The Doctor Operates...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Guide to the Delhi house-hunt

As New Delhi beckons me back, I embarked on my quest for a pad.

Its been nearly four years since I last did something like this, but I was optimistic. Which was my mistake.

The thing is, one must always keep a few facts in mind when looking for a place to stay in the Capital:
a. Virtually every piece of property is owned by the Punjabi community.
b. Aforementioned community has shown little signs of having mentally moved on from the 50s (Yes, even for the gelled brat behind the wheel).
c. Brokers crawl out of sewers everywhere. Apparently its a derivation of what they do to your financial status. They also call themselves agents. Those who can handle more than 2 syllables opt for 'consultant'.
d. The latter are usually clad in tight jeans (and I mean tight), striped party shirts and a helmet. I approve of the helmet. Sound plan to keep the face covered.
e. If you dont know better, this is how the first transaction goes (all translated from Hindi - for people like BB and other fortunate souls):

Joe: I want a flat.
Br: Where? How many bedrooms?
Joe: Er...maybe Hauz Khas Enclave? Or Niti Bagh? I want somewhere with trees.....and wide roads so parking wont be a problem. 2 Bedrooms. And first floor, yes definitely first floor.
Br: That's good sir, very nearby only. We'll just go. And whats your budget, sir?
Joe: Between about 14,000 and 18,000.
Br: Sir, you dont worry! I know just the place - you come with me. You'll love it.

The "you come with me" crack is a little inaccurate - it is he who piles into Joe's little jalopy as they set off.

Forty-five minutes later, Joe is standing with one foot on either side of an open drain in Hasmukh Colony, craning his neck to see the fourth floor window of a dry, grey apartment block.
The broker masterfully aima a gobful of paan into the drain and misses. "20,000 they are saying. Not to worry. I bring down to 19,000" he says through red stained teeth.

Breeding in sewers does this to people.

The thing is, all brokers have a small roster of about 20 places to show tucked away in a small diary. The worst of these places they want to dispose off first, and so, while turning a deaf ear to all your requirements, they try to swindle you.

If you do get over this hurdle by heaping the choicest epithets on your 'consultant', you still have to meet the Punjabi landlord.

Who has a problem with non-vegetarian food. (What?!! A Punjabi?!!!)
Who has a problem with you having friends over. In fact, probably has a problem with you having friends.
Who has a problem with loud music. (What?!! A Punjabi?!!!)
Who has a problem if you are not an MNC/Company/NRI.
Who has a problem if you are not a South Indian (I tell you - we're too mild).
Who has a HUGE problem if you're a lawyer.

Of course, the Punjabi landlady is nothing like this.

Think of your mother?


She's nothing like your mother.

So now, I just tell the broker first up that I dont want to see places with Punju landlords/ladies. And that is why I now stand on the Rajasthan border staring at a piece of dry land.

"You can make it with red brick, Sir" says the agent with a grin.


  • hahaha... what a riot!

    i suggest that u put up a tent until u find yourself a punjabi girlfriend!

    By Anonymous friend of guppy the agent slayer, at 6:59 AM  

  • Damn dude! I'm ROTFL. Really. I've hurt myself from laughing too hard.

    By Blogger blr bytes, at 3:58 PM  

  • Now assume you're a girl. Take all the problems and multiply it by 10 (10 (p.m., of course)incidentally also being the curfew time imposed by self appointed landlord turned guardian in an attempt at protecting your morality and virtue from Bad Things That Happen To Young Girls In Big Bad City). Now thank your lucky stars the assumption doesn't hold true.

    By Blogger destination unknown, at 5:07 PM  

  • Being not a landlord (nor landlady. Nor lord or lady for that matter), and merely 50 godforsaken percent Punjabi, I wonder why one feels called upon to present Both Sides Of The Story. Nevertheless, one does.

    Your average Punjabi landlady, well past the age when she would adventurously shoot 2 pints of campa-cola and rock to Mohd. Rafi & his Merry Pranksters, may not understand our generation's deep need to wax cynical about the Human Condition and generally hang around feeling misunderstood...but she does have what historians refer to as a heart. She may not understand your angrezi (English, for all you angrezi's), but she understands the value of home-cooked daal-chawal. She may not appreciate 1500 PMPO's of Rammstein, but she does appreciate that your ridiculous hours may require a separate entrance. She may not be anything like your mother...but hey, isn't that a good thing?! And poke fun at your peril, but Bad Things DO Happen To Young Girls In ANY BIG CITY...that someone gives a damn is a blessing.

    You want trees, parking space, wide roads, not tooo hot, not tooo cold, marble flooring, high-ceilings, ya-da ya-da go to Geneva and walk the streets. Bangalore hates you if you can't write code in Cobal or whatever, Bombay has bathroom sinks in the hall and Cal has, well, Bengalis.

    Come to New Delhi. Our Motto: Eat, Drink and Scratch. Favourite Bird: Butter Chicken. We await your arrival with open arms.

    By Anonymous Vox Populi, at 2:47 PM  

  • Are you still looking for a place? Tommy is leaving town and I need a flatmate.

    By Anonymous Bhairav, at 4:10 PM  

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