I’ve been in Delhi for three days, and for the last two of which I’ve been house-hunting and then buried in office work. While I was trawling through dozens of Facebook posts and items on Magicbricks and 99acres looking for advertisements of 1 or 2 BHK apartments fitting my budget, a voice in my head kept reminding me that I should prepare for a notorious weeks-long hunt.

Too many people have told me that house-hunting in Delhi can be particularly murderous. I remember when two of my colleagues were forced to back out from multiple offers when they were house-hunting last year – one because he didn’t belong to the right caste and the other because she was a journalist. What if I was going to find the perfect place only for an asshole of a landlord to enquire if I was a Brahmin or not? Alternatively, what if a landlord was going to okay my application because he had inferred my caste status from my name?

In light of these barriers, I asked various people for the cumulative number of houses they checked before finding one they liked as well as for which they were, somehow, “qualified”. Based on responses from seven people who’d been house-hunting in Delhi between 2012 and 2018, the average seemed to be eight houses.

But as fate would have it, my count is one: the first house I visited yesterday ticked all the boxes, including proximity to the house of a colleague with whom I can carpool to and from work. I have my fingers crossed that it works out and that I’m able to move in sans hassle by the month’s end.