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Life on rent

india Updated: Jun 01, 2012 16:08 IST
Megha Mahindru

With skyrocketing housing rents, city residents are sure to feel cash-strapped when it comes to setting up homes. But Mumbai, with its fair share of people who come and go (and those who never do), has made life in transit not so hard, offering almost everything you fancy or need, on rent.

From basic furnishings to designer embellishments, from artwork to a fully-loaded bar, here’s what can be yours (temporarily) for a fraction of the cost.

Table matters
If you fancy vintage home décor but are bogged down by the prices of antiques, South Mumbai’s DC Batliwala and Company will give you old-world charm at old-world rates. For over six decades, the shop has been renting out Burma teakwood furniture. An employee at the store claims,

“You can furnish your entire house for less than Rs 4,000 a month.” This storehouse of curios has everything from planter chairs to boudoir dressers, dining and study tables to lavish four-poster beds. “It’s not just short-term migrants in unfurnished houses, but permanent Mumbai residents who come for furniture to design their houses,” she adds. The shop even rents out fittings for film and theatre sets.

Where: DC Batliwala and Co, Fort
Call: 2204 2128
Rental: Beds starting Rs 350; sofas starting Rs 1,200

Taking notes
Bring out the rockstar in you without paying a bomb for that fancy Gibson guitar. Furtados offers rentals on music gear — we’re talking drum kits, guitars, tambourines, amplifiers and more.

“Our clientele is mostly event organisers or session artistes who would rather rent than travel with all their gear,” says Prashant Lobo, a piano consultant at the store. Rents here range anywhere between Rs 100 per day to five-digit figures.

Where: Furtados, Dhobhi Talao
Call: 6622 5454
Rental: Rs 100 per day for a tamborine, Rs 2,500 per day for a guitar, Rs 2,000 to Rs 50,000 per month for a piano.

Party ready
Fretting over what to wear for the next night out? If you think your closet is so last season, turn to Jessica G Nagpal’s Secret Wardrobe to help you dress for any big occasion.

With designerwear by the likes of Wendell Rodricks, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi and Masaba Gupta among others (think cocktail dresses, lehengas, even jewellery), for everything between high-heeled parties to wedding bashes, this rental probably has the first crowd-sourced clothes repository where besides renting, people can also put their own designer collection on rent.

And in a country where the concept of hand-me-downs is universal, Nagpal has little to worry about. Says Nagpal, “People are more practical nowadays. They don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes that they’ll wear just once. A lot of people buy expensive wedding trousseaus and never use them again. They can now rent them out and get paid for it.”

Where: West View Building, SV Road, Santa Cruz (W) or log on to www.secretwardrobe.in
Call: 9821178804 / 65293067
Rental: Rs 1,000 to Rs 8,000 for three days

Husain on hire
Always wished your bare walls had more than just a Simpson poster? With online website Mumbairentart.com, art lovers can give their walls a serious upgrade, with Raza or Husain pieces on rent. For now, the idea is to promote young artists. Says Abha Bangard from the website, “We wish to encourage artists who aren’t big on the market scene.”

Other similar rentals have now either shut shop for private collectors or put services on hold. Art Intaglio now caters only to corporates, while Rent N Art that offers striking canvasses for Rs 500 a month, complete with paperwork, will resume services from September.

Where: mumbairentart.com
Call: 80970 14523
Rental: Rs 1500 for 3 months

Mobile Mojitos
If the fuss over drinking permits has made you homebound, here’s how to carry on the revelry. The recently launched bartending service Barmobile, as the name suggests, brings the bar home. What sets it apart from other bartending services for house parties is that a pop-up bar can be set up in less than 15 minutes and comes with two certified mixologists.

Started by Gaurish Rangnekar, Barmobile packs in all the essentials — glasses (from flutes to goblets), stirrers, shakers, ice, mixers, coasters and napkins.

“For a theme party, we can customise drinks, the bar console and accessories,” says Gaurish, whose portable service can take care of up to 50 guests. So what’s the city’s favourite tipple? “People order a lot of mojitos and cosmopolitans. The toast of the season is Jägerbomb shots,” he says.

Where: www. barmobile.in
Call: 98213 02348/ 98204 68682
Rental: Rs 5,500 for five hours

Bag it
Cash-strapped fashionistas no longer need to spend their month’s salary on their favourite ‘It’ bag. Bagsutra, a members-only bag rental service lets users borrow luxury totes without feeling the weight of hefty price tags. From Louis Vuitton to Paul Smith, Gucci to Bottega Veneta, flaunt your style at just Rs 1,000 per week. Contact: info@bagsutra.com

Sing song
If the bathroom singer in you is ready to take it to the living room, Andheri’s D & D rents out karaoke sets to amateurs and event organisers.

What’s more, for corporate events or big private bashes, the company also throws in a plasma screen, microphones and even a professional singer to make sure your party’s a hit. All this comes for Rs 5,000 for five hours.

Contact: 6163 0574

Booked!
Sameer Tulpule’s Textbuk.in is a Flipkart of sorts for collegians. The website offers students a meaty 25 per cent discount on their first buy of textbooks.

Students can choose from international to local reference books. What’s more, once the semester ends, they can return the books to avail an additional 25 per cent cash-back offer.

Contact: www.textbuk.in

Back to basics
Want to beat the heat without burning a hole in your pocket? Follow ad-man Sorabh Desai’s mantra. The 28-year-old Versova resident has devised a plan to keep it cool with a rented air-conditioner that takes him past summer at its peak.

“The weather in Mumbai is mostly bearable, but summers can be harsh. I rent an AC just three months before the monsoon,” he says. Desai has even hired a refrigerator, a microwave and a television set for his studio. “Investing in electronics can be costly. For less than Rs 1,000, I have a fully-functional house.”

Call: Dealers across the city. Bandra (61637214), Andheri (9820052691)
Rental: Rs 500 per month for an AC; Rs 400 for a fridge; Rs 300 for a microwave