Beyond 850 square feet

Beyond 850 square feet

A view of an inferior sea mirage, another view of a highway with tailing cars, which appeared like ants following pheromone trail, and towards the right the brokers were pointing out at a site where a big, humongous building was soon to rise. Buying Mumbai’s sea-facing apartments is a pipe dream. But, how you measure the proximity to the sea is purely a matter of personal choice, or, to be honest, the selection predominantly depends on one’s budget.

While I was already imagining myself sipping a cup of coffee, standing in the balcony, romancing the sea, my husband stood at the brahmastan (the centre of the house) with his vastu compass and began calculating. He gave me a disdainful glance and moved on. 

And then gradually week after week, we had to hunt more, rather study more. Even if the house was more than 850 square feet, it would be quite a revelation to our relatives living in our native place having the luxury of living in sprawling green acres of land. But even in 900 square feet flat we would still ask the broker, “where does the sunrise?” - a subtle way to ask, where is south, north, east and west.

For me embracing vastu was next to impossible. Whenever we rejected a house, I would giggle and say to my husband, “I am living under the threat of conversion.”

However, I as time passed I got fascinated with the scientific definitions of vastu. I had started doing my research online and also spoke to my father’s friend who is an architect cum vastu expert. From what I’ve understood, the north-east direction needs to be open and airy, and interestingly it is also the most auspicious direction. So my new fixation was to look for north-east direction in a flat that was well-ventilated. Whenever the broker showed a west-facing balcony I would be quite disappointed.

While my husband looked for a south-east entrance, I looked for a north-east balcony. We were so obsessed with vastu, that once we directly asked the owner of an apartment to show us a house with south-east entrance. He wittingly replied, “We might have to build an entrance like that especially for you, sir.” While we laughed together, it dawned upon us that the whole concept of vastu had defeated the sole purpose – of buying a home.

Next morning, while I discarded old newspapers, I wondered why my book shelves looked so crowded. And then my eyes fell on the hefty property brochures lying there. A great pile of mess I thought. While we still believe in vastu science, we also believe that one cannot underestimate the power of numbers, and the power of emotion. Eight hundred and fifty square feet, or beyond, in Mumbai, there is a sea of opportunities to build an auspicious home.