Lifestyle Books and Art 16 Aug 2019 The building blocks ...

The building blocks of community

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 16, 2019, 12:14 am IST
Updated Aug 16, 2019, 4:26 pm IST
From communes to co-operative housing societies, like-minded people have been coming together to live for decades.
Slam poetry event at a co-living space.
 Slam poetry event at a co-living space.

As India’s IT City and more than 60,000 registered companies operating here, Bengaluru attracts a huge number of young working professionals and students.

And many of these young people have the disposable income and the desire to live the good life. They are clued in to international trends and quick to adopt them. Which is why, of late they have been moving away from paying-guest accommodation or individual rentals and gravitating towards ‘co-living condominiums’ that give them comfortable living areas as well as the interactive lifestyle they crave.

 

Trust the millennials to take something staid like co-operative housing societies and give them a more ‘intentional’ image! Co-living spaces are the new cool and everyone wants to be part of one. The realty developers aren’t complaining. They are merely adding appropriate catchwords to their messaging - millennial-friendly, affordable, curated experiences, etc. These co-living spaces also offer a lot of privacy, convenient locations vis-à-vis the big IT hubs and come fully-loaded with amenities, which include colourful and cheery common spaces to hang out, Table Tennis and Foosball tables, small libraries, etc. A big draw is also the events and experiences that are specially curated and created for the residents within the condo.

Pratul Gupta, Co-Founder of Grexter Living says, “The events in these spaces are organised in a way to facilitate maximum engagement of residents. Through these events, the residents find the opportunity to meet people with common interests and make friends. This, in turn, fulfils the motive of community living. The events give them a platform to connect with other like-minded residents. For urban youth, co-living is the most sustainable way of living.”

This culture of conducting events is been followed in most of the co-living spaces. Sounds like the good ol’ building society celebrations that took place for every big festival, with pandals and loudspeakers? These are a far cry from that, and much more appealing to the millennials, with their upmarket makeover and international sheen. Karaoke nights, movie screenings and stand-up comics are the biggest crowd pullers. However, open-mic poetry and storytelling sessions are also becoming quite popular among residents. They have professionals putting the events together in a very targeted way that ensures that the residents will be enthused by the activity, not put off by it.

Radha, Community Manager at Grexter Living explains, “The general idea behind organising these events is to facilitate resident engagement and bring a cluster of people together, keeping in mind their common interests. We have an internal team that handles the clusters and curates events based on the profile of a particular cluster. Besides, we take regular feedback from our residents. They take pleasure in these events, mainly because they don’t need to step out to have a gala time.”

These events are allowing the millennials to enjoy the experiences of a night-out with friends in the vicinity of their homes. Residents, usually ranging from the early 20s to early 30s in age, like to relax on the weekends and unwind with their friends and colleagues. Gaurav, a resident of a co-living space, observes, “Events give us a platform to meet like-minded people.  Since we live together, we find events to be an ice breaker more than anything else and help residents to mingle with each other.”

Rashy, another aficionado of the co-living culture, says, “It is a very wholesome curation, from fitness to pet adoption drives. There is a range of different things happening almost every week. And my favourite is ‘free-treat Thursday’, where they give out, what else, free treats! I have made some really good friends through these events. It really brings the community together and puts us face to face so we aren’t just neighbours, we are also friends, a team and, more importantly, a community.”

In a world where our gadgets increasingly isolate us from each other, we certainly do find our own ways to build bonds!

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