Friday, June 15, 2007


If only, brokers didn't have to be paid.

If only, people built houses meant to be lived in. Rooms with large windows, and doors right across so the breeze knows it is welcome and the air is not weighted with claustrophobia.

If only, homes were not created to earn - each square foot put there so that it can forever become a tiny mint all by itself. A thousand for a bathroom, two thousand for a kitchen, five thousand for a kitchen that doesn't send a woman into a depressive tailspin. If only, they didn't try to tell you that this is quite enough for your needs... what more could you possibly want?

If only, you had nothing but your clothes and books. Or that the cupboards understood - a woman's needs are king-size.

If only, you weren't afraid of bumping your head against the shower, or risked having a nervous breakdown each time you looked at the toilet.

If only, the walls weren't lilac. Or pink. Or green. Or both.

If only, there were railings on narrow staircases.

If only, people who had room to spare would give two rooms, instead of just one, keeping the adjacent one empty and utterly, senselessly, locked up.

If only, they wouldn't assume you cannot live without air-conditioning. And would believe you when you promised you wouldn't use it.

If only, you were a pigeon. So you could fit into the holes a city rents out. Or were free to sleep on other people's windowsills.

If only, landlords returned deposits without a fuss, without making you feel like you were cheating them.

If only, they didn't ask you your caste. And when you refuse to tell them, they didn't stammer, didn't press on with questions about where you belong. If only, they didn't care. If only, they didn't stare at you when said you were alone. If only, they didn't need the lie of respectability. If only, they weren't so afraid of 'boys'. If only, they didn't threaten to treat you exactly like their own daughters.

Oh, if only!


Anshuman S said...

Hey were you there are the ISF in november???

kala kavva said...

ab kya problem ho gayi?

D said...

And if only people didn't try to console us by saying 'home is where the heart is' :P

Anonymous said...

Nice writeup. Hopped in here via Jahane Rumi. Your ideas sound a bit Marxist where people can have free housing, health care and education. Communism does contains some good but it has failed as a political and economic system due mainly to possessive nature of humans. The capitalist economies of our countries are growing at a blistering pace but still a huge segment of our population lives below poverty line. The benefit of our economic growth is not trickling down to the poor. It is a serious concern and our economic managers must do something to remedy this inequality and injustice.

Smriti Ravindra said...

oh lord, when Ravi and I come back we are going to be least for a few years i suppose. Not looking forward to that!

zap said...

a bad synopsis of this wonderful but utopian prose:


Cash su**#!

Jai_Choorakkot said...

there were more oppties in smaller towns relieving the pressure on metro cities and allowing a more
level playing field for tenants .

99% of us wouldnt do the exact same thing that's done to us, if and when we get to be in the owner's position.


the mad momma said...

hey... come crash with us if its a prob... we have more than enough room to spare till you get sick of us and the babies!

Annie Zaidi said...

anshuman: yes
arun: was house-hunting. problem solved.
me: well, homes are one thing; houses another.
skeptic: your ideas sound like they prefer to leap to conclusions
smriti: you'll have an easier time. you're respectable and all that. plus, baby... and Pune won't be like this.
zap: kaash isn't utopia. it is the thing that is just out of reach.
jay: thanks
jai: yes true. but not all owners are difficult landlords. sometimes, it is just bad architecture, bad planning, and broken rules.
mad momma: like I said, problem solved. :)

Anonymous said...

isnt it a sort of a personal utopia, within the scope of this post?

- Zap

Anonymous said...

Sheer poetry, Annie- 'each square foot....a tiny mint all in itself'. House-hunting can certainly leave you scarred
( hopefully not for life)- and, OMG, the presumptions people dare to make about one's life and one's requirements. Bah.

Anonymous said...

Nice Annie.
Dipali - Who is being presumptuous?

atreyee said...

fun post... but house-hunting in delhi, a lesser nightmare than househunting in bbay i wd think,where the struggling-young-folk end up wishing simply for a few inches,irrespective of lilac, red, green...

Anonymous said...

Margot- house agents decide what they think your life should be like based on what they have on offer. I went to about forty houses in Kolkata, trying to get a place that would suit my housebound, elderly parents. Presumptuous- you bet!

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