Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Settling in!

November is almost over and this post has been sadly neglected, not even a quarter written.
My maid has been ill and absent, and I have a sinkful of dishes awaiting me, but this is today's resolution- completion of this post!

It started with the container with our unaccompanied earthly goods entering the building complex, and parking itself outside our building, after a delay of a few hours because of the rain. The rain seems to be chasing our stuff since the time we were leaving Kolkata!
It now seems like a lifetime ago that we were dealing with the madness of unpacking. Finding new homes for your things in a new space is challenging, to say the least, particularly when there are several men working simultaneously and you are trying to answer several questions and also be in several different rooms at the same time! Thankfully we were still staying with our older daughter, so we could go home and rest our weary bones after a hard day's work. It was two days of utter chaos, different people opening different boxes in different rooms. On the first day, the 10th October, I had sat near the front door, ticking off each item from the packers' master list while the SRE ensured that they went into the correct rooms. On day two, the workers unpacked almost everything, apart from the boxes of books and CDs which we planned to unpack later, when we had space for them.
Two of our new neighbours sent over large quantities of delicious prasad as it was Ashtmi, some of which we shared with all the workers, the rest was more than enough for our lunch. Our daughter also came in, with her electric kettle, teabags and a delicious doughnut and plans for lunch. It was a relief having the packers finally leave that evening while we started the slow process of arranging the house.
My younger daughter's maid helped me arrange the kitchen one afternoon. She has been part of the family for many years, and it is a pleasure to work with her.
One neighbour suggested that her part-time help also work for us, so that was organised too.
(She's taken a lot of sick leave, though, which makes life a bit difficult).
We moved in on the 18th October, the day the gas line was connected.( No more cylinders, we have piped gas).

The fridge fitted into its designated area in the kitchen. It is a big fridge, so the SRE was a bit concerned. Given that he has retired and rarely travels, I can  now drop the Sometimes and retain the Resident Engineer! After more than seven years I actually have my fridge inside the kitchen!

We had our bed assembled in the guest room, as we needed another double bed.
The master bedroom was a dumping ground for several days. We bought the new bed and finally moved into the same room that our clothes were occupying.

We bought office furniture for the Resident Engineer's home office, where he spends much of his day.
It wasn't easy adjusting our drawing room furniture to a smaller space, but after a frank suggestion from our son-in-law, I removed a couple of chairs and our living room is spacious once more. It is flooded with sunlight every morning, while the bedrooms get the afternoon sun!
We also discovered the wonderful Amar Colony furniture market, which we had heard about from our daughters, both of whom have acquired beautiful things there. My first purchase was this full length mirror. I prefer to tie my sarees with the help of a long mirror.
The laundry hamper is from Dastkar Haat! It was wonderful, discovering new places in Delhi.

We hunted, unsuccessfully, in several places for a bookshelf, and finally took ourselves back to Amar Colony. This time we were more familiar with the place. It is a market of several rows, each of which is several yards deep. There are all kinds of antiques and restored furniture, as well as new stuff, some of which is 'distressed'. We walked down several rows, almost finalising one bookshelf or the other, while I insisted on going till the very end, where I found perfection!!!! This was a double shelf, not very tall, way beyond our budget but utterly beautiful and utterly irresistible: it is many mutual presents rolled into one!
We kept it empty for a few days as we'd bought it just before Diwali, which was a busy time for us.
Unpacking books and CDs was a big job- many books had to be put back into cartons and kept away in the staff/store room.I also spent a couple of sleepless nights worrying about the carton of my favourite CDs that seemed to have vanished, but it was fortunately located.

We had a lovely time at Diwali, spending time with family. There was much coming and going.
We also enjoyed a visit to a Diwali Mela with the kids. While eating interesting things like moong pakodi, mirchi vada, moong dal halwa and rabdi with jalebi, we made sure that we were drinking mineral water!
There were lovely stalls with goods from all over the country, which we enjoyed looking at but were not interested in buying as we are still somewhat overwhelmed by packing and unpacking our material goods.
Since we are presently living in a rented place while waiting for our own apartment to be completed, in about a year or so, our future holds one more house move. We should have recovered from this one by then!