What's life without milestones?
It is the quest for these milestones that makes life, for me.
Recently, or about 3 months back, Neeti and I crossed a milestone, an important one of our lives! We moved into our own house.
It wasn't easy as it sounds. We bought the place way back in 2007. We were promised completion by 2009 and were eagerly looking forward to moving in, into a place we could call our own!
But then plans get delayed. Here courtesy BMC, approvals for our building were getting delayed (probably palms weren't greased enough) and our anxiousness (on rising mortgage rates) was building by the day.
Finally we heaved a sigh of relief when got possession of our place in September 2011, two years late! The pleasure of getting the place was immense, perhaps as sweet as Mysore Pak (which had sweetened that significant moment).
But then another important thing had to be done. The bare shell had to be made habitable. We had done a lot of hardwork already. Neeti was very sure what she wanted. And thanks to her, we looked at various design options, suggested by the interiors team, of Anu and Prashant, and finalised the designs by the time we took possession.
In a few days after possession, the interiors team mobilised themselves at our new place starting work. The place was chaotic - lots of material, labour and dust all around - it hardly looked habitable.
By December, things looked in good shape.
We were scheduled to move in on an auspicious date in January. We wanted to have our family around with us on the momentous occasion. It was quite a pleasure organising tickets, accommodation and logistics for our families. I was too pleased that my sister, Neelima and her hubby, Maulik, were able to make it for the gathering from the United States.
Neeti's extended family from Delhi also enthusiastically joined in. We are very greatful to everyone who joined in to bless us, coming from far and wide.
We had planned family dinners and a bit of sightseeing for everyone. Things worked pretty well.
For the D-Day, we had scheduled a family havan followed by lunch for which friends were invited. For the havan, we had called a Pandit from the Versova branch of Arya Samaj to preside over the ceremony. It was a simple havan, with family and close friends around to bless our home.
Next that followed was an authentic Punjabi lunch - makki ki roti, sarson ka saag, kadhai paneer, mixed vegetables and daal makhani, alongwith gulab jamuns for dessert. Thanks to care taken by Mr. Bhisht of Kailas Parbat and our precise specifications, the food turned out to be nice and absolutely authentic. And it was enjoyed by the Mumbai-ites, for whom the Gujju-ised version defined what Punjabi food is.
The instant relief we got was on parking woes. At the earlier place in Lokhandwala, a wily Gujju with a questionable reputation usurped our parking space and put us in a great deal of tension for over 6 months. Now we have no parking blues! Pray that God gives the Gujju some sense of ethics and culture. Surely, "Me, me and myself" is not a good attitude to live with.
Settling in took an awfully long time, since we could unpack only in the late evenings after work. On weekends, the slothful mass of mine would always come in for a lot of criticism from Neeti, as I was too lazy to unpack. But then it had to be done and it finally was, though with a delay!
Now we can sit on the window with a cup of tea and gaze into the endless greens of Aarey Milk Colony, hearing the sounds of silence, birds chirping, watching the mist lift as a new day dawns! Magical! Nice to be in a place we can call our own!
But we will miss the action of Lokhandwala. We are thankful to God for making our stay at Lokhandwala a memorable one. While at Lokhandwala, we grew a lot, life gave us a lot more than we thought we could achieve, we pray that whoever moves into our old abode also achieves a lot in life!
Crossing one milestone logically leads you to target the next one. And we are already on the job - targeting the next milestone!