I remember my husband asking me “So what kind of an apartment should we look for “ and me answering instantaneously “A society kind…with lots of buildings…lots of people in one compound…only then we will not feel lonely in a city with no relatives…and probably make some frens too…it’s a society afterall”…..and so we did search for such an apartment and I was almost elated when we found one too and thanked God profusely……
Just abt 15 days after we shifted …..one day an elderly person comes to our flat and very nicely greets me and says “ Hi, could I go to ur kitchen”….Me surprised “Sure Sir”…..He inspects the kitchen for a while and says “This Aquaguard is urs na…when you fixed it did u fix this tap attachment also”…. More confusion from my side “ No sir…this was provided by the owner”….”Aaaah, no no my dear its not provided by the owner…its mine actually…I forgot to take it when I sold this apartment to ur current owner….you will have to detach that part and return it to me…and replace it with ur attachment”….Me baffled “But sir we have left our tap attachment in our old house which will take like two hrs to go from here”…..”Yeah so go and get it….take ur time…but I need my tap attachment”…..Me almost giving up “ Ok sir I ll see what can be done”…..”And yeah next time I come plz empty the letter box also and give me my letters….hope I didn’t cause much trouble…I am coming all the way from Chembur by taxi in this humid climate u know…” ….Me wondering after he left isn’t the fare by taxi from Chembur more than the price of the tap attachment which must hardly be 150 Rs or so…
Now, with less than a month in our new apartment…right in the morning when we are hurrying to go to office…..we suddenly are greeted by a dark, middle aged person…those typical owner of a clothes shop kinds..with a paunch…and a thick unmistakenably south Indian moustache…..”aa gaye aap”….which obviously got a surprised look on our faces for an answer as we didn’t expect someone waiting so desperately for us right in the morning…..” Main tumhara hi intezaar kar raha tha….tumne mera bike giraya hai…two times”……more surprised looks from us….”mereko bahut kharcha hua….aao dekho…mera handle toot gaya…mera bahut nuksaan hua…450 Rs. Ek baar ka”…….after abt 15 min of ranting from his side we were still clueless….then finally I said “Sir, shayad aapko galat femi huyi hai…its not us….kisi aur ne shayad galti se gira diya hoga…”…..obviously he wasn’t convinced…and instead said “ nahi tumhi ne giraya hai….madam mujhe paise dena hi hoga…aisa nahi chalega…teen baar gira mera bike”…..me more confused now how did it become three from two times….
Anyways, finally after a lot of convincing and ranting from both parties we came to a conclusion based on mutual understanding that lets exchange the parking lots then…may be that way he will be atleast convinced that we aren’t the culprits and he will also be happy with a closed parking exchange for an open parking space……
Night 11 ‘o clock on the same day we get a call on our intercom…again we both surprised as to why has someone chosen such an auspicious time to call…what could be the urgency…..and what follows is :
Caller : (A Female…please pardon me for not referring to her as lady) Are u C-512
S : Yes Ma’am
Caller : Take out ur car rt now from that parking space
S : Huh, Sorry Ma’am…I didn’t get u
Caller : I said take out ur car rt now and park it elsewhere
S : But ma’am could you kindly tell me what’s the problem
Caller : I can’t reverse my car
S : But ma’am I think there is enough space…aa…I think u can try to (Interrupted)
Caller : See let me clarify once again…I leave at 7 in the morning…my office is in Colaba…now if I reverse my car to left…which is easier for me…and which I have been doing till date…I can catch the direct route to the exit gate…now if you place ur car there I have to either spend time in reversing and be careful so as to not damage ur car…or take towards right…which is inconvenient for me as then I have to circle the entire building and spend 5 whole min to reach the exit gate….also u better know that my next neighbor is from Shiv Sena…and you better be thankful that I haven’t yet complained to the society incharge…did you understand the issue now…
S : OK ma’am now I got it…As the parking space is actually Mr. G’s who asked us to park our car there as he had some issues could I please request you to speak to him ma’am and settle the issue and let us know as we have no problem wherever anyone of you asks us to park our car…
Caller : No, why should I…you ask him to talk to me then…click (Line goes dead)
S called up G
G : (after hearing to the issue) kya bol rahi hai woh….agar meri gaadi hoti toh…do mujhe uska no.
S : Ok sir plz sort it among urselves and let us know
G : Thik hai…pehle tum no. do
After about half an hr call from G on the intercom
G : Suno tum gaadi udhar hi rakho…karne do usko complain…main bhi dekhta hoon kya kar legi who..
S : OK sir as you wish…I leave it to u both…Gudnite
So, society it is….I wonder when I see the slums that I pass by daily while going to the station everyday in the morning…people there are supposedly uneducated, less civil…and they seem to be living so amiably in that small hut shaped…constrained space…cooperating with each other…smiling and laughing around giggling away …everyday in the morning…..even if we assume that they too have such issues and quarrels…well then how different are we educated people living in a so called premium society from them anyway? If we are compared on the basis of tolerance level, patience, cooperation and other such parameters I won’t be surprised if our so called premium well educated society people will be beaten by the poor slum guys…