Space, ac­tu­ally

The Australian - The Deal - - First Up - Greg Bearup, South Asian cor­re­spon­dent for The Aus­tralian

In In­dia, a coun­try of more than a bil­lion peo­ple, one of the com­modi­ties in short­est sup­ply is pri­vacy – in par­tic­u­lar for young, and not so young, un­mar­ried cou­ples. Peo­ple tend to live at home un­til they are mar­ried, and even when they move out things can be dif­fi­cult in this rapidly chang­ing, yet still deeply con­ser­va­tive, coun­try.

In the city of Ban­ga­lore, one of the most lib­eral of In­dian cities, The Deal knows of an un­mar­ried woman in her late 30s, who moved from Delhi to pur­sue her ca­reer. She rented her own apart­ment but her land­lord now re­fuses to al­low her to have any men in it – she wants to move out, but she can’t af­ford to lose the hefty bond she paid.

If you walk into any In­dian park the benches are al­ways oc­cu­pied by cou­ples, try­ing to steal a mo­ment of ten­der­ness. They too are some­times ha­rassed by po­lice look­ing for a bribe, or at­tacked by self-ap­pointed de­fend­ers of In­dian moral­ity. It is a very In­dian prob­lem and a new Delhi-based start-up has come up with an In­dian so­lu­tion.

StayUn­cle, an on­line book­ing agency, has hit on the idea of team­ing up with rep­utable ho­tels to of­fer short-term room ren­tals for eight to 10 hours.

It helps the ho­tels with oc­cu­pancy and gives the cou­ples, able to book from their new smart­phones, pri­vacy and safety. It also makes love all that much more af­ford­able. It’s a bit like the Ja­panese love ho­tels, but with much more dis­cre­tion.

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