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Waiter, there's a machhar in my Feng Shui

See it’s okay if you get your flat ka legalities checked out by lawyers and loan-giving bank and all. But you know there is only so much one can rely on the terrestrial and physical plane. And, know this, that it’s useless to stick those slotted gold coins which look like cabaret accessories, with their red tassles on the wall with cellotape if your building is facing the wrong way.


Illustration/Amit Bandre

This is why, some builders offer and some people buy what are called Feng Shui and vastu compliant flats. If you are sniggering about superstitious Indians then let me tell you, you Westernised sicko, that a California lawmaker has also proposed a resolution that all California state buildings be Feng Shui compliant. No need to go to America for knowhow — there’s a shop in Bengaluru, which provides “consultation for maps/blueprints or visit based consultation for properties.” Along with the analysis they will also give you “a statement of Vastu Compliance or Feng Shui compliance as certification”.

It all sounds so pakka and grown up, like having a ration card, ke even I feel like getting this certification — someone certify me I feel, jhoota hi sahi. In fact I have lately been feeling a bit resentful that I do not live in a Feng Shui compliant building because that must surely explain my lack of supernova success and wealth. It seems this is as bad as not having rich parents.

Except it turns out Feng Shui is no match for the aedis aegypti mosquito. Maybe because it was not invented in Egypt (Feng Shui, not the mosquito). Which is why the BMC has found that in the 13,247 buildings they have charged for the crime of creating dengue hotspots, a major mosquito trap was Feng Shui plants. Yep, those bamboos in beer mugs and highball glasses that are supposed to multiply your prosperity. But along with your prosperity also multiply yours, and also everyone else’s chances of saying, “Mereko chikungunya dengue dekar chala gaya macchar sala”.

Who says the rich aren’t generous?

Because, not to make too fine a point of it, but most of these accused buildings were high rises and gated communities, yaniki, not poor people. It’s difficult to understand because don’t these 10 crore plus costing flats have those many uniformed contract cleaners they pay princely sums like R4,000 a month to keep their premises clean? Oh dang you, I guess that doesn’t include cleaning the lucky feng shui water. But they are model citizens otherwise no?

You telling me to, like, change my whole world view? Are you going to pay damages for my mental distress at having to cope with the implication that rich people do not favour civic responsibility over money multiplying Feng Shui?
If it’s true what you say that rich people are the cause of us having to go to hospital and drink lot of fluids and keep getting our platelets counted then I’m sure they will create a city dengue treatment fund. No, you say? Well. I mean. Whatever. You’re just jealous.

It’s very confusing, because till now, everyone always said the city is filthy and diseased because of poor people you know. In fact last time the government carried out large scale, violent slum demolitions it was a move heartily supported by such high-rise dwelling folks who sniffed that these people were preventing our city from reaching Singapore levels of svacchness. So what it’s going to mean for the vastu compliant building dwellers I really can’t say and whether they will cure dengue by, um, tasting their own medicine.

Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. Reach her at www.parodevi.com.
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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