My parents have moved around quite a bit (Kochi–>Delhi–>Kochi –> (places in Kochi)*–>Trissur–>and now Mumbai). We have seen lots of packers and movers. But absolutely enjoyed watching Agarwal packers and movers at work.
These guys are amazingly professional, they did everything flawlessly, and real fast. They did not need us interrupting them and telling them what to do. They do charge a bit more for that, but heck, as my Dad later said: its worth the money when you you are so sure that your stuff will reach Mumbai.
Now Agarwal packers, like all other packers and movers in Kerala, had a condition that loading the packed items from the house to the truck will be the responsibility of the client. That might sound a little weird, but then you haven’t heard of how Unions operate in Kerala.
The deal is this: In Kerala there is a Labor Union of the Loading and Unloading guys, who demand that all Loading and Unloading have to be undertaken by them, and that you can’t hire anybody of your own wish. I think its called Attimari. I don’t know how they operate, but the loading guys are always informed when a truck with goods arrives or is leaving.
Traditionally, these guys use force and intimidation to make sure that they get their job. We’ve experienced it before. When our goods from Delhi had arrived in Kochi, we had waited for a few hours before the unloading guys arrived. The truck driver had offered to help–but we were bound by union rules, if we do the job ourselves, we’d have had to pay the union anyway.
Things changed after that, a Kerala Loading and Unloading Act seemed to make all that illegal. I’m not sure whether its been scrapped, or whether it still exists. But the Union does seem to have some power if packers and movers are still intimidated by them.
Anyway, so these Loading guys come to our house, after Agarwal packers are done with their job, they look around lethargically, moved a cupboard a bit (“too heavy!”), and demanded 10K for moving the stuff down two floors. My Dad refused, but finally got them to agree to a very absurd condition: We move the stuff ourselves down the two floors, carry it all the way to the truck and leave it there. The Loading guys, just transfer it from there into the truck. 3000 for that.
Now my Mom and Brother are already in Mumbai. Before any of us saw our new apartment (which is in Navi Mumbai, if you like differentiating it from Mumbai), we were given descriptions such as “Its like Singapore”, “Sea view”, “Three swimming pools”. Of course, my mind started imagining rich bitchy girls in bikinis at swimming pools.
The corrected news from the Metro, is that its a pretty badly maintained place, the swimming pools are nowhere to be seen, the sea view probably referred to some swamps, and the place is infested with roaches. So I’m guessing — no rich bitchy girls. Sigh. Anyway, just like Home Sweet Home in Trissur, I don’t intend to spend too much time there.
I don’t have any nostalgia for my home in Trissur. I have hardly stayed here. I know nobody. It was only yesterday I said Hi to the neighbours (and even that was because they mistook me for my brother). But after the house is empty, I get a good view of the place. That, and the fact that my new permanent address is a shit-dump-yard, makes me want to praise this Trissur apartment (and its architect, who is also the house owner) for its amazingly clean design and attention to detail. Its done seriously professionally, and its seriously beautiful. Its not like the many houses where you find overlapping paint between windows and walls, or the joint between the tiles and walls (don’t know why, that gets on my nerves). A great choice of fitments (I like the tubelight design, a simple neat elegant not-come-in-my-way design). No compromises. And for a rent of about what I paid as my hostel mess fee.
Its nice to see a job done to perfection.