lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

finding and moving to a new home for cheap in Bangalore

On the 29th of September, I relocated to a new house. I wanted to relocate as cheaply as possible and I think I was sucessful in doing that. Here are some tips that you might find be useful.

Finding a home

The conventional way to do this is to use a real estate agent (or as we commonly call him "property dealer", "PD", broker) to find a suitable home. The downside to this is that you have to pay the agent one month of rent as commission. I was under the impression that in Bangalore this was the only way to find a home.

However, there is another way that I used this time. I went walking in the locality that I wanted to live in and wherever I saw an apartment block, I asked the security guards of that apartment if there were any flats available for rent. Frankly, I was a bit worried that the guards might treat me as a nut-case, or that I might have trouble communicating with them (since I don't know Kannada). However, even though I got a lot of "No apartments available for rent here" or "the rent here is HIGH_SUM_OF_MONEY", I got to see quite a few good apartments that were within my budget.

I finally found a good apartment using the above method.

Moving to the new home

Again, the conventional method to do this is to hire a Movers and packers and pay them a hefty sum to do the work. I called up quite a few movers and packers and even though they were asking for a big amount (Rupees 3500 to Rupees 5000), I had almost finalized on one of them.

However, one of my colleagues suggested that I can do the whole thing myself. In Bangalore (and Delhi), there are lots of Tempo stands (usually located near major bus stops). These people provide you with the vehicle to move your stuff as well as the laborers to load and unload your household items. However, these people do not do the packing part. I went out and after a bit of roaming around, I was able to locate a fellow who was willing to do the move for Rupees 2000.

The next part was doing the packing. This part actually seems more daunting than it really is. The trick is to get four essential components, viz: lots of big cartons (in Bangalore, this can easily be procured from your local kabaddiwala), at least 2 rolls of big, brown cello-tape (it is used for sealing the cartons), fast paced music that you can listen to while packing and finally a partner who can make sure you are not slacking off. Thats it.

A few tips from my experience

  • pack all you small and expensive stuff in one bag and keep it with yourself when the laborers come in.
  • pack your expensive and big stuff (like your desktop, microwave, television) and put some mark on those boxes. This will help in making sure the laborers are moving the big, expensive stuff carefully.
  • Supervise the loading and unloading of the stuff yourself.

Hope you find these tips useful!

what is your formula? your equation? your algorithm?

I recently paid a visit to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London to see Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a long-time friend with whom I have a mutual connection: we both worked closely with the late James Lee Byars, the conceptual artist who, in 1971, implemented "The World Question Center" as a work of conceptual art.

The walls of Obrist's office were covered with single pages of size A4 paper on which artists, writers, scientists had responded to his question: "What Is Your Formula?" Among the pieces were formulas by quantum physicist David Deutsch, artist and musician Brian Eno, architect Rem Koolhaas, and fractal mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot.

Some interesting formulas

A lot of formulas use symbols that I did not understand :-/

Link: formulae for the 21st century

reddit on y! pipes

Most of the times programming.reddit gives quite relevant articles. However, somedays the fanboys make reading it a bit dull. Somedays back I had stumbled across reddit cleaner, which combines programming.reddit and joel.reddit, eliminates anything with an exclamation in the title, and a few other fanboy-ish keywords. Even after that, I was not satisfied with the quality of the articles coming in. Hence, I modified the reddit cleaner pipe to further eliminate articles with the following words in their title

Note: The above blacklist does indicate any of my deep rooted prejudices.

my first mumbai visit

Spacious, clean and clear signboards - these were my first impression of the Mumbai airport. This was quite a nice change after the Delhi airport. I landed in Mumbai at 2230 on 14th October. I called up my sister who came to pick me around 2300. We took a taxi back to her place. I was quite tired after the flight and I crashed at her small apartment soon after we reached there.

Next morning I had to visit one of my father's contacts. I was also introduced to something that might come across as an oddity for a Delhi/Bangalore guy - You get into a auto rickshaw and tell the driver "Go to location XYZ". You do not need to ask him first "Will you go to location XYZ? How much will you charge?". You just get in, tell him where to go and the driver start his meter and takes you to location XYZ. No haggling. Strange, but nice! :-)

The Mumbai roads are smooth, there are very few speed-breakers and the drivers are somewhat disciplined.

However, let me get to the point that I liked the most - NIGHT LIFE. Mumbai is truly the metro city of India. It simply has no competition. I was out in the streets till 5 AM in the morning and the city was still bustling. I went to the Juhu beach and the shops there were still open past midnight. I am not really a night-person, but I sometimes like to go out for junk food around midnight. There were plenty of auto rickshaws available even at 5 AM in the morning.

What are the downsides of living in Mumbai? I would say - the high cost of accommodation and peak hour traffic. Everyone I met complained about both these things.

I can now understand why people from Mumbai do not want to move out of it. I had a good time visiting the city. In the end, thanks to cray3 for the fantastic idea of going to Juhu at midnight, movie at her place and a nice dump of trance music.