Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DO YOU WANT A HOUSE IN DECCAN GYMKHANA ?

I am writing an article on the topic “STATUS GAMES” – which I will post in my blog later today.

While writing this article – I suddenly remembered a story I had written 2 years ago titled “A HOUSE IN DECCAN GYMKHANA”.

The story is about a status-conscious wife who wants to live in a high-brow posh locality in Pune called Deccan Gymkhana.

So  let me delve into my Creative Writing Archives and pull out this story for you to read, once more. 

Do tell me if you like the story...

A HOUSE IN DECCAN GYMKHANA
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE


A HOUSE IN DECCAN GYMKHANA  a story by Vikram Karve


“My wife wants a house in Deccan Gymkhana,” Shekhar said.

“Are you crazy?” I said.

“Why?”

“No one sells a house in Deccan Gymkhana. There are no houses for sale in Deccan Gymkhana.”

“There is one.”

“How do you know?”

“My wife found out.”

“And what is the cost?”

He told me the exorbitant price of the house in Deccan Gymkhana. 

The sky-high price of the house was much more than what I had expected.

“Tell me Shekhar  from where are you going to get the money to pay for this house in Deccan Gymkhana?” I asked Shekhar.

“I will take a loan,” he said.

“A loan? Who is going to give you such a big loan? And even if they do give you a loan  can you afford it? The bloody EMI will be more than the salary we earn here.”

“I know all that. That’s why I am quitting this job.”

“Are you mad to quit such a good government job? Where will you get such a safe, secure, stress-free, comfortable job with so many perks and benefits?”

“But I won’t be able to buy the house in Deccan Gymkhana.”

“Why are you so obsessed about buying a house in Deccan Gymkhana? What’s wrong with this place?”

“My wife says that this place is too middle-class – she wants to live in a posh locality.”

“But your wife has lived her full childhood over here – in fact, she has lived her entire life right here in the heart of this very peth.”

“Yes. That’s why she is fed up of this place  and she does not want to spend the rest of her life living a lowbrow existence over here. She wants a high-class standard of living.”

“Oh – your wife suddenly thinks this place is ‘lowbrow’...? I did not know that your wife has become so snobbish and snooty,” I said.

“Please don’t make sarcastic comments,” Shekhar said, “if you can’t help me – I will manage on my own.

“Oh – so you think you can buy a house in Deccan Gymkhana on your own? And how do you intend to do that?”

Shekhar showed me the job offer letter.

“Are you crazy? This is a war ravaged country,” I said.

“That’s why they are paying so much. Look at the figure,” Shekhar said.

Yes  the salary was indeed substantial  very substantial  and with this kind of money  Shekhar could easily afford the EMI for the house in Deccan Gymkhana.

“Hey, all this is fine  but you are newly married. This is a 3 year contract. And you won’t be able to take your wife over there to that war-torn country. I hope your wife is ready to stay all alone. Is she ready for a long distance marriage so early in your married life?”

“Of course my wife is ready to make sacrifices. She is the one who found out about this job. In fact she told me that I should even work overtime and encash the one month’s leave and LTA which I am entitled every year and that I should come back straight after 3 years. Then we will have so much money that we will able to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. Here – just look at the pay, the incentives, the allowances, the bonus, the perks…” he said, pointing to the job offer letter.

Shekhar was right. 

The pay packet was indeed very generous – in fact, I had not seen such an attractive compensation package before. 

With this kind of money  Shekhar could easily afford the house in Deccan Gymkhana.

And after just 3 years Shekhar would be able to pay off his loan – and he would still have so much money to spare  that he could just live off the interest. 

But then  money earns more money  and I was sure that with so much money  and with an astute wife egging him on  he would go places and become a very rich and prosperous man. 

Maybe Shekhar would start a business  maybe …

But one thing was sure  this job was going to change his life – not only would he have a house in Deccan Gymkhana – but Shekhar would certainly become a wealthy man.

“Hey, what are you thinking…?” Shekhar said, interrupting my train of thoughts.

“Nothing,” I said.

“So?”

“Your wife is right. You must take this job.”

“And buy the house in Deccan Gymkhana.”

“Of course  that goes without saying,” I said.

And so  my friend Shekhar took up the lucrative foreign assignment and went abroad to the war ravaged country.

But before he left  Shekhar shifted his wife into their plush newly-purchased house in the posh locality of Deccan Gymkhana.   

Shekhar’s wife was overjoyed. 

She personally got the interiors done to her liking in a very classy manner. 

Every time I met her  she seemed happier and happier. 

She truly flourished. 

She had realized her dreams of living in a house in Deccan Gymkhana  and the glow of joy showed on her.

Shekhar would ring up me up from abroad, once in a while.

He was happy  because his wife was happy.

I knew that Shekhar was living a tough and dangerous life. 

From time to time  I saw news reports on TV about incidents of violence in the desolate strife-torn land where Shekhar was working.

I was worried about his safety. 

But whenever we spoke on phone  Shekhar always seemed to be full of cheer.

Maybe  the very thought that he had made his wife so happy  made Shekhar happy too.

One day  my worst fears came true.

Shekhar was killed in crossfire during a skirmish  when rebels attacked the project where he was working.

I thought his wife would be devastated. 

But – surprisingly  she coped with this enormous tragedy with remarkable courage and composure.

At least  financially  she was not that badly off. 

Shekhar’s company had insured their employees heavily.

So Shekhar’s wife received a huge amount of insurance money.

With this money  Shekhar’s wife could pay off the remaining home loan.

Even after paying off the home loan  a very substantial amount of money was still left with her.

Shekhar’s wife invested this huge amount of money in a monthly income scheme which would ensure her a decent income for her entire life.

A few months later  I married Shekhar’s widow  and I moved in with her  yes – I relocated myself into her posh house in Deccan Gymkhana.

I now live in a beautiful house in the high-class locality of Deccan Gymkhana.

Do you want a house in Deccan Gymkhana?

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
This Story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This story written be me Vikram Karve in Jan 2013 and first 
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