The Dog Tied to the House

This essay is solely based on my prejudicial perception, observation and experience in achieving the dream of a middle class man:” A house for himself.” Women might not be interested in this, though they are the driving factor for a man to get his own house. Good or bad, I don’t know.

It all starts, when Eve starts observing that  there is more cash than what Adam needs every month, especially when Eve’s friend buys a house. She begins the conversation.

“Why don’t we buy a flat or a house? You are paying rent anyways. Why can’t you give it as EMI? We also have around 200,000 rupees cash in the bank.  After some 10 years you will have your  own house know? I recently saw this XYZ builder ad on TV while watching a reality show. They were selling at very low prices.”

Eve is very good in selling an apple to Adam, which is in turn sold to her by the serpent. So in a week, the thought of buying a house is implanted in Adam’s mind through inception and deception. Adam takes only the thought but not the suggestions from Eve. He knows where to find the best,  especially when it comes to such a big investment, he will not just go by what Eve has to say. Adam has built in money speculation logics.

Adam will most probably be a salaried employee paying his taxes. He starts thinking about tax savings while paying EMI, the house appreciation value, and the locality. He searches for banks providing home loans at very low interest rate. But surely Murphy will play his own part. If the interest rate is low, the fixed period will be less. He fails to see the fact that the bank is not there to help him but to earn more money for itself. There are graduates from B schools who are taught and trained professionally to cheat him and he won’t even realize that in his lifetime.

Simultaneously, our Adam is hunting builders, plots, and flats. Independent houses and flats have their own advantages and disadvantages. He finalizes one of the two suicide points and does a research on that. In the city,  the flat price will start from 15 lakhs. That’s what the Ad would say but the flat will be in a far away village, some 30Kms away from the city. Adam is not interested in that. Though Adam has thoughts of settling in his own village after retirement, he wants to live in the HAPPENING PLACE for the time being. For every 1 Km he comes nearer to the city he sees the price increasing by 1.5 lakh. He finally settles somewhere near 15 Kms away, which will be the limit of his salary and loan offered by the banks.

Adam wants schools for his yet to be born kids around 2 Kms of his yet to be purchased house. He is least aware of the fact that the schools charge 2000 for bus every month (subjected to change with diesel prices)  irrespective of the distance and in some school, irrespective of the student
coming by bus or not. He doesn’t look at the cost of the tuition fees of the schools. Some of the schools which he thinks are nearby may not be. He wants a super specialty hospital nearby too for obvious reasons. . Quite thoughtful, but with the traffic he sees and the ambulances that gets struck in it, he fails to see that he doesn’t have a chance unless the hospital is at a walking distance  from his house. Adam wants mall, eat streets,  companies, theatres but wishes  for the locality not to be congested.

Adam, initially thought, that in 10 years he could pay back the loan. But later he realizes that it will take at least 20 years for him to repay the loan. Driven by desire and ambition, Adam proceeds further. He talks, bargain and uses all his inter personal skills and makes a deal with a builder. Later he comes to know that his neighbour has bought the same house for 5 lakhs less than what Adam has paid, but consoles himself by looking at someone, who paid more than him. Little did he know that the one paid more is on-site for past five years.

He takes Eve to see the place. They both go round and round the barren land. As a happy couple they come back home. Adam uses the entire possible free online medium to broadcast the
message that he is buying a house.

The fun begins when the house construction begins. Builders are like politicians. It is impossible to find an honest builder. They want to make money in every possible way, especially the corporate builders. Their price estimation is funny. 10% for land cost, 25% for building materials and workers, 5% as bribe and 40% of profit. The remaining 20% they call it bargainers’ gain. They salute Adam till he pays the full amount. Once done, they turn their back on him leaving him alone with faulty wires,  flooring, interiors, wood work, and fittings. Adam has to visit his plot every day to make sure he gets what he need. If he misses one day, problems arise.

What a day. Adam sleeps in his own house, steps foot on his own floor, under his own ceiling, flushing his own toilet. Wow. He enjoys everything. Whenever he is asked for permanent residence
address, he writes with pride.

That’s not the end of the story though. That is just the beginning. He realizes that the salary deposited in his bank account on 1st of every month vanishes by 5th. He realizes that his savings are spent
for down payment. He is now totally dependent on Eve. Eve smiles.

The initial enjoyment and joy starts decreasing in Adam’s life. He fears has he made a bad decision by buying the house. His colleagues  start ignoring him since he is getting old. He couldn’t move to some other company because of spatial constraints. He couldn’t move out of the city even if he gets a better job. Sometimes he wants to start his own firm. He fears to take the risk. He has to pay the EMI. He needs the salary. The fate spins its web. Adam’s income tax is reduced but he ends up paying almost the same amount as water tax, house tax, monthly maintenance, house maintenance and so on. He wants to badly replace his vehicle but couldn’t get a vehicle loan because of house loan. The bank starts increasing the home loan interest rate. Petrol, one day, suddenly doubles it value.

Time flies. Adam and Eve give birth to Cain and stop there. (Lucky Abel and Seth). Adam’s expenditure increases but not his salary. Eve takes a sabbatical. Now Adam learns to respect his parents and in-laws again and behaves like an obedient child. Adam gets the true taste of the apple given by Eve. Cain grows faster than Adam thought. Cain doesn’t care for money. He just spends.

Cain wants to go to some other place for his higher education. Adam has no other option to put his house on mortgage. Adam, initially, has plans to retire at 40. With all these things happening, retirement at 55 also looks difficult. His sleepless nights begin.

Cain gets a job in a bigger city to which Adam can’t move. Cain gets a girl, Clara who  live together. Adam finds it hard to accept. Adam finds solace in his own palace. He retires one day. He couldn’t go back to his visionary village and live there because he has his own house now. He tries to enjoy it but realizes it is too late. He goes to nearby countries where he went for his honeymoon with his wife. He tries to digest that throughout his life he has lived for one house. He questions his choices.
Before getting the answers he dies in that house. Cain expresses his condolences
to his mom over phone.

Clara asks Cain, “Honey, why don’t we buy a villa for us?”

Koushik KR