A Wall that tells a Story


I want the perfect house.

I want to be able to hang up a full blown up picture on one wall. I want to be able to chip a bathroom tile and not call up anybody and inform the damage. I want to grow creepers on my window grills without having to remove them in case we move again. In short, I am tired of being the ‘The Tenant’.

My wanderlust days are over. I want to settle. In a home with four walls to call my own. And a ceiling where I can fix fans, lights, or even commission Michelangelo to rise from the dead and paint up a ‘Sistine Chapel’.

Does it exist, though? I mean my perfect house.

Real-estate agents with their plastic files and even more plastic smiles guide me confidently through dozens of flats. Forgettable, tiresome spaces which fail to evoke any emotions in me. I smile politely as they glorify the significance of having a tiny kitchen.

He says kitchen, I think kitchenette.

Really? You think that is good? Pray, do tell me how hitting my back against the wall when I bend to take something from the kitchen cabinet can be good?

Another polite smile from me.

Bedrooms perfect to be adorned on of those postcards, because it is only postcard sized after all.

Why are you still selling people king-sized beds, I wonder.

Another polite smile from me.

Sometimes, I do come across the almost perfect One. But before my polite smile can turn into a genuine one, the cost bomb is dropped. A and I exchange glances and smile back. This time a smile tinged with sadness.

I rifle through furniture catalogues turning pages randomly, looking but never really seeing. I take a quick peek inside other apartments as I walk by, marveling at the homes that they have created.

Each house has a history. Each chair, each carpet stain and each creaking door tells a story. Someday, I will have a wall with faint pencil markings where I have marked ‘R’s height each year and watched him whoop with joy as he grows taller. I will tut-tut over the cramped space of my wardrobe and vow to call the carpenter ‘this very minute’ and never get around to calling him. I will argue with A about whether we should ‘really?’ use the free space for a home theatre instead of a tiny recreation area.

Ah! The dreams are endless.

And so far they have shown no inclination to being anything but mere dreams.

So I continue my search for the walls that will write our story.

Disclaimer: This is purely a satirical, light-hearted look at my house hunting experience. NOT looking for too-serious-to-bear comments about house prices or ‘be patient’ pep talks. I have had my fair share of advice already.

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12 thoughts on “A Wall that tells a Story

  1. Hmm… Interesting article Maria… sorta like checking of the ‘to do’ items in life…

    Not sure if they are relevant, but your post kinda reminded me of couple of quotes from ‘Fight Club’, by Chuck Palahniuk. Apologies in advance if they offend u in some way 🙂

    “You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”

    “And I wasn’t the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue.”

    • Ok two things:

      One, the fact that you took time to ponder about the post and write such comments is in itself admirable.

      Two, those are powerful dialogues man! No offense taken. I loved the bit about how the ‘things we own, own us now’..its so true.

      You are right, my nesting instinct is in overdrive now 🙂

  2. And u shall one day… Ameen!

    Very poignant words you ended with…

    I can only say that the dream is shared in a different vein by OH so many of us expatriates… while I heart lies in a country… a home we continue to search on for… to mark and have and hold…

    Lets just say uve taken two steps… ‘A’… and ‘R’… the rest shall follow… jst hang on tite to a little stubborn faith u do now…

    *awaits smack on head for pep like talk/comment*

    0= )

    xxx

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  4. “There is no road to happiness, happiness is the road” – heh, I remember reading this somewhere. It’s taken me ages to realise this.

    I think we should enjoy the search, be patient, sometimes things get delayed for a reason, a better one.

    Good luck and thanks for this article.

  5. Home is definitely a small little place in this world that we own and it’s natural to get emotional with the thing which you own.

    I remember the small 1 BHK flat I had bought for myself immediately after marriage. Me n my wife moved in together to that flat immediately after marriage. I was in debt (i.e. 90% bank loan & for remaining 10% also I had taken from friend) yet me n my wife had zest to make that beautiful little nest even more beautiful. I was used to plan about what to buy, when to buy and how to manage finance, etc. Within 4 months after moving in to that house, I moved to SG so I couldn’t make that nest the perfect nest. Yet emotionally I have very fond memory of my that house.

    I still have a dream of making perfect nest once I move back to India.

    Good luck for your house hunting n hope you settle down in your nest soon.

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