Life in Bangalore: On staying alone in my proud house

25th October 08

Over the past few weeks I have been going through, what I understand it to be, the most depressing phase of my life. I never knew what exactly depression means and how it gives you a fuckall feeling all through the day. I don’t feel like going out of the walls I live in. Some times I feel like sleeping for long hours which is to say for 18-20 hours, sometimes I can’t sleep at all, I lay awake on my bed all night or spend the whole night staring at the laptop screen even when I have nothing to do on it. I have been skipping work every other day, and even when I am at work I am being un-productive.

Every thing around me either irritates me or makes me angry or hyper emotional inducing sudden large drops of tears. Heck! I even had a few drops rolling down my cheek watching Obama win. As I heard Arnab Goswami echoing on Times Now, “this is uh one man’s uh historical journey…” I felt a lump in my throat and I went, “Fuck you Arnab, making me emotional over something I just don’t care about, what are you, the fat lady from the Opera.”

Nothing, absolutely nothing in the world is right. I mean take a look at my life, what have got here? A broken car, broken house, broken health with no one to call, no one to love, no one to make love to.

I can’t even remember how many months have it been that the tube light of my bed room isn’t working and needs a replacement. It so happened that both the bathroom light and the bed room light stopped working at the same time. I couldn’t replace them because I don’t have a ladder and a screw driver.

That brings me to the question I was pondering upon when I first rented this house. To quote myself from one my my previous post ‘Her Daughter’s Home’,

“Money or master card can buy big furnitures and gadgets but not the small things that we grew up with, we never wondered where did they come from, never wondered when was the first time our parents bought them, the old rusted tool box, the hammer, clutch, those zillion iron nails of small and big sizes, the measurement tape, the old heavy Iron, the ragged cloth on the rickety iron table, the large tin cans where mom keeps monthly ration of rice and wheat, the strange looking spoon which is used to pour oil on the kadai…Life seems so incomplete without those old insignificant items.”

So I need a ladder and a screw driver.

Ladder because the tube light is very high and I don’t have a stool or a strong chair to stand on and reach it. When I told my folks that I need to buy a ladder to fix the light they laughed till the point they cried. Sis said, “Have you completely lost it? To replace a bulb you’ll buy a whole ladder? Oh I have an idea why not buy a whole new house. Lol”

According to them all I have to do is ask around my neighbourhood and find some local boy who would happily do the job in consideration of a Tenner (a Rs.10/- note I mean).

I can’t explain to them that it is not so simple. First, I hate doing this asking around business. I can’t go about the neighbourhood seeking help. I either do my stuff on my own or I don’t do them at all.

Second, even if I did ask someone to come and change it what are the chances of me finding a tall enough guy to reach the light which is at a height of some 10 feet? Very bleak. That means that boy would also have to get a stool or a ladder with him. And since one person can’t carry all that stuff alone, couple of boys would have to be deployed to get the task done. Now, I don’t want so many people in my home fixing a small thing.

Third, it’s not Delhi where the answer to every small and big errand is a Tenner. This is the ‘international city’. The minimum they accept here is the dollar equivalent ie Rs.40/- to Rs.50/-

Trust me I am not exaggerating. You do actually need a ladder. Otherwise tell me, in which other city do you find FM radio channels airing ads by a certain company manufacturing and retailing high quality aluminum ladders? I mean did you ever come across anybody selling ladders?

But tune into any Bangalore FM channel and you’d hear two women talking. The first woman goes, “hey I need a maid.” The second one says, “aah ok, what kind? I can find out.” First woman replies, “Well she should be well behaved, educated and at least 7 feet tall. You know she should be able to clean the lofts, change the bulbs etc. all without hurting herself.” Then a man’s voice enters the scene and says, “It is easier to buy the Bathla Aluminium ladder.”

Point I am making is that you need a ladder in Bangalore to reach the heights this international city offers you.

So, as I was saying because I don’t have a ladder I have still not changed the tube light of my room. I use it only to sleep. The remaining time I spend in my drawing room.

Coming to the bathroom light, I have now managed to fix it but allow me to still explain why the bathroom of my house is still a cause of pain.

To begin with, the light. That brilliant thing is embedded in the ceiling inside a glass frame. To take out the bulb one has to unscrew the glass frame. Since I don’t have a screw driver I couldn’t change the bulb for a long time. And all these while an entire portion of my house remained dark. The house anyways doesn’t get any sunlight.

Which by the way could also be one of the reaons of my depression. They call it the Seasonal Affective Disorder or in more common terms the ‘winter blues’. Occurs when there is lack of vitamin D. As it have turned out I have lost my sunshine. Reminds me of the Manic Street Preachers’ song, “You stole the sun from my heart.”

So in absence of the light, I needed to light a candle in the bathroom everyday. The other day I was watching a movie after taking a shower. When the movie got over I switched off the TV and all of a sudden it became extremely quiet. In that silence a strange sound hit my ears. The sound of a sizzle. First I thought a tap is leaking but soon I smelled burnt plastic. I rushed to the bathroom, the toilet flush tank was on fire. It had been on fire for I don’t know how many minutes or hours. All I knew was that I had left the candle burning on it.

It seems there is no end to the perils of staying on your own. And all these while I couldn’t call a soul to share the frustration.

For 24 years of my life I have known that if anything in the house gets broken you call the CPWD. All my growing days we have lived in Central Government quarters. CPWD takes care of infrastructural matters related to the quarters. Here in Bangalore I don’t know where to buy a new toilet flush, where to get a mason man or whatever you call them who does these kind of fittings. So I continued living in a home which was dark, dingy and broken. Even the wash basin tap wasn’t working.

To add to the trauma one fine morning I spotted a vicious cockroach in my bathroom.

I almost lost my mental balance that day. I can’t explain how much I despise those creepy bugs. I feel like I live in a dungeon or a shit hole when I see them. Ugly creepy bugs and insects are often associated with anything that’s evil and hellish. How can human beings coexist with these bugs. I try so hard to keep my house free of these yet they come from somewhere. And right when I was going through the frustration of having spotted one, I spot another one.

Even killing them is a disgusting task. I usually spray the Baygon cockroach killer but in doing that one has to be very careful. You have to quickly run away from the bathroom closing the door behind after spraying, otherwise they start fluttering and crawling in all direction which totally freaks me out. Anyway, in utter anger and terror with trembling hands I sprayed at the two creeps and ran out of the bathroom leaving them to die.

It took 10-15 long minutes for them to stop crawling like crazy in all directions, I was getting late for work, enough frustrated by now I took the small table inside the bathroom, reached the glass frame and quite simply broke it. Thankfully the bathroom ceiling is lower than rest of the house. Same evening I brought home a bright white light .

To tell you about the car, somebody stole my side view mirror. I can’t find a carwash guy. The wiper blades are broken, right side headlight barely glows, the stepni is punctured, the water sprayers don’t spray water, rear speakers are not playing any sound and the black car looks grey most of the time because of the dust. And of course the health has been perpetually broken, I already wrote about it here.

To be continued.

14 thoughts on “Life in Bangalore: On staying alone in my proud house

  1. My God such a long post on self pity and helplessness, you sure were going through a huge bout of depression. Yes I know the international city comes with its sets of problem which looks so menial but are quite irritating. The other day we had fixed a plumber to come and repair a broken pipe, the guy said he would come in half an hour and it took a week of chasing and some nice peice of mind from Vinayak to get that guy to fix the pipe. You dont know where do you go to find hardware becuase nothing is planned, you dont even know where to buy a simple thing like a pressure cooker gasket and when you ask people they all seem so lost with just 1 answer “commercial Street” and then you dont get autos who will take you there or bring you back. Your car seems useless becuase where will you park your car on a weekend trip to Commercial Street. I guess small cities which wanna be big come with their set of problems. I have to travel 6 kms which takes me 1 hour 1 way to buy Pet medicine. Anyway, coming back to your depression, the house sure is dark so artificial light is the only solace. Anyway, take care, staying alone comes with a price and also has its own fun thing. A room mate comes in very handy at these times but then you are happier when left alone. :-)

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  2. I have a long list of rants, if I start writing about all those you will only get hate comments, and North Indian go back comments. The new divider that they have put on Asayee Road has added 10 minutes more to my travel time to work. It take 20 minutes for me to reach Ulsoor lake becuase all I see from Cooke Town to Asayee Road is traffic coming from all directions, helpless traffic cops which the cycle walas also don’t pay any heed to, no place for good awadhi biriyani, I am looking for a good Gynac but have no idea where to go so I am forced to go to Apollo clinic and pay 250/- for each visit, not a single km on a main road is bump free and I am not exgerrating, I have done my experiment with a bottle of water to chcek the “BUMP Equation”, you have every brand but no clothes of your choice or size, shoes dont last for more than 3 months no matter how expensive they are or where have you bought them from, resturants have fancy menu but most of the food items are not available, pay heavy price in case you want to eat a decent meal, no shops which sells decent chaat or samosa or bread pakora or kebabs not even a proper cup of tea on a chilly rainy day. I have to pay 80 bucks for a pot of masala tea at Infinitea coz I cant get that on a road side patri, the concept of flea market is missing, it takes 7 days for LPG to reach you, every one seems to find ways to avoid work and loot you by asking double the money what you would have otherwise paid. The only good thing that you get here is Papaya. Peas is 100/- a kilo, 20 bucks for a cauliflower, 40/- for Tinda, no red carrots, 25/- for button musroom whereas in Delhi you get them for 10/- 400/- bucks for meat viz 270/- in Delhi but when it comes to your expectations the city fails you miserebily and you cant even complain else the simplest and easiest way people adopt here is, “Go back” as if I am Simon {Go Back Simon} Be ready for some hate comments now.

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  3. Neither have I been to Bangalore nor have I lived alone so I might not be able comment on these things. But from what I read here it kind of scares me about Bangalore.
    Keeping these things aside let me talk about the original post. I think you are more upset about something else rather than the things you have been talking about. And that’s where you got to look at.
    And since it has been quite some time since these happened I hope things have gone better now :). Will be waiting for the next post.

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  4. i was there in blore for a tour for about a week.. i almost died shouting for northie food.. all i could find there were big shhowrooms selling dosa for Rs 12 and idli for Rs 5
    phew!

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  5. But hey—at least you write well! I can understand what you’re talking about. At least I think I do. Life’s been frustrating in this neck of the woods too. Waiting for the next bit.

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  6. you mirror my dilemmas……since i started my own “gharonda” after getting married.. i realised how important inconsequential things like tubelights, hammers, hooks, taps etc etc can be..and how they can affect your everyday mental health in a significant way..if i write a post like u on my woes of living in the house…it might be never ending!!….

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  7. go out. meet your friends. call an old friend. watch a mindless comedy. gorge on chocolate. clean your house. fall in love. talk to parents. change the house. pack your bags and take a trip. learn dancing or capoeira. pamper yourself in a spa. paint your house new. throw a party.

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  8. Figure it out any of your hobby which you left in the past..Try to do that you will find joy…
    I like Coloring Painting i draw many pictures i feel happy..i gift it to my friends they are happy too..
    And i do Business, but it is not so big enough to make me busy so i found this idea.. it too little time to make my mind..Once it done my mind in flying….Try…….

    Regards My friends
    Anand vs /vsanand.anand@Gmail.com

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