Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Truth will out

When my sister and brother-in-law bought a new apartment in mid-2010, they were told that the apartment directly above them belonged to a well-connected Member of Parliament, one of the HMPs, so called by Patrick French in his biography of India. The MP lively in far more spacious lodgings in Lutyen's Delhi; French tenants had occupied this home, which was now vacant.

A few months later, my sister noticed seepage into her apartment, from the HMP's real estate. She found his residential number off the net, and asked to speak to the HMP's spouse. She was told the lady, herself of illustrious stock, was preoccupied, but my sister is nothing if not persistent, and on her third call, she was told somebody would address the problem. Early the next morning, an 'advocate' landed up with the keys to the home, left my sister with the card of a real estate management company, and assured my sister that the problem would be addressed.

It wasn't, but by one of those coincidences that characterises Delhi's 'one-and-a-half degrees of  separation', my brother-in-law was at a dinner where said HMP was the chief guest and speaker. After the speech, my brother-in-law sauntered up to HMP, complimented him on his talk, and by way of small talk, said, "Oh, by the way, we are neighbours.' HMP looked at him quizically, and my brother-in-law elaborated. The HMP's face turned stone cold, and he flatly denied knowledge of any such apartment.

Now it was my brother-in-law's turn to turn quizzical - the broker had told him the apartment belong to the great soul, a phone call to his household had produced an advocate with a brief to manage plumbing problems: he was genuinely confused. Recating to this confusion, the HMP went 'Our family owned the apartment, but we sold it.'

We just keep tabs on it, and send our minions around to manage it out of a sense of loyalty and attachment Right

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, small world indeed. And what a good timing to bring up the issue, hahaha!