House hunting and the journey of our first home


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Buying a home is a dream come true for every middle class family. Just like everyone else, after marriage and shifting from one rented home to other, we decided to look for a house of our own. The first thing to decide was place. We were living in Bangalore then and both of us had our job there, but our parents and extended family was in Pune so we were in two minds about buying a home in Bangalore or Pune. I am a very practical person when it comes to finances and living choices in general. Comfort and proper use of investment is extremely important for me. So I was clear that if I buy a house for investment, then it needs to earn me rent and if not then I should be staying in it and utilizing the invested amount.

Rent v/s Rate of sq.feet

As this was the first house hunting experience for both of us, we discussed this a lot with elders, friends who recently brought homes and online real estate sites. We even compared the average rent received in both the cities. After studying the rent received, expected expenses to be incurred and possible appreciation in the coming years, we decided to buy a house in Bangalore. I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but this was practical and this experience taught us a lot of things when it comes to house hunting and background information collection.

Location

We were clear that we will be buying a home in our budget, but it also needed to be in a sensible location. We chose a home close to workplace as we wanted minimal commute time. We were also looking to start family, so we wanted a locality that was residential, child-friendly with pre-schools, gardens, basic shopping needs available close by. I like walking, so I wanted to stay away from highways, loud busy streets etc.

Builder Reputation

My parents had to undergo terrible stress and trauma during their home possession. Builder, his dealings and repute hence was extremely important for us. I had seen the pain, the suffering from close quarters and was extra cautious when it came to selecting the builder. We even took a lawyer’s help to cross check the docs before signing the dotted line.

Elders experience, online reads about house-hunting and advice from experts helped us in zeroing in on our dream home. It was a home which was made with a lot of thought, planning and love.

How was your house hunting experience? Had you thought on similar lines?

This was a post written on prompt by Amrita and Tina for Thankful Thursday’s, however I missed the deadline. Posting it for today.

I am participating in the Write Tribe Problogger Challenge this October.

Facade

In the crowded city of Bangalore stood an old theatre. The facade wore a look of neglect, while the inner auditorium and stage were in a dilapidated condition. It had been a popular theatre in its prime and had been built during the colonial times. There was a time when shiny cars stopped at its entrance and Britishers or the Indian royalty stepped out with their families to enjoy an evening of grand theatre. Today, Triumph Theaters was a forgotten name on the busy high streets of Bangalore.

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It was a usual Sunday evening and the shops around Triumph Corner, (ironically people continued to remember the corner) was busy with shoppers. The morning newspapers had carried a small article in City Beat that the old Triumph Theaters would be torn down to build a new mall in the shopping heaven of Bangalore. Not many noticed this piece. The current generation hardly knew where it was, after all the Britishers left India around 70 years back!

She was walking slowly in a burqa towards Triumph square, a street vendor held his perfumes towards her “Real cheap and good quality, you should try this.” he said, but she just waved him away. She stood in front of Triumph Theaters while taking a long look at it. She was lost in her thoughts when there was a tap on her shoulders. She turned around to face Sameer, “I knew you would come.” he said. They sat there under an old peepal tree that was just outside the gate of Triumph.”Other’s will come too. They still have their day jobs and families to care for.” he said quietly as they sat next to each other looking at the derelict building.

Slowly as the stores closed and the streets started getting quiet, a group of 10-15 people joined. They looked as if they had come to mourn. Sameer led them to the back of the building, where the fence was cut and they all quietly walked into the theatre. They went around the complex quietly, as if soaking in every word that the rickety theater had to say. They gathered near the stage and she removed her burqa to reveal a clear face soaked in tears. Her perfectly manicured hands ran over the stage. Just then they heard some voices and as they turned around came face to face with a bunch of teens. They gasped looking at her. After all, it was Nagma that they were seeing in front of them. The superstar of celluloid, one of the highest paid heroines of Bollywood.Sameer, brought the kids near her and said, “This would have been the third generation here, sadly their dream will be short-lived.”

Nagma remembered fondly how they had stumbled upon the open fence while trying to retrieve a ball. All of them had been the children of street vendors around Triumph Corner.While the parents were busy selling products to shoppers and tourists, the children went into the Theater and acted out scenes from movies or created their own scripts. Over the years, this had been a fantasy world, that opened just for them. A world, where they could be anything they wanted – a king, a hero, a rich and beautiful heroine, glamorous villain, action hero. Hours spent here offered them a happy facade that hid their stark reality.

Nagma had nurtured her dream to be an actress here and she had even fulfilled it. Many of them today worked around theater and film industry in different capacities, but everybody knew it was Triumph where they had learnt to dream. Tomorrow Banglore will lose a forgotten landmark but for this group, they will lose a place where dreams were lived and the teens will lose a grasp on dreams that helped them put up a happy facade in the face of grim reality.

via Daily Prompt: Facade

Divya’s Dilemma

Divya came home from work, exhausted. It was financial year ending and the work pressure was tremendous. It was late in the night, when she finally parked her car in the garage of her two storied house. Divya thought ‘I could use a cup of coffee.’ As she entered, her parents stopped their discussions midway. Divya eyed them suspiciously and just shook her head while dumping her bag on the sofa next to her mom. She headed straight to her room. As she freshened up she decided to make a stronger cup of coffee. She knew she had to brace herself for a long discussion and a hot cup of coffee made it all bearable.

Divya came from a traditional Iyer family. They weren’t orthodox to the core, but they had their beliefs and loved sticking to it. They followed all the rituals and having some ‘Homa- Havan’ or ‘Puja’ every six months was considered normal. Divya had always been the black sheep of the family. While other girls in the family went for Bharatnatyam classes and learned to sing Carnatic music, she played Squash and was fascinated with Sports Cars. She loved rock or hip-hop and always preferred jeans over salwar kameez. Her remarkably different tastes were initially attributed to, too much exposure to ‘Western Culture’, then were considered a passing phase and later was seen as a form of rebellion. While some relatives openly taunted her, the more conservative ones refused to talk to this rebellious girl!

While growing up she had been very upset with all the mocking and silent treatment, but then as she grew older she made peace with it. At first she cried and really tried to fit in; doing all that a normal traditional Iyer girl bought up in Chennai is supposed to do, however she just felt trapped. She felt like she was deceiving the world and herself. One day, during one such ‘Puja’ at her cousin’s home, she saw a Car magazine on the table. It was the latest issue, and she had to read it! She quietly smuggled it under her dupatta and rushed to her cousin’s room. As she stepped in and locked the room, she saw her cousin Priya, lying on the bed listening to music, reading Sports Illustrated and eating a gum! Divya stood gaping at her and Priya burst into laughter! That’s when Divya realized that she wasn’t too different from others. It was just that she couldn’t live a dual life trying to please everyone. From that day on she just did what she pleased. She could see the respect in her cousin’s eyes. She knew she was right and never looked back.

Her parents had been the helpless spectators in all this. There had been enough arguments and discussions around it and later they had realized that it was all futile. They silently knew they loved their daughter more than these beliefs. Now they didn’t argue about her preferences but didn’t endorse them either. Divya had been a brilliant student and later had cleared her CA examinations with flying colours. Today, she was a well placed financial manager in an MNC.

Apparently, the latest discussion in her parent’s social circle had been Divya’s wedding and getting some prospective groom’s biodata for review had become a regular affair. However, today something was different, Divya could sense it. She almost ran to her room to freshen up and deliberately took a long time to come down. She was half hoping that her parents would give up and go to bed. She might have the energy for this tomorrow, she thought to herself. As she came down the steps softly, she didn’t see them in the hall and believed that her plan worked. But just then, there was a soft pat on her shoulder and as she turned, she found herself face to face with her parents. Her mom was holding a hot cup of coffee in her hand.

Divya’s eyes were moist. She loved her parents to death and had a fair inkling of what they must be going through in their social circle because of her choices; however she loved herself more and couldn’t do something just to please the society.  She took the coffee without a word and sat down at the dining table. Her parents sat opposite to her and waited patiently, till she had almost finished her coffee. Her mother looked nervously at her father as he cleared his throat to speak.

She braced herself mentally for yet another argument, but suddenly decided it was time to put her foot down. Before her father could say anything she said “Appa, I know you must have found yet another ‘suitable guy’ for me and you want to talk to me about it. I totally understand your concern. I am also aware that I have been the reason for your shame for a long time now. Though you have never come between my dreams and aspirations, I understand it must have been tough on you, but I can’t just say yes to some random guy just because someone believes we are perfect for each other.  Having a car does not translate into loving them and knowing how to hold a racquet does not make someone a squash player. I am sure some aunty must have dropped by in the afternoon and lectured you on your poor parenting skills, remarking casually as to how well they had kept their children on a leash and you should have done the same. And while leaving, must have hinted about some guy who earns well, is a little old but drives a car and has no problems if I play squash! This is all so repetitive that I am totally frustrated with it. I am just 24 years old and I have a whole life ahead of me. Just because I have different likes, does not mean that I should compromise and settle with some stranger who might not even respect my choices. I wish to focus on my career and achieve much more on the work front; it’s an exciting time in my career and I am loving every minute of it. I wish to travel the world and go on a road trip, send you on a cruise and plan your retirement. If a person shares my choices, I will find him on my own and even if I don’t I have no regrets. Love or marriage is nowhere on my radar currently. I love you guys and I know you love me too, but please don’t be pressurized by some extended family relatives. The society as a whole just loves to gossip; they feed off others weakness or sorrow. Today you are the talk of the town, tomorrow it will be someone else. I have no interests in pleasing such a society. It is your opinion that matters to me and as long as you understand my dreams I don’t care about anybody else.”

Divya was crying as she spoke. Her parents just sat there motionless. Their eyes were glistening with tears. Her father just smiled at her and her mother dabbed her eyes from the corner of her saree. Her father took her hand, and patting it affectionately said “We wanted to tell you the same thing. We knew you had different dreams, but we never stood by you wholeheartedly. We were torn between our love for you and our need of being a part of a society. Today, when your aunty called informing that Priya her daughter had walked out of her marriage as their aspirations were different, we realized it was time to make a choice before it was too late. We chose you and will always do so. Our love for you is greater than our need to be a part of a social circle. As Divya heard him speak, she realized once more, how much her parents loved her and respected her as an individual. She quickly got up and hugged them tight. Today, they were truly complete as a family.

Linking this post to #ClickandBlogAStory by Slim Expectations and All About Woman Week 6 Prompt Love. My other post Stress was judged the best post earlier.

ALL ABOUT THE WOMAN

Captain Gopinath Audio Visual

Captain Gopinath fought the Bangalore elections as an independent candidate in 2009. We helped create an audio visual about him and his campaign to communicate with people his vision and his plan. We wanted people to realize that he represents the aspirations of the common man. The AV was about a regular day in Captain’s campaign period.

Campaign AV Sample

Real Estate – Adarsh

We had to create an online brand for Adarsh developers, Bangalore. They are into premium housing and gated community creation and they wanted their brand to communicate that. Apart from superb imagery it was essential to build that connect on the page and hence we created a site intro, that spoke about what living in an Adarsh Community meant. The site introduction and the website content spoke about the lifestyle and the culture.

Intro Page Sample here

http://www.adarshdevelopers.com/

Adarsh

Real Estate Website – Pruksa

PruksaPruksa2

A real estate developer in Thailand, Pruksa forayed into Indian Real Estate industry recently, with villa projects in Bangalore. I had to create content for their website where the main role of the content was to build trust among Indian Buyers. The content was created based on this central thought. Their past accomplishments and their standing in Thailand was highlighted and later the user was led to their current projects in India.

Read Text Sample here

Website – http://www.pruksa.co.in/