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Delhi Diaries: From serenity to city

Moving to a new city can be a nightmare as food and clothing are somehow manageable but shelter surely becomes an issue when you don’t earn much

By Glory Dwarkesh
Updated on :
Delhi Diaries: From serenity to city
Image: Wikipedia

Can you describe your life in a single word? I can.

‘New’- this word summarises my life right now. New job, new people, new accommodation, new expectations, new city.

I belong to Lucknow and have just finished my post-graduation in journalism from one of India’s reputed media schools in Dhenkanal, Odisha. I shifted to Delhi very recently for my first job.

So, for me, it was basically coming from serenity to city, and above all, a city where I have no one to rely on, but strangers. If I go down, I go down alone.

Shelter hunt

Food, clothing and shelter — these are the three fundamental necessities of life. The first two are somehow manageable, but finding a suitable, economical accommodation in Delhi is nothing less than solving a puzzle.

A decent location, a comfortable room, proper sanitation and cooking facilities — that’s all a bachelor looks for. My demands were surely not compliant with the money at my disposal.

In Lucknow, usually the shopkeepers tell you about nearby rental accommodations but in Delhi, there’s a second stage — brokerage. I just had one day to search for an accommodation as I had to join my job on Monday. I couldn’t wait and I surely couldn’t put up in a hotel for long.

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With a suspicious but heavy heart, I approached a broker for a room. He showed me a government flat owned by a family who was renting out one room of their flat. I didn’t have many options. I took the first one I got.

Coming to the negative side of my rental space, I have to share the washroom with the family. Many times, I find my landlord’s daughter occupying the bathroom. Incidentally, she is always in the bathroom when I am about to take a shower and rush to office. She takes more than half an hour to bath. All she does whole day is watch ‘Saas-Bahu’ shows on TV and occupy the bathroom. She is probably waiting for a good ‘rishta’.  Then, my landlord closes the entrance gate by 10 P.M and I usually come back by 2 A.Mfrom my office, I call them but they never pick up on the first ring. I have to wait for more than 10 minutes outside the gate for them to get out of their deep sleep. I had to plead them for another key of that lock. Further, I am not allowed to bring my friends to the room, especially, female friends. As if, I want to show my friends that I am living in a box. To add to my misery, they have a pet bitch, Rosy, the most pampered member of the family. I am surely not against pets but I am not a dog person (or a bitch person). She welcomes me with loud bark every time I come back home, she sometimes even tries to climb over me. Trust me; a pet climbing over you after 12 hours of work is not that comforting. Today, I woke up with her licking my feet. How do I tell my landlord that I find that bitch tacky? Sorry again, not a bitch but Rosy. The list isn’t over yet, there’s no A.C in my room. Given the sultry weather, it’s tough to survive without an A.C. After all, A.C is not a luxury anymore, it has become a necessity. In spite of all this, I pay 6,000 bucks as my rent. That might not have sounded as a very big figure, but when your salary figure doesn’t even touch 20,000 mark, it becomes a huge amount.

On the plus side, well, I haven’t been able to figure out any positives yet.

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Delhi is a big city. When my office cab driver asks me, my way home, I get confused. I haven’t yet found any tiffin service near my home yet. I mostly skip breakfast and order lunch as soon as I reach office. But as they say, breakfast is the crown meal of the day and I regret missing that every day. Getting a gas, buying groceries and cooking are not feasible options when you live in one room and don’t earn much.

However, I really like the cosmopolitan culture of Delhi. The city is welcoming. I love my work not just because I enjoy doing it but also because of the work atmosphere. My seniors are very supportive and lively. They are my only mates in this big city.

Maybe, it will take some time but I am sure things will settle down soon.

So, if you are about to change your city or have just changed your city, I have just three words to say- ‘Hang in there’. It’s scary in the beginning, but then it will all sink in eventually.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.