Part 2 : Seek and thou shalt find
We are no strangers to house-hunting. In the 8 years that we have been married, we stayed in nearly half a dozen houses, in four different locations of the country. When we first arrived in Dhar, we stayed in a hotel room for nearly one month, as we had difficulty in finding a house of our choice. However, we had the luxury of visiting several prospective locations and then finalizing a house which we would call home for nearly four years.
Now that we were in Aizawl, we had to find a house for long-term tenancy. We did check the online listings before we left and surprisingly there weren’t any on the popular websites. This was quite usual in small towns like Dhar, but very surprising for a state capital. We met our local contact, who had a house for rent. Over coffee, she informed us that the said house would not be ready for occupation for another 3 months, unfortunately. I met a few other outsider consultants too who gravely informed me of their own housing woes- many were put up in hostels and shared accommodations. “It is extremely difficult to find a decent house here, Doc”- they said-“but we will also spread the word that you are searching for accommodation and good luck with your search!”
Not to be defeated yet, we decided to scout for a house. We asked everyone- our homestay owners, local shopkeepers, our driver, colleagues elsewhere in the North-East and the office staff, if they knew of any homes available for immediate occupancy. I want to say that we were successful, but we weren’t. Without any advertisements or agents to guide us, we were hitting dead-ends. After a week, we saw a glimmer of hope-A colleague had shared a link on one of the online sites- an advertisement looking for tenants! We checked the ad out and decided to leave a message to the person who posted the ad. However, I was having my doubts- the ad was posted by someone who was definitely an outsider, and laws in Mizoram prevent non-indigenous people from owning any property in the state. However, this person-lets call him Mr. J, did get back to us and we agreed to rendezvous the next morning.
Next day, we met J, who was waiting for us in Tuikhuahtlang. “I have seen a house, but it’s not mine”, he said, “I have been searching for the past week and this is the only place I found so far, but it’s exceeding my budget. I was looking for room-mates to share the cost, so I posted the advertisement. But if you guys like the house, please take it- I am shifting my search to hostels and I understand your problem.”
Turns out, the house was indeed a good one. However, it didn’t look one bit like the photo J posted. “I forgot to click a pic when I visited,” he chuckled, “so I just added one of my hotel room to increase the chance of getting views”. Mr.J found a hostel to his liking the same evening. We moved into our new home the next week.
PHOTO CREDIT : DR AISWARYALAKSHMI | MANOHAR KRISHNAN
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