House Hunting

I have been living at the place of BioPage's co-founders for the past three months. Now, I believe it's time for me to find a place that I can call my own. Finding a house in Hyderabad isn't like walking in a supermarket to buy a shampoo. That is hard but finding a house is harder. More than options you have obstacles. I'd like an option of a balcony for my plants and like to be visited by birds but here balconies are a luxury, it is hard to even find a washroom that has a working shower. It was an entirely fresh experience for me to research on this great city. The city is divided into old, new and contemporary Hyderabad. The old one is where Mughals have built a Charminar and a lot of emporiums which is located at a place called Laadbazar. Then there's the new one where India's millennials reside. IT Parks, BioPage Headquarters is somewhere in between, a place you stop by to shop or party or experience art. Every area has its variables like budget or your gender but they all have one thing in common, they hate bachelors. Only PG (Paying Guests) owners absolutely love cramping bachelors in a small room and overcharging them. The mattresses in PGs are not tall-people friendly but the food is cockroach friendly. If you are a woman, you pay extra for the pseudo-security. I hear my fellow female colleague moving from PG to PG with a hope of finding a place that has a reasonable curfew time and a Wi-Fi that doesn't just exist for namesake. I have walked from area to area on foot. From Paradise circle to Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. Searching for something that will fit in my budget and not make me feel claustrophobic but I haven't been able to find any such place. All that I have found is prejudice. My religion, my relationship status, my gender, my caste, and my food preferences matter more than whether I can pay the rent on time or not. Websites like Wasteaway or 99problems are not helping either. They are everything your parents warned you about the internet. Nevertheless, food delivery apps such as Swiggy, or Uber Eats are lost in maps to find location towards me and the house hunting with running rats in your stomach is much worse than ever imagined. Hyderabad is a great place to live if you own a house and a vehicle. It is neither middle-class friendly nor introvert-friendly (unless you are rich). You have to compromise in one way or another. Live next to a graveyard or a noisy bridge or open sewage or stay on the fifth floor without a lift or just live in a society where you can't wear shorts outside or cook non-veg. I believe the only house hunting hack to take care of in Hyderabad is making sure your home is walking distance from the office, otherwise, you know what the infamous Hyderabad traffic does to you. Finding a house is like finding the right sized shoe or as my female colleague says the right sized bra. But mental comfort is not affordable in Hyderabad. If you have found a good place it is probably on the outskirts like Madhapur or L.B.Nagar. Living in these areas means giving away half of my earnings to Metro or Ola or just the petrol pump. The only good thing about the city is its weather, which is pleasant but it is deteriorating. It will soon run out of water. It is already the victim to climate change. Ultimately, Oyo or Goibibo have lifted up their rules and regulations to check in to the rooms. And while I want to do my part to save this city, I can't even save a spot where I can rest my feet at night. A lot about our experience in a city, especially a new city that we have recently moved to, is decided by the house we live in. Cities can be scarred in your mind if the house you rent end up giving you water, electricity or landlord trouble. The quintessence of a home is the beholder of peace. If I have to define my home, it will be the place where I put my head to sleep every night. If a home doesn't provide me peace, I won't be able to sleep and the house misses its most basic characteristic. One part, of course, is hunting the right house, the other part mostly is what we get acquainted only after we move. Neighbors, I leave most neighbors for some other letter, but I seriously hope you are happy and able to sleep at peace in the house you live in. Only then should you consider calling it home. I'm sure we all have had terrible house-hunting experiences. But few end up living in private hostels, even though you need to adjust with your unfavorite food served to you. This rebuke phase we have all encountered at least once in our lifetime. When it comes on my part to suffer under the hot sun on foot to hunt for a house in each and every street is an unbearable experience to carry along. Finally, after an exhausting day, I rested my self sitting next to an old dargah and pinged to my co-founders to convince them to tolerate me for few more days to live in with them otherwise I'll curse I mentioned. And guess what, my house-hunting turned up into a new job-hunting.

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artist, musician, writer, Luddite

Troy, United States