The Shifting…

24 05 2006

It was in 2003 that we had to vacate our old house. We had known that for years and were prepared to do it. All that we needed was some time to buy a new house and settle in it. We already had a house in Faridabad but honestly speaking i never wanted to stay there. Given the fact that I have lived in South Delhi, which is considered as the best location to live in Delhi, I did not want to move to Faridabad. Even though it was in the suburbs, still its proximity to Delhi was always a question that kept recurring at the back of my mind. Perhaps dad too understood this predicament and also the fact that mom’s service was in Delhi and it was practically impossible for her to travel to her workplace from Faridabad. It forced us to do a rethink and we ultimately decided to sell off the property in Faridabad and buy a new house somewhere in Delhi.

The next problem that arose in front of us was that we did not have sufficient funds to buy a new house in Delhi after selling off the house in Faridabad. We ultimately decided to wait for some time while we arranged for more funds. In the meantime we started scouring Delhi for a new house. Our search took us to a remote sub-urban place called Dwarka. What attracted us was the fact that Dwarka at that time boasted of some good apartments at reasonable prices. We talked to a property dealer who showed us some flats, many of which were to our liking and many were not. It was a difficult decision for us to make as the property dealer was pressurizing us to buy a house soon as he expected the prices to rise steeply in the near future. But dad delayed the decision as we were in the process of arranging for the funds.

Meanwhile, the property dealer showed us one good flat, costing rather cheap too. He insisted on buying it within the next 2 or 3 days but we needed time of at least a week or so. The result was that we lost out on the deal of that flat pretty soon. Then we selected another flat but at the time of payment the seller started demanding more than what we had previously agreed for. Now time was running out. We had to vacate our old house before Nov. 30 and the deadline was fast approaching. In haste, the property dealer showed us another flat. The first look at this new flat suggested to me clearly that it was way too small for the needs of my family. I told this in clear and specific terms to mom. But I knew that we had no other choice left. We were destined to buy this flat. So, on November 14 we finally bought this flat and decided to move in within a week. In the intervening time we decided to get the house renovated. Well, we did not have the time to get much work done so we just hired a contractor and got new window-panes and iron grills fitted.

Now the focus shifted back to our old house where we were in the process of packing and cleaning out our stuff. This is where my role in the whole moving process comes into play. Mind you, that old house was small but it was still spacious. Heaven only knows how we had dumped so much of trash in the corners, attics and other hidden places. As we started scouring through the stuff, I and mom realized that we had a lot more to do on our hands than what we had first expected. Still, we tried. We tried our best to get the things packed up in boxes and arranged in a proper way so that we would not face any problems while opening them in our new home. But first we had to sell off quite a few things. I remember we had to sell off one huge iron trunk because we had no place for it in our new home. Then again we had to sell off a single-bed. There were other small articles that we threw away as trash and then there were some old clothes that we donated to some people in need and to some orphanage as well.

We soon realized that we would need more than just a transporter to move our home to the new house. We had some good quality furniture to transport, two TV sets and some other delicate items that needed to be handled with care. So we contacted a packers and movers agency and inquired about the prices they would charge. As soon as a deal was struck with them we called them to our home to get the packing started. The idea behind calling a packer was that we would get all our furniture packed and secured from all scratches during the transportation and also keep the delicate items from being damaged.

This was the first time I felt the burden of responsibility on my shoulders. Apparently my parents had kept me so well protected till then that I was virtually never given any work of responsibility even though I wanted to do it willingly. Even simple tasks like going to the bank to deposit or withdraw money looked tedious to me. I wanted to change it all and this time I got the opportunity that I was looking for. I grabbed it with both hands and in hindsight I can say that I am proud of the way I managed it. It shows that my organizational skills are quite good and can be put to test again.

I was very particular about the fact that none of our stuff gets damaged during the move. And yet something bad had to happen. It was like an inevitability that was due to occur. Though all the crockery and other items were being packed in newspaper and secured in tight containers, one small statue of Lord Hanuman, which was carved out of marble got damaged. It was a special gift from my bhabhi to dad on his birthday a few years before. What could we do? The damage had been done so we decided to get things moving further after reprimanding the offending worker. But another thing was to happen. While I was busy with some other work, one of the workers decided to dismantle the computer’s scanner all by himself. Obviously he did not know how to undo the wires and in the process, he damaged a few of the pins at the back of the scanner which are used to connect it to the PC. By the time I got to see what he was doing, it was too late. He had already done the damage. I just told him to pack the scanner in a secure cardboard container while I went about completing the work that I was doing. Feeling bad about it and cursing myself for not doing it myself the day before, I sulked for a while before I got back to my senses.

The shifting to our new home wasn’t easy. There was another problem that we had to face. We did not have an electricity connection at our new home immediately after buying it. So we had to apply for a new electricity connection with the power distribution company and had to wait for some time while they took their own time to install a meter at our home. While we were in the shifting mode, we knew that we would have to stay powerless in the new home for at least a week (if not more). With this in mind, we were mentally prepared to face the worst while we hoped for the best. Ultimately when we shifted the first load of our furniture to our new home on November 22, we were virtually sitting powerless there. Fortunately for us, we had an inverter that was in working condition. We quickly got it installed and got a few light bulbs fitted in the rooms of our home to light up the house at night.

Again, shifting wasn’t easy. We bought some new chairs to put them in our new home and when we finally shifted there, there was total chaos as the furniture was being unloaded from the truck. Somehow it was all sorted out and we put all the furniture in its proper places by the evening. Meanwhile, I and mom skipped lunch as we shunted from the old house to the new house. Now came another problem. We had a driver at that time (in fact he still works with us) who had agreed to stay with us throughout the time we were moving the house. But then at the right moment, he decided to go home. Apparently, he claimed that he did not have clothes to change after all dirty work of the day. I needed him to stay, so I offered him my clothes which he refused. Ultimately we had to let him go. I and dad stayed at our new house while mom stayed at the old house that night. We were supposed to shift the rest of the stuff the very next day.

We shifted the rest of the stuff the next day without any further glitches. But we were powerless. My brother arrived a day later from Kuwait and he took over the task of getting the electricity connection installed. It took us one more week before we had a proper and running electricity connection. How did we manage this one week? Simple! We paid the housing society’s electrician to allow us to draw some minimal amount of power from the society’s power connection so that at least we could survive through the nights. Thankfully for us, those were the winter months and it became quite pleasant in the day and we did not need the fans running all the time. How I managed to survive a week without my usual dose of television and Internet is something that I cannot emulate now!

Looking back, I feel that I did a great job managing the move to our new home. Barring a few hiccups that I wrote about above, things were done in a very systematic manner. It gets all the more importance since I was the one who was talking to the packer and mover most of the time. I earned praises from dad, something that I did not expect from him and I guess he too was surprised that I managed to get things moving without any delay all due to my effort. But i guess a lot of credit goes to my mom too as she was the thinker behind me. All that I did was to put her words into action.

The benefit of hindsight is always good. When I look back to that time of nearly 3 years ago, I realize that I needed that experience to get to know my own limits as a manager. It helped me get a new perspective on how to deal with people and how to get them to work according to my way. I know it is not enough but at least it is a start in the right direction. And I hope it goes in the right way from there on.

© Crime master Gogo


Delhi is shivering and I am shivering!

10 01 2006

Its bitterly cold. And it is not going to be any better. According to some weather forecasts the weather is going to stay chilly and shivering for the next few days. Being a Delhiite, I know what they are saying. I know that it will stay that way for the next 15-20 days. Add to it that I am having exams starting later this week. How will I cope with the bitter cold and write my papers? I guess it will have to be done anyway, hope I’ll find some way out for it.

The media is blowing this weather out of proportions. Some said that it snowed in Delhi, some said that it went below freezing point but the reality was that it was like 0.2 degree celcius, probably the lowest ever recorded in Delhi. It seems rather unbelievable because all my life I have never seen the temperatures dipping below 3 degrees in Delhi. This year, it was 0.2 the day before yesterday and 1.4 yesterday. Heaven knows what it will be like later today. Thanks to the hype by the media, the govt. has declared a holiday for primary schools for the next three days.

It actually makes me feel jealous. I remember as a kid, I too used to go to school in such harsh and cold weather. Nobody declared the schools closed in my days. We used to do it as routine and it became a part of our life. Whats the big deal in going to school even in this cold weather? Frankly speaking I have no idea! I remember, my school bus used to go past the Deer Park where it used to be so cold and foggy that we could not see anything inside it. If we can go to school as kids in such harsh weather so can the kids of today do as well. Wonder what happens to Mrs. Sheila Dikshit when she declares schools closed for such frivolous reasons.