It’s 9 am and Anand Narayanan KB (34), a national director with real estate consultancy Knight Frank, is driving his high-end sedan, thinking about the agenda of his noon meeting with a client.
But what worries him more is the traffic at Sakinaka.
Anand, who lives in a comfortable apartment at Powai with son Aahan (2) and wife Aloka (33), drives all the way to his Lower Parel office every day. He leaves home by 8am but it still takes him three hours.
Anand’s is a story familiar to many executives who work in business hubs but either can’t afford or don’t get good enough houses close to where they work.
“About three years ago, when I started looking for houses, I realised I would not get the kind of apartment I wanted in Central Mumbai,” said Anand. After a year, the couple settled on a society near Powai, which technically falls in Chandivli.
In a city where most executives spend at least an hour to get to work, quality of life is an important consideration. Many agree with Anand that it’s better to live in an apartment that suits your lifestyle than one that’s close to work but doesn’t satisfy your needs.
“I would rather live far from my office in a good house than in a pigeonhole near the office,” said Anand. “Although I feel that I am missing out on quality time with my son, I am giving him a healthier life.”
Anand often stays back in office till 10 pm, but it’s not just work that keeps him back. “The traffic is comparatively less at this hour,” said Anand.
Like Anand, Aloka too goes to her Santacruz office in her premium hatchback. She considers herself luckier because her commute lasts only an hour. She leaves around the same time as Anand but returns much earlier so that she can be with Aahan in the evenings when he returns from playschool.