Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lessons…… The confrontation

Walking back with just half the amount……….

This is totally not how I had imagined the confrontation with my previous landlord. I got into the bus determined to talk about what honesty is, how I was not even sure of moving out into another place the evening I moved out, how what they were doing was all injustice and if they see benefit in my distress.. well then, let the LORD be the judge!!

The bus travel to that small corner of the city didn't take too long. Hanging by the plastic holders and swaying at the motion of the bus caused by the frequent switching between the breaks and the accelerator, I somehow reached the junction. How long from the junction did it take me to reach that house, I don’t know. All along I was thinking what I had to say and was repeating it over and over to myself. I finally did reach. Sweat droplets tracing a path down from my forehead to my cheek. I was exhausted.

The sweltering heat of Mumbai can be quite harsh. Nevertheless, I wiped it all off and let myself in the house. Making my way to the door and still playing the short speech in my head. I don't know how many times I would have repeated it over and over, just to be sure I was talking straight and right. Just to be doubly sure that I was talking something they would listen to and realise and return the money they owed me. Just to be so sure that what I would say would make a deep impact.

One knock on the door, the landlady walks to the door and opens it and now I'm inside that same house where I used to live. I somehow imagined it would be different. I couldn't describe or name my emotions then. I tried hard not to let myself go blank or worst of all forget what I was planning to say to them, sternly and clearly. I started with why I had to change and how it was not my mistake at all. I continued to talk on the difficulties and how all of the problems that I was going through at their place was affecting my health and finally ending the speech by saying that they should return the entire fixed deposit amount. She tried to interrupt me several times during my talk. But I didn't let her. I had to finish what I had to say!!!!

The visit wouldn’t have lasted more than 15 minutes in all. At the end of the talk she just handed me half of what I had paid her in the beginning. This is not justified!!! I came down to the ‘power speech’ that I had decided I would say.

I don’t suppose that made much difference to her. The next minute I saw myself walking out the door with the half she gave me and the door slammed shut at my face. I mean… seriously!!!!! “If you expect to gain so much at the cost of somebody’s health and well being…. then carry on!!!” 
If this is not open daylight robbery, then what is this????

I walked the entire distance back. It must have been over 2 km. but I didn't realise my feet ache or how I reached. My thoughts all caught up in how everybody except my family is ready to pounce on you the moment you seem vulnerable. How most people are just so greedy for money that they would rob off a student? How much it mattered to me that it was my parents hard earned money that I was robbed off. How there do arise situation that are solved without touching the rule book.

How they don’t even care for who you are and how nothing about you matters to them…..!


Yesterday I just had a bed to sleep in and was worried about nothing else. Today I have a everything but cannot sleep.

Moving out of your own home and living under the mercy of somebody else( as a paying guest or in a hostel…. not in your in-laws place) can be so not rewarding. The longing to be home is silently crushed by all the inadequacies one finds time to time in the new place. One might cry in silence or scream out in the streets but deep down you know the stay has to continue, until you finally do move but……

So, I’m in Mumbai pursuing my Research project in Cancer and I was put up as a paid guest for the last 3 months. The disadvantages can be quite a lot but I would love to highlight a few. Say for example, the food being provided and the late and weird hours of the meals so much so that you might as well eat out, the screaming landlord and landlady not to mention the constant fights between them that cause them to ONLY talk loudly ( I imagine that they are now so habitual to talking so loudly that they do not understand the word whisper anymore), lack of water to bathe and wash and so on and so forth. I am telling you, the list is endless save for the only advantage I am aware, the bed I get to sleep in after a hard day’s work. When I read what I am explaining to you, I think I have made an impression of me living in a rat hole!!!!! WOW!!!

The experience is not what has been mentioned before. It begins now. 

I was literally getting sick. My health was giving up on me despite my best efforts to keep it together. I was not in the lookout for another accommodation because neither did I have the strength to do the same but also because I knew I would be gone from this place soon enough. I was literally counting the days. Prior to joining the rental as a paying guest, I had to pay a hefty sum as fixed deposit. Now just yesterday I got to know that there was a vacancy in the guest house at the department where I work. I applied immediately only to find that my landlord would pay me only half of the deposit paid if I leave without a months’ notice.  I shifted last night into a more comfortable guest house with friends around and good food as well, but I lost a major part of the deposit which was paid earlier. It wouldn't have mattered as much if it were a meagre sum. The reason (I keep reminding myself) is primarily my health, which was constantly deteriorating.

So am I justified to move into a better place and yet suffer such loss? Should I swallow the loss that is being enforced upon me? And most of all, did I do something wrong in changing into a better accommodation? These questions boggle my mind since last night.

Now the situation has turned, I have a better bed, good food but now I cannot sleep………….