Seems quite incredible that it has been more than three decades since we moved into Delhi to live.
In seventies, Delhi was very welcoming to Bengalis and Tamils (actually anyone from South of Vindhyas). We were model tenants. We paid our rents on time, had a reputation for never creating ruckus and vacated the premises on the expiry of the contract if asked to.
Stereotypes are dangerous. However, it can safely be said that we profited hugely from our stereotypical “meek and submissive” image. We never had trouble finding a house to rent.
Times have changed. Delhi of thirty years back was dominantly Punjabi by nature. And many Bengalis and most South Indians were first-generation settlers; mostly seeking out “safe” ghettos like Karol Bagh.
Memories of those days came rushing back today. We went and rented out our apartment in Dwarka. Thereby, becoming “landlords” for the first time in our lives. To compound the irony, we rented out to a Punjabi family, on the recommendation of our next door tenants. And, guess who the “landlord” of the next door apartment is? It is a Tamilian family.
In Delhi, finally, the meek may not have inherited the earth, but have staked out a claim to a shared space.
Happy housewarming, Mr Arora.