Seen the city for past 11 years now; nothing has changed… NO! A lot has changed.
Bangalore – The garden city of India, paradise because of its weather, has changed a lot from the first time I visited the conurbation in 1998.
I started my career here in the year 2005, officially. Got a job, had a bike, good salary and a not-so-great 1-BHK (Bedroom-Hall-Kitchen). As for the price – the rent was low; however, the deposit was 10 times of the rent.
This has always been the case in the city, and back then the agreements were a rip-off in disguise. Every 11 months there would be a renewal of agreements as per which there could be an increase in rent by a set percentage. Money talked in the city when it came to real estate and real estate brokers. If you escaped the brokers, then you would find landlords baying for your blood – it is sometime tough to deal with too many people when you are new to a city.
Surely, you now understand the discomfort I faced finding a place to stay in Bangalore – a saddening feeling which started to take its toll on me.
Now, let me bring you to the last year i.e. 2015. I started looking for a place again during December, and guess what I found? The Same Old – high rent and even higher deposits for a matchbox sized home. After searching for 7 days continuously I checked a link on Facebook shared by a friend. The link spoke about furnished flats with rent starting as low as INR. 6000/ and 2-months’ deposit without any brokers involved. There has to be a catch to all of this, I thought, not believing a bit of this concept. Never heard, never seen – hey come on! – how could one believe such stuff, especially when by experience I know just how much brokers are important to the process of finding a home.
But it truly was like Aladdin’s Lamp; NestAway – A home away from home.
Installed the application, saw pictures of few homes and then booked an appointment. On the scheduled day I met one of the Area Managers, who showed me couple of houses. The range really started at INR 5000, then slowly went high. I was sure after a couple of houses he would either say that the rest is filled or there is nothing within the budget I am looking for, or he might even end with a “Please come back once you have the money to take up a place”.
He did not say any of that; rather he kept checking with his colleagues if there were houses nearby. FInally, he took me to a layout in North Bangalore, stopping in front of a newly constructed building. It was a six storied building, vibrant in color, looked spacious from the parking area, had a generator, lift, 24-hour water supply, security guards… and now to my flat on the 4th floor.
The smell of fresh paint hit my sense. The hall was big – there were 2 sofas on my left with a sofa table, a 30+ inch LED color TV mounted on the wall opposite to the sofas. I checked out the rooms one by one, coming to the last which was totally perfect. BINGO!!!! I had hit the jackpot but, I kept my excitement contained, because I had not figured out the catch yet.
I turned to the Area Manager and asked “What’s the rent; must be 10K?”. He smiled and replied, “No Sir, it is 7k only.” My jaws dropped; still holding the excitement I asked, “What is the deposit?”. He replied, “14K sir”.
As he mentioned all the rules and processes, there were no loop holes I could find, and so I paid just 4K to book the room. About the brokerage – there was none. The Area Manager, too, did not ask for any kind of money from me to show the houses. (In some cities the brokers take money to show houses, if you are not aware of that.)
I found a place to stay with little hassle, something that was in tune with my sensibilities and the requirement of ‘Peace’. I moved into the flat on January 1st of 2016, the same day my roomie moved in too; a great young fellow. Met the rest of the flat-mates in the following days, and the 5 of us have struck a great bond with each other. From strangers to flat-mates, then to friends and now – well you never know where the road takes us all. The wait is on for the last member to join……
P.S. – We, actually, kinda sorta, do not want any more flat-mates. 😛
About The Author:
|Mainak Chakrabarty was born in the year 1982, in a Bengali family from the eastern parts of India. After completing his academic struggle in 2005, started working in an MNC of Bangalore. Currently working as a Manager in a company to look into the growth of the organization and individual. Stays in an apartment of NestAway, loves himself and his life.|