I know that people living in their big mansions in Defence and Clifton would probably dismiss this article. After all, what do they know what living in an apartment is like? They might have the privilege to lounge in their spacious living rooms or take a stroll in their manicured gardens, but they hardly know the fun of living in an apartment.
The constant hustle and bustle in apartments means that there is always something exciting and entertaining to look forward to. Whether it’s the phaddas with the guy who broke the switch of the water pump and the grumblers who never let you play cricket outside the apartment building or the aroma of delicious food wafting from every window, life in an apartment is anything but boring.
The best thing about living in an apartment is that you know people living in the vicinity. Neighbours are truly like family members; they trust and rely on each other. You realise this when a sweet girl from the house next door knocks on your door and asks for some coriander for the aaloo gosht her mom is cooking.
And while people living in big houses are barely out of their beds at 7 am, the party at the apartments has already begun.
As the boys play cricket in the morning outside the apartment building, you see bystanders holding their aloo puris and you coax them into giving you some. And to the uncle who boisterously cheers you as you play, you request, “Please uncle, get some Pepsi for us!”
As you try to rush through the game before it’s time to get ready for school, middle-aged aunties watch you from the balconies. Some flash gracious smiles while others scowl and angrily shout at the coterie of cricket players for ruining their beauty sleep.
With the constant hullaballoo outside the apartment building, the tranquillity inside your own home is definitely a relief. But just when you are getting used to the peace and quiet, the guy from the third floor decides to get some welding done at his place and the idiot next door causes the water to overflow after failing to fix the water pump.
Then of course, there are the flat gundas raising a ruckus at midnight outside your apartment, as you try to cram your brains with class notes on the eve of your exam. But instead of trying to focus on your studies, you keenly eavesdrop when an uncle disperses the rowdy boys with his scolding.
And when this clamour fades away, at exactly 5 am the clucking of the coop of hens owned by the health-conscious auntie who only eats desi eggs, begins.
The night starts and ends in a flash. Playing football, listening to the music and having random dinners at a friend’s place are part of it all.
And let’s not forget the entertaining competition amongst apartment residents. The flaunting of animals on Bakra Eid, competitive cricket and football matches, the scuffles amongst gangs of teenage boys and the water fights.
The community life in an apartment is a never-ending joyride and people in their gloomy and lonely houses can’t ever imagine the fun apartment people have. I truly pity those people who think that residing in an apartment is ‘low’. My advice: live in a flat and find out the fun.
And to the guys, who are going to shift from their compact flats to some bara bangla: think again.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.
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