“Bro, we need to move soon. This place is cramped as hell” said Mahesh solemnly. He had just moved in with us from his place at Whitefield, after shifting jobs to a start-up in Koramangala. What started out as two people in a 2BHK house was now overflowing. The place wasn’t built to handle four permanent residents. It was a ground floor house with a single hall, two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen; and for the amount of possessions each of us had, it was beyond congested. Not just that. It didn’t have power backup or natural lighting.
People say everyone has friends in Bangalore who can open their doors to stay for a night when they visit, right? We are those friends. Be it seniors and juniors from school or college, cousins and siblings or ex-colleagues, everyone comes to our place to stay. And the best part is, we love it. But our house doesn’t. When it matters the most, it gives up on us. Be it unscheduled power cuts, water problems or simply annoying neighbours, everything hits us at the wrong time.
You might ask why we took this place in the first place. The lease from our previous house wasn’t over while the previous owner gave flimsy reasons to chuck us out (our guess is he found higher paying family tenants). It was just my first roommate Arvind and me back then, and it was end of year. I was going on a trip to Goa and we had 3 days to finalise a house and move in. Desperate times, desperate measures. We chose this place because it was equidistant to both our workplaces and was in close proximity to everywhere we needed to go. Sashank, my friend from Chennai who I brainwashed into taking a good job in Bangalore for various reasons, joined us in March.
Things got intense one day when our neighbour, the Vento guy (no prize for guessing why he was called that) rang the bell and barged into our house at 1am trying to catch us with illegal drugs while all we were doing was play poker. That’s when we decided enough was enough. We had outlived this locality and house. We had a small problem though. If we had to leave before the lease completes, it would be our duty to find new tenants.
So we started posting on forums for replacements and also looking for houses, and came across a few independent houses. Sashank was totally excited, “Dude, imagine us living in here. We can live like a king. We have our own sit out balcony and private terrace.” But it wouldn’t solve our problem of power cuts, or waste segregation so he had to cut short his building of castles in the air.
A month and a half passed, and we finally found someone very interested in our present house. We sold it to him better than brokers I’d say. “Great space, right in front of the park, marble flooring, this entire building has bachelors, nobody cares if you make noise, recently painted and the house owner is awesome. He is an old professor living pretty far away, and he hardly visits.” We had no reason to tell him about the negatives. In any case, he was sold.
We then started earnestly searching for our new abode once again. This time, we decided we need to take a place in a condominium, or a gated community as it is called. We had been to many such places where our friends stayed and every time, we wished we stayed in one such place. In short, something that had a gym, swimming pool, club house, badminton court and 24 hour power backup at the very least.
We first came across a big society in the edge of HSR layout. “Bro, this is where my aunt lives. I don’t want to stay here.” said Mahesh. We still wanted to go check it out. That was a fabulous place, with 10 towers and every facility you can name. It was more than our budget, and the entire complex mostly had families and old people. “If there is one complain of noise, you might have to face immediate eviction” is what we were told.
More than Mahesh’s fear for his aunt, this factor was a put off. We learnt later that most of the condos were like this. They don’t give houses to bachelors. A few days later, we found another condominium where the owners and the association were okay with bachelors staying. It was looking great in pictures too. Sashank was completely against it after looking it up on Google Maps. It was a little beyond Silk Board. Getting through the infamous Silk Board junction on a daily basis wasn’t something anyone in Bangalore would look forward to.
We decided to check it out in any case. It was a huge place; 21 acres. It had ten towers with three wings and 25 floors. People could get lost inside. There were three swimming pools, with one more under construction. Two club houses, a tennis court, cricket nets, multiple parks and a play school were add-on features. Once we were inside, there was no way to know we were living amidst the hustle and bustle of the fastest growing city in India. It was serene. Doesn’t matter if the weather is too cold to swim or if we have no time for the gym. We were in love with this place.
A week later, after multiple visits to see different houses in the same complex, we decided to take up a house on the 21st floor. With breathtaking views and an unrivalled breeze, it was something we had never experienced before. It was in a brand new block too, which meant we were the first tenants.
The house had some teething problems, but we decided to set it up really well. We split tasks. One person took charge of the kitchen while one did the bathrooms the rest took the responsibility of sweeping and mopping the floors and taking care of TV and internet connections.
We were stepping into a new phase of our lives and we couldn’t be more excited.