Saturday, May 26, 2007

The reality of moving

And yet once again, I am back here wondering about how our dreams and visions are so different from reality. The statement seems to say it all requring no further explanation, but yet we expect both to coincide and dream on. The truth is, I think, that we focus so much on the more superficial aspects in our dreams ( atleast I do), while the practicalities till reaching that point can get painful. And you would think that one does learn , but we never do. And maybe that's why dreams are what they are - dreams! (That is why I just love Regina's quote over here!)

The moment I knew I was moving to Mumbai (sadness of leaving Chennai apart), I am already dreaming of this 'neat' place that I will be staying in, the way I would be doing up my flat,partying with friends,and trips that I would make. But reality is so much more about dealing with shady brokers, houses that meet your expectations not fitting your wallet and those that do being very depressing. And reality is very slow, especially if you work long hours and travel 2 hours a day and you have an exam hovering around you!

My usual house hunting experiences are always accompanied by weeks of trauma and tension and until the very last moment, things never fall into place! All the time in Hyderabad, finding roommates used to be the biggest hassle and till the last minute I never knew whether I would have to give up my sprawling 3 bedroom flat or not. It also seemed to me that i kept talking about it so often, I was worried that I would be branded as the 'girl without a roommate'. I think what irritates me even more is that, this house hunting always seems to work out more easily for everyone else but me.

But I think for once I managed to go through this whole phase without 'tension' and 'panic' even if it was very hassled. And also found a roommate on Day 1 of house hunting. Found a brand new place very close to work, ramifications of which are leaks to be fixed, the fan that wont rotate, the furniture that wont arrive. The Half of me wants to scream. Half of me has given up. Wish I could click my fingers to get things done! Bonus morning alarms from the mosque and temple close by. Have decided to convert to a religion which believes in silent prayers. Soon enough!

PS: For all those crying out loud about the conservatism in Chennai, PLEASE LISTEN. The city which is supposed to be twenty years ahead of India does not rent out flats to single women or men! OK, not the entire city, but this is certainly a common woe in Powai!

PS: I have hardly begun to check the city out except for inorbit, and an italian restaurant in bandra 'basilico', the hiranandani area ofcourse and ofcourse a one time trip on the trains.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Day 7@ Mumbai

Yes! I have also joined the bandwagon of multitudes of people migrating to this already overcrowded city. It seems to me that whenever I vow to never go to a place, that place ends up being my next destination. Starting with Hyderabad, moving back to Chennai and now my move to Mumbai! Ok! The only place I really truly vowed not to go was to Hyd. Chennai and Mumbai, I had a lot of doubts. Anyways, I am now an equity research analyst (was for the last year to, the now is for what follows next) within the legal limits of an Investment Bank! (I hope that sounded glitzy, the way it was meant to!)

This was initially meant to be a Day 2 post with the most truthful ranting’s of my inner soul. Not because I am fighting the crowds and running behind trains with the clichéd ‘no time to stand and stare in Mumbai’ stmt. On the contrary, I have probably been one of the very few to have traversed the roads of the least populated area of Mumbai, namely the Aarey Milk colony in E Goregaon where I am temporarily being put up. Apart from a medical shop, which refuses to accept credit cards (my way of life till now), and ofcourse the Park Plaza (where I am staying) there doesn’t seem to be any life in this 240 acre of ‘Prime land’. And the fact that it is a 5-star (or so I think) is an added pain. Any extra request not borne by the company costs a bomb including 250 bucks for 30 minutes web time, which has added to my ‘cut off from the world’ feeling on weekends!

Hiranandani, which is where my office is located is another story altogether. The whole area seems to be done with a European theme with street names like ‘High Street’ and buildings like ‘Fairmont’ and the architecture has been conceived to present an age by gone. Though the area comes as a shock especially when u cross dusty Mumbai roads and get thrown back a few years into history, it doesn’t seem artificial as it ought to! And the fact that a number of companies have moved here has driven up sqfeet rates sky high. Yes, I am still digesting the fact that I will probably be shelling out around 12k a month for anything close to a decent home.

Hard cash has been slipping through my fingers like water, something which always gets me panicky and it did even now until I did some rational thinking. I’ve been enjoying the salad spread both at mornings and dinners. Jogging in my gym. O yea, that’s beautiful. The treadmills are up against the glass and u can see the entire city ablaze in lights sprawled below u (in the evenings). So is the sight in the evening from my office. You can see tall sky scraper buildings all lit up against a backdrop of shadowy mountains. And the office itself is one of the best that I have worked in.(the building and interiors as such) :) And ofcourse, I love the autos!! Otherwise, there seems to be an impression of ‘un-completeness’: the roads that look like they are forever being constructed and not to forget the soot and dirt!

Just a few beginning impressions. More comes later.

PS: I am yet to mail friends, unfortunately i dont have gmail or yahoo access at work! So for now the blog will have to do.

Disclaimer: If I have said anything disparaging Mumbai, its just my impression and initial ones at that! Nothing personal! :)