Okay, I might be lying just a bit. I think we both know I didn’t lose my mojo. I just like the sound of the word, and it always reminds me of Austin Powers so therefore it makes me smile. But for longer than I’d like to acknowledge my karma has been way off track. In 2010 the recession finally caught up with the company I was working for and half of us were let go. Then, after a year of searching for work I accepted a job in India and moved to Bangalore, only to be laid off with the rest of the ‘international expansion’ team less than two months after starting the job and only three weeks after moving into our first flat in Bangalore.
And as strange as it is for me to admit, that misfortune and my subsequent bad karma was predicted. Not by a palm reader or by any of the other dozen ways that I could have easily sought out in Bangalore. It was my driver, Shiva, who warned me. And he was right.
I love the spirituality that pumps through the veins of everyone in my life in India. Irrespective to religion, every Indian I know believes in something. Whether it is the power of the Gods, the healing powers of yoga or simply numerology…everyone believes in more than just the here-and-now. But I never did. At least not until recently.
The day that I decided to shift (that’s move for everyone outside India) out of the hotel off 100 Feet Road in Indiranagar to our first flat in Richards Town in May 2011 I scheduled specially on the day that I knew I’d have the crazy 11 months deposit money, which also coincided with the day that our cats migrated over from Barcelona to Bangalore. It seemed like the perfect day so I informed Shiva to be prepared because we’d have to make a couple of trips to shift all of the luggage, bedding and home furnishings, etc that I had bought.
Well, I remember that Shiva tried to say no. Not because he was feeling sassy but because the date that I selected was cosmically a black, unlucky day so he tried to insist that we shift on one of two other dates that his ‘guy’ said were favourable. I’m sorry, but at the time it seemed like the strangest thing I’d ever heard. I wasn’t going to plan my move around the universe but around ME. I told him that it simply wasn’t possible, although truth be told I just didn’t want to change my plans because I was excited to move into our new home. Boy what a mistake that was!
Not more than a few weeks later I was laid off from my job, sent packing with the equivalent of 2 weeks of money in my pocket and the realization that the company wasn’t going to finalise my move. That meant that I was left to stress about how to pay the final moving company invoices, the port changes once our belongings arrived from Barcelona, and my daughter’s air travel to India once the school year had finished. Then, to put the icing on the cake, I was deported in July when my previous company informed the FRRO that I was no longer employed! Not my finest moment.
Obviously I returned to gainful – albeit part-time – employment and to Bangalore along with my daughter as quickly as our new visas were sorted in Barcelona. It was thanks to family and friends across the globe that we survived that period of unemployment and the costs of deportation. The poor cats were pretty peeved they had to stay behind. It did not sit well with them at all because they proceeded to destroy two pieces of furniture in my absence as punishment for leaving.
But things have been changing lately. In fact, things started changing from the moment I started looking for a new flat in February. Not sure why but they did. Nothing major, just little things here and there.
The flat hunt was easier this time around because we know the areas in Bangalore that we like and we also know what we are looking for more now than almost a year ago. I had two agents show me properties, one is a dear friend and the other was an agent I happened to find off the Internet. I gave both the same specifications:
- 3 bedroom, at least 2 bathrooms
- Flat should not have rooms looking right into our neighbours place and should give a feeling of tranquility and open space
- XX Rupees (not sharing that here but they both had my max figure)
- In Richards Town, Frazer Town, Benson Town, Cox Town or Jayamahal
I set appointments with both guys and proceeded to view 18 flats in two days. OMG! My head was spinning but thanks to the system my daughter and I came up with back in April, 2011 I survived it. We decided to use the same method again since my daughter couldn’t miss school. Here’s our system: I took a photo of the exterior of each building, the building name/address sign, and then I video’d the entire walk through from the entry way until the tour was complete for all 18 properties. I didn’t scribble down a single note…we are truly digital girls. At night, we’d download the images and videos and review each one together and discuss them, short-listing the favourites.
We had four favourites that we assumed were all in our price range so we made an appointment to view them in descending order. Our #1 favourite was huge, had double-vaulted ceilings, an outdoor garden complete with a fountain and covered pagoda. It was a dream! It also cost only 5,000 Rupees less than what we were paying before (which was TWO TIMES the maximum budget I stipulated with the guys oddly)! It turned out that my dear friend had been showing me places that were not at all in our budget but I suppose optimistically hoping I’d fall in love with one, which we did. But part of the reason for the move was to get out of the massively expensive Prestige building we were living in and into a more reasonably-priced flat
Our #2 favourite turned out to be our new home. The first moment I walked into it I felt something special was at work. There are no neighbours directly in our view anywhere around the flat. It is a new building, there is only one flat per floor, and in fact we are the first people to move into the building. Our windows and balconies are surrounded by massive trees, including bamboos, which is a wonderful thing to view every day, especially since we’ve already seen that they are home to monkeys, chipmunks and a large variety of birds – who do wake up too early for my taste but it beats the sound of horn honking and train whistles that used to wake me up before. The 2,100sf flat has lovely details like ceiling and floor mouldings, designer tiles, tons of closets and beautiful white granite floors.
Today I am meeting the lovely family who owns the flat again, this will be the third time they’ve invited me to have our meetings at their home. I’m hoping they make tea because they add fresh lemongrass to it and it tastes delightful! Honestly, I’ve never had anything like it. Anyway, I am passing off our final deposit check, so after today it will finally feel like we are settled.
This move has done wonders for us both. From the first day we moved in we both slept better, especially my daughter who never had one descent night’s sleep at the old place due to the noise. The energy that the flat gives off is wonderful and we both feel it – I think a lot has to due with the floor to ceiling windows and balconies that look out onto the tree tops and blue sky.
As for me, just as Shiva predicted, I’ve changed and I appear to have my ‘serious’ mojo back. I never went to bed before 3:30 or 4am but now I’m asleep by 1am at the latest every night. On the job front, new doors have started to open and I think my part-time employment situation will soon be replaced by a normal work day, allowing me to fully support my daughter and me again. This is something I haven’t been able to do without help since last June. That has been the most challenging aspect of all of my bad karma. Anyone who has children, especially who is head-of-household, will understand the stress of dealing with money issues when you are the sole bread-winner. It’s hard. And I know that my life might look like a series of parties and fun to people who don’t know me personally but that’s because it is easier for me to write about those bits than it is to document my failures, trials and tribulations.
Both my daughter and I feel fortunate to have found a place we will whole-heartedly call home for years to come. Our next goal is to sort out how to make friends with our animal neighbours! Everyone has warned us not to leave food out for the monkeys so we are off that kick. My idea is to build something akin to a birdhouse but for the chipmunks. Yes, a chipmunk-house … or perhaps a chipmunk villa! We can lure them in with peanut butter crackers and then make friends with them over time and hand feed them. Lofty goals? Perhaps! But it’s either them or the monkeys and I think we’ll be safer playing with chipmunks.
© Angela Carson 2012