An old builder friend of mine and I were sitting in a Coffee Shop.
'They are going to make us shut shop!' said he. 'These people don't understand the problems of the real estate business at all. It isn't like the old days anymore.'
I inquired about whom he was referring to.
'These Government and Town Planning guys! What's the world coming to? Nowadays they threaten to put us behind bars for the tiniest of lapses. Project delays, unsanctioned change in plans, a few additional floors..' He fumed.
Obviously, I said, the action must only be for the more serious offences.
'Ha! Everyone knows no project in India ever gets completed as scheduled. Then what's the big fuss about? A couple of years to a decade's delay is hardly our fault! What do they expect us to do? Start constructing each floor only after we get the plans sanctioned? Will you pass me a cigarette? During my last project, three Ministers got sacked, one commissioner's term ended. Best of all, the CM was sacked!
How can one account for such unforeseen events? Now I have to begin from scratch with the new chaps.'
A decade is quite a delay, I raised my eyebrows.
'There! Nobody seems to be on our side, not even a friend like you! When all my plans were in place, our chief Architect and his team took up another assignment! Moreover, he has even completed that project while leaving my massive project in the lurch!'
So, which new project did he take up, I prodded him.
'My palatial, sea front villa at Alibaug!' he grinned at last.
'In fact why don't you join us there during this weekend? I'll introduce you to the new CM and the rest of the gang.'