Bangalore: Jalprem Kumar, a resident of Bangalore of 12 years, is a happy man at last. After a long wait for a lakefront apartment for which he paid through his nose ten years ago, Kumar is all smiles today, having finally secured what he had dreamt of and had subsequently lost – a home overlooking a lake, thanks to the recent copious rains and flooding. There is a heart-warming story behind this dream come true.
It was a different kind of flooding that brought Kumar to Bangalore, the exodus of all and sundry from every corner of the country, to Bangalore, in search of a job in the IT industry. Kumar, born in a village not far from Hyderabad lived all his life in a house across a lake. That is, till he migrated to Bangalore, where waterfront was something he missed badly. When he landed a job and earned well, an advertisement for a lakefront residential projects attracted him. His imagination blossomed and he wanted to recreate the magic of a lakefront home right in Bangalore.
The developer arranged for a site visit for Kumar, free of cost, to the construction site. Kumar was mesmerized by the serene lake in front of the site and he immediately paid, not just an advance for the apartment, but the entire cost, lest should he lose it to someone less deserving. He also paid a hefty premium for securing a lake facing unit. By the time construction began, which was after the builder got the necessary sanctions, which was after he purchased the land, which was after he got the documents ‘rectified’, which was after the necessary ‘fee’ was paid, a couple of years passed. Kumar however was happy with the rapid development around the site, with buildings and businesses coming up on the periphery of the lake.
However, while the construction activity went on at snail’s pace, the lake started shrinking, thanks to a few continuous years of scanty rainfall and use of the lake by the occupiers of the “developed” area nearby. By the time construction was over, the lake had gone completely dry and a few structures had come up in its place.
Kumar took the matter up with the builders who consoled him that it was temporary setback and would be set right by the government. Soon after taking possession of the apartment after paying all the new charges demanded by the builder, Kumar had to leave Bangalore on an overseas assignment. He wouldn’t let the opportunity go, as going abroad was the main motive behind his joining the IT industry.
By the time he returned to Bangalore after a truncated assignment, there was no trace of the lake. Instead, many new apartment complexes had mushroomed and the government had even laid a four lane road on the lakebed. The builder could not be traced and when approached, the police suggested that Kumar lodge a missing lake complaint rather than an absconding builder complaint. Kumar filed a criminal case against the builder. The judge, after the first hearing, adjourned the case to 17th July, 2023. With no other option, and with his job at stake due to his incompetence, Kumar had to stay put in his dream apartment.
Fast forward to July 2016. One fine morning, a few days ago, Kumar woke up to find a lake in front of his building. Miracle had happened. The lake that had disappeared years ago had come back on its own, that too much closer this time. Having worked till late the previous night in order to impress his boss, Kumar had slept off and was not aware of the heavy rain that lashed the entire night. Now the building was right in the middle of the lake and he was thrilled to see that even boats, were sailing in it. He did not realize they were rescue boats. He thanked his stars for the dream fulfilled and felt guilty for having blamed the builder. Hadn’t he promised that things would be set right? He only should have been patient. So, he decided to withdraw the case against the builder and shot off an email to his office asking for leave for the day, quoting ill-health. He actually wanted to enjoy the whole day looking at the lake. Little did he know that all offices in the city were closed for the day.