The Land With No Privacy, Part I

There are at least two other people whom I don't know very well who have access to various parts of the inside of my home. One is the cook, who has no keys as of now, but will to the kitchen once she starts on Friday.

One is the maid, who has all three keys and get in or out of anywhere except the almirahs when the locks work, which they don't. What will I do if she decides to steal my computer or my fridge? Probably nothing.

That doesn't include the outdoor portion of my home, the terrace. Anyone and everyone can get there. The door to the terrace from inside doesn't lock. I've asked my landlord to fix it and he says it has been fixed. But it hasn't been.

What to do?

I was woken up earlier today because I was walking naked in my home--which is the only alternative in this heat when you don't have an AC, not that I should have to justify it to you--and there was a guy on my terrace. I closed the door, because I didn't have any other alternatives other than yelling: "Who are you, and why are you on my terrace?" But I knew he was just the temporary security guard or, as it turns out, the cable guy from downstairs.

The cable guy later asked me not to lock the door to the terrace while I was closing it. I didn't understand why he spoke to me in a language besides Hindi or knew my name, but I don't know why I felt compelled to tell him that the door doesn't lock. Maybe a sense of amused and bitter helplessness?

Those who can't come onto the terrace can at least see what I'm up to. I can frequently see people in other homes--the bathroom on the one to my right and some room on the one to the left. And of course if I get too close to the railing, then everyone on the street below, if they bother to look up (which is infrequent).

The darwan has a key to the lock in the front of the house, but won't give me one. I respect that. But I find it ironic with the lack of security in my home, that i'm not allowed to have a key to the front gate.

I also don't have a key to the maingate. If I come home late, which is frequent, my chowkidar has to get up, along with his dog, and come to the gate and open it. And, about once every two months, ask me for money. Mitha.

The final irony: the almirah is supposed to be locked--on demand of my landlord and my maid, who reports to my landlord--because in case someone jumps on to my house from a neighboring room, somehow gets through the chitkini on the door or get through the window, they wouldn't manage to break into the almirah, whose locks I have broken at least thrice by mistake.

What to do?

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