So I finally moved out of my place, where I’d lived ever since I set foot in Mumbai. The reason was obvious—this was a small apartment, though it was fine till now because I hardly spent time at home. Life had followed a little zigzag line: I’d moved to London for five years and, when I moved back in 2012, I was travelling continuously. I have been in this extended-temporary phase of homelessness thanks to my work and travel. In 2016, I’ve already been to Europe four times, once to Australia and twice to New York, not to mention journeys within India for Angry Indian Goddesses, Island City, Unindian and Parched. The mind itself is in a state of constant travel: where’s the time to look for a bigger space where one can settle down with a Tourister full of thoughts and other knick-knacks?
When I get precious spare time to look for places, I come back with the strangest stories but no house. Once we sat down to negotiate the price and the couple who owned the flat started fighting. As I sat there watching, a touch stupefied, I realised they were selling the apartment because they were separating. And suddenly, in the middle of it, they did not want to sell it anymore! In another case, two brothers had a disagreement. Sometimes the bank did not approve the papers, some didn’t have parking...an endless list of fruitless ventures. My friends are now tired of giving me agents’ numbers and asking, “You still have not found a place?” Yes, I am still homeless. Some friends who’ve been through this understand my plight, and understand how difficult it is to find that one right place in Mumbai.