Monday, April 11, 2005


My friend Pradeep has a nice posting in his blog. He mentions a shopping experience and wonders whether some incidents are in our lives are pre-determined. Similar incidents have happened in my life too. Here is one of them.

This happened a few years ago, when we were looking for a flat. My wife and I went with the usual rigmorale. Finally we shortlisted around four flats.
The first one was good. The builder called it a 'semi-independent' house. But it was quite far from the railway station. The watchman in the second flat warned us of water problems. The third flat promoter demanded immediate advance payment and refused to wait. The fourth one - the building was nearing completion - was somewhat to our expectations. Most importantly, the builder seemed to be a decent guy.
But all our plans had to be put on hold due to the death of my father.
More than six months elapsed before we resumed our hunt. But we thought of checking out the flat. I had no hopes it would be available as the location was good. We saw the building had been completed and the flats had been occupied.
Any way, we thought we will at least have a look at the completed flats, especially the one which we had thought of buying. It was on the first floor. But the flat was locked. We asked the neighbour whether the occupants had move in. But when he said the flat was yet to be sold, we were surprised. It was one of the two flats in the building which had not been sold.
We immediately contacted the builder. He confirmed it had not been sold and asked us to come to his office.
He said while all the flats were booked in record time, these were the only flats which were left out. May be the design isnt good, he said, but he could do nothing about it as the flat was completed. He offered us to give a good price if we booked the flat (as we had met him several times when we were looking out for a flat). The cost of the flat, including registration, came to more than Rs 8,50,000. He said he would make it Rs 8 lakh. A discount of more than Rs 50,000!
One more surprise was in store. I had my cheque book with me. I don't know why I had brought the cheque book. I immediately wrote a cheque for the advance amount.
Just as I was signing it, the builder got a call. This was from someone who had come to see the flat the previous day. He said he had decided to buy the first floor flat. By the time, the cheque was in the builder's hand. He told the caller he had just received a cheque for the flat. He could take the other flat in the building. The caller protested. He wanted the first floor flat and nothing else. The argument continued for more than half-an-hour! Within a few seconds of this call, the person called again to try to convince the builder.

Finally, the builder was exasperated. He said he had been looking for buyers for more than six months, and today there was a fight for the flat.
Now, why did we select this day to go to the flat? Why did I take the cheque book? And had I gone even five minutes late, we would have not got the flat. Destiny?
Talking about destiny, a prominent Nadi astrologer here says he never advertises. Why? Because, if someone is destined to get his palm leaf read, he would come there on his own. And he would come only on the day destined for him.