I forget how much I’ve told you about the massive floor battles that have taken place within my family. So here’s a quick recap.
Due to a judgment by the Supreme Court or the High Court, it isn’t feasible for us to move to Sainik Farms, and so we’re reconstructing the current house to make it more livable.
My bua has a fetish for pure white marble- the sort that Mughal despots used to make mausoleums out of. She thinks it looks simple, serene and elegant. The architect said that sort was obtainable from the Ambaji mines at 300 rupees per square foot.
My mother, on the other hand, hates pure white marble. She thinks it looks cold and dead- like a mausoleum, in fact. She respects marble as a material, but likes marble with green splashes and streaks much more. She thinks it looks organic, alive and welcoming. What she really likes, though, is wood- it looks warm. But since wood is not feasible for a climate where it hits forty Celsius in April, she had her eyes and mind on Italian Pergo tiles that looked like wood- being sold at 190 rupees a square foot in Greater Kailash II.
My brother, displaying the degradations two years of an education in DPS will afflict one one’s brain, suggested aluminum- light and strong. Evidently he didn’t consider ‘expensive’ and ‘hot as a handbag and a can of mace’ to be significant traits.
A compromise was reached. The entire ground floor would be floored with white marble, and the first floor would be done as my mother saw fit.
Subsequent research revealed that the Ambaji marble was not three hundred rupees per square foot, but, in fact, four hundred per square foot. If you have money, you might as well spend it building your dream home, but at this point it was looking as if we would run out of money after finishing the floors, and buying a few bricks. I began to have premonitions of living like Enya- sleeping in marble halls, with nary a bed in sight.
However, this week my female relatives visited the Makrana mines, and it appears that we are saved!
Bua found marble that was so white it looked like it had been washed with Surf, or possibly Rin Supreme. At this very moment she is probably fantasizing about having the Kapoors, whose drawing room she set as a benchmark asking themselves ‘Bhale Dr. Khanna ka marble hamare marble se safed kaise?’. What’s more, it was for 180 per square foot- more than half as cheap as the Ambaji.
Ma also picked up colourful marble for the first floor- my room is apparently to be done in a sixty-five rupee per square foot beige-pinkish marble with hints of orange. Yow. But she assures me it’s not shocking pink. I’ll see the stone myself this weekend or the next.
Ma and bua also claim to have learned a lot, and are threatening to abandon their regular jobs and become material science professors.
This is only the beginning, of course. Big fights over walls- bricks, paint, wallpaper- not to mention windows, doors, what sort of carpets to cover the marble with, if at all- these are inevitable. Watch this space.