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  • Student Journalist

House v/s Home

One of the greatest achievements of your life is being able to own a place that you call home, a place of your dreams, a place with enough rooms to accommodate all your family members, a place where you can live on your terms- with no restrictions, without the fear of paying rent all your life. Mr. Ashok & Mrs. Ganga Thite’s dream of having their own house has been fulfilled today. They are celebrating this auspicious occasion by inviting all their extended family and friends for a ‘ Vastu Pooja’.

The couple believes the puja will radiate peace and happiness in their house, removing any bad or negative energies and resulting in a well-balanced environment.  The pooja is intended to draw blessings for positivity, growth and wellness for each family member, marking a good start for all of them.  Moreover, it's a good excuse to meet up with all your loved ones.

However, the couple’s journey to owning their own house has been a rough one. It’s only after countless struggles, sacrifices, lots of patience and determination- that could make this happen.

Traditionally, Ashok and his family had been involved in farming, but they had to sell most of their land in Ahmednagar, to fund Ashok’s sister ‘s wedding. After which, Ashok moved from his hometown to Pune, to seek livelihood. Because there was no other option, he worked in a flour mill for almost a year to support his family. In 2006, Ganga and Ashok got married. They spent months searching if they could get a room at any rate lower than Rs. 1000. At which they failed and at last had to rent a small, single room house at Rs.1000 per month.

Ganga shared that they could hardly arrange the amount at the end of the month, despite Ashok working twice the hours in the mill and continuous cutting on daily commodities. 

"At a point we stopped  purchasing vegetables or milk and only fed ourselves on the little pulses my mother-in-law had sent from the village," said Ganga. 

On top of that, you were subjected to scolding from the landlord if the rent was delayed a day or two.

After a year, luckily Ashok got a job in a limited company called Kalyani Force and was able to afford the rent while living a comfortable life. However, there was always a longing for belonging. 

“I did live in a house with four walls that protected me from wind, rain, sun etc., but couldn’t call it home”, expressed Ashok. That’s when it struck him, he needed a house of his own.

Over the next few years the couple worked hard to save up for their house. Ashok utilized all his Provident Fund (PF) savings and took out a loan for the house, while Ganga kept her wedding jewelry mortgage.

The couple has poured their heart and soul into every detail, every decision made during the building process - from deciding which contractor can provide us with the best kind of materials to selecting the tiles to choosing wall paints. For Ashok and Ganga a home is so much more than the building materials that formed it. A home is where your children grow, your relationships thrive and your life happens.

While they realize it is going to take them another couple of years to pay off all the debt, they are still happy that the sense of belonging and joy they feel at their own house - sorry, home, comes so naturally to them.

A picture when the foundation of Ashok & Ganga’s house was laid. Either of them was always present, irrespective of the hot summer days - ensuring that the building process is smooth.

The mansion of Ashok and Ganga’s dreams- to construct this place they not only invested their savings of a lifetime but it's also a symbol of their hard work and dedication.

The couple performing the Havan Pooja - an auspicious ritual rooted in the Hindu religion, intended to eliminate any bad or negative energies from the surroundings and bring tranquility.

Celebrations are never complete without your friends and family- so, here’s Ashok and Ganga’s loved ones congratulating them for their new house, while showering them with gifts.

Ganga’s mother-in-law passing on her blessings by ‘offering a sari and a blouse-piece’ to Ganga. This is a ritual called ‘Oti bharane’.

Ashok paying his hearty thanks and respects to the male visitors before their departure.
Ganga and Ashok live with their two children, Pratiksha and Prathamesh at a place where their children will grow, their relationships will thrive and their life will happen.

Written by Pratiksha Thite

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