Wednesday, April 8, 2009

brokers in arms

We’ve been house hunting for months. No, make that years.

 And I’ve become a pro at broker language.

1. The sunke gali lagega terms like “Building ka OC hai kya?” 

2. The future ki baaten. Eg. “FSI kitna hai? Redevelopment ka kya chance hai." 

3.   The society ka baap terms like, “ Building cosmo hai?" 

4. And finally you know you have done the top se bottom storey of the Mumbai real estate scene when you disdainfully look at the flat and say, “ Par yeh toh converted one BHK hai.”

 That’s when you’ll earn the brokers respect. Because he’ll know yeh party ko sab malum hai.

But he’ll still try. To show you a barely squeezable 2 BHK, and then wave his arms around and say, “ Sink bahar le ke, kitchen ko adha kat ke bedroom bana sakte hain madam. Wonderful 3 BHK ho jayega.”

But by now you’re a hardened surveyor of the scene. You’ll not even flinch as you walk to the window.

At which point he’ll fling out his arms and point to the million slums in front and say, “ Bas. Order out hai. Sab jhopad pati do deen mahine mein clear ho jayenga. By god, what a view madam”

Now you’ll pretend to stifle a yawn and ask in a bored voice, “ Area kitna hai?”

He’ll say, “ Bas kya? Full nine hundred hai. Magar lagta mast 1000 ke upar hai. All side open hai na...spacious feeling.”

The thing to do through all this is to keep the poker face and say, “ Aur kuch hai kya?”

But he’s smarter. Even if he’s disappointed he will not twitch an eyebrow. He’ll just say, “ Dekhne ko toh bahut hain madam... par yeh hit hai.

A converted 1 BHK that he’s asking you to break further, so you can get a 3 BHK.

The only hit is what you want to land on his smirky face. But this is Mumbai. And if there’s one man you’ll see more often than your spouse and probably feature as No 1 on your speed dial, it’s your broker.

You are the balcony to his clothesline. The loft to his storage tank. The false ceiling to his disco lights. The faster you get used to it, the sooner you’ll find a house.

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