After a lull of almost 5 months, I resumed house hunting a couple of weeks back. I am looking for something close to my house and prices in my area are simply too high. I went to check out a house at 15 mins walking distance from my current house. The house was a 1 room kitchen. The owner had converted the kitchen into a bedroom by converting the space in the passage into kitchen. The carpet area of the entire house was not more than 280 square feet, which is very tiny even by Mumbai standards. However, the location of the house was extremely good and the building was old with minimal water issues. But the price asked by the seller was really exorbitant. He was asking for Rs. 70,00,000 (70 lakhs). I was really surprised to hear the price and felt it was too high for the space which was available. I decided to measure the flat and it came only around 232 sq. feet. For such a small flat, I felt the asking price was too high and gave him an offer which he promptly refused. From there on, I moved to other flats and found the average sq. feet for 1 bedroom kitchen flats in my area is around 400-450 sq. feet and prices range anywhere between 70 lakhs to 85 lakhs. Oh and this amount does not include stamp duty and registration money which needs to be paid to the state government (all for doing nothing). I have been told by some agents to not calculate the price per sq.feet as it would always sound audacious. If I am considering buying a house in my area then the price I am paying is for the area. It is like the cost you pay for living in Orange County or Fairfax County, but I am not staying in the area which is even remotely close to that, so paying such absurd amount of money is just being plain stupid. I even found some sellers who were asking 50% money in cash and remaining in cheque. I started to wonder, where do these people come from and how should I person like myself arrange so much money in cash. Anyways the search is still on and I am hoping that I should be able to find something of my liking, within my budget very soon. Or may be I should play some lottery and hope to get lucky one day!!!
It all started this morning at around 3-4am. I got up at around at 7 am and saw the sky was grey as ever and it was steadily pouring. At around 8:15am, my brother called saying that the trains are not working and he is coming home. He had left for college early in the morning only to go two thirds of the distance and then return home wet. My colleague was supposed to fly down to Mumbai today morning and she had to cancel her flight. She was on the call with me all through out. I told her that the trains are not working but so far nothing else seems to be effected. Slowly the reports started to come by and certain low lying areas were flooded. My bro was back home and he said lets go to the nearby mall and catch the 10am show. I was like sure. We left our houses only to be surrounded by knee deep water in our area. We decided to watch Awarapan (the movie sucked). After the interval the electricity went off and so after waiting a while, we got our refunded for the movie. In a wa, I feel lucky.. i got to watch half the movie and got paid full money back. While returning we decided to walk through the effected areas to get the first hand view of how bad the things were. What we saw, was something which was very different. Today being saturday, most people had decided to stay home and once the street were flooded almost every one was down enjoying the rains. I guess this only happens in Bombay. Streets had turned into open rivers. There were kids, men, women, husbands, wives, grandmom, grandpa’s all out in the rain enjoying the water filled streets. Some people used to the street to play cricket. It was a festive atmosphere all throught out. The chaiwalas (tea vendors), bhajiawalas did brisk business today. We could see people standing outside at the local eatery grabbing a bite of the hot samosas and bhajias. Inspite of all the fun and frolic, I do feel sad for the people whose houses were filled up with water and also for poor who had basically nothing but a plastic roof on their heads. I saw one man just holding his head and sitting in his little hut with water all around. It is true when a calamity happens, the people who get affected the most are going to be poor.
I took some pictures while we were out in the rain. I forgot to change the resolution and thus the images may appear grainy.
I am currently in the Maximum City a.k.a Bombay for the weekend and it rains here all day. The temperature is kind of pleasant, not too hot or too old. Just about right. Right now I feel like sitting at the window and enjoying my coffee. Oh well, I am enjoying the rains here. Happy weekend everyone 🙂