Bachelor tenants not Allowed!

In the beginning of this month, which happened to be the first month of the new year, we had a new problem. HOUSEHUNT!

The flat we had been living in had completed its 11 months of contract, and just when we made our mind to renew the contract with the 10% increase in rent – our landlord (or just lady luck) devised more sinister reasons to make us move. Our landlord, heard an Aakashvani, that No more than 5 souls should reside in his 2 BHK flat and announced so. There were 7 people living there, amongst which us 5 souls were clubbed together by more than just a contract. With the exhorbitant Mumbai rents in place, Rent/5 was not-an-option at all. We had no choice but to look for another aasra, and hence began the HouseHunt.

This was my third HouseHunt in the Maximum City, Mumbai. In the last three missions, I have clearly understood that Bachelorhood is not just a marital status. Its a social-outcast that puts you below everyone who has joined the institution. In this city, and maybe Pune as well as my dear friends tell me, we Bachelors / Singletons / Unmarried souls are looked down with even more contempt than Ajmal Kasab (or No, Kasab is also a bachelor), so maybe more than Nithari or Aurangzeb or your Spouse’s ex or even more than the perverted ‘married’ man, in your neighborhood, who fancies his daughters’ friends. As they believe that We, as bachelors, could be worse!

Everywhere We go, the owners, brokers, society-officebearers or even building-guards look at us with a raised-brow, suspicion and prejudices. We do get places to live, but with raised rents and grudgingly, and that too mostly because, we – living in groups – can and do pay more than families would. My experiences have been quite vivid in thse cases. I have :

- Met landlords, who said No Friends. No Drinks. No Smoking. No Music. No coming late… I said, “NO THANKS! I want a flat, not a step-dad”

- Met brokers, who suggested that I may bring my Mom for a few days and state that she’ll live here, and then she may go – but keep coming every few weeks/months else the society may ‘doubt’. With that not possible, he even had the audacity to suggest a किराये की अम्मा (A hired old-lady) who who would stay along for a month pretending to be our family. [I aint kidding] I said WTF!!

- Met a person, who quoted ‘kicking-out’ a married man out of their society, after he got divorced – as now he was single, hence ‘dangerous’ for the society. He was proud of it. I feel ashamed to have shaken hands with him.

The list is endless, and so are their suspicion and prejudices. The Man Booker Award winner author, Arvind Adiga beautifully expresses it one of his articles, about Bachelors renting places in Mumbai:

“…Here the bachelor lives, there the orgy follows; this is the great fear. In the landlord’s imagination, half-clad women appear and disappear all day long through the bachelor’s door; gasps of illicit pleasure rent the middle-class composure of the building; disgrace and scandal follow.”

While some feel, that unmarried women are generally treated with leniency, I have heard some contrary views from one of the ‘Society-Secrateries’. He said with the airs of Jesus serving a sermon to St. Peter: “अकेले लड़के कुछ लडको को ख़राब करते हैं, या लड़कियों को परेशान करते हैं, लेकिन अकेली लडकिया पूरी Building को ख़राब करती हैं !” He also recalled some incidences, when someone in his building had fallen for an extra-martial with this single girl and all others families were ‘disturbed’ as well.

But HEY! is that our problem, if you people can’t keep your hands-off the single girls, or if your ladies are deprived enough to fall for other guys? Not to forget that we singles befriending their sons & daughters, living in the same building, is also nothing less than an attempt-to-rape or drug-peddling in their eyes. Their allegations also involve the ‘deadly sins‘ of drinking and smoking in our rented flats, and our friends visiting at all hours.

Who, in the first place, gave them the damn right to be a Peeping Tom in our lives and care for what we do inside our flat. After all, being above the legal drinking age, what legal right do they have anyways to stop us from drinking or smoking in our private premises, as long as nobody else is getting affected or disturbed? We have leased it out, not encroaching on it. But bigots all around, think differently.

After a month long of similar experiences, restless hunt and lots of turns and twists, we have finally narrowed down on our new hideout, where we’ll move in this weekend, and I pray that you needn’t ever do a HouseHunt in Mumbai. Amen!

P.S.: The trouble is, even is this so-called-modernized and cosmopolitan city, there seems to be no one who cares about it and does nothing better than aggravating the situation. Trust me its even worse than “Indians and Dogs not allowed!!!”

18 Comments »

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  1. Man,
    You rock,
    I may not support all of your views on freedom; bachelors pay high doesn’t mean they can make their room a club. You search for a house not a hotel room; isn’t it. But, the way you portray your views sure do rock.
    Please keep writing regularly.
    Waiting for more.
    Love~Viv-One

    Comment by Vivek Yadav — January 29, 2010 #

  2. Dats the true picture of renting flat. And what fun will it be, if you are deprived of enjoying your once-in-a-lifetime bachelorhood……mind it….not committing any crime!
    Mazha gharecha mulga nahi ahe!!!

    Comment by Rahul Sahai — January 29, 2010 #

  3. I completely agree with you. Almost everyone here is a bigot. I am much more discriminated against in India then anywhere else. This would be my reason to leave India one day.

    Comment by Ishan Arora — January 29, 2010 #

  4. महानगरी की विडम्बना – कटु सत्य
    Had faced similar issues a month back..so I understand :(
    You were suggested to arrange किराये की अम्मा?? :O
    And I am amazed by ““अकेले लड़के कुछ लडको को ख़राब करते हैं, या लड़कियों को परेशान करते हैं, लेकिन अकेली लडकिया पूरी Building को ख़राब करती हैं !”

    Thank God that I didn’t meet this “gentleman” .
    Anyways, this experience made you write again. Keep posting!

    Comment by Jayashree — January 29, 2010 #

  5. @Vivek Sir

    Thanks! n I never said, they should make it a club. I am against the bigotry – as long as what i do is legal and doesnt affect anyone.

    @Sahai Sir

    Eggjactly n Nice to see you here sir. :-) Keep visiting!

    @Ishaan

    We are undoubtedly the most bigoted race around.

    @Jayashree

    Good for you, you didn’t see such men. Pray you never need to.

    Comment by Mohit Nanda — January 29, 2010 #

  6. @Vivek Sir

    btw, if not freedom — then what about my views on Peedom??

    http://www.mohitnanda.com/blog/2009/07/purine-swaraj/

    Comment by Mohit Nanda — January 29, 2010 #

  7. Great !!!
    Keep writing regularly…….

    Comment by ankita — January 29, 2010 #

  8. I have been to your place. You guys sure don’t live illegally. But everything legal is also not a righteous thing to do.
    I know you won’t accept it today but i am holding on it till you turn 50 yrs young dude. :D
     

    Comment by Vivek Yadav — January 29, 2010 #

  9. Hi Mohit,
    Would request permission to republish this article on http://www.powai.info
    I think some of my readers might sympathise and offer suggestions.
    Ofcourse linked back to your blog and all credits mentioned to you.
    Let me know.
     

    Comment by Manoj — January 29, 2010 #

  10. [...] fancies his daughters’ friends. As they believe that We, as bachelors, could be worse… [Click Read More bookmark to Visit [...]

    Pingback by Bachelor tenants not Allowed! | POWAI INFO — February 9, 2010 #

  11. Loved the post…and felt that it is my story when we were in Pune.The same sort of  House-Hunt,same struggle,weird thoughts and suggestion of Brokers…GASP!
    Pathetic problem for the people out there out there finding the Living,and made more worse after every 11 months.Anyways the problem is a problem,and in INDIA this things become Pain some times.
    This is for the Author:Loved the Post.Visiting your Blog first time.Got to this post through Sumit sir and I kept on reading ,going from one post to another…Cheers To you! Happy Blogging!

    Comment by Nishant Shrivastava — March 26, 2010 #

  12. :-( Bachelor tenants not Allowed! http://ow.ly/1F54e

    Trackback by Venkatesh Naidu — April 30, 2010 #

  13. Ah! Every renting bachelor has been there!!
    Good show Mohit!

    Comment by Tanuj Bhargava — April 30, 2010 #

  14. @Tanuj
    Yh, its the same story revisited fr everyone… Thanks,  Keep visiting.

    @Nishant
    Thanks for the visit buddy. Glad that you liked the post. Keep visiting

    Comment by Mohit Nanda — May 4, 2010 #

  15. :-D I njoyed reading it !!

    Comment by Kalind — August 24, 2010 #

  16. I giggled a lot while reading this account…..Sorry for enjoying your misery. Thank god I am still untouched with its landlord tenant thing.
    Nanda sir you wrote it really fantastic…..start doing novels…..may be someday we can get another Chetan Bhagat not from IIT but from HCST.

    Comment by Prachi Singh — September 17, 2010 #

  17. I came to Mumbai to work in an NGO. I was being paid less and finding a house which was safe for me as a girl, in my budget was supremely difficult. I shifted many houses in the span of 2 years and everytime I had to shift I added a few more grey hairs to my head. It was this pain that made me resolve that I would start something to help the bachelors. Its not a crime that we have given career a priority and are courageous enough to come on our own to these big cities. I am starting a company which will help bachelors find houses and roommates without paying any brokerage. Hope all you guys will support me and advertise about the company. The link to the website is http://www.grabhouse .com but the launch will happen around 30th May 2013. Till then please like the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Grabhouse?fref=ts Kindly share your experiences there so that we can reduce the woes of other people. Together, I believe, we can reduce the menace and have a peaceful life.

    Comment by Pankhuri Shrivastava — May 24, 2013 #

  18. Very good article. I’m going through some
    of these issues as well..

    Comment by wwwxxx-seedsinfo — April 8, 2014 #

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