Everyone has bad stories about crazy landlords, right? Well, my all landlords probably tell stories about me, their terrible tenant.
I’m at home in Guwahati when my roommate tells me we’ve been thrown out of our house in Bangalore. It’s summer, so I’m watching Friends and eating lots of utti and fermented fish. I’m trying not to think about the articles I have to write for college. Who works in the summer holidays.
The landlady has thrown us out of our PG on Berlie Street. I’m thinking, what the hell man! She should have atleast told us, this Shivajinagar Inshallah lady. She is so small-minded. “Kal ko deta, Inshallah,” she had said when we once asked her for a mirror.
We had been smoking and all, but for four months she lets us smoke and then throws us out without warning. All my clothes are still there, man.
When we returned we found that all my stuff had been dumped under the steps in one shady hallway. Andy, my roommate, lost his bucket and blanket. So sad for him. I stayed with a friend and didn’t go to college for ten days because I was looking for a place. I didn’t ask my sister to help with the house-hunting for fear of her discovering my smoking.
Finally, I found this PG in Austin town. The ground floor guy is always smoking at his door, and the woman is always in the kitchen. We stay on the second floor. This landlord, he’s the best, man. Chicken type, you know? When my friend broke the window and almirah glass, he came up to see the damage. Without saying much, he took a broom and swept the glass away. Taaliyaan!
Instead of confronting us about our rowdy drinking bouts, he just put up a board outside the house: No drinking. Inshallah lady would have been better and said, “Jawaan ladka log hai smoke karta toh hai, go to terrace!”
You want to know how I broke my glasses? Or you want to know the other fighting story? It’s okay, I’ll tell you both and you’ll get to know how nice my landlord is. He’s from Manipur. For everything he just says, “Mmmm.”
So one day, two of my friends and me were drunk on the terrace. It was 1:30 in the morning and we were shouting. We weren’t shouting at anyone in particular or anything, just having fun. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but we were drunk.
Our neighbours were always fighting with us. So we decided it’s a great idea – we began throwing our empty bottles on their terrace. Then we stood and peed on their shitty house.
They eventually saw what was happening and started shouting at us, screaming “Chinki chinki”. They were also drunk I think.
Hearing their awful threats, we went back home and locked the door. A full gang soon came to the landlord’s door below and demanded that he throw us out.
But he said sorry to them for us. Ha ha! Next day we went downstairs and said sorry to him too, like nice children. He didn’t shout at us, just said “Mmmm” and let it be.
But the day I broke my glasses, no. I had drunk little bit that afternoon at Chin Lung. Then I went home and didn’t feel drunk enough, so I drank some more. I think it was Old Monk or something. Then I decided to play music, and it was thoda loud.
So they came again, those neighbours. I was drunk, so with full josh I went downstairs to shout at them and tell them to bug off. Only they weren’t drunk this time. Somebody punched me and I fell. Next thing, I woke up at 11 at night with a bandage on my nose. I don’t remember anything in between.
I must be the worst tenant a landlord could have. But maybe my landlord was once like me. Maybe he understands. Because the next day, uncle ji just said, “Mmmm.”
By Gautier Naorem
Illustration By: Simeen Oshidar