely another thing. Sadly, we are dealing with both :-(
      Thanks, Vinitha!

  3. Well written Uma! You can never be sure about builders keeping to timelines at all. Seen delays happening to other people as well. Perhaps with the impendig Real Estate bill, such travails of harassed homeowners can be addressed to an extent.

    1. Hey Vibha, how are you? sorry for being out of touch.
      Yeah, I really hope the law is amended suitably to benefit the hapless buyers.

  4. Tell me about it, I went through the same for a year and even now, I am in the phase of getting those little patch works from the handymen. I can't believe how long they take to finish a two minutes job. God save us! We are hoping to move in a couple of months, but whether that'll happen or not is not in our hands :)

    Your post reminds me there's company and as you rightly said, mind seeks company in suffering

    1. Oh, don't remind me of those nut-case handymen. I can write a separate book on that!

  5. Though you have infused humor into the story Uma, I know it must be tough to be living through it :P. I hope the issues, legal and building-wise, get resolved as soon as possible and you can move to the idyllic peaceful existence you dreamt of :).

  6. you have written beautifully,Uma..wish your problems get solved quickly...will pray..

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. We worked around these probable hassles by buying a ready to occupy finished apartment. Yes we paid extra than what we would have, had we booked it in the yet to begin project stage.
    but looking at the rental expenses during the waiting period and the hassles of being at the builder s back, this seemed a good idea.
    I empathise with you Uma. Hope things settle down well.
    Housing really is an industry of goons. Recently a very reputed builder was sued for encroachment in our area. So we never know who all are safe and for how long. We just have to pray and live life ...

    1. Nice to hear about your strategy and experience, Aarthy. Yeah, life as seriously become "Raam bharose" :-p


Post a Comment

Would love to hear from you :-)
Also, please click the subscribe by Email link below the comment form to get follow-up comments to your inbox..

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeinated attraction

Words jostled inside Anusha's head as she snaked her way between the tables to her favourite spot in the cozy cafe. She slid her laptop out, rested the bag beside her on the silver grey cushioned sofa and called for her favourite cappuccino. They made it just the way she preferred: the right amount of milk and coffee, the closest alternative to the filter kaapi her mom made.

Gazing out of the glass window, she sipped her beverage, letting the bitter-sweet taste linger, weighing her thoughts before her fingers could fly on the keyboard to give shape to them. The white fluffs of clouds against the clear blue skies floated gently with the summer breeze and they seemed, to the writer in her, like mischevious sheep that had strayed off the flock.

Oh, well, it's my mind that's straying now. Need to get my act right for my next submission. Anusha willed herself back to the present.

The cafe was Anusha's muse, the mecca she haunted during the weekends for the past three months…

Rotting humanity

Doc, there's an emergency!

The breaking news flashes the brutal carnage. Images and voices float in my mind as I drive in manic speed to the hospital.

Of sirens blazing. Of toys and limbs lying scattered on a carpet of red and brown.

Oxygen! I scream. Pump, harder.

Doc, there's no pulse.

Shoulders slump.

I witness grief fuse into flames that rise up collectively at the mass funeral. The ashes fall lightly on me.

Will the stench of hate ever recede?

*** Written for a prompt at

The wedding

Holding hands under the inky blue bejeweled canopy, they swore allegiance to each other. Bedecked in a brown shimmery, the translucent veil flowing away from her coy face, she looked up nervously at him. He replied with an imperceptible nod that spoke volumes of quiet reassurance.

Family and friends had gathered for the ceremony that would bind the two lovers for life. The atmosphere was electrifying and the air abuzz with each of them signaling to the other in a frenzy of activity. A huddle in here, a huddle there, some grouping for a light tete-a-tete, some to discuss an important ritual.

The younger lot broke away from the crowd, not entirely connecting with the significance of the gathering, their individual frames dotting the arena like lost stars.

At the precise moment that would signify the sacred union, the chief called for everyone's unwavering attention. The scattered swarm, even the ones that had strayed, converged obediently towards the altar. Each member of the audie…