The emotional nature of property: In a south Delhi colony- Oct 10, 2012
Just like I believe Sridevi looked far better without the nose job, I think life is more enjoyable when it is a bit imperfect. For all us city dwellers who juggle several priorities and commitments, organising our life down to the last quarter hour is the basic tool we use to pull it all together.
But every now and then, we mess up. This morning, I got dropped off at Maharani Bagh at 11am for a noon appointment only to be informed that the person I was supposed to meet isn’t around and wouldn’t turn up early either. Of course, I felt stupid. Here I was, in a posh south Delhi colony, car-less, clueless and with one hour to kill. When in doubt, I usually walk. So I stride off down the road in the direction of what I hoped would be the main road and a market.
The peace and quiet of south Delhi’s residential colonies never fails to surprise me. This part of the city comprises large single family homes and despite many of them being converted to apartments, it still has a very quaint old world feel to it. Many homes were built in exposed brickwork, while others looked like Spanish haciendas reinterpreted. This is a rich part of town and like elsewhere in south Delhi, I saw several plots being torn down and reconstructed. Old single family homes turning into swank looking apartments, all replete with wood finished deck-like finishing in gates and balconies, and a lot of glass.
My walk turned out to be about fifteen minutes long and my destination was Cafe Coffee Day in the New Friends Colony community centre market. My solo coffee caper turned entertaining when a dapper set of people sat near me. What started like a congenial family meet soon turned into a sugar coated but ugly spat over (what else) property.
The middle aged uncle berated his nephew who was apparently in charge of the the construction of apartments on family property constantly, dressing him down for his rudeness and also accusing him of irregularities like changing specifications, not keeping him informed, delays etc. While all the while punctuating his stream of accusations by saying you are like my son. He even called him ‘dear’ and ‘love’ a few times, while the young man seethed and defended! I sat there thinking about the emotional nature of property, about the heartbreak and turmoil, anger and misunderstanding that went on behind every house that got torn down to make way for a set of apartments.
On the cycle riksha ride back to my appointment, I looked at the homes I passed with fresh eyes indeed!