Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A castle in the air

KParthasarathi Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blog this story

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 mere cereal for breakfast. When they reached the site the watchman said the engineer had just left and whether they could care to come around 4pm. Disappointment was writ large on Anita’s face. Anil assuaged her saying that they could go and see the third floor that has been constructed to some stage. May be that should give some ideas about changes to their fifth floor flat to suit their requirements, he remarked. Anil said that he was never comfortable with the plan in blue print as it gave him an impression of cramped rooms. The lift was not yet installed and they had to climb up thro 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 was averse to the visitors prying into the dining area and looking at the dining table. Anil nodded in agreement and remarked that the drawing hall was very bright thanks to the large French windows opening into the balcony and that it gave a feeling spaciousness. Anita however went into the kitchen telling that is her first priority as she would be spending the best part of her waking hours in it. She was emphatic about no 8x8 rat hole for her and that the store should be separate. Anil not to be left behind remarked that the kitchen is more than her expectations and wished the puja room had a window. Anita expressed her satisfaction that the bed rooms are big and well ventilated. She felt that the bathrooms too are well planned and mentioned that reputed builders though they charge a little high never stint on basics to which Anil replied that the rates are not a little high but very high.
After the lunch, 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 that a very top political leader had sent a party that day and insisted that the flat earmarked for Anil be given to them. He refused to listen that the flat was already booked for Anil.. The manager pleaded that it was very embarrassing for them to back out after booking the flat for him.
Anil was shocked and exploded in anger how they could go back when the booking was already confirmed. He reminded him that when he was willing to pay whatever advance they demanded, he was told that they were waiting for the formal approval from CMDA before accepting the payment and had assured that the booking was final.
The manager continued to plead that this party is related to a top political family and that their request was a command to them. He said the owner himself had explained that this flat had already been allotted but the VIP would not agree. The owner is aware that Anil was ready to pay the advance but had made a blunder in not taking even a token advance giving room for the VIP to threaten that there was no valid contract. He said that they cannot survive in this business even for a day without their support. He prayed that Anil should not take them amiss and that their next project was coming up at Manapakkam 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. He promised that Anil would get the first choice etc.
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 kitchen and hidden dining space.