Money, money, money

Money, money, money

These days, there are two kinds of people in town. Those who are buying and selling houses and those who are not... or cannot.



By Bikram Vohra

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 6:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:07 AM

The second category currently has to suffer the first category informing them in great and lengthy detail about this latest investment and the bargains they got. Now, there are folks who buy houses with swimming pools and stuff. And then there are people like the Vohras who engage in ‘scratch and win’ exercises in supermarkets and feel financially liberated.

So last evening we find ourselves at this party and everyone has an opinion on the real estate market. I am sitting there listening to all this “which is better, the island or the beachfront, is the market rising?” stuff when someone says, what about you, what are you doing with your money, putting it into the housing, right time to buy now.

Who, me?

Stop being so cagey, says someone, you are among friends, bet you have already given the down payment.

Not exactly, I say.

So, you are buying it outright.

Not that either.

Then what?

Haven’t got any, I say, like man, I am skint, burn my candle at both ends sort of thing, live for today, hahaha.

A little ripple of horror creeps through the room. My wife says, he’s only joking, great sense of humour he has, regular stand-up act, go ahead dear, you can tell them what plans you have with the money.

Tell them what, I say, I haven’t got any money to keep or remit, let alone buy houses. I hardly have any money to pay the bills, my bank manager cries when he sees me.

I say, says the host, you don’t have to put us on. You don’t want to tell us, fine, okay, that’s all right, but you don’t have to fib. It isn’t as if we are prying. I am not fibbing, I say. I don’t have a massive bank balance, in fact I am overdue on my loan and that’s a fact, and you can pry all you like, my friend, pry till the cows come home.

Isn’t he a scream, says my wife, always with the humour, he’s been a real blast even before we were married, go on, darling, tell them the truth.

I am telling the truth, I say, no money, just having a good time. Everyone has money, says a banker type, his lip curling like a Frisbee in flight.

So you have shares, says the host, invested all your savings, you crafty sod.

Yes, says my wife, that’s what he’s done, doesn’t like to talk about it.

How can I, I’ve never bought a share in my life, wouldn’t know a stock from a stocking.

Why are you doing this to me, she hisses, tell them about the fixed deposit.

That’s my mother-in-law’s, I say, she put it together for the kids, for when they get married.

Actually, says my wife, we are going in for a house in Delhi and all our savings are being poured into that. I say, what house?

My wife says, the house, the one we are investing in, silly.

I say, we shelved that idea six months ago.

My wife says, I don’t believe this man, migoodness is this the time, we have to leave.

I say, whatever for, where’s the hurry, I am enjoying myself, I love this financial talk.

She says, you want to go, believe me, you want to go.

In the car she says, how could you humiliate us like that, did you have to be so honest, you also could have talked about looking into the new properties and how we are thinking about the 4-bedroom option.

But we are not, I say, it is way beyond our ken.

Yes, she says, I know that, you know that, you don’t have to let the world know that, why tell it like it is, no, don’t cheer me up.

I say, we may not have money but we have a fortune.

She says, what fortune?

Us, I say and smile fatuously, we have each other.

Things aren’t altogether normal yet, but it was worth a try.

bikram@khaleejtimes.com


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