Swara Bhaskar Talks About How Difficult It Is To Rent A House In Mumbai As A Single Girl. Why Are Single Women So Intimidating?
One of the biggest ironies of being a woman and living in this society is that while we may feel scared to walk down the road, even in the middle of the day, turns out there are quite a few people who are afraid of us instead. Especially if we’re single and trying to rent out an apartment. A harsh reality that actress Swara Bhaskar recently shed some light on.
While talking about her latest project Aapke Kamrey Main Koi Rehta Hai, in an interview with Hindustan Times, Swara Bhaskar touched base on a lot of topics, but one in particular that caught our eye and sadly, not for good reason. While talking about how when she shifted to Mumbai in the beginning of career, Swara opened up about the kind of struggles she had when she tried to rent out an apartment as a single woman.
She said, “Yes I did. I actually lived in an office of Anjum Rajabali sir, who is my mother’s friend and a celebrated screenwriter. Me and my roommate (Lopamudra Raut) lived in this office for a month-and-a-half as we couldn’t find a house. She was my college friend and came to Mumbai as she got a job. We had to leave the office before 9 am. We would have a bath and leave and go to the nearby mall and hang around on its stairs. I would leave for my audition and she (Lopamudra) would leave for her job from there. I saw every single release that month, good or bad, as I got to spend three hours in an air-conditioned theatre.”
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When asked why she had that much trouble, Swara said, “No society in Mumbai was ready to rent a house to two single girls, one of whom was trying to get into the film industry. They asked us, ‘Will you be meeting boys?’ We said ‘yes’. I even got into fights with a few landlords who were being very kattar (staunch). I started explaining to them our fundamental rights – Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
To this, Swara Bhaskar shared that her broker replied by saying, “‘Madam, if you want to do all this, go find a house somewhere else, I can’t help you’. We eventually found a house in a building which wasn’t a part of a society. It was a new construction and there were not a lot of occupants. That’s how I got my first house.”
No matter how much the society claims to have gotten progressive and forward in terms of viewing women and respecting their choices, the truth of the matter would always be that as long as we’re women, trying to make it on our own, the staunch beliefs and patriarchal notions on how a woman should behave or conduct her life, would always be tried to impose on her. And we are glad women like Swara Bhaskar are talking about it.