When we entertained the idea of picking up a place in Mumbai we knew we were asking for the moon. I braced myself saying let's find a place just 'to make tea' in Mumbai. The prospect of a toehold in the metropolis made us giddy with anticipation. We scouted a few places but inevitably zeroed on to Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, where the rates were still affordable, connectivity was great through Panvel station and the place was poised for a future of development. The Indian Super League football matches were also played at DY Patil stadium, Nerul.
So without much ado we expressed our interest and began the process of acquiring a little nook of Kharghar. With things finalized we dashed down to Kharghar to take possession post-Diwali. Of course, when we finally got there we noticed the plumbing was wanting, the geysers needed to be operational, and the water filter needed to be figured out. The builder helpfully suggested that we could request a gas connection before we arrived. When the gas was put in place we were presented with a bill a little over a grand more than the quoted price of Rs. 5500. Frenetic trips to D Mart in sector 5 saw us coming 'home' with hands laded with items for the new house. In the locality itself we got the mattresses made with pillows. The hardware shop supplied the rods for the curtains, and we got the furnishings guy to bring in the catalogues to decide the curtains. We had liked the finish of the flat the moment we saw it. The dynamic colours of the walls and ceilings brightened our day and infused a zest for life. For the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary we trekked to David and Co. at Dhobitalao opposite Metro.
We took possession of the flat and signed the papers on Children's Day. We held the blessing of the house, the next day at 5 p.m. A few snacks with ribbon cake from Monginis set the tone. Fr. Louis Kajar of Kharghar parish willingly came to conduct the blessing. Close relatives made the effort to come and be part of the moment. Debajit, my friend from college days graced the occasion with his wife Luna and her mother. During my working life in Delhi I used to often stay over at Debajit's place enroute to Goa to visit my mum who was ailing. He used to always find the time for me, keeping up at ungodly hours to receive me after the graveyard flights landed, or seeing me off for another graveyard flight back to Delhi with great composure. As we sat in the consecrated space we spoke of old times and looked forward to new ones. When I mentioned that we would be catching the train hours after the blessing of the house, he said it was 'just like you.' I requested Debajit to take a few photos. What he clicked on his Canon is pure poetry in motion. Most of the snaps have been taken by him on his camera.