The Green House Effect

I know that the color green is good for the eyes and the soul. It is supposed to be the most soothing and blah blah blah


I like greenery and I don’t mind a bit of green in my house.My house has been painted in some shade of green, and I must agree that my landlord has done a good job of selecting the right shade. The green on the wall is, indeed, soothing and it does compliment the curtains, the sofa, the carpet, and all assorted furniture and fixtures. 


But, all landlords are not endowed with such aesthetic abilities when it comes to selecting green. I have found this out first hand through my various house-hunting expeditions. And I am of the sort who digs pastels and subdued hues.


There is a sub group of landlords, especially found in namma Bangaluru, who has a fetish for covering up their houses with a garish green. The color that I am talking about is a mixture of what you call “bottle” green, and “parrot” green. This is then painted reverently on the walls. The windows are not spared either; they are coated heavily with the bottle green. The ceiling is often painted with a dark shade of pink (‘raani’), and the borders cut out in the walls are streaked with generous doses of the parrot. The floor, if it is an old house will invariably be painted in maroon. The effect, as you can see, is stunning. If you are a person who digs pastels like me, then you know what I mean. The final effect is “telia” of the highest order!


My first house in Bangalore was colored with this very green. Dibu (my other half) opted for this one before our marriage because the rent was manageable and the advance (in B’lore, it is 10 month’s rent) not much. The house was just OKish from a bachelor’s POV, but it was certainly not for me. I had a tough time buying curtains, cushions, and bed spreads of subtler shades to lighten the assault of green.


On days when it rained incessantly, Dibu and I  would debate on whether it was the color of the rooms that made life depressing or the overflowing mori (nola) that winded its way in front of our house!


And, finally I could take it no more…


So, we started on our first joint house hunting expedition. Out of the 36 houses that we saw, around 15 were covered in this very shade of green, 10 were covered in some atrocious shade of yellow, blue, or red, and the rest had poor ventilation or simply not worth the 15k per month (+ 10 months advance) that the landlords demanded. We started with a budget of Rs. 6k per month for a small 2BHK, and by the time we hit the right house (the 37th), we were ready to shell out much more then what we anticipated. If you are particular about living in a decent (not terribly modern) house (subtle colors, clean interiors, airy, 24 hrs water, etc) in a decent locality (not exactly posh), you are bound to pay in the 10k-15k range for a 2BHK, along with the advance. So after a series of investigations (general nature of the landlord, probability of getting back the advance, etc, etc), we settled down in the 37th house.


Last month, Ma told us of her decision to “relocate” to Bangalore. Dot – my sister and Babu stayed with me; with Ma on her way, it was time to find a house of their own. With Dot out of town and Babu being no good in selecting the right house, it was left to me to do the dirty work.


So, I started on my next expedition. Ma was supposed to reach Bangalore on Tuesday, and she had declared that she would like to get into her own house. My job was to find a fairly decent house, somewhere in my neighborhood, within one week. The real estate brokers in my neighborhood were aware of my taste and preferences (having interacted with them during my previous expedition), and therefore, had a tough time finding the right kind of houses to inspect. As I couldn’t get any real help from the brokers and the wannabe brokers (shop owners, milkman, dhobi, maid, etc), it was left to me to get something done, and fast.


And, so on Friday, I was kind of forced to finalize on the green house. The other houses that I had seen were either too bad or the rent too much…


The exterior of the green house looked smart enough, but the interior was painted with the green that I so greatly abhorred. The ceiling was mercifully painted in white, and it was the color of the ceiling that guided me to take the decision. The idea of covering up the walls with wallpaper flashed in my mind, and I whispered a small prayer of thanks to the lord for “small mercies.” The house, notwithstanding the green color, looked clean and roomy, and the rent + advance just right for Ma. I reasoned that a nice shade of cream on the wall will go absolutely well with Ma’s red sofa. If I can finish off with the wallpaper bit by Sunday, Ma will never know of the grotesque green that lay underneath!


But, the kona bidhata (hua kotha nohoi xidhi, batot asey kona bidhi!!!!) had other plans for me. By Monday, I was still not successful in motivating the landlord to buy my idea of covering up his precious walls with wallpaper. To say the least, he was outraged, and I had to abandon my plans in the fear of the landlord backing off the deal. I hoped and prayed that Ma would settle down without any complaints…


Ma came on Tuesday. She didn’t mind the color as much as I feared. She is convinced of convincing the landlord to change the color pretty soon. Knowing Ma’ s determined ways, I am sure the poor man will have very little choice…


But, Ma has a big problem with the latrine. In my zeal to cover up the house with wallpaper, I had completely ignored the toilet facilities.


Currently, Ma is trying to work out a way to dart in and out of the latrine without being noticed by guests. The bathroom is conveniently placed inside the house, but the latrine, you see, is located in the veranda!


For Ma, this is nothing sort of sacrilege. A self-respecting and reasonable modern women running around in the veranda, in her bath robe, and in full view of the public is not Ma’s idea of sophistication.…and Ma, when angry can be very frightening indeed.


Meanwhile, I am keeping a safe distance from her. Ma, Dot, and Babu are in the lookout for a new house…




P.S – The latrine is of the Indian type and the hand-wash has been placed indoors 😉


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One Comment

  1. This is what I got in response to the long email I sent!:

    This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    Technical details of permanent failure:

    PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 9): 550 <>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table

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