Hello! I'm Rohan, and when the good folks at the MiD DAY asked if I could write a column for them, I said yes.
Not because I wanted a column with my name on it, but because I had no internet while growing up, and it would be wrong to say no to the people whose MiD DAY Mate helped me hit puberty in those dark days.
We live in troubled times, my friends. A time of strife, of change, of deep systemic rot.
And so I'd like to take this space to talk about a troubling issue of extreme national importance; my recent move from "town" (which, dear people who live outside Bombay, is what residents of South Mumbai call their part of the world" to the western suburbs.)
Now, if you're a "townie" reading this column, you probably have two questions on your mind right now: 1. Why on earth would anybody move out of town? 2. What's a 'suburb'?
People reading this in other cities, "town" is where our richest, snootiest, poshest residents live. I suppose the Pune equivalent would be Koregaon Park, and the Delhi version Greater Kailash. Or Tihar Jail.
For the Sweet tooth: Theobroma outlet in Colaba
The move is going to have a profound impact on my life; I'm going to have to trade lunch at Indigo Deli for lunch at Indigo Deli, dessert at Theobroma for dessert at Theobroma, and taxi drivers who won't go short distances for rickshaw drivers who won't go short distances.
There are several reasons for my move, and some of them are even valid; For example, given Mumbai traffic, moving out to the suburbs cuts down my work commute. Instead of spending two hours in traffic, I will now spend an hour forty-five in it instead.
Another reason I'm moving is practical future-planning. Property rates in "town" are expensive; the average flat in that part of the city costs Rs 20 crore, both kidneys and a tiny fraction of your soul. I would never be able to afford those sort of prices.
To afford those rates, you need to be the sort of person that gets columns written about them, not be the guy writing the columns. I even made inquiries, but gave up when one person asked me, with a completely straight face, to pay him "10 crore in black." And he wasn't talking about Beyonce.
While I loved every second of living in town, I also had the misfortune of living in an area controlled by a very strange sort of cartel. I don't want to take names but I'll give you a hint. It starts with J and ends with "ain".
While I'd like to state that I have nothing against the good Jains (This is probably the part where MiD DAY puts in the "views expressed in this column are not those of the paper" bit), I have plenty against anyone who refuses to sell you a house if you commit the grave sin of eating (shock, horror, awe), chicken.
I could have sworn part of the fun of having your own house was that you could eat whatever you want (mmm, cheese fried in cheese). Again, I'd like to stress that I have nothing against the Jain cartel, and I have no intention of angering them. Though to be fair, if I did, it's not like they'd leave a horse's head in my bed.
Maybe some sliced up cucumber, but honestly, that'd be quite nice.
I have now moved to a part of town where people are less judgemental, and will sell you a house irrespective of who you are and what you do. In fact, I'm pretty certain one of the people in the building next door was even on MTV Roadies.
I fear though, that the move will be hardest on my townie friends. They will now be forced to use our spanking-new Sealink for more than just a 2 am drive where they stick their chest out of the window and take Facebook display pictures of themselves.
They will be forced to come visit me with the same fear that a Hobbit has as he steps into Mordor. I feel for them, I do. But at least when they get here, we can order chicken.
Property rates in 'town' are expensive; the average flat in the city costs R20 crore, both kidneys and a tiny fraction of your soul.