Monday, February 28, 2011

A painter is born...

...if you think Ravi Varma or Picasso…well its your own imagination that you have to blame because reality is an adult with a faded jeans and an even faded pullover with some white paint sticking to her curly hair, a paint brush standing on a stool in the middle of the living room wondering which part of the wall she painted last...

The story begins with Ashok and I deciding that we need to move to a bigger apartment (apt from here on). We answered the “budgetla thundu vizhume” Q with a solemn decision to reduce our travels (and ignored the “haha, like that’s ever going to happen” responses from within). Moving has always been a distant concept for me. I have lived in the same place and completed my schooling in the same city. Besides a brief sojourn in Trichy when appa got transferred (and the bank took care of all the moving, house hunting etc.) I have always called the same place my ‘home’. Moving to Munich from a furnished student apartment was also a piece of cake given that I had only 2 suitcases with some books and clothes (and no I did not have a dozen pairs of shoes then!). So this is my first official move and frankly it feels like I ran a double marathon over and over for a week!

The house hunting was unbelievably short and I liked the first apartment I saw and what’s more it was close to work and suited our needs perfectly. Just when I was beginning to think that moving is not all that complicated I got a letter from my house owner saying that I have to leave the apt cleaned and painted. After hours of packing (I couldn’t believe I had 4 cartons of books and no, I didn’t have the heart to throw or give them away) and multiple trips to the new house, we finally emptied the old one….except for some of the furniture. We had made a decision to throw away a futon and a writing table for very good reasons (read they were so beyond their prime that even ebay couldn’t help in selling them), only we didn’t know how. You cannot just throw the furniture into trash but you have to drive them to the Recycling area and even if we manage to get it down 2 floors, we didn’t have a truck to transport them (one needs a special license to rent and drive such trucks). So we called the city to pick them up, only they charge like crazy when you want them to come at a time that’s convenient to you – 50 bucks for every 15 min. So we had to get everything ready and just bite our nails and hope that they didn’t send a couple of slow moving lazy men….

Painting a couple of rooms white sounded quite simple to begin with but the catch is covering all other places that you didn’t want to be white (like wooden floors, electrical outlets) and then using varnish for the rest (door frames, window frames, heaters etc.). After painting came the cleaning….ohhhh… the cleaning…I think its excruciating to scrub a bathroom floor knowing that you will never use that bathroom again ! The worst part was the lunch break in-between when we were too hungry to make do with a coffee and croissant but also too dirty (and smelling of bleach) to go to some place decent. Those were the times I fondly remembered people moving in India….where friends/relatives or neighbours’ take care of the food for those days and painting is left to the house owner (of course at a small price).

Inspite of having a friend help and getting a day-off from work (In Germany, I get a ‘moving day’), we had to work all weekend and I couldn’t remember where I was when the alarm went off this morning! I slowly realised that I was in my new apt and that I have to go to work even if I couldn’t feel my arms and legs and go I did…wearing a cotton kurta at -2 deg C because I was too tired to look for the carton containing my pullovers....


  1. Can understand!!!In our 8 years of married life, me n HK have moved in n out of 6 different houses (wait!! not within a city and not even within a country). So, (I am not sure if 'So' should be here... anyways) thankfully, we have never accumulated many things except books, books and books. When we decided to return to India from US 3 years back, we shipped card board and card board of books and people here thought that we were crazy. Now we have bought a new apartment and just settling. Hoping that we will be here for atleast next few years ... thathasthu!!!!
    Happy life in your new home

  2. Oh! you found one, very good. Happy living!
    As you know, i believe i dont have to think about my move anymore except the final move to india :)

    I expected the painter pic :-D

  3. @Priya
    6 times in 8 years ??? my respect (am bowing)

    I wanted to, but Ashok said I would get paint on the camera too and that was a risk I was not willing to take !

  4. We were thinking of moving a few days back and I remember how I sat back in horror!!!! of the very thought.. I cant stop wondering how you managed to paint the house all by yourself..I guess, necessity is the mother of will-power!!!

    We were just talking about one of the families I know in India where EVERY YEAR the father and his two sons and sometimes their cousins paint a whole pazhangalathu Kattu veedu ( if you know what i mean - the old type houses that run to at least half a kilometer space). Today the man is seventy and he still does the exterior of the house all by himself, each year.. :)

    Many many appreciations to you two for all the hard and smart work!!!!

    May this move bring you lots of new and nice experiences and plenty of luck.,

    Yes, I agree with you when you mention about Indian neighbourhood. I miss India a lot here :)


  5. hey Sowmya,when I was reading this part of your blog: '.. covering all other places that you didn’t want to be white..' I got reminded of one of the older episodes of Mr.Bean, in which he tries to paint his house :) you see it if you get a chance, I think you can relate yourself better in that situation :D

    Congratulations to both of you, May your new home be filled with laughter, love and good health :)

  6. @Dewdrop
    yeah, necessity driven by the unbelievably high cost of labor in Germany :)

    hahaha, I remember that episode and am glad that we didn't goof it up that much :D

    many thanks for your wishes.


Hit Counter
Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)