By Mohammed Abdul Jawad
Apartments in a prime location are often regarded as a great fortune. Everything in vicinity…schools and groceries are so near that you just have to take a walk to reach your destination. Besides that, in a shortest span of time, you have access to nearby clinics, spectacular shopping malls, and preferred restaurants. Getting a flat with such beneficial highlights is not so easy and when you come across an ad that says ‘vacant house available near school’, then be sure that same day or next day that house is gone, after a hasty, compromising deal.
Following an ad for an available flat on rent, I called the contact person and took the same day appointment in the evening and I was of thought that if I delay seeing the flat, someone else might visit, select and make a down payment to occupy the flat.
After getting exact geographical location of the building where the flat is we reached the place on time. The building gave a grim look, perhaps dating to three decades. We had to bear the effort of climbing few welcoming stairs, and then on the ground floor, the tenant left the old, greasy wooden door open for us to enter into the flat.
To be frank, the flat smelled terrible…all the surroundings was unclean, muddled and lopsided. Immediately, after the main entrance, on to the right side we found a small, proportioned kitchen that was devoid of its luster and on the left side was a larger, drawing room, with all gloominess, squalid furniture and unhealthy, grubby carpet.
I asked the tenant, with slight uneasiness, “What are the household items that must go with the flat?”
“All that which is seen in the flat,” he just shrugged in a casual mood.
To buy the vain, surplus items and resell it is one issue, but, prior to that, we decided to have a detailed surveillance of the flat and its validity. The kitchen gave no sign of relief, with dirty sink, wobbly water tap, scratches here and there and stains all over the walls. God knows for what reason the exhaust fan, in the kitchen, was plastered with plastic tape.
With the unbearable smell, I peeped here and there whether there were any freaking, roaming cockroaches in the area. Found no visible cockroaches in the daylight, but the strange musky odor was a definite proof that there must be hundreds of cockroaches who will come out in the night and ramble to scavenge for food and water.
We moved on to discover more…next to kitchen, a dining area gave a useless look. A slim, old refrigerator and oven, seated on a wooden table, needed to be scrubbed clean. The floor, with its discolored and broken tiles, needed to be washed, repaired and mopped. Adjacent to this space, there was a door leading to small bedroom…with unappealing beds, mattresses, broken wooden wardrobe, scrappy dressing table and drawers and faded, unclean wall-to-wall carpet.
Though the toilet looked a bit spacious, but it was all creaky that needed some renovation and additions. There wasn’t any geezer…rusty water pipes, braced on the walls, leaky hand-shower and stained ceramic and floor gave an ailing look.
Now, heading for a finale, we reluctantly wanted to have a quick glance of the drawing room. Undoubtedly, it was large, extra spacious, but then it was a total mess, with muddy old carpet, a stout TV resting on a wooden table, two single cots of cheap wood placed in the center, two huge sofas that had turned slippery, dark with dirt and sweat, with layers of paint the ceiling and the walls were peeling off here and there, an unwanted wooden rack in the corner and an old styled, wooden center table that was kept somewhere at one side and it all had scratches over the top. Isn’t cleanliness next to Godliness?
After few moments, we were left speechless…to disclose our findings to the tenant or keep ourselves mum and leave that messy flat as early as possible. And after seeing and observing all this, I wondered who’d like to shift into this house…spending more money on dislocating all the scrap furniture and selling off other things at half price, repairing the damages and refurbishing the whole flat.
Anyhow, as a courtesy, to escape the scene in a polite manner, I asked the tenant, “Sir, don’t you think the price is too high for the household items?”
“Well, any one will make an immediate decision to occupy the flat with all items, since this is in the prime location,” he said calmly.
With dissatisfaction, we left that place and I muttered to myself ‘anyone who buys the whole scrap of household items is turning blind and becoming a temporal fool for the sake of prime location, and wasting time, money and energy on renovating the whole flat to make it at least reasonably acceptable.