A young aspiring bachelor whose heart yearned for soaring high into the sky took permission from his five elder brothers and a widowed mother, packed his luggage of aspirations and ambitions, and arrived at Dilwalon ki Dilli – a city of his dreams.
Initially, he lived in a hostel as a student and after months of diligence and dedication, he secured a nice government job.
Subsequently, he shifted as a PG with one of his colleagues nearby his office complex.
As per the early Indian culture, as soon as a guy starts earning, the family starts looking for a suitable bride for him.
The same happened with our hero and, with his marriage, entered my mom.
Yes, this is the story of my parents and their struggles before they shifted to their permanent abode bought with their hard-earned money.
With the entry of his soulmate, his search for his very first rented house began. It was a cozy apartment where the love birds started their grihasthi.
My parents were blessed with three little kids. Sometime later, my dad was transferred to Bhutan in the state of Thimpu where I, the fourth and most pampered child was born.
But my mom couldn’t adjust to the weather of the place, hence Pa applied for a transfer back to Delhi.
His application was accepted and we shifted back to Delhi in a rented apartment. After my birth, we shifted two more accommodations before settling in our apartment.
I would here share a sort of horror story of the first rented house in Delhi, where we stayed after returning from Bhutan.
We lived on the top floor in a three-storeyed building complex. We had shifted here some two months back and didn’t know the neighbours.
Winter holidays were going on. After my dad went to the office, my mom along with the help of my aunt (mausi, who had come to stay with us to pursue higher education) finished the daily chores and we all went to the terrace to enjoy oranges and sugarcane in the winter sunlight.
After basking in the winter sunlight for almost three hours, our daily winter vacation routine, we came downstairs and ma and maasi were horrified to see the house vacant. It was just a plain ceiling supported by the four walls. The house that was so full of life with furnishings and other items decorated all over just three hours back, looked so lifeless.
Everything was gone. The lights, the fans, the furniture, the crockery, our clothes. Just everything, leaving the place so desolate. I, being just a year old(I am talking about 1983), couldn’t perceive the trauma they were going through, rather was so excited about getting a hindrance-free area for playing and ran around across all the rooms as if I had been granted some extra freedom of movement and finally slept down exhausted and hungry. Yes, hungry. The thieves left not a morsel behind. My father had got his salary the day before only and that too was gone.
We had no telephone to inform dad. My village beauty didn’t know what to do, where to go, except wait for dad.
In the evening, when my dad returned and heard the horror story, he just asked one thing to mom, “Are you, kids, and Salochna(my aunt) all fine?”
Hungry I, screamed aloud and with the money in his pocket, my dad first arranged food and water for all of us. Thereafter, he lodged a police complaint.
Actually what happened was – as we had recently shifted there as tenants, we knew nobody in the neighbourhood. When the thieves were loading the truck with our stuff, our neighbours thought that we might be shifting again because nobody could ever imagine a robbery taking place in broad daylight in the view of all. That’s why those who saw, didn’t raise any alarm.
Thereafter, my dad sent mom and all of us to our village home before he could make other arrangements for us.
After about a month, dad called us back and we now lived in our last rented house. My parents made friends with all the neighbours and we became one family and likewise, a year passed.
In 1984, during the riots, happened the incident I had mentioned in another blog (My Dad, A Soldier in Real Terms)
Now, my mom was tired of this adventurous life. She had a feeling that the moment we would shift to our home, our life would come back on track. She was adamant about getting our own home. My dad made all efforts to do so and finally, in December 1984, we bought a new home in the nearby area only.
We shifted there in February 1985. Excitement filled in hearts, we were ready to begin our new settled life in our new home. With no packers and movers to our aid, we did all the shifting process on our own on eleven number conveyance and our Hamara Bajaj.
The week before shifting, our house was filled with boxes stuffed with our household articles. I would test my strength by pushing them hither dither. I was the most excited. We had made such strong bonds there that during the last week, we had lunch at one neighbor’s home, dinner at another.
Finally, we were in our home, our sweet home, where I wasn’t scolded for showing my creativity on walls, where we could hammer the nail anywhere on the wall, where our privacy was not invaded by the sudden and anytime appearance of the landlord. We felt free and breathed the air of our home.