Sunday, September 28, 2008

home truth

i just got back from a hunt with my future flatmate. an inside agent of mine discovered that she makes the best chocolate truffles in the world and sent her along as an early 31st birthday present. this young chocolateuse and i scoured the bowels of bandra and santa cruz today. and we came away with the understanding that 35-40,000 will fetch us the scum of posh bandra/khar and the eye sores of lush vakola/kalina. i currently rent the crème of chunabhatti for 13,500, which i know is a damn good deal, almost a steal, but still. is it really high maintenance to expect whitewashed walls, a breath of air and a loo you can enter without stepping side ways at 40,000 a pop?

each one of the 897 brokers we met and spoke with assured us that we’d just about make the cut off around bandra. when we scoffed encouragingly, they scurried us down a warren of crumbling lanes and byways that scuttle cockroach like from the glam. they impressed us with the necessity of upping our ante to a round 60,000 if we didn't plan on cramping our style. they snubbed us with ‘prime properties’ rearing up off the slums of santa cruz instead. they even threw in a couple of dusty ‘respectable localities’ buried in glitzy juhu to shock us out of our budget. the last broker we met called it quits when we dissed the laminate vaults lining every inch of wall space and the suck-your-gut-in-and-enter bathlets in his find. his pinched nostrils informed us that we had no right to quibble while jangling pennies in his face.

as a finale to our wild goose chase, we dined at a top banker’s quarters in one of the jolly maker buildings at cuffe parade. the living room stretched into the horizon on either side of us, while the sea breeze rougishly teased our hair in its wake. the total square footage of the eight flats we were shown today would have comfortably fitted into the corridor space. but what struck me like a slap in the face was the stadium proportioned loo. it’s the first time i truly cursed myself for not taking the SBI exam my father tries to talk me into every year.

the thing about the fast lane is that you’re just an arm’s reach from the high life and an inch short of the shit pot while bathing in mumbai. it’s a narrow little jet stream you sucker yourself inextricably into with every move you make. and what it all boils down to is not the sea view as much as the toilet bowl rising up to meet you when you bend down to scrub your toes.

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