Sorry for being MIA for so many days. I have taken a break from story writing for a few days (read until the semester gets done) and I will be back to share a work written in collaboration with Pulkit which was originally meant to be for The Writer's Lounge but given the poor readership we have decided to continue it here on my space.
I was talking to MSM today and somewhere the topic of growing up came up. We, bloggers, have received a lot of support system from blogging and some relations have grown closer than mere commenting and reading. Something I never wrote about is about the environment I grew up in. The times and people I have come across attribute a large part of the person I am today. It would be difficult to imagine all that I would be talking of and hence I will duly support it with relevant pictures. MSM, this is only due to your request that I m writing this..
This is a story of the struggle of two people with no financial support, who dreamt to own a house in Mumbai. The two people here are my Mummy and Pappa.
I was just a year old when we came into what was called proper Mumbai but in the suburbs. The need to shift was more because of the water problems in the vicinity of the city where we were earlier staying and also it was a convenient location to travel from (although both my parents travelled 2 hours to and fro to office everyday). My naani stayed close by and it was a relief for Mummy to leave me in her care.
The housing society where we were staying was one of the projects that MHADA (Maharashtra Housing And Development Association) undertakes for low cost housings in the city. These houses are sold on lottery system and the owners have to pay in installments. Mostly the natives get these houses. The natives sell the houses to whoever can afford or give it on rent and live in slums. But the place where we stayed on rent was newly built and most of the people were locals.
The house was a humble 300 sq meters with those roofs which are called "patra". They are good conductors and due to which the temperature was boiling hot in afternoons and cool at night. We initially stayed in the house no 22 on rent and within a year the owner sold us at multiple times than what he got it from MHADA. Owning a house in Mumbai, no matter how small, is a big feat specially for two people who are newly married and with mediocre jobs. My pappa was an assistant to law officer in Railways and Mummy an assistant in LIC. Both jobs were permanent but paid less compared to private companies.
After buying the house at such rate, for several months we lived on tight budget. As I had stated earlier too, I was not a healthy child. I had frequent bouts of cold and fever and was very allergic. My medical expenses were giving my parents a tough time and Mummy had to stay home many a times to tend to me. Proud as they were, my parents never took help from anyone else. Those days ,as they now recall , all they prayed while returning home was, "God let my baby not have fever today". That was most they could pray for.
After 8 years of living in House no 22 and now with some financial stability luck shone upon us. We bought the neighboring House no 23 which was for sale and we now lived in somewhat comfortable 600sq meters. We clubbed both the houses through the wall between them and House no 23 for most parts came to me known as "My room".
With continuous determination and promotion of Pappa and Mummy's desire to move to a better place, after 14 years of living in those houses we moved into a flat.
The MHADA houses that we lived in were row houses and called SOCIETIES. An outsider may call it a chawl but that was taken as an offence because chawls meant "common toilets" and "common water tap". Here the rooms in Society were self contained with toilet and water tap.
Here I will stop this post.. I will share many things about life in this SOCIETY in coming posts..
If you are wondering why the post is called "Through the window", then here is the reason..
This is the view from my room now..These are the new MHADA houses built next to my building.. These are however with one more floor built above..