Friday, December 14, 2012

Next Phase In Our Life...Shifting From House To A Flat!

I will miss my garden! 

Everybody must be familiar with my house by now via 'my garden', 'pets' and other posts.  This is my husband's dream house.  He built it at the age of 50! Until then we were living in rented houses! So, this house is special for us!

When we built this house, it was in the outskirts of Chennai.  Now, it is inside the city. This area was an industrial area, so it had less residential houses.  It had started developing then...i.e. 16 years back.  Now, this is an IT hub and many IT staff live here and naturally, many new colonies have sprung up in this area...Perungudi, Old Mahabalipuram Road.

Our house is in the main road and all the vehicles and people use this road to reach their places. The dust is so much that even if I clean the furniture in the morning, they will have a coat of dust by evening! When we go out of town for a couple of days, we keep all the windows closed. Still, when we come back, the whole house will be full of dust...we start sneezing and our throats get irritated. Everybody was asking us to shift to some cleaner atmosphered area for a long time. So, we decided to move to a flat, a couple of years back.

The flat is in a 'gated community' and is in a dead end road.  We will get good sea breeze which will make the area less polluted. But I will miss this house for a long time...until I am active and healthy at least! This is quite a big house.  It is not easy to get servant maids to clean it.  I don't have many close friends here...well, not even one 'close' friend!

I will never have a pooja room as beautiful as we have, here. Though we are trying make a replica of this pooja room in the new flat! Though I am not very religious, this pooja room gives us a nice feeling when we enter our house. Everybody says so! I love the ritual of going round the house and upstairs with my cats in the mornings, to pluck flowers. I love watering the plants.  I can sense the plants' happiness when I spray water on them to remove the dust! I will definitely miss my garden. I will miss watching the butterflies which come to suck honey from the exora flowers.  Though I don't hear the sounds of birds as much as I heard when we moved in here, still some koels and humming birds and brown sparrows make enough sounds.  The crows which come everyday to feed on the curd rice from me, will miss me, I am sure! We have a coconut tree, a teak tree, a huge neem tree which attract birds all the time. I love watching them in daytime when I am alone at home to entertain myself!

We did the gruhapravesh function of the flat recently.  This Kaarthigai month is good for doing the function, it seems.  The flat is not yet ready for occupation.  It will be ready in March/April.  We invited just a few close relatives but did all the homas...Ganapathy homa (Lord Ganesha should be worshipped before starting anything), Vaastu homa (asking nature to pardon us for disturbing her...cutting trees, disturbing the birds, digging the earth etc.), navagraha homa (to pacify the stars which influence our lives), Dhanvatri and Mrithyunjaya homa (for peace at home and good health) and Sudarshana homa (read the link for detailed description of this homa pl.).

But the function started with Gopooja...'Go' means cow... for us, Hindus the animal cow is very sacred.  We believe that Goddess Lakshmi resides at the back of the cow. We do pooja first to the cow along with her calf.  Both of them should enter the new house and sanctify it. Govisarjan is treated as a purifier in our religion (in the early days the cows used to eat lots of herbs in the fields or open space along with grass and so their urine was treated as green grass is not to be seen in the city and they eat dry grass/straw and sometimes paper too!).  Still the rituals continue! And I forgot to tell you one thing...we do Gruhapravesh when the house is 80% to 90% complete/ready for occupation, as far as possible! If we are buying a ready-made flat, we ignore this point! My son laughs when I talk about the rituals.  I just ask him to take everything easy...'we had been following these things and have not lost anything and these are harmless easy rituals too! Just enjoy even if you are laughing inside your heart!'

Gopooja...cow and calf! The mother ate the bananas with skin but the son wanted me to remove the skin and feed him! I did happily! He had a nice, shiny coat of fur!

We had arranged for food with a caterer, Aiyyar Caterers.  One plate of breakfast food costed Rs.100 (Idly, Vada, Khichdi, Sevai, Halwa for sweet with saambaar and 2 chutneys).  The cost of one plate of lunch was Rs.200 (the normal 2 currys,avial (mixed vegetables cooked with curd and coconut), 2 salads/pachchdis, mixed rice, appalam, chips, thayir vadai (dahi vada, which is his famous item!), Paayasam, Saambaar, more kuzhambu, rasam with a special sweet, Kaaju Mysore paak! Everybody said that the food was superb.  I write this in detail for people to know how we serve food when we conduct a function at home! If anybody is interested in good food, you can call him in this no. Hari (9840027800).  The food was so good that I am advertising him!

We follow another custom here.  When we build a 'house', we feed the workers on the day they put concrete on the roof.  It is tradition.  Most of us follow.  When this house was built. I made paayasam in a big vessel and brought here and distributed in paper cups.  We had asked a few workers to cook veg. biriyani to feed them.  Now, in this flat we fed around 110 workers on the day of the Gruhapravesh. Our lunch. I felt happy to see their happy faces.  Some of them told me that the food was good.

Another reason for us to leave this beatiful house is the ditch which flows close to our compound.  Let me write about it later.

My feeling is sort of 50/50.  This is a nice house but difficult to maintain/with all the pollution.  The flat is a 'flat' but in a cleaner area.  We have stopped going for the morning walks because of the heavy traffic on our road - IT taxis which come to pick up their staff.  Hope to resume it in the new area.  Everything looks green green now.  We will know how life is going to be once we move in, in the flat.

Wish me luck, friends!

Sorry, my story has become tooooo long!


ashok said...

congrats on your new flat.

SG said...

Congratulations. However, it takes a great adjustment from moving from an independent home to a flat. I know you and your family will adjust very well.

Does this caterer "serve" the food also? Or just deliver the food only?

Swaram said...

Congrats Sandhya :)
All that food had me drooling :P :P

Destination Infinity said...

If you are able to eliminate the dust and are able to look at greenery from the windows, house/apartment both are good!

Personally, I experienced some of my best days in a flat. But now I prefer the quietness of an independent house.

I am sure you'll start enjoying it once you settle in. All the best, Maami!

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

ASHOK: Thank you, Ashok!

SG: I think so too! We had been living in mostly 1+1 houses. Once lived in a flat but it was a ground floor corner flat, which never looked like a flat!

Her serves too!

SWARAM: Thank you, Swaram! Yes, it made everybody drooling too! And they were polite too, which is very rare nowadays!

DESTINATION INFINITY: This is going to be a new experience for us! Though this is an independent house, the traffic snarls irritates us. You can hear some of the sounds in my 'red vented bulbul' post's video! We are not able to open the frontside windows because of the noice and dust pollution.

Thank you, D.I.

KParthasarathi said...

No doubt living in a separate house with garden and pets has its own charm but I strongly feel that life in the gated community you have chosen in the heart of the city is bound to be exciting what with all cultural events closeby and many friends to choose from in the complex.I am sure you will have dust free well laid pathways for your regular walk.You can have both the privacy of your home and the lively social life of a building complex.
Here is wishing you both happier and healthier days and years in the new abode

Sandhya said...

K.PARTHASASRATHY: Thank you, Partha Sir! We need your blessings a lot! Hope our health will improve in the new surroundings!

Kavita Saharia said...

Congratulations Sandhya! I feel it is a wise decision. Though it is a bit early now but even me and Chandan have decided that once kids leave the house for further studies we will shift to a flat. Maintaining a big house is a real challenge. I know initially you will miss your puja ghar, garden but slowly you will get adjusted. Once again my best wishes.Regards.

Zephyr said...

It is a wise decision, Sandhya. I personally like the comfort feeling I get in a flat. We built and lived in a house for some years, but maintaining it was a big problem. A smaller place is good in keeping clean. Also the closeness of neighbours who offer a smile and much more is welcome, especially if only you both are living alone.

I am sure you will begin loving it once you move in. Congrats and all the best!

Renu said...

congratulations Sandhya!and thanks for telling us the details of caterer, it will be very helpful, did he serve pooris also..

Bhagyashree said...

MY best wishes with you Sandhyakka.
Though a house is spacious, I definitely like to stay in a place which I can clean myself, so my vote goes for the flat :D

Sandhya said...

KAVITA SAHARIA: Thank you, Kavita! I think I will adjust with the new environment easily! We will have a pooja room, a small one, but nearly like we have here! Lots of trees are there at the backyard (next compound), so I will be able to watch birds and have nice breeze too!

ZEPHYR: Thank you, Zephyr! Yes, I will have friends there, hopefully! I can go out easily from there. The current servant maid's mother has agreed to come at least for some days in the beginning!

RENU: Thank you, Renu! He will do, if we ask for it! Poori means, allo should be there. We don't use onion on a pooja day, so it was ruled out!

BHAGYA: Thank you, Bhagya! One more vote for the flat! I am happy!

Varunavi said...

COngrats Sandhya and won't say anything about the independent house cause you know how much i used to love my house.

But it is always good to live in a pollution free atmosphere and to take care of our health.All the best for the new flat,you will get to know more people in flats and will have friends.Anyway we all are there for you.

Hugs for the wonderful decision and i am sure some regrets will be there but it will be side lined when you enjoy living in the flats...

Sandhya said...

VARUNAVI: Thank you, Saritha!

Hope I will get more friends over there! I know I have you people for friends, Saritha!

Time will take care of the regrets!

Prasoon said...

Congratulations Sandhya :) Hope you have a great time in ur new flat :)

manjujoglekar said...

Best wishes, Sandhya! I hope that the move from house to flat goes smoothly. I am sure you will adjust nicely in your new home once a few days have gone by! :)

Loved your description of the gruhapravesh function. Very graphic. I felt as if I were there with you!

manjujoglekar said...

Best wishes, Sandhya! I hope that the move from house to flat goes smoothly. I am sure you will adjust nicely in your new home once a few days have gone by! :)

Loved your description of the gruhapravesh function. Very graphic. I felt as if I were there with you!

Jeevan said...

Congrats for the new flat. Hope it gives a content feeling and free from dust and smoke.
For me, only shifting to a flat got lot of opportunity at bird watching… because of the open ground and wild vegetation adjutant to our compound. I think u have shifted from OMR to ECR.

All the best :)

rama said...

As everybody has already pointed out the advantages of living in an apartment and in a gated community. It offers lot of safety also, unlike independent houses. Though moving out of a house built with lot of love and care is really heart breaking.
We moved from a flat which was very peaceful and comfortable when we first moved to Bangalore, but soon as years passed, because it was in the main road, with the increase in traffic, it became unbearable, so we moved a little away from the city, and now after 12 years our area has become a IT hub. However we are still safe from the noise and pollution as we are not in the main road, and we live in a peaceful locality.
Our children too have left us, and people keep asking us how we can live in such a big house, but we love it and till now we have had no problem, so why not keep enjoying it, as long as we can.
I too would find it very difficult to move to a smaller place, despite all the advantages.
But that is life I suppose, we have to change our mindset to suit the situation. Wish you the very best!!1

Vaish said...

There's always it's own pros and cons about Own house and a flat. Glad that you can resume your morning walks..

deeps said...

such a wonderful beginning ...
have a lovely time at the new place and let the surrounding be friendly to you...

Rahul Bhatia said...

Wow Sandhya, that was a hear felt post with nostalgia of the old house and new hopes in the new house. May you have a lovely stay in your new abode when you move there:)

Sandhya said...

PRASOON: Thank you, Prasoon!

MANJU JOGLEKAR: Thank you! Yes, I will get used to the new atmosphere soon, Manju!

Thank you!

JEEVAN: Yes, our back yard faces an area full of trees. So I won't be away from bird/butterfly watching!

OMR to Besant Nagar!

RAMA: Thank god, you don't live on the main road! We bought this plot 17 years ago because other side roads were deserted and many plots were vacant and the area is outskirt of the city. So thought it was not safe to live there. The main road was safe, we thought. Now, the side roads are full of garbage...nobody cleans. People also don't bother. Our road has got other problems!

This will be the first time for me to live in a flat which is in the II floor with a lift! Age is asking me to go for it! Yes, we will adjust everywhere! Thank you, Rama!

VAISH: Yes, we are waiting to resume our morning walks! Thank you, Vaish!

DEEPS: Thank you, Deeps!

RAHUL BHATIA: Thank you, Rahulji for the whole hearted best wishes! We need them!

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Congratulations Sandhya. All the best in the new flat.

sm said...

congrats for new flat

Hema said...

Sandhyaji.. Congrats on your new flat.. we too moved to a second hand flat just this october 28th... it had been hectic from then.. I too face the same problem.. so much dust.. now we are thinking about selling it just after a couple of months.. its in velachery and we too have the same probs... lots of IT cars, heavy vehicles, school vans.. what not..

It was wonderful reading your grahapravesam.. hope to see you hale and healthy in your new flat..

radha said...

All the best in your shifting of residence. We did have a flat in OMR that we sold for personal reasons. It was a nice gated community. We plan to shift residence at this stage of our life too. To a smaller flat. But I think it should be manageable and maybe we can equip it to our liking.

Sandhya said...

R.RAMAKRISHNAN: Thank you, Ramakrishnan Sir!

HEMA: Yes, it is difficult to step into the street with so much pollution.

Hope you get a flat in a better area. I get irritated very easily here on the road. There is no place for walking.

Thank you, Hema! Sorry for acknowledging so late!

All the best to you!

RADHA: Yes, after the children go out, it is better to go into a smaller flat so that we can manage it easily. It is difficult to get good servants also nowadays.

Thank you, Radha!

Rahul Aggarwal said...

Congratulations ma'am ..

i have so many fond memories associated with perungudi .. i was there for nearly 2 years ..

where exactly is your flat in perungudi ..?

you know the CTS office right next to lifleline... i was staying right behind that ..

Sandhya said...

RAHUL AGGARWAL: I know CTS! We live at Perungudi Annexe. It is the main road from Perungudi bus stop. It is too crowded now and too many vehicles pass through our road to the new colonies inside!

Thank you Rahul!

Usha Basker said...

Very nice write up. Gives a feeling as if we attended the house warming ceremony. Nice description abt ur perungudi house and its surroundings which i have visited twice. Waiting to visit ur new flat. Even I liked ur perungudi house as nd its beautiful garden. I still remember the box type windows in ur perungudi house bedroom at 1 St floor. It will be nice and spacious to sit and watch the road. Nice memories.

Usha Basker said...

Nice blog abt old perungudi house and new flat. We felt as if we attended ur house warming ceremony.Remembered to have visited ur perungudi house twice. Nice house with beautiful garden. I still remember the box type window in 1 St floor bedroom which is spacious to sit and watch the road. Love to visit ur new flat at beasant nagar. Ur perungudi house layout was good.

Sandhya said...

USHA BASKER: Yes, Usha! We have got many pleasant memories about that house. But life goes on! Now, we have settled down in this flat and I have got some potted plants here. Can see some trees also in the next compound and birds in them! So now, I am happy here! Thank you!

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