Builders want you to have babies
In 2006, after having invested all our life's savings and taking a huge home loan, we finally had a beautiful house in Mumbai. Our parents heaved a sigh of relief at us finally settling down. There's nothing more relieving for parents than to know that their kids have a house of their own in Mumbai even if the EMIs are enough to break their backs. Your own home is your own home even if it is small, they used to say. So we had uplifted ourselves in their eyes by buying this house barely a year after marriage.
It seemed like our dream home. It was huge, spacious, in a good location and much bigger than most of our friend's flats. We often had people envying us and asking us to let them know if we ever wanted to sell it. We smiled in satisfaction. This was the house we would grow old in. Slowly and steadily we even paid off our loan. The house was ours! Finally!
Come 2012. We are no more just a couple. We have a 3-year-old daughter. The dream house now is 6 years old too. We now are forced to look out for another home. In fact we have been house hunting for the past few days. The reason being that there is no play area or garden or any such recreational activities in our building. There are no kids of her age too. Since it is a stand alone building there is no secure complex guarding it. So the very home which seemed adequate and accomplished in all aspects a few years back now seems inadequate and wanting for our child.
To top it up, just today in one of the leading dailies, I read about how builders are going all out to tempt the parents via the children. So complexes now come with squash, tennis and volley ball courts, children's swimming pool, indoor games centre, play area with swings and slides and even a recreational hall where you can hold their birthday parties, all for a premium of course.
So here we are. In a typical metro where there are no open grounds, no recreational facilities and no friends or cousins to play with the parents are bound to search for residential complexes where all this is available and in-built. This not only saves the time spent on ferrying kids to common pools and clubs in rush hour traffic but also ensures the child's safety. After all, security is the main concern today. Buildings which are easily accessible from all sides are a huge no-no. Little wonder then that builders are now making gardens and pools on levels as high as the 12th or the 25th floor.
How times have changed. Even if indirectly, children now command where you live and what you buy. Earlier it was just about their clothes, bags, toys and food. Now they even influence the buying of homes. The catch is that to now buy a home with all these facilities requires another loan. Only if the sale of one good home could ensure the buying of another good home, life would have been perfect. But in Mumbai every small want or dream comes at a price. Even if the dream is as small as a swing or slide for your kid to play with. Is the fairy godmother listening?
Till my next post. You can write to me at http://mammamania.in
More about Shabia Ravi Walia
Shabia Ravi Walia is a media professional for the past 15 years. Dabbling in production, creative direction and writing, she has equal experience in both genres of fiction and non fiction. Over the years she has worked on various reputed non fiction shows like Surabhi and The Good Food Guide for Siddharth Kak, Movers and Shakers on Sony TV and well known fiction shows like Siddhanth, Kumkum, Ek thi Rajkumari, Mile Jab Hum Tum etc. She was amongst the core team who launched Sahara Samay in Mumbai for Sahara Television.
She satiates her love for writing by providing content for websites, copywriting for corporate films and penning down short skits and poems.
Currently Shabia works in the content division of a leading television channel. However her biggest achievement till date as considered by her, is the birth of her baby Sia and penning down the experiences associated with it in the form of her bestselling book 'Mamma Mania.' When Shabia is not rustling up stories, she loves to whip up a storm in the kitchen or put on her dancing shoes and burn the dance floor. Shabia lives in Mumbai with her husband Ravi and daughter Sia and is already planning her 2nd book.