Was it only yesterday that I was cursing everything from friendship to Facebook to successful men? Ah! That wasn’t right.
Reached office early, started speaking to Vivek who’s buying his first house, things unraveled and now I realise you don’t choose your friends or do things for them because of how long you’ve known them or what they will do for you some day. No, you don’t. You do them for 2 simple reasons: you think it’s the right thing to do and we all like being right :) & you are also convinced your actions will add some value, do some good, to your friend. That’s all there is to it.
I have known Vivek for about 3 months now and we hit off really well from early on. I was smoking alone & thumbing through my phone when he first started talking to me. It was his thirs day at work and within minutes he’d confided that his wife had suffered a miscarriage the previous Saturday. I could sense the sadness in his voice, as also the acute loneliness that’d lead a guy to confide to a perfect stranger. We spoke, smoked and somehow a bond was forged. Another time, we were talking about life in small towns and he spoke about his plans for his widowed mother. I am much older than him and he often teases me mercilessly. In an odd way, Vivek is the kid bro I’d loved to have had.
This dude has finally decided to buy a house. It’s gonna cost him Rs 40,00,000 and he is scrambling around for cash as he’s not eligible for a home loan of more than Rs 20,00,000. We were discussing the cash arrangements he had made, home loan applications, floating versus fixed rate of interest when he revealed that the builder had asked for 50% of the money to be paid in black. Even this wouldn’t be so bad had it not transpired that our man had already paid Rs 4,00,000 without receiving any documentary evidence/receipt that he has made such payment. According to him, the bulder had claimed that no receipt is issued in cases of black money. I was aghast.
Now a bit of diversion here. My entire family are pros at this game of buying and selling homes and stocks. Dad, my uncles and my brother – they are not so much interested in the actual flaunting of the money as the means of making it. I admire that. A and I are too lazy and too stupid to do the same, but admire them nonetheless. So I do have some working knowledge of how loans are disbursed, what penalty pre-payment invokes, how black component money has to be paid, etc. Alarm bells started ringing and I did the only thing I do in such cases – called up Dad. He was livid and started calling Vivek names. Calm down I said; the kid’s green, is fatherless and is naïve. Being naïve is not a crime, is it?
Anyway, dad spoke to vivek and explained the things he needed to do immediately. Vivek spoke to the builder who is now saying that he will issue a receipt only after Rs 13,00,000 have been paid in cash. Asshole. I don’t know how things will unfold and I am scared.
You know, spread over a lifetime Rs 4,00,000 is not a very big sum and I’m sure Vivek will do well in life and buy more homes. However, if things go wrong, there is a part of this simple, honest kid from small-town Ranchi that’d be lost forever. I hope that doesn’t happen.