Dera Woes: A Tenant’s Search for a Suitable Room

A blogger in Nepal goes witch-hunting for a room in Kathmandu

By Deepak Adhikari

I have not watched the movie Ke Ghar Ke Dera, but am pretty sure that I actually have gone through the travails of being adrift in search of a room that suffices my need of living a bit comfy.

The other day, a kurtha-salwar clad lady in the throes of her household chores, turned down my humble inquiry rather mercilessly saying that the room I wanted to rent was already booked. Later, I came to know that they were looking for some family man.

My ex-policeman landlord, who works as a security guard in a hotel, has given me ultimatum to vacate the room before this month ends, citing some vague reasons. He, however, disclosed that he felt unsecured from my 22-year-old brother.

I have always been loyal to two persons in my life: my employer and my landlord. In fact, I hurriedly supply the money provided by my employer to my landlord. One gives, another takes. I think they complement each other. But this time around, after staying one and half year in this tenement, here in this suburbia called Ghattekulo (or, Ghettokulo, my coinage), facing all the tumults of life, he splashed cold water on my face.

My brother doesn’t bother much about searching room. He seems to have other big fish to fry. As another month-cycle inevitably comes to an end, I find myself increasingly panicky. This landlord, it seems, is the toughest one I have ever come across, in my experience of staying in almost a dozen houses. From Ghattekulo way back in early 90s, then Tahachal, then Putalisadak, after that Anamnagar, then Baneshor, Kirtipur and finally again Ghattekulo. All I can say about my present landlord is: the blind certitude of stupidity is the hardest thing to bear.

This is the second time he has warned me citing that my brother not only has some attitude problems but also defied some norms set by him. As I am absent from my room most of the time, God only knows what the reality is. Today also, the burly landlady reminded me of the deadline. I reluctantly replied her that I was trying to the utmost.

I, for one, believe that am a perfect person to let in. I don’t come home late, neither in a drunken state nor with any flotsams and jetsam. My landlord and guys/ girls-next-door will have the chance to read Kantipur, The Kathmandu Post and Nepal Weekly for free. Hey, is anyone out there interested to grab this opportunity? The thrill of reading newspapers with morning’s cup of tea! It’s no laughing matter. It should not be a taken-for-granted phenomenon. Moreover, as a hack I can also provide fresh news direct from the horse’s mouth even before going to press.

I am paying three thousand rupees for two rooms where sunlight rarely enters, reminds me invariably about the Derridian binaries: darkness and light. Even Bible starts with these line: And God said: let there be light and there was light. I feel proud of my name (Deepak, meaning light) amid the semi-darkness of my room; I think I can enlighten my room with the knowledge.

At least for 10 years or so, I can not imagine building my own house in Kathmandu. I neither have Ghaderi (land) in Kathmandu nor can I purchase in near future. So, for me it’s Ke Ghar Ke Dera (Whether Home or Room)). I believe there are many of you having similar woes. Can you help me out?

3 Comments on Dera Woes: A Tenat’s Search for Suitable Room

Your new Gharwallas will keep on splashing cold water on your face until you find out and marry a bumble-bee.

Comment by Vishu — 5/5/2005 @ 8:27 pm

Deep. Time has changed!! people talk about quantum physics here. thie is not the blogsphere I wanted to land. but you can avoid your Karma. YOu will have your home after 10 years, maybe I will come to you calling you Sahuji, I know you love it!!

Comment by harvey — 5/6/2005 @ 11:26 am

OUCH! deepak ! ur woes sting my heart too!this is the common pblm of all we EMIGREs,deepak, life is to be confronted and defied not to be avoided and escaped, search another nest for u,dont chide ur little brother for creating all those, he has rights to live his life to the fullest.keep on dreaming big, i hope ur dreams will come true soon if u marry an only daughter of billionire tycoon,what u think!

Comment by abhipsa — 5/8/2005 @ 1:41 pm

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One thought on “Dera Woes: A Tenant’s Search for a Suitable Room

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