In this e-com age where we do everything, from buying clothes to buying grocery, from the comforts of our chairs, not-so-thankfully we still have to go and see houses and meet the flatmates to decide wether we would like to move in or not.
Yeah, I am new to Bangalore. My best friend in the city is a pakka born and bred Bangalorean who has no idea how to find a place to rent (because he stays with his parents), does not know which bus will take me where (because he drives his own car) and cannot understand that a PG where I can cook is kind of impossible to find and so I need to find an apartment. Phew! Similar is the case with most of my friends here! So basically I am on my own as far as finding a place is concerned.
Thankfully, I also have a bunch of friends (my school friends)who are not the Bangaloreans, though none of them stay in the areas I was looking in. But I got help from them in figuring out where to look and in shortlisting the apartments. So 2 apartments shortlisted, one in Koramangala another in Ulsoor a Sunday morning the checking out journey began for me. My itinerary is fixed, I’ll go to Koramangala first and then to Ulsoor.
Lesson number one. DO NOT follow google maps for bus routes!
Google maps is definitely my friend and wants the best for me but the thing is even it doesn’t know how to deal with the little monster called Bangalore Traffic. And in it’s bid to deal with the little monster it tends to show you the longest routes possible! Thankfully with the help of a friend I figured out that the best way to reach Koramangala is to take a bus to Silk Board and then a rickshaw to Koramangala and not the 3 bus changes and walks in between bus stops that Google maps was showing. So, bracing up for the heat, dust and traffic of Bangalore, I set off…
At times, it isn’t as complicated as you think it is going to be.
All set to walk for nearly a kilometre to get a bus straight to Silkboard, because my dear Google maps showed me that, I reached Horamavu bus stop which is the closest to my house. And there! In comes rolling a bus going to SilkBoard. Straight. No walking…no waiting. Bingo! Boarded. Took ticket.Opened Kindle. All set. But that Sunday morning I wasn’t in mood to read; I wanted to take in the sights of Bangalore. I had been to this area of outer ring road when I had visited Bangalore in May 2015 and I was enjoying taking in the sights and jogging up my memory from my last visit. There was also a little kiddo on the seat in front of me, who wanted to take off one by one every piece of cloth on her body. It was 39 degrees of heat that day. Thankfully the mom had put enough on the baby’s body beforehand. Was the child’s behaviour because of the mom’s behaviour or was the mom’s behaviour because of the chid’s behaviour. I love studying human reactions and this was good entertainment I was being subjected to 🙂
Silkboard arrived. I crossed over to Madiwala. Look a rickshaw. Google maps to the rescue. Told the rickshaw wala left-right-right-straight-right! But the maps is not that good with the Cross’s in our Koramangala. Block’s it’s cool. But Cross’s. Naaa…. Finally after loitering back and forth for some time in the lane, I stood at one corner and asked a passer-by the address location where I wanted to go. Thankfully it was a corner house and my if-I-Like-the-place-then-would-be-flatmate had seen my photograph on WhatsApp and she was watering plants outside, so though the passer-by didn’t know where the house was, she called out to me and there I was. Finally. I took the stairs upto the 1st floor and stepped into the house. Though I liked the area, the apartment, the house and most importantly the flatmate – I thought the room was a bit too open for me to write in privacy. And ya I loved that the place was clean 🙂 We chatted for a while about what our schedules each day would be and she told me how her ex-flatmate was preparing for CAT and used to study all the time in the house. She implied that I would not really find writing too difficult here, though I wasn’t convinced. I had to check out a place in Ulsoor too, told her so and headed there. (She helped me with the bus number. Phew!)
This one was short and sweet…though the drama wasn’t missing 🙂
I took bus number G3 from Adugodi Road to Brigade Road. 4 Stops. Afternoon time. Low on traffic. Short ride. Thankfully!
I alighted at Brigade Road and that is when my 2G decided to act up! My destination was Ulsoor Metro Station (actually it was Halasuru Metro Station, but my if-I-Like-the-place-then-would-be-flatmate had told me to come to Ulsoor Metro Station. And I didn’t know that Ulsoor didn’t have a metro station!) I searched for Ulsoor Metro Station on the maps. The drop down showed metro station and I didn’t bother to look too closely. I just clicked on it. The dehydration and hunger was catching up. The maps showed metro station was 1.8 kms away. I thought, “Wow! That’s walkable. No rickshaw.“I started walking, turned for the metro station and that’s when it stared at me. M G Road Metro Station! I was like, “Damn! This is what happens when you track ‘Metro Station’ from ‘My Location’. It tracks the nearest one, which may not really be the one that you want to go to.” I was nearly dizzy by now because hypoglycaemia was setting in. I hailed a rickshaw, thankfully the first one itself agreed to take me to Ulsoor Metro Station though not by metre but fixed fare. Which isn’t the fair thing to do but I was too tired to hail another one.
As we neared the metro station I felt the driver was a decent fellow and I was too tired to walk from the metro station to the apartment I had to visit. I called the would-be-Flatmate and handed over the phone to driver for the route instructions. That done and a little banter with him about ,” Madam, costly phones get too hot in Bangalore weather” we reached.
It was a decent looking apartment, though the area was a contrast to what I had seen at Koramangala. Narrow lanes, mostly kannadiga crowd and small stores. It looked more like old Bhopal city than Bangalore to me. Though to give all due credit, the apartment was good. Lift, CCTV, a nice clean 2BHK where my room had an attached washroom and a balcony. The flatmates were good too. I liked them.
I liked this better because I could just shut myself in a room and write as much as I wanted. This was cool, I thought. I confirmed to them that I’ll shift in a couple of days and paid the token amount. I headed back home with a grateful heart and a phewwww. I had heard it took people months to find a good place in Bangalore and I could find it within 4 days! A tiring Sunday but a good one.