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Vaastu Shastra

There are certain tasks that the Indian society expects a person to fulfill - get a good job, get married at a certain age, buy a house, buy a car, have kids etc. So it would seem natural to you that after getting married I have started looking around for a house to buy. It isn't so. My hunt for a house began with a trip to the mall to buy a sofa set.

It should not come as a surprise that I like movies. I have watched hundreds of movies and now that I have means at my disposal I started to improve my movie viewing experience. With TV and audio system out of the way, a comfy couch was all that was needed. So I dragged my wife with me to the mall and started evaluating the over-priced sofas. We hopped and jumped on a lot of them and when the dust finally settled, my heart was with a sofa that was also a recliner, rocking chair, had foot support, was made of high quality dead skin... err leather - the complete package! It also came with a hefty price tag. We came back home to discuss more on whether we can afford it.

With such a hefty price tag, as Indians it is natural to consult your parents before you make such a purchase. In hindsight, it was a mistake. We were lectured as to how important it is to have one's own house before buying such costly furniture. It may get destroyed if we have to shift houses frequently. All of our effort to convince our parents that we won't be flinging sofas around fell on deaf ears. The bottom line was simple - buy a house before you buy that sofa; and I really wanted that sofa.

So we started looking for houses. The one word that you keep encountering while searching for a house is "Vaastu". This is the word that all developers will keep on buzzing in your ears. "100% Vaastu Compliant" makes me wonder if a house can be any other percent compliant.

If you don't already know about Vaastu, you won't know what that actually means. You see its a trick to make absurd house plans seem good. It is a cruel trick played by some people, much like religion, that fools the hard-working population into believing that by following vaastu guidelines their lives will somehow get better. You will be drowned by terms like energy, waves, chi till you give up and accept that it is good thing that the first room in your house is the kitchen as according to Vaastu that is the proper corner for kitchen to be in.

There is no escaping Vaastu. Even renowned builders now draw their floor plans according to Vaastu. When I asked one of them as to why they followed such absurdity instead of following the common sense and architectural guidelines, they answered that no one will buy their houses if they don't follow Vaastu. It is the kool-aid that is now forced down everyone's throat.

Finally I have a humble appeal to all the people out there reading this. If you are planning to buy/build a house, please make an effort to understand if Vaastu really improves your house before you take a decision. If not for ourselves, let's make a better world for future generations (and also a better house).

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

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