How okay is it to lead a normal life during a global pandemic?

I have recently found myself looking for a quaint little apartment for a nominal rent in the city. Like the process of house-hunting wasn’t bad enough earlier, this little project is turning into my favourite nightmare. Unwarranted chides, ridiculous expectations, just out of reach rent, it sure has been a rollercoaster ride.

The act of house-hunting itself (getting on a bike and following your house broker around winding streets and narrow gullies) has become stressful. I mean, I sure don’t want to contract the virus. So how do I “okay” a house? Videocalls. That’s right. My house broker is better than yours.

It was awkward and painful. I was bargaining with the landlord when his 2 year old behind him somersaulted off her plastic three wheeler. “Yes Mr. Hegde, I know your daughter just toppled off her tricycle but can you consider bringing down the rent by a couple of thousands please?”.

When I actually gathered some courage to go out to see a property (I took the necessary safety precautions) I was denied a tour of the house because the landlord is a heart patient. So he asked me to look at the property from the outside and take a call.

What annoyed me the most was even after being fully aware of the fact that the times are hard and that the economy is crashing, the landlords without any hesitation whatsoever, quote a ridiculous price. “No, Mr. Patel, I’m not paying 25 grand. This place is a hole!”

The house-hunting was futile. I have found no house, I’m still under tremendous pressure to find one and I’m left with a soul-shaking amount of guilt. I am privileged enough to be looking for a stay. I am privileged enough to be choosy about my stay.

To hope for a better world makes me feel ignorant. To hope for the betterment of the world makes me feel privileged. To hope to get successful one day and bring about change seems passably correct. So I will do that. Finishing off this rant, for now, now that’s what you call a guilt trip!


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