It was Saturday morning and Anil had no mind to stir up from the bed. It was then that hell broke loose with his angry wife Anita screaming by his side with a cup of coffee. She said she had had enough of his pretence in acquiring the flat and that if he were serious, he would not be dozing without seeing what is happening to their Velacheri flat. He had promised to take her to the site for suggesting the changes in the lay out.. She taunted him that it was not for her that he was buying the flat and that he was always cribbing about his hefty income tax and how the flat purchase can reduce the burden.
Unwilling to spoil her mood and the weekend, he got ready within a matter of minutes with a mere cereal doing the duty of a breakfast. When they reached the site the watchman said the engineer had just left and whether they would care to come around 4pm. Disappointment was writ large on Anita’s face.
Anil assuaged her saying “Why not we go and see the third floor that has been constructed to some stage. May be that should give us some ideas about the changes to our fifth floor flat to suit our requirements.. I am never comfortable with the plan in blue print as it gives me an impression of cramped rooms. The lift is not yet installed, Anita.Would you mind climbing up through dusty stairs.”
Anita with a beaming face expressed her happiness about the spacious long L shaped hall that would conceal the dining area from the main hall. She said “I am averse to the visitors prying into the dining area and looking at the dining table.
Anil nodded in agreement saying “I agree.The drawing hall is very bright thanks to the large French windows opening into the balcony and gives a feeling spaciousness.”
Anita however went into the kitchen telling “Kitchen is my first priority as I would be spending the best part of my waking hours in it. I am very clear that I do not want a 8x8 rat hole for me and that the store should be separate.”
Anil not to be left behind remarked “I see the kitchen is more than your expectations though I wish the puja room had a small window.”
Anita expressed her satisfaction “I find the bed rooms are big and well ventilated. I am happy that the bathrooms too are well planned.Do you know reputed builders though they charge a little high never stint on basics.”
Anil replied “Honey, the rates are not a little high but very high”.
After the lunch at a restaurent, they slept till 4-30 pm when the telephone rang. It was the engineer from the site expressing his regret that he was not there when Anil and his wife came .He hesitated for a while before adding that there was an unexpected development and that the Manager would speak to him.
The manager in apologetic manner said very softly “Sir, excuse me. A very top political leader had sent a party that day and insisted that the flat earmarked for you be given to them. He refused to listen that the flat was already booked for you. It is very embarrassing for us to back out after booking the flat for you.”
Anil was shocked and exploded in anger “What crap you are talking? How could you go back when the booking was already confirmed? Do you people remember that when I was willing to pay whatever advance your firm demanded, I was told that your office was waiting for the formal approval from CMDA before accepting the payment and I was assured that the booking was final? “
The manager continued to plead “Sir, please understand that this party is related to a big political family and that their request is a command to us. Our owner himself had explained that this flat had already been allotted to you but the VIP would not agree. The owner is aware that you were ready to pay the advance but we had made a blunder in not taking even a token advance.This gave room for the VIP to threaten that there was no valid contract. You are aware that we cannot survive in this business even for a day without their support. I would plead with you with folded hands not to take us amiss and our next project is coming up at Manapaakkam soon. With multi layered flyovers coming up and the IT complex in the vicinity, the place would be a prime area and a prestigious one. We promise you, Sir, that you would get the first choice.”
Anil slammed the phone down in anger and disgust knowing that little can be done where politicians are involved. He turned to see his wife fast asleep possibly dreaming of her fifth floor flat with its panoramic view, a spacious modular kitchen and hidden dining space.