Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Why I Do Not Live in Pune’s “Fauji” Ghetto

After retirement – I feel lonely.

I feel lonely because all my Navy Buddies live far away on the other side of town in Pune’s “Fauji Ghetto”. 

Sometimes – when I miss the company of my erstwhile friends – I wish I had lived in the “Fauji Ghetto” after my retirement from the Navy  instead of the “Techie” dominated civilian residential complex where I reside. 

Do you know why I do not live in Pune’s “Fauji” Ghetto...?

Read on...

WHY I DO NOT LIVE IN PUNE’S “FAUJI” GHETTO
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

PROLOGUE

Pune is a popular retirement destination for military veterans.

Since most “Faujis” are accustomed to living in Cantonments – even after retirement most military veterans cannot get over the Cantonment Syndrome and tend to “ghettoize” in “Fauji Ghettos”.

The Army (AWHO) built the first such exclusive “Fauji Ghetto” in the 1980s near Kondhwa and named it Salunke Vihar.

Curiously  the Navy and Air Force (AFNHB) had no such residential project in Pune despite a having a large number of personnel and veterans from Pune.

Since there was a huge demand for housing from military veterans desiring to settle down in Pune – developers and builders exploited the situation – and announced “exclusive” projects for “Faujis” – which gradually mushroomed into “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi – where most retired service officers have settled down.

Now – these builders employed a number of retired military veterans to lure serving defence officers into booking a home in these “exclusive” projects by aggressive marketing.

The story I am going to tell you happened around 15 years ago – during the aggressive “Fauji Ghetto” marketing days. 

Those days I was serving in the premier Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

Read on...

Circa 2001
Mumbai

REAL ESTATE BLUES

I had a heated argument with my boss  a Commodore  who had still not mentally ascended from the “Engine Room”

To cool off  I headed straight to the Wardroom Mess Bar  sat on the Bar Stool  and ordered a bottle of Chilled Beer.

As I sipped the cool heavenly beer 
 I started feeling soothed immediately.

In a few minutes  I had forgotten about my nasty boss.

The Bar was empty 
 except for me  and two men in civvies  drinking beer on a sofa.

One of the two men was a Naval Officer who I knew.

The other man – I did not know.

The man who I did not know got up 
 and he came towards me. 

He introduced himself – he was a Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent”.

“Your friend told me you are from Pune...” he said.

I glanced at the fellow Naval Officer – he nodded.

“Yes 
 Pune is my hometown...” I said to the Real Estate Agent.

“We have a very attractive Residential Housing Scheme exclusively for Defence Officers...” he said.

“You mean it is going to be a “Fauji Ghetto”...” I remarked, tongue-in-cheek.

“Well – you really have a wry sense of humour – but – let me tell you that this is a top class project – very posh – with the best of amenities – here – let me show you...” the “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said.

He showed me the glitzy brochures 
 and he explained details of the residential project.

It was quite a good housing project and I felt that maybe I should consider it 
 since I was indeed planning to settle down in Pune after my retirement a few years later  by which time this residential project would be ready for occupation.

Seeing my interest 
 the “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said: “I will arrange a site visit on Sunday. We can drive down to Pune in the morning and come back in the evening.”

“Okay...” I said, “But I must talk to my wife...”

“Of course, you must bring your wife with you – we will take both of you to the project site this Sunday...” he said, 
“We will have you picked up from your home in Mumbai in the morning and you can return by evening after seeing the site in Pune. Do remember to carry your cheque book so that you can book your flat after paying a token amount...

“I will let you know – maybe we will go some time later...” I said.

“You better hurry – almost all flats are sold. In fact 
 an officer from your unit booked a terrace flat this morning. The apartment opposite his flat is still vacant – I will block it for you – it is one of the best flats in the project – the balcony has a fantastic view – plus  you will be the Next-Door-Neighbour of your Fellow Naval Officer...” he said.

“Who is this Naval Officer who has booked this flat...?” I asked.

Commodore XXX...” the 
“Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said.

Commodore XXX was my Boss 
– the very same person with whom I had just exchanged some hot words due to which I had come to cool off in the Bar with chilled beer.

On hearing the name of 
Commodore XXX  my blood pressure started rising.

The soothing effect of the Beer started disappearing.

Stress and anger began to rise in me.

So  I looked at the Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent” – and  I said to him: 

“I am not interested in the Flat.

In fact  I am not interested in buying a house in this entire residential project....”

“Why...? What happened...? You were showing interest in the exclusive defence officers residential scheme. Y
ou even agreed to come on a site visit. And suddenly – you have changed your mind. What happened to you so suddenly...?” the bewildered “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent asked me.

I looked at the Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent” – and  I said to him: 

“Commodore XXX is my Boss. 

I cannot stand him even for a minute. 

I hate the very sight of him.

And – you want me to see his bloody face every day after my retirement...?”

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story and all stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories 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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