Every time you have to move house, it becomes very painful, especially when you move after living in one home for close to 16 long years. This is what happened with us when we moved to a new home three years back.
The genesis of this shifting started almost five years back when me and my wife got fed up of the ever-increasing noise and traffic congestion in our then neighbourhood. So started the hunt for a new place, which culminated close to two years later when we managed to zero in on the current apartment, which we both liked immensely.
But finding the new place was the easy part. The more difficult part was to sift through our belongings, which we had accumulated after staying in that apartment for such a long time. So, over a period of one month, we dumped a lot of stuff which we thought was no longer needed. Even more difficult part was to leave our neighbours, some of whom were almost like family. But the move had to take place and it did.
The new place brought in its own set of problems----maids, car cleaners, connectivity, neighbours, etc. While the other problems got resolved quite fast, the one related to neighbours lingered on for quite a while. This was chiefly because our tower had just three other residents apart from us, all of whom were spread across different floors. So, the chances of interaction were pretty minimal. Now, this became an issue with my wife as she was quite used to interacting on a daily basis with the other residents at our previous neighbourhood. Gradually, we got to know one of them pretty well and today they are our very close friends.
Over a period of the next one year, more people moved in and the entire tower now looked quite inhabited. However, still no one knew each other well enough, which wasn’t a good sign for the development of a healthy and vibrant neighbourhood. That’s when an idea struck to one of the earlier neighbourhood couple. They suggested to us why don’t we organize a gathering of all the families who have moved in, so that we all get to know each other well.
The idea sounded quite good and doable, so we decided to go ahead with it on the next weekend. As a first step, we divided the 10 families who had moved in by then, into two sets of five each----one set to be approached by us and the other set by our neighbourhood couple friends. Thankfully, all the families agreed.
So, come the weekend and the entire neighbourhood of 12 families headed to the nearby outlet of Haldirams in the evening. There, over several plates of chaats, samosas, gol gappas, dhoklas, etc, a very nice evening was spent by everyone over a little chit-chat by men and lots of chit-chat by women. One good thing we did was to ensure that everyone introduced himself and herself in detail, so that we could arrive at a better understanding.
From those eight families two years back, we are now a neighbourhood of 26 families. Though, some of the newer neighbours are not so well-known to each other as yet, still we have bonded well. And yes, another get-together is on cards, which we are about to organize, so that we all work together to make our living place better.
But this time, instead of going door-to-door to invite neighbours, we plan to organize it through LinkingHuts, World’s Best Social Networking Platform, transforming neighbourhoods into strongly bonded communities.
In the first week of October on a balmy evening, I got a call from a neighbour who stays in the same building as me and has become a good friend over the last two years, despite a wide age gap between us. He invited me over for a cup of hot tea, something which we both relish.
As me and this neighbour met within the next 20 minutes, I saw an unmistakable glee on his face and he was in a very jovial mood, something he is not very often. When I asked him the reason, he without batting an eyelid waxed eloquent about over-achieving all quarterly targets in office. He was so happy that he had already planned out a short holiday with his wife and little daughter in October itself.
After I came back to my humble abode, having devoured two cups of tea with some snack and lots of chit-chat, my mind went into an overdrive. What had set me thinking was the unabashed sharing of happiness, which was purely a result of office achievement, with a neighbour. I asked myself, have I ever done something similar? The answer was a loud and emphatic no.
In the last 20 years or so, I could recall just one instance when I would have shared my happiness with the entire neighbourhood. That was 16 years back when my sister was getting married. Since then, I have had a number of reasons----promotions, target achievements, job changes, etc ---- when I could have and should have shared with some of the close neighbours, but I didn’t, something I regret now.
Isn’t it ironic that whenever we want to share some good news, we tend to overlook the people in our immediate vicinity! So here is the learning for you: next time when you are feeling happy, do think of your immediate neighbourhood before going far off to share the reason. Do remember, happiness shared is happiness reciprocated.
Now you can also share happiness with your Neighbours @ LinkingHuts, World’s Best Social Networking Platform, transforming neighbourhoods into strongly bonded communities.
There is an old saying: marriages are made in heaven. This saying may or may not be relevant in today’s times, however, what is definitely relevant even today is the preparation for the marriage. For families the days and weeks and months prior to the wedding are the most stressful periods of their lives.
I have personally experienced this when my sister got married recently. The entire process started with the horoscope matching followed by the boy and the girl meeting and consenting. Once the marriage date got fixed, things started moving at a fast pace.
Being the elder brother, I was entrusted with the complete responsibility for the marriage preparation— be it booking the marriage venue & catering, designing, printing & distribution of invites, shopping, videographer or accommodation.
Though all other wedding chores were manageable, what troubled me most was the task related to stay arrangements for about 40 relatives. The entire marriage ceremony was supposed to take place according to the Kashmiri rituals. Since these rituals take at least a week, we decided to conduct them at our own apartment. This meant we had to accommodate all the guests in the vicinity, so that commuting to and fro several times a day wouldn’t pose a problem.
The neighbourhood we were living in then was very new to us as we had moved into our apartment just a year back. What compounded the problem of arranging the accommodation for the guests in the vicinity was that all the 70 odd apartments in our tower were occupied.
Around a month before the marriage, courtesy required me to invite one of my neighbours on the same floor. Unaware that he was shifting to Bangalore next week and was also looking out for a tenant, I shared my concern over stay arrangements when he asked me about the ongoing preparation for the wedding. To my surprise, he offered to not only use his apartment for my sister’s wedding but also firmly refused to take any money even after I insisted. In fact, he offered the entire three bedroom fully-furnished apartment, saying that he would shift his belongings to Bangalore only after the entire marriage ceremony was over. Honestly, I was on cloud nine as I not only got a fully-furnished apartment, but also got it next door.
However, this neighbourhood apartment didn’t solve my problem completely, as I would have been able to accommodate only half the guests. The balance also needed to be accommodated. When this gentleman learnt about this fact, he immediately called his brother, who too had bought an apartment in the same society but in an adjacent tower. Since his brother had not yet shifted and it was lying empty, I was able to get that one also, though I had to arrange for the basic furnishings.
This act of generosity exhibited by my neighbour lifted a great burden off my shoulder instantly, and gave me more time to focus better on the other aspects of the marriage preparation.
Next time you are celebrating a marriage in your family, make it more enjoyable by involving your Neighbours @ LinkingHuts, World’s Best Social Networking Platform, transforming neighborhoods into strongly bonded communities.
The metros and the other similar cities in India are perfect examples of how things are different and yet the same in and around all the gated neighbourhoods. Inside, they are a sea of tranquility, very peaceful, neat and clean, orderly and secure. However, on the outside, they are the exact opposite----very noise, dirty, chaotic and congested.
The neighbourhood I stay in is similar in all respects. The condo is very well maintained by an army of housekeeping staff who keep every nook and corner spic and span. Besides, the parks and their greenery is immaculately maintained, with all the trees and shrubs being watered daily and even the lawns are mowed regularly. In addition, there are security guards at the entrance to each tower and also some other strategic places, plus at the main gate.
The entire scene changes dramatically the minute you go outside the society gates. Neighbourhood approach road is in shambles, garbage is strewn all over, overgrown hedges which have almost turned brown, and lack of streetlights, which results in a scary scenario at night.
Now this was something which was neither soothing to eyes nor to mind. It used to trouble me no end seeing and observing this scenario day in day out. One fine day I said enough is enough and decided to take matters in my own hands by doing something about it. So, I first broached the topic with a couple of my neighbours, who immediately agreed with my concern.
One evening, the four of us sat down and started discussing ways and means to go about it. The more we discussed, the more we came to the conclusion that we need to involve a much larger audience, considering the sheer amount of work involved. Accordingly, we got the RWA on board, which was very amenable to the cleanup idea.
The first step was to work out the modalities, as to how to go about it. The second step involved making separate teams, with each team given one task. The third step was to decide on the date when we would act on the ground. The fourth and final step was to motivate all the neighbours to come and be a part of different teams.
On the appointed day, our expectation was that 40-50 residents would turn up. But to our delight almost double the number came out on a bright sunny morning. Surprisingly, a lot of children dressed in their colorful attire also came out, ready to participate in whatever task assigned to them. All of us were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm shown by the children, but at the same time we were also very happy as our young residents were actively contributing to the enrichment of our neighbourhood.
On our part, we had already organized the necessary tools for the cleaning operations. Over the next almost four hours, we collectively removed one truck load of garbage and other muck, and filled all the potholes on the approach road with mud mixed with small stones.
At the end of it all, we collectively congratulated each other for a job well done and resolved to make sure that besides the insides of our condominium, we will make sure the neighbourhood surroundings are also kept clean.
If you are also motivated to do something for your neighbourhood, you can do so with ease, simply by creating a group for interested neighbours @ LinkingHuts, World’s Best Social Networking Platform, transforming neighbourhoods into strongly bonded communities.
Hi James! Please remember to buy the food for tomorrow!
I’m gonna be handling the gifts and Jake’s gonna get the drinks
Don’t worry Mathilda!I already bought everything
Hi James! Please remember to buy the food for tomorrow!
I’m gonna be handling the gifts and Jake’s gonna get the drinks
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