Elders say building a house is the ultimate experience in life. My experience in building my home was not short of any drama. It had everything drama, suspense, villains, heroes, and melodrama.
During mid 2003, we had shifted from my office quarters located in a desolate part of Bangalore and rented a portion in my in-law's house in Indiranagar. There were the usual barbs by close relatives and colleagues that I had become a ghar jamai but I didn’t mind them. The year 2004 had begun with a look out for an own house. We looked at several properties but none impressed us. It was Christmas day, when my father-in-law stormed into my house and said he wanted to have a word with me. He informed that owner of the site behind our house is planning to sell it, and that I should buy it. He also insisted that I pay a token advance of Rs.5000/-. At that time one square feet in the locality where I stay was around Rs.1700 and property prices were heating up. Given my salary, no bank would agree to give a loan nor did I have savings of that order to build a house on the purchased site. However, not wanting to deflate my father-in-law’s enthusiasm, I decided to lose the amount of Rs.5000/-.
I approached several banks and not even one would give me half the amount I would require to buy the site and build a dwelling there. It was then my father-in-law suggested that I and my brother-in-law should become co-applicants. How much ever I tried to convince that such a combination would not be agreed by any bank did not convince him. He just kept pushing us from the doorstep of bank to bank. Finally, a bank believed our genuineness and agreed to disburse the loan thanks to the efforts of a lady who was in charge of approving the loan. It must be noted that she did it for no consideration. This was one of the first acts of humanity which made positive about humanity.
This process of getting a loan approved had taken more than 3 months and meanwhile the market value of the site had gone up from Rs.1700 per square feet to Rs.2200. I frankly expected an escalation but the gentleman he was, he valued the friendship with my father in law and agreed to sell the site at the old rate itself. This saved us a few lakhs of rupees. I have heard many stories of sacrifice in friendship but this was the first time I witnessed one. If the owner of the site had wanted, he could have easily cancelled the agreement and gone for a new agreement with someone else even for a higher rate but he valued relationship over money.
When I was building the house, I had a disgusting racist and castiest as my bosss. He put forward all possible obstacles to deny me leave but here again my father in law stepped in and took on the responsibility. The disgusting boss made me realize how impending caste is to this country.
There was one more occasion when the branch manager of SBI went out of way and approved a personal loan. It was only last year I had fought with him bitterly over an issue but the gracious man he helped me out. This incident thought me the importance not to carry bitterness in a relationship and concentrate on the larger picture.
Post building the house, I was in a lot of financial strife. The period of 3 years after building the house taught me how to manage income and live on a frugal budget, something I had forgotten after landing a job in ISRO.
Thus, the experience of building a home made me a better and matured individual. I never expected to have an own house in Indiranagar and this experience taught me never to discount any possibility in life. However, I wish something like https://housing.com/lookup was around when I was building my home but guess my father-in-law did the job.