15 May 2013

A house of her own

Sarita stared at her landlord in silent horror.  She had been dreading this moment for a while now – yet when he uttered those words, she was not quite prepared for them. 

“Please vacate the place”.

He looked at her kindly and said softly, “Take your time.  One month, even two months.  I wouldn’t have asked you to vacate but my sister is coming to stay in this town and she has asked me to arrange this place for her.”

She remembered him being all fatherly when she began living there.”You are like my daughter.  I just want good people living in my house.”  What a fraud he was. If she were to visit the place again in six months’ time, she’d find another tenant living there happily.

She noticed that landlords in Punjab seemed to get extremely agitated if a tenant were to stay at their place for longer than two or three years. As it is, the whole renting process was vague. There was hardly any rent agreement, or any other kind of paperwork involved.  The rent was paid in cash, so no transaction could be claimed.  And of course, there was no receipt provided.

She sighed – she knew what lay ahead of her now. Finding another place, with all its attendant difficulties meant starting the process all over again. And that, just when she was beginning to get comfortable in her current place. Finding another house in a decent locality, facing the questions the new landlord asked. “Where is your husband?”, “How many children do you have?”, “What is your salary?”, “Do you get many visitors?”, “No single males allowed to visit you”.

Apart from that, she would have to contend with steadily rising rents, having to cope with fitting her furniture into a smaller or a larger house, removing her electrical fittings and fixing them in a new house. Packing. Unpacking. 

Her heart sank.

That night she spoke to her mother. “The landlord has asked me to vacate this house, Ma”

Her mother started her usual tirade.  She knew Sarita could not come and live with her in Amritsar because her job required her to stay put in Ludhiana. Ever since Sarita’s husband had died, her mother had worried about her living alone in that city. Sarita’s only brother ran a flourishing business in Amritsar. 
“Ma,” Sarita said, a tad impatiently, “we know all that. I now need to leave this house and that’s that.”

Ma was old now and getting on.  She could not help rambling.  She exchanged some more news and put the phone down.

On Sunday, Sarita was pleasantly surprised to see her brother Ashok land up at her doorstep early in the morning.  

“Baby,” he began. (Sarita’s nickname was Baby and that is what her brother and mother still called her)  “That land that we have in the village. Ma always talks about transferring it in your name. I told her, let us sell this land and buy Baby a house in Ludhiana. What do you say?”

Sarita could feel tears forming in her eyes.  Her spirits rose.  She was to have a place of her own. 

She looked at many houses along with her brother, trying to find something that suited her requirement as well as the budget. When she saw THIS place, she knew she had to get it.  And she did!
Thank you Fotolia

Write Tribe Prompt


  1. This is such a heartwarming story... loved it! :)

  2. Lovely story, Ava. Heartwarming, like Shilpa says. :-)

  3. Thank you Shilpa.

    Thank you Raja.

    I have never written a story, now in the safe haven of Corinne's blog, I find myself writing them. :)

  4. Ah!!! This is such a heartwarming and real story!!! Story of many ppl around us :)

    And u have a knack for writing a story. I wonder what took u so long.

  5. That's right, you have just been through all this as well.

    :) I do hope all of us get a house of our own to live in.

  6. :) A lot of people go through this process.

  7. :) A lot of people go through this process.

  8. So she moved to Greece?

    Story like from a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. Ver ynice!

    Brings in so many aspects faced by a single woman looking for a flat. I also hate moving!

    Dil Maange More!

  9. Yeh photo Greece ki hai?

    We are supposed to look at the picture and write anything it inspires us to.

    These were my thoughts.

    Thanks, dear Harvey.

  10. What a sweet story, Ava. I wish there were more Indian brothers like that, don't you? :)

  11. Yes Corinne. It is nice when the family thinks of all its members and helps them out.

  12. This is a very good story, I like the positive end, the warmth of her family members towards her.
    She got her own house, very nice!

  13. oh what a sweet story. Dropping by from write tribe link up.

  14. Thank you Suzy and Kislaya

    :) thank you for your nice comments

  15. True story, Ava! This is something we hear about often. I loved the optimistic note in which you concluded the episode!

  16. Oh how lovely! This is though let me tell you a fairytale story for single women all over... doesnt happen in real life. Perhaps could be dealt during raksha bandhan period.. do one thing post this as your happy rakhi post :D :D



  17. Vidya : thanks

    Richa: Yes, not likely to happen very frequently, but I do know a case or two.