Living arrangement

What’s the point of thoughtful planning I ask you

9:48 PM

The apartment in which we live right now is one of the best when it comes to space management and planning. From the big bay window type, that allows proper ventilation, to the functional kitchen, and the bathrooms with properly separated wet and dry area down to the indoor washing machine area:

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This little corner is set into the narrow hallway that goes from the living room into the bedrooms and would otherwise be lost space, the architect planned it in such a way that the tiles in this area are lower to prevent any risk of water flooding out of the already specially designed deep drain in which you plunge the washing machine draining hose, it comes with a special tap at the right height to hook the water input hose and a 15 ampere plug specially designed for appliances that heat (like front load washing machine with a built in water heater). The space is specially designed for a washing machine and an utility storage corner as I already mentioned in a previous post using the same picture to demonstrate how one can hide a cluttered storage shelf using a shower curtain.

Frankly after years of having had to store the washing machine on outdoor utility balconies at the mercy of the elements, or on top of a Indian style toilet, or in my kitchen when it was still or semi automatic top load (which I had to push across the flat to the bathroom to use) I was happy to know my relatively pricey machine would finally get some TLC and be tucked away nicely in an indoor location, way from sun, pollution dust and even rats. I figured out everybody thought the same…until a month ago a notice appeared on the message board in the lobby signed from the society manager informing people that it has been shown that the storm water drains were bearing far more volume of water than they should as a result of people hooking their washing machine in the wrong place (the balconies) and that the excess water was stagnating in drains not designed to take that load and even over flew on the tiled walk path/parking driveway of the mezzanine casing tiles to pop out, fungus to develop and mosquitoes to breed, not to mention the constant water stagnation in these area  could lead to serious damage to the overall structure of the building. The notice kindly asked every residents to remove the washing machines from their balconies and put them in the specially designed spot inside their home for the sake of the building’s structural integrity and the health of all living there.
It comes as no surprise of course that no one budged, and that for a whole month the foamy water kept gushing out of the storm drains in various location. So much so that the letter that appeared in the message board last week was much less kind with the manager announcing that a survey of every single apartment in the building would be conducted with a maintenance official just checking where the machine is and note down the detail in a notebook. Residents which at this point still have a machine on their balcony will be asked to move it indoor and their flat number will go on record.
The guy came to my place yesterday, noticed the washing machine was in its designed space and left. What I can see from my balcony is that despite the survey several washing machine are still outside though and that irks me, because this is blatant disrespect for the society, the building’s integrity and the health of everybody living there.
DH pointed out that many thought that the indoor space could be put to better use as an extra storage space, and while I get that Mumbai apartments are short on storage, we are talking about 2 square feet of space, if one is that space conscious they can still have the washing machine inside, and have a carpenter build some wall mounted cabinets or shelves above to store some knick knack…believe me I am thinking about it to store all the cleaning products truly out of reach from Ishita.
Those who ignored the two notices and survey guy, are jerks, plain and simple, and I would like to know what actually makes then think that they have VIP status above anybody else that allows them to carry on defacing a building in which they probably bought the flat rather than renting.
And on top of it all I wonder why some people will just want to submit their washing machine to a shorter lifespan storing it in a place where it will get exposed to harsh climatic conditions when they clearly have a better safer option inside.
And the sad part is that these people are probably going to be the first to complain about how badly built and planned buildings in Mumbai are, and cribbing about the “Good Money” they spent on a flat that is catching fungus and breaking apart.
Of all the places I have lived so far in India this one has the most active society management, maintenance is carried out very regularly on everything from keeping the garden attractive, the foot paths with broken tiles never stay in such conditions long, the marble tiles in the lobby get replaced as soon as they crack, kiddie rides in the playground get fixed properly and promptly if they break (happened twice), the cleaning staff make sure all common areas are clean of litter and soiled spots at all time, so much that even the parking area gets doused in phenol from time to time and is otherwise washed with hoses regularly.  
It’s a place where maintenance charges flat owners pay quarterly to the cooperative is put to excellent use.
I wished a many residents being in the wrong would realise that, do their bits and be grateful to the staff that cares about hygiene in their building.

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