Chak De Andrea!

Follow the exciting and not so exciting adventures of Andrea in Mumbai...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And so now that the memories are a little less vivid, I can finally tell you all about my flat hunting experience. I won’t say that before now the memories were too painful, because it wouldn’t be true, but I definitely do not want to remember those days at all.

And so how many flats did I look at? At least fifteen to twenty, I don’t remember. How many brokers did I go through? Probably around eight or so…

The first day of flat hunting I went with Snehal. We only saw two flats. Neither of us wanted to go and see any more ever again.

The first flat was tiny, in the middle of nowhere (well… quite far from Goregaon station) and had nothing in it at all. It would’ve cost 6000 a month so I was quite tempted but thought I should wait to see something else. The second one also cost 6000 a month, was bigger and would’ve included a wardrobe. The problem was that the surrounding area was a bit too traditional and I wouldn’t have fit in very well.

So the flat hunt continued… sometimes I found ones that I liked only to be rejected. Twice I was rejected for being a foreigner, including from a flat that I really, really liked. The second time was even worse because the guy’s mother lived in Australia. That time I was thoroughly tempted to say something VERY rude to him.

Then I thought that I had found a flatmate. Then she didn’t want to share with me. Then she did want to share with me. Then she again didn’t want to share with me. At this point I gave up and decided that it was much better to live on my own.

Finally after almost settling on a horrible flat simply because I was desperate and about to give up, I changed my mind at the last moment and told them I didn’t want it. I lost some money of course but in the end I’m glad I didn’t take it.

So finally, finally I found a flat that I actually liked. Once again it was in the middle of nowhere, at a place called Mahakali Caves in Andheri East. But the flat was an okay size (a studio apartment), clean and in a nice neighbourhood, the rent was in my budget and the deposit required was small. They even agreed to let me keep the gas stove that was there and install a geyser for me.

And so after a slight delay… as there must always be one… I moved in. The first day the only thing that I had was a mattress I bought and a pillow, both without covers, and a refrigerator. Partially because I was too tired to go and buy some. The second day I went and bought sheets and a pillow cover, the day after I went and bought myself a second hand wardrobe. I’ve got a toaster and some pots and pans as well so the place is coming along. Hayley is going to donate a table to me, so I’ll buy a couple of chairs and finally have somewhere to sit besides my mattress!

Besides that I finally evicted my unwanted tenants… two pigeons who were living beside my water tank. It took a great deal of effort to lure them down, catch them, and then put them out the window. They’re now living on the ledge outside looking at me rather pitifully as if to ask why I chucked them out. Poor pigeons.

I haven’t really started decorating yet and the place is still a bit of a mess but if you’d like to see some pictures you can see them here:

Next blog coming up… my Bollywood adventures.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I had thought that I would give you all my first blog post on the joys of flat hunting… but then the joys of flat hunting turned into the horrors of flat hunting and I stubbornly refuse to write anything about it until I have the keys to my flat in my hand.

Which could be tomorrow or the next day.

Or it could be never.

Anyway, the less said about the whole affair the better, let’s focus on happier things like my happening social life!

As many of you know I’m staying with my friend Snehal and her family. Snehal’s father is the director of a hospital here and so their flat is actually upstairs from the hospital. Living here in the flat is Snehal, her husband Tarun, her father and her younger sister Sourabhi, and now me of course!

Snehal has completed her masters in public health and although Tarun is a doctor, he has always wanted to become an actor. So currently he’s taking classes at Anupam Kher’s academy and trying for roles, thus leading to some of my social adventures!

On my first day of flat hunting (which I’m definitely not talking about) Tarun and has friends had been planning a party at one of their houses and he told Snehal and I to come along before we left to look at the flats. Thank goodness I changed my kurti because the guy’s place was extremely posh. The friend whose flat it was at is actually the son of a famous Punjabi singer, Hans Raj Hans, and the moment we pulled up outside, Snehal and I were thinking ‘what the hell are we doing here’. The other cars pulled up at the same time and everybody that got out looked exactly as if they belonged there, model and actor types that were mainly gorgeous and buff. Snehal and I stuck out like sore thumbs.

We actually tried to give some excuses about the flat hunting and just leave Tarun there but there was a lot of insistence that we come in and we couldn’t escape. Luckily we had both overreacted, leading to my first lesson that filmi type people can actually be very welcoming and down to earth.

It also taught me that I’ll never be able to afford that type of flat…

Well onto the next social adventure.

Due to Tarun’s friend Karan, we all managed to get tickets to the Gladrags Model Hunt Final (or whatever it’s actually called). Basically every year they have a model hunt for both males and females at their joint modelling academy/aviation institute. Do not ask me how those two things are connected because quite frankly I have no idea except I think they push the less successful ones to become air hostesses/stewards instead.

So dressed to the nines we all set out merrily, managing to scam ourselves seats quite close to the front, and sat down to watch the show. There were quite a few famous judges including Mahima Chaudhary, Koena Mitra and Arjun Rampal who turned up late and blamed it on traffic. Oh and there was an Aussie cricketer too, will have to check the name but I think it was Simon Cadditch or something, not sure exactly what he’s supposed to know about fashion or modelling.

So the guys and girls came out and strutted their stuff through the casual wear section and then the eliminations occurred and it was swimsuit time. For both sexes. Frankly this section disturbed me a little bit, not only because of the stripperish coordinated moves that the girls did but also because of the guys swimwear section.

They came out in sarongs and started doing their coordinated dance, and then lo and behold, one of them stepped on his sarong and it came off… and I think I let out a yelp or a shriek. Because he was wearing a speedo. In fact when the sarongs came off they were all wearing speedos and I never like those things at the best of times. Apart from that, they all did poses/danced which sometimes looked a bit funny.

To sum it up in Arjun Rampal’s words afterwards “I don’t really like looking at men in chaddis (undies), it’s embarrassing”.

After that there was a lingerie round but just for women. I thought it was a bit unnecessary frankly, and the guys in the audience taking photos/videos on their mobile phones were creepy.

Apart from this, Maureen Wadia, the owner of Gladrags was wearing a dress that really would’ve been better on a younger woman. I don’t know why on earth she thought it looked good on her because it didn’t, it looked like she thought she was about twenty years younger than she actually is and it was not flattering.

Then there was another elimination and the formal wear round, followed by dum dum dum…. The question round!

Most of the answers were boring/usual. However my favourite was this one:

Judge: In your opinion, what’s the best way to solve the problem of global warming?

Girl: I think we need more love and universal brotherhood in the world.

There you go, the answer to global warming is love and universal brotherhood, who would’ve thought?

But all in all it was a fun night, we ended up on the big screen and will probably be in the telecast (it’s not until the 27th) and there were some acts to watch on stage, like Amir and Sanjeeda from Nach Baliye 3 performing, Jal from Pakistan performing (lip synching… but still), and Amrita Arora… although I wasn’t too excited about her.

You can expect more blog entries from me soon because I’m quite behind on typing them up but have lots to tell.

Am missing you all!