“Rekha what’s taking you so long? Get ready soon.“
Laxman was having one of those frustrating days. Nothing had gone right that day, in fact nothing had gone that great since he came back from on-site more than a year ago; but he knew he would not stop at anything from finalizing this deal.
<Flashback: One year ago>
“Hey man when did you come back?” Shyam was taken by surprise on seeing his once-best-friend back.
“No news since you went onsite…” he went on.
“Yea buddy. Work kept me. How are you doing? You’re right, it’s been so long.” Laxman tried deliberately to hide his heavily (US) accented English.
“Four years is a long time sir” Shyam said.
“So which project did you say you’re working for?” Laxman continued.
“TH05 man – Timothy Hilfer account.“
“Oh! Nice to hear that… What about your on-site?“
Laxman was curt; always stingy when it came to putting forth a question. Shyam’s on-site offer has been a long time coming.
“Oh yeah…” Shyam squirmed a bit; “am working on that with my manager. So any plans after on-site?” he deliberately diverted the conversation.
“You mean like moving out…?“
“Na I know you’d stick on. I meant like planning to invest on something?“
“Yeah… To be frank I’ve been thinking of buying an apartment. You know, we’re at our parent’s place and Rekha and I have been doing a bit of thinking about this for quite sometime.“
“Hey that’s a bright idea. Listen my dad’s friend is constructing a flat in the city outskirts. Let me know if you’re interested.“
“Thanks for the offer; but I was thinking more like within city, you know… I personally feel anything beyond the city limits is just good enough for a retirement life.“
Shyam was taken aback.
“Are you serious? Do you have that much cash?“
“Err… how much is a simple flat at the heart of the city going to cost me – 10L? 15L? I can afford that. No sweat!“
“Are you in primitive times? Get real man! A one BHK would cost twice that much!“
It was Laxman’s time to be taken by surprise.
“You’ve got to be kidding! Are you sure about this info?“
“Ya, I am. And you’re looking for something like a 2 BHK?“
“Three actually…” Laxman was still not out of the shock. It was obvious he hadn’t done his homework.
Shyam tried to control a laugh.
“That would be something like 30L in the outskirts. Forget the one in the city!“
‘Can someone get any meaner‘ Laxman thought.
“Hey listen, I’ve to get going now. Let you know if you’re interested and I’ll introduce you to Vinodh uncle.“
Laxman though taken by surprise about the current state of affairs still couldn’t let go of his dream apartment.
He had a lengthy discussion with Rekha that night on what to invest in and more importantly where to.
They decided to stick on to this city apartment they could squeeze a little bit extra on this not a problem; and if there was still some crisis there are always banks!