Mane katti nodu – Bangalore style

A step by step guide to house construction in Bangalore.

  1. Start with a Bhoomi Pooja. Make sure you smirk at your future neighbours when greeting them. They have only an inkling of what’s going to hit them the next 2 years, and some hope it won’t be that bad. They have no idea!
  2. Send out the borewell truck on a Sunday morning. If not Sunday morning, then Sunday evening to go all the way into the night. Your site might get Cauvery water, and might not get permission to dig a borewell. But ‘permission’ is for suckers. Cover up only the adjacent building. Rest of them should necessarily drown in the dust.
  3. Cut all trees in the vicinity. Threaten any tree-hugging neighbours. Let them take photos though; they can’t do much with it. But be careful with the trees in front of their houses. You’ll only build with parking space for 3 cars, and when you buy your 4th car, you need some shade to park under. Again, “Permission is for suckers”. No one will give permission anyway. Worst case scenario, the BBMP fine is only Rs. 1000.
  4. Get a plan approved. Remember to leave a lot of space around the building in the plan you submit. Of course, only suckers leave any space around! You paid Rs. 6000 per sq ft, don’t waste an inch of it! BBMP won’t inspect, when they do, you can always “negotiate”. And remember, no one shows the top-most floor that you plan to rent out in the approval plan.
  5. Unleash construction workers, and their extended families. Take over half the road for their cabins, which won’t have toilets of course. How can they use the same sanitation pipe as yours? Chee chee! Let them find an empty site nearby to do their jobs, the same place they dump their garbage.
  6. Dump all your concrete bricks, sand and cement stuff on the road. You can take up half the road or even the whole of it. Your workers are inured to passers-by shouting at them, and know how to turn a deaf ear.
  7. Make sure all work, however noisy, especially the noisy work, starts at sunrise. You can’t waste an inkling of light! And not an inkling of the streetlamp light either. Make sure the workers don’t rest till 11 PM. If the neighbours think your roof is curing and there’ll be some respite, go have someone bang the boards holding them at 5 AM, and again at 11 PM. Don’t they know who’s building a house?!
  8. If your neighbours complain, don’t talk to them. Let the contractor deal with them. He has a standard line for them “You also built a house”. The equivalent of “we contractors are all alike” or the biblical “let the one without sin cast the first stone”. If you are caught alone with no contractor, smirk (see step 1) and promise to deal with it immediately. And go home. Anyway, who talks to neighbours these days!
  9. Cover up your storm water drain with granite slabs. You can use that to park more cars. Except that you won’t, what are neighbours’ trees for(See ‘3’ above)! The drain should be clear so that you can point to neighbours when clearing it. But no water can now enter it. When you clean your cars all that water should go down the road. People can trace the water source and see your shiny, freshly washed cars. If you’re looking for a place to put the stuff from your drain, the drain in front of the neighbour’s site is a good place.
  10. When you cut the road for sanitation or water, remember to place it after your gate, on the side you are less likely to take. One easy thumb rule: If you take right from the gate to go to work and the mall, dig on the left.  This will ensure you don’t have to spend the Rs. 500 on cement to close it up properly. Some mud will do the trick, cars passing by can level it up until the next rains. If you take both directions equally, just cement part of the road, the parts that you use. Can save Rs. 250.
  11. Make sure your carpenters and tile-layers are all from other states, ideally not even Hindi-speaking. This way they won’t have a home to go to, and can work from 6 AM to 11 PM, 7 days a week, usually for a pittance. Bonus: Neighbours can’t complain because of language barriers.
  12. Make sure you use a lot of granite. The more you put up, the more your status in society. People need to look at your house and admire all that granite. You did not cut down all those trees for nothing!
  13. Given that drains are all blocked, you might want to construct a few feet higher than ground. But then your cars would need a longer ramp. Takeover 5 ft from the road for your ramp. Don’t worry, it might be the best part of the road. Keep some rocks or show-plant pots on the sides to prevent people from using it though.
  14. Make sure there are no airy openings to the outside. You will anyway need an AC. You know how hot Bangalore is becoming these days. Leave some windowish glass openings for light. But LED lights can make it look like daylight these days, so windows are really just fancy archaic things.
  15. Throw a big fat house warming and invite all neighbours. Smirk(see point ‘1’ above) and say sorry for all that trouble over the past 2 years. Two years that might have left them with some form of PTSD for the rest of their lives.

Your modern Bangalore matchbox is ready.


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