Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Meet the 30s: all grown up, living in debt and loving it


Keys jingling in a handbag. A fob heavier than the keys to the last place.

Bare wood floors. Massive glass panes. Three thin pillars holding up the floating ceiling. A hole in the wall where a plasma TV once lived.

Sepia light pouring in through the windows of the living room. Two people sitting on the cool warm floor. One playing with the remote for the electric blinds. The other gazing through the window at the terrace that is to be known as ‘outside space’ even at this height. And flipping through a folder of manuals for various appliances.

Our first evening in our new flat.



I have a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart right this very minute.

Our very first home together was here in London. A studio apartment on a leafy street. Since we were young, starting out and basically living like a student and his wife, our apartment was minimalist. We consciously avoided buying junk and stuff that was not desperately needed. Or could afford. Clean my house meant throwing a bedcover over the bed and hey presto it was all neat.

We moved to our next rented place in the month of December. We found it after looking at about 30 apartments within a close commute of V’s new workplace. And we fell in love with it in an instant. Bright, airy, modern and by the water, we’ve been very happy in this flat. We’ve entertained like crazy, had friends and relatives treat this like their home and thoroughly enjoyed growing into the space, buying stuff to equip it well, bringing treasures from India to make it feel like a bit of home. Our 3.5 years of bliss are over. Morphed into something even better: Ownership.

Yesterday my heart was in my mouth all morning waiting to hear from V that the solicitor had confirmed completion. That is money transfers and now we own this ship!!! And once he did (the solicitor) and then he did (V) my heart was aflutter with joy. Like good Indian children we quickly called our parents to share the good news. All the while marveling at how grown up we suddenly were.

Our age slowly creeps up on us draping us with an ever thicker shawl of responsibility. Before we know it we fall in real love and out of teenage drama. Then we get married and play ‘house’ for a bit. Then we buy our first home together and suddenly it hits us. Thwack is the sound I imagine in my head.

We are all grown up. And there’s no way but forward from here. I feel a little bit older, a lot more responsible and somehow a bit more secure knowing we own a bit of a bit of a city. It’s like all our life’s accomplishments coming to some fruition – all our seriousness and wise investment play dough-ing into something tangible.

I know I sound a bit sentimental (or is that mental?) but I am just a bit weepy. I also sound corny but that’s only because some of these clichéd things are coming to mind right now. Is that age or circumstance or both – we’ll never know. The day we never thought would come is here. Nearly a year on from when we started down this road we have finally reached our destination. Our journey is complete for the moment. Satisfaction guaranteed till we outgrow our box.



We have not moved yet but we have taken possession of our first ever home. Hence the jingling keys and everlasting wonder with electric blinds. The biggest purchase we are likely to make for sometime to come. The debt that is an investment. We went to have a look yesterday evening and finalise our plans for the rest of this week. We ended up trying to layout our living room with just our imaginations. It was fun.

Our furniture arrives on Friday. We’ll have to decide on some sort of layout by then or else risk our backs to move very heavy stuff once the assembly chaps have gone. Not so much fun.

P.S. Meanwhile, at Casa 30s we are still struggling to fit all our stuff into cardboard boxes and suitcases. Why did we ever buy all this stuff? When did we buy all this stuff? How expensive is all this stuff? Think we could ebay it? Where will we fit it in our new place? When will this move ever end?


  1. You feel old... I feel old.. I think the world is getting old. let's have an 'oldies' party I say :p

    Pardon the nonsense, i'm just too overwhelmed with data at the moment. Ctrl+Alt+Del won't work.

  2. Aha! Congratulations once again and al that jazz music! :) Don't forget to wet the roof once you finish warming the house! ;)

  3. Anonymous1:59 AM

    you feel old!!! how do you think i feel...my once bratty, kid cousin sis is all grown up!!! brings tears to me eye...the only thing that keeps me young are my kids and the fact that Nik is not married yet...when that happens i might as well...40in2006

  4. I know just how you feel. Our transition was pretty similar.

    We started off in a one bedroom apartment because that was all we could afford. We had a cheap folding sofa in the living room for guests.

    Then we upgraded to a house my company gave us. Two bedrooms and very comfortable for us and the guests finally had a room and a bed to call their own.

    And now, Ayaan has come along and somehow teo bedrooms seem like too little place again! So now we bought out own 3-bedroom place - we move in October.

  5. Your post took me down memory lane. There were days, when we'd never imagined we'd ever own a place. Finally it has happened! It now seems an anticlimax :(.

    Reflections on growing old:
    The whole world seems younger than us. We are now 46 in 2006. Looking back, sometimes regrets do creep in
    - should we have done something else?
    - had we done this ....
    But after all postmortems, we've realized that we got only what we wanted.

  6. Me: It would seem that your current busy-ness does make you feel old. Mine only makes me feel mature yet tired (A more politically positive way of putting the same I think!)

    Wishful thinker: Suggestion taken although getting to the roof could be hazardous to my health.

    40in2006: Was I that bratty?

    Rohini: space (like moolah) is never enough. Even before we have moved we are already worrying about how little space there is!! All the best for your October move.

    Visitor: I know, never even imagined this day would arrive - and here it is. Life is too short for regrets. Looking back should only ever be with nostalgia and never regret - espeically since you can't change. Live the best life you can and you will ahve a cache of memories in old age that will be worth delving into!

  7. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I am sure it was a tedious process - but it paid off well!

  8. i have a feeling that i'll sound like this in a few years to come. think i should rename myself 30in2010. that's not to say anything about the way you sound, except that it's a lovely feeling... ownership. a part of a city. shawl of responsibility.

    i guess quite some of that comes with marriage as wel.. no?

  9. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I just moved to London and its been interesting to read your stories of the place.

    Congratulations on your new house. Its quite a crazy market .. its been a nightmare finding a place to rent ..and thats a much easier decision than buying!


  10. Anonymous10:13 PM

    Hi. I came across your blog as one comes across blogs....and it is almost amusing to see how similar my life experiences are to other Indian 31in2006s in London. Hunting for a flat with crazy estate agents, finally buying a flat and then with the little money you have actually managed to have left over furnishing it primarily from Lombok (which I presume is your sustainable forest shop)....it is all too similar given that we completed on our flat last week.

  11. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Congratulations and all the best!
    does it feel like dream come true?


  12. now you've got all those unpacking to do!!!

  13. How wonderful!!! You have the house. Period.I was smiling by the time i finished reading the post...yay!

  14. First of all many congratulations on finding and owning your perfect place. Moving is never an easy process. I hope you enjoy the new place. Do not even sweat the debt, I guess it is the fashionable way to live these days. My fiance and I haven't hit 30s yet but our debt (only from school alone) is 200 K combined. And we do not even own a house! But we are still having fun. :-)

  15. Also, I tagged you. First time ever.