Opinion Op Ed 04 Aug 2019 Shacking up: Do you ...
Ajit Saldanha has a finger in the pie, and another on the political pulse. And when he writes, he cooks up a storm.

Shacking up: Do you stack up?

Published Aug 4, 2019, 7:52 am IST
Updated Aug 5, 2019, 3:52 pm IST
Grexter Living can invite their friends over to have a meaningful conversation over a beer or just chill in their PJ's.
Imagine the plight of young professionals and students in namma Bengaluru: they are at the mercy of an unholy nexus between estate agents and holier-than-thou landlords out to fleece them while demanding rigid adherence to a set of rules that could have come out of Noah's Ark. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 Imagine the plight of young professionals and students in namma Bengaluru: they are at the mercy of an unholy nexus between estate agents and holier-than-thou landlords out to fleece them while demanding rigid adherence to a set of rules that could have come out of Noah's Ark. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

Imagine the plight of young professionals and students in namma Bengaluru: they are at the mercy of an unholy nexus between estate agents and holier-than-thou landlords out to fleece them while demanding rigid adherence to a set of rules that could have come out of Noah's Ark. Scratch that, not even two of a kind are allowed… No visitors, especially those of the opposite sex, vegetarian food only, 9 PM curfews and to top it all, a hefty 10 month's rent as deposit; a crippling burden for someone who is starting to make their way in the big, bad world.

Into this mishmash of ridiculous regulations, false advertising and general disarray, co-living spaces like Grexter Living have dawned like a beacon of hope. If co-working spaces are cool, co-living is like chilled to an Arctic degree. Those who look beyond the obvious labels of millenials as "selfie-addicts" and "snowflakes" will see a smart bunch of kids who aren't hung up on buying a flat, the latest car or being left on the shelf. Being single at 30 is no longer a crime and if Mummy & Daddy don't like it, they will just have to lump it. As opposed to the mindlessly acquisitive, grasping mentality of their parents' generation, today's GenZ is totally open to the concept of sharing, be it food, entertainment, clothes and living spaces.

 

While the "Must buy an apartment" mantra was hammered into the previous generation from the cradle upwards, today's millennials are contemptuously rejecting this homespun wisdom while daring to be different. Incidentally, it's not just homes; the sharing economy is spread across carpooling, work spaces and entertainment with selfishness being replaced by collaborative consumption and a sort of we're all in this together mentality.

Back in the day, if you changed jobs frequently you were dismissed as "shiftless" but nowadays if you're still stuck in the same job for over a decade, you are probably a fossil. Company loyalty be damned: today's youngsters can handle the transition from programmer to Zumba instructor without batting an eyelid. Co-living spaces like Grexter Living's, co-founded by IIT alumni Pratul Gupta and Nikhil Dosi offer a unique blend of private studios with funky community spaces to optimise real estate utilisation. The game-changer is throwing open the less utilized areas, the living room, kitchen, and laundry to a larger community, while offering an elegant solution to urban housing woes. Obviously the space utilisation is highly cost effective and the pooling of resources cuts costs by a minimum of 15% when compared to being lonesome on your ownsome. Co living can start as low as 7K a month in Hennur for a shared room and go upto 15K for an airy studio in HSR Layout.

Unlike a grotty, roach-infested PG acco with spy-cam enabled warden, a co-living space is focused on innovative design and great service. The architecture is designed to make you feel at home even if you've just moved to the city, while the fact that you can just unpack your suitcase and move in is ubercool from a millenial's perspective. Dude, imagine not having to clean up, cook and do your laundry. Ok, you still have to do your laundry but at least there's a washing machine with a full set of instructions to idiot-proof the experience for the uninitiated.

But the best part about this lifestyle is the community activity curated and managed by a qualified Community Manager. Radha Deodhar, Grexter Living's Head of Communication is passionate about energizing the community by crafting a fun agenda ranging from karaoke, open mic, stand-up comedy and mental wellbeing sessions with qualified professionals. Marketing analyst Sameer is deep in conversation with a visiting Austrian on Danish crime thrillers while they side-bar on gun control laws in the US with a Trump supporter. Shelling out an arm and a leg in a bar has become so yesterday: Grexter Living's can invite their friends over to have a meaningful conversation over a beer or just chill in their PJ's. It's like an old folks home except that instead of housie and Jello-O they have Zumba and margaritas. Co living spaces are like living in a joint family with one crucial difference: you don't share any DNA with your homies. So, while you can't choose your family, you sure as hell can choose your friends.  

Grexter Living's Do’s & Dont’s

  • Chill here all day, every day, all night if you want, it's your call.
  • Remember when it's time to hush it up. Tip: when everyone else is sleeping.
  • Throw parties and invite friends over.
  • Pick up the extra mess after parties.
  • Dump your trash.
  • Everything arranged in this area is for you. Use them all you like.

Dont’s

  • Mark your territories in the common areas.
  • Blame the games and echoes for noise during quiet hours.
  • Monopolise the common area for parties and forget your friends. Hint: no one's complaining if they're all at the same party with you.
  • Call CM at odd hours and for personal errands.

If these simple life lessons could reach a wider audience, Bengaluru would be a better place.

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