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Housing Blues

Buying a house in India is less complicated. You only look at the house and how new or old it is. There is also the advantage of being able to flag a rickshaw, or an autorickshaw from outside your house to anywhere. When my father bought a plot of land in what seemed to be the arse end of Guwahati at the end of his retirement, many wondered how we would commute from that scenic hub. But it was never a problem. Rickshaw wallahs came to the rescue, the place is crowded now with all kinds of houses and markets having come up in the area. Still it is home. It is a house with a garden and some greenery, something I cherish and pine in this modern day of apartment lifestyles.

sample this, what a find! not mine as yet :)
Coming to Melbourne revived part of that memory. People live in houses and less in apartments. And trying to buy a house is not as easy as I thought. First you look at suburbs. How green it is, how many trees and parks or streams there are, how old and established the suburb is, and what the gentry is – things you never considered in India. Then other things come into play, proximity to the train station or the bus stop, all of which run with precision of timings. There are no autos plying on the streets so even if you do like a house very much, if it is too far, you give up on it. Hence the emotional stress of finding a house!

Next you have all these top of the range houses in new suburbs which are very far. These suburbs have all the new immigrants from Indian IT wallas to Chinese businessmen. The layout is very uniform and there are hardly any trees. But the houses are very modern and low maintenance. You tend to fall for the houses – for everything from the water pressure in the shower to walk-in wardrobes are built to suit modern and comfortable living.

In all, you are spoilt for choices. Buying a house is an emotional experience. Leaving a home and finding a new home and the danger of having unrealistic expectations. Then there are differences of opinion and the stress comes in. Nonetheless, it is a great journey of chasing a dream where your elusive house rests. But I am also slowly realising that it also boils down to what is really important at the end of the day – the man or the house. So my advice to myself: buy a house which you don’t like so much but nurture it or buy a house you like and nurture it further.

Am I materialistic or shallow? Well, I don't apologise for dreaming or living someone else’s dream. 


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