High rents is a concern for actors living in Mumbai, but landlords too are facing the heat
Mumbai is often referred to as the city of dreams where many come aspiring to make a career in the entertainment industry.
As the Covid-19 crisis has taken a toll on life in general, work has come to a halt for everyone, including actors. And they are faced with high rental woes, among other issues.
Actor Sheen Dass, of Piyaa Albela and Dadi Amma.. Dadi Amma Maan Jaao! fame has been living in Mumbai for six years. Her last show shut abruptly. ”It scares me thinking when and how safely do we get back to work. I feel grateful that I could work for at least three months this year,” she says.
Shares her ordeal, Dass adds “After my dad’s retirement, I’ve been taking care of the family expenses. I live with my family on rent, and we’ve rented our Delhi house. Since this crisis, our Delhi tenants have requested to waive off the rent, which we did. But when we requested our landlord in Mumbai for some relief, he refused saying he has EMIs to pay.”
Shastri Sisters actor Sonal Vengurlekar, who has been vocal about her facing financial crunch due to a pending payment, shares, “My landlord isn’t ready to budge. I’ve been asked to pay my rent on time”.
Malhar Pandya of Kasam Tere Pyaar Ki is worried because two of his friends have been asked to vacate their houses if they can’t pay rent. “I’ve been living here for 13 years and my Ahmedabad house is on rent. I can’t go back now because then I’ll have to ask my tenants to leave. Where will they go? My savings are helping me survive, but till when? I don’t know why some people aren’t ready to understand the situation of others,” he rues.
However, Harshita Gaur of Sadda Haq fame, shares that her “landlord is a very sweet and nice”. He asked her to make partial payment till things get better. However, since she had money at hand, she has been paying him in full for the past two months. “It’s not easy to survive in Mumbai. I’ve been bestowed with great work, which is seeing me through,” she adds.
Ek Deewaana Tha actor Donal Bisht feels that actors also need understand that some of these landlords have genuine concerns too.
“Some do rely on monthly rents from tenants as their only source of income. It’d be unethical for me to not pay them, if I’m able to. Rent in Mumbai is much higher as compared to other cities, and travel is also expensive. But, there are many I know whose sole income comes from rent,” she opines.
Admitting that everyone is going through their own hardships, Bisht adds, “We can’t blame anyone. We all have to understand and help each other move ahead. I hope things get normal soon and we can resume work.”
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