Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brokers Excuse!

The A/C Qualis bumps and jumps traversing a mud bund road and i find a hard time pulling up myself together.My husband's Ray Ban is a disguise, i can seldom judge what he feels looking at him, but by the smirk on his face, i can guess what might befall me once we get back home. Wait a minute, that can happen only if we get back home alive, after this ordeal! I always am a sucker for real estate fads, how much ever my family tries to pacify me, i refuse to put down my ambitions. When Dad's friend promised to show us some land costing "just" Rs.100 per square feet, "just" 20 kms from the main city, i was bowled over- lock, stock and barrel! There was a look of such animosity in my husband's eyes, which i refused to ignore as usual and promised to visit the "lay out" by evening. My Sunday Evening's happiness was sealed then and there.

Image courtesy- Google search

The pictures these real estate developers paint of the plots before seeing them are so rosy, you imagine the land in a busy developing area with plenty of water, roads nearby and you hope to see your investment grow a little atleast. We are herded in A/C cars with blaring music, to deafen our ears that might listen to some useful information. They say the layout is just 20 minutes from the city, but alas, it is 20 minutes probably by air! After travelling well over an hour of tar topped road, we turn into a much smaller village road, where we see Narikuravas settlements! They are our neighbours! Probably we can buy knick-knacks from them. Then come a few fabrication units and other industrial units and again the road turns into a dusty bumpy mess. We continue travel along a canal bund where there is not even a drop of water- This is where the proposed 'boating' facility was supposed to be! And there arrives the layout- miles and miles of vacant land where yellow corner stones pop up, surrounded by lush green paddy fields.

Unlucky me- i see a lone handpump at the entrance and ask for a bottle of water, just to check water quality at the site. The forlorn watchman who might collapse at any moment peers over his wrinkles to say- " Amma! This water is smelly and oil has mixed with water. We need another borewell. We cannot drink from this. If you want water, i can give from my bottle". He shows me a coke bottle made before 1947 and i shake my head vigorously saying i am not thirsty. Dirty fellows, they showed water flowing from taps in the TV advertisement! The Railway station which was supposed to be a stone's throw away from the lay-out must have been moved over night to another place, probably miles away. All i see is a tower that is supposed to be the Railway Station, blurred by distance. The proposed Highways ring road on lay-out diagram is missing and they show me a yellow nail marked somewhere in the wilderness as the proposed road. I almost faint seeing it and worse is yet to come!

What a rosy picture!
Image courtesy- Google

The broker keeps on harking that 70% of the plots are already sold and there are proposed bus terminus, swimming pool in the shape of a man(!), school- CBSE syllabus, please note, church, temple, mosque, parks. I nod my head doggedly, all i can see is green pasture all around and a pack of buffalos munching away grass happily! The mud topped roads and yellow corner stones are the only eye-sores in an otherwise calm village scene and i certainly look out-of-place clad in a jean and sporting a carrera cooler! The hawker is not yet finished, he says- registration free, gold coin free, scooty free and by the time he finishes the "free" list, i feel DMK, ADMK's election manifesto looks dumb compared to our XYZ real estate's brochure!

How many such visits we make, i fail to learn my lesson. I always fall for those Men In White vesthis driving rickety two-wheelers, called brokers. Brokers kindly excuse! Sadly, the urban middle class depends on these middle men, real estate agents and instalment schemes to own a piece of land in these hard times. Owning a few cents of land means made a complete fool by a real estate developer. Hopefully, some day, i too might become a Real Estate Business Woman, hobnobbing with the Tamil movie industry elite and "ttaaamil" speaking TV anchors who vouch for my land on TV! I dream of sitting behind that mahogany desk rotating in that black revolving chair. Wish me good luck, friends! Anyone interested in buying plots with excellent layout, potable water, tar topped roads, shopping mall, fresh air, childrens' park, school, bus terminus, please contact- 000 00 00000!


  1. You know very often community land is grabbed by these so called "land developers"and turned into housing plots! I traveled some time ago through Ariyalur from Trichy and beleive me all paddy lands seem to have become housing plots! Land grabbing is slowly becoming the most common crimes. I don't know if you have seen this film called "khosla ka ghosla"which is a very relevant film about a middle class family on the land issue. But with the increasing population pressure a plot of land for a house is going to be dream for the middle classes. Atleast let us hope that it does not become an issue when we die ( remember Tolstoy's story- "how much land does a man need?")-

  2. Dear Meera, Thanks for your lovely comment! Yes, it is saddening to see agri land being converted to plots. That it happens on such a huge scale is alarming. Nice of you to remind of Khosla ka ghosla and Tolstoy's How much land does a man need...

  3. 1.Gandhi Once said "we can fulfil man's needs , but cant fulfil his desires.moral of this "JUSt TRY TO LIVe sIMPLE", converging ur needs and leav some thing for future generations.

    2.The one thing they do for good is Find new high prices for a 5 cent plot purely based on speculation.

    3.on the -ve side they cause damage to the ecological system.

    4.if its Lehman Bros and Houseloan mortage for US.. in future(aft 3-5 yrs) it may be Houseplots and apts fr india .(as prices touched Rs.3000 /per sq.ft in try like areas.. and apts costs Rs.6000-7000/-Sq.Ft in chennai).

  4. I loved the way you have written on such a serious issue in a such a humorous manner. You are right, these people are too much, they con you into anything.
    Especially NRIs who are floored by the beautiful pictures in the internet, and equally attractive brochures fall flat for all this gimmicks, and become their willing "Bakaras".
    And if you have not seen Khosala ka ghosla then please do see it. They keep airing it in the TV, in some channel or other.

  5. lols! poor you! all the best:)

  6. Dear Anonymous- Thanks for your valuable comment. I have to agree with all that you say, the vicious circle of end user, broker, seller keeps on rotating so fast that land rates sky rocket everywhere. May be the newly liberated middle class is a main contributor, the new money from IT sector salaries is pumped in vigorously in real estate sector;(

  7. Dear Rama, thanks a lot for your visit and nice comment! I have to agree with you, NRIs usually book plots and flats online, seldom check into the details and end up being "bakras". Developers make use of the distance factor:(

  8. Dear Raam Pyari, Thanks a lot for your comment!

  9. that was a good post ...beautifuuly penned...
    Even I have one such experience...
    we own this flat in one such apartment build up on the agri areas..naturally the residents were attracted by the boasted packages of the developers...
    and now the residents have to face disturbance by the snakes...
    these snakes were once the regular visitors on the the farms that situated here...
    Same issue is hapeening in the sanjay gandhi national park area of mumbai....the difference is that there it is the panthers who disturb

  10. Dear Madrasi, thanks a lot for your visit and comments! ( After a long break;)) Snakes and panthers...hahaha...great neighbours! I have the experience of killing almost 20 to 30 snakes in our suburban home near Koraiyar river, Trichy, starting from ordinary water snakes to russels viper;) We got used to their presence that we miss them now, after so many houses have sprung up here:(

  11. @cloud nine: OMG..then you must be well experienced to deal with these snakes..
    I think these things happen because of humans intervention into the animals' kingdom..
    However they conclude as the lessons in our science textbooks...and never brought into practice..

  12. Dear Madrasi, Thanks a lot for your feedback. Yes, indeed, we interfere in their environment and they have no other way to go, rather than frighten us. Suburban real estate boom kills the environ and tumbles the balance. In fact my house is right on the river bed, on earlier lush paddy fields. So where would all the water snakes and other reptiles go? They find refuge in my water sump:P


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