For the past few years, I have been living in a box. I’m a really basic guy, so a box really seemed enough. I have a bed, a TV, a large verandah with great plants, a gorgeous view of the sea and natural sunlight floods my little square throughout the day. Why would I need anything more?
That’s what I thought until recently, when Bipasha said, “John! Stop existing and start living.” So there I was, getting myself a new address. I refused to leave my precious sea view, so I bought the flat just below my bachelor pad and decided to remodel it.
I come from a family of architects and despite their constant advice, I have been going mad. Doing up a house is the biggest challenge a man can face (except an angry woman of course). Once during construction, a pipe burst and water kept falling into my ground floor neighbour’s house. But she wouldn’t say anything to me.
Despite standing in a flood, courtesy me, she smiled and said, “Don't worry about it.” This other time, a pipe burst and I stood for two hours holding two pipes together trying to make sure the water flows through them till the plumber arrived. I probably got 40 white hair that afternoon.
The only thing going in my favour is that I am clear about what I want, and of course I have valuable inputs from Bipasha. I really, really wanted an open kitchen and she said, “Get real, wake up. Masala and daal will be cooked... the whole house will smell.” My father completely agreed with her; my only support came from my brother, who is more like me. But I learnt a valuable lesson in being practical.
My parents understand that mine is a frugal lifestyle, so the house has to be a home and not some lavish exhibition. I will have lots and lots of plants and wooden floors. My mom’s best friend is into ceramic and pots and she gave me some wonderful plants. People wonder if it’s some culture thing that I’m into, but the truth is I just really enjoy nature and all things natural.
Work on my home is going on as we speak and I cannot tell you how desperate I am for it to finish. As much I enjoyed the process, I have to say, ‘never again’. Never again will I want to do up a house!