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Friday, October 10, 2003

Windows Extension, Malviya Nagar!

There we go again! After exactly one (that's right, 1) whole month at Hell's own in Humayumpur, Chanel and I made our way to our new address at windows extension. And boy! What a ride.

After the super-bitch made it her mission in life to make ours miserable, we had no choice but to leave quaint old Humayumpur - the much envied SJE Address and all! So the house hunt began in real earnest.

Went to this whacko dude who showed us some miserable hovels that cost the earth, the heavens and beyond and got all depressed about ever having a presentable roof over our heads.

Which is when a spot decision to get to Malviya Nagar and walk-in to the nearest property dealer paid off! And how!

The Rajput owns acres of land. He and his extended clan that is. Acres and acres of rolling steel and concrete monstrosities. I wonder how so many people in the promised land managed to outwit the land-ceiling act? Anyways, the rajput runs this little 'side-business' of renting out the houses that his clan happens to own.

And he does a very professional job. He's got this dinky little 'office' where his cronies hang-out. It has a couch, a bed (I'm not kidding!) and even a squint-and-you-just-might-make-out-the-movement television set. He yawns, stretches out on the aforementioned bed and in general lounges around like the lizard that he so resembles.

But he owns acres and acres of land. And he happens to like people from the continent of South India. 'South Indians are not needless meddlers', he declares with elan. Yeah right! Which part we were more than happy to play by not demanding that he show us the papers connected with the illegally constructed E 13/6.

'I like South Indians. They are hassle-free and peaceful folk'. Umm. The fact that we meekly offered to pay whatever he demanded probably warrants that opinion.

'South Indians are trust-worthy' he declares once again. The Colonel sitting there staring into his glass, contemplating suicide almost succeeds. Drawing himself out in the nick of time, he gazes at us in glee and declares, "Hyderabad... wonderful city. I haven't been there myself, but the people you know, they are just wonderful!"

I don't want to sound rude, but I just can't help wondering how he was able to judge the people if all he ever did was sit confined behind the bars of his window seat? Anyways, he soon returns to peer into his drink leaving me to hear more 'South Indians are...' pronouncements from the rajput.

He seems to have run out of ideas. 'South Indians are.... they are... the right people for the apartment I have in mind!' His eyes practically twinkle through the liquor-induced haze. He summons one of his acre-managing flunkies and gives us the royal ride. Some gullies and more near-death experiences later, we stand in-front-of E 13/6.

Chanel is flabbergasted. So am I. We stare with ill-concealed glee at the vision in front of us. Nice, large rooms. Loos! Glorious loos! A creepy kothaesque lighting arrangement. But a fabulous view from the hall! We turn to ask the flunkie once again. 'How much did you say this will cost us?'

He hasn't heard. He's too busy rolling and flicking nasty little nosey-goo over floors that could soon be ours. I try again. 'How much for this?' He peers at us, caught in the act, yet with no discernible embarassment. 'Depends...' he volunteers.

I'm beginning to lose my patience. After three days of trudging along in the hot sun looking at houses, one worse than the other, I'm actually glad that we've found a halfway decent place. And the cretin won't let us know if it's within budget.

We ride back to the rajput's office in silence. He's busy whacking his micro... er television.

"How much..." , I ask even before we are seated. He smiles like the Buddha. 'For South Indians.... just 6500/-' he declares. I stare at Chanel. She is busy calculating. That's a little over budget. But then, what the hell! At least, we'll have a place where we would gladly call friends over.

And they wouldn't have to wade through all kinds of unmentionables to get there! We turn back at him. Remembering Bangalore, I ask him about the advance. He smiles again, 'Just one month deposit'. I can't believe my ears!

"We'll take it!" we chine in unison. He reclines and scratches his ample belly. 'So shall I get the documents ready?'

'Of course!'

'And when would you want to move in?'

'As soon as possible. Can't wait to get out from Humayumpur.'

That's settled then. He extends a grimy paw that I shake. The cretin has meanwhile walked in with three glasses of a fizzy drink. We celebrate the beginning of a new life over flat Limca.

Now all that remains is to let the super-bitch know that we're out of her life. Pity! She can no longer peer through the grating to invade our privacy! But more about that later....


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