Heartless of Hinjewadi:
|XRBIA Booking Venue, ICC Trade Towers, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411016|
I was completely disgusted by heartless real estate investors in Xrbia Hinjewadi Pune. I wanted to forget those ugly faces of greedy real estate investors I had seen at the site & booking office of Xrbia. I wanted to delete from my memory the foolish arguments of a few frustrated home buyers who thought that Xrbia was their last chance to own a home near Hinjewadi at Pune.
So, I decided to go away. I went to Kolhapur. Where there is no IT. Hoping to see the guys who are not addicted to property appreciation. Hoping to meet young boys & girls who are not fantasizing of owning a home after they get a job.
Amit Sachin Tendulkar Housing Enterprises at Kolhapur:
|Amit Sachin Tendulkar Housing Enterprises at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.|
At the entrance of Kolhapur, I saw a hoarding of Amit Enterprises Housing Limited announcing three day opportunity to invest in Pune real estate market. It means that there are enough addicts of property appreciation in Kolhapur too, I told myself.
I took it as a warning and decided to disconnect myself from Pune real estate market. Only way, I thought was, that I should not talk about my Ravi Karandeekar's Pune Real Estate Market News Blog.
I should become a tourist. If the situation demands, I should shave my head to convince that I am a religious pilgrim who has come from Tirupati Balaji for the darshan of Mahalaxmi Ambabai of Kolhapur. But I will never talk about investing in Pune real estate market.
Xrbia at Kolhapur:
|Mumbai - Thane - Borivali - Pune - Aurangabad - Nashik S. T. Stand at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.|
When I got down, I thought, why not visit a few housing schemes in Kolhapur! There is no risk in visiting Kolhapur properties, I told myself and visited a newspaper stall at the bus stand.
At the stall, I saw one publication about real estate projects in Kolhapur and unconsciously, I picked it up. But there was no date of publication. So, I asked the vendor for the latest issue. The newspaper vendor told me that this one is the latest. Published some three months ago. Don't worry, most of the projects would still be under construction and even if they are ready,flats will be available.
I was about to ask why, but the smart young man standing next to me said, "These Kolhapur Builders only construct for the rich. Not like builders in Pune who construct affordable housing for the middle class"
"Do Pune builders construct affordable housing? I didn't know that!," i said.
"Yes! At present, demand is only for affordable housing!! You know? One project called Xrbia in Pune sold more than 3,500 flats in 3 days!!! I was about to book but couldn't get one. All sold out. Now, I am waiting for the next phase," the smart young man said.
"Really? I am curious! Tell me more," i said. For the next 3 minutes the smart young man gave me a complete low down on Xrbia.
"But you are an engineer in TV Channel at Worli and live in Navi Mumbai. Then why are you interested in Xrbia at Hinjewadi, Pune?," i asked.
"Investment!," the smart young man said.
"OK. Why not invest in Kolhapur, your hometown?," I asked.
"I told you. No property in my budget of 20 - 25 Lakhs at Kolhapur. All are above 40 - 50 lakhs," the smart young engineer working in Mumbai said.
"How wrong!," I said.
After Independence, Indians lost their freedom:
|"Bharatiya" film at Shahu Talkies at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.|
At the time of check-in, the receptionist asked for reason of my visit to Kolhapur.
"To take a shower. I was told that - like Pune - there are no water cuts at Kolhapur. Am I right? I am fed up with a single bucket bath," I asked.
"You will enjoy our hot & cold power showers, Sir," the receptionist said.
"Hot & cold! Both? A third one - in between the two - would have been a real pleasure! Don't you think so?," i asked.
"Enjoy yourself!," the receptionist said.
I obeyed the receptionist & tried my best to enjoy myself. Neglecting the question - "Why is there no affordable housing in Kolhapur?" - which went on bothering me. Ultimately, I decided to meet my journalist friend working in Kolhapur Sakal.
"Isn't there any housing scheme - township - in Kolhapur which offers 1 BHK for 15 & 2 BHK for 20 Lakhs?," I asked him.
"Politically right answer is - there is no 'flat culture' in Kolhapur. Kolhapurkars don't like to live in flats. They prefer to buy a plot of land and construct their own bungalows," my journalist friend said.
"Can one buy a plot & construct a bungalow in 20 Lakhs?," I asked.
"Learn to read between the lines, Ravi. It means that - at Kolhapur - there is no housing for the common man. Recently, 2 townships were launched at Kolhapur which had 100 and odd flats which were booked in a couple of days. Actually, in a couple of months. Otherwise, most of the apartments are built for the rich farmers & industrialists in Kolhapur," my journalist friend said.
"In that case, where the young educated working people live?," i asked.
"In Pune & Mumbai!," my journalist friend said.
"Don't tell me! You are here in Kolhapur!! Where do you live?," I said.
"In my ancestral home! Only because, I don't have any option!!," my journalist friend said.
"Living in an ancestral home is romantic! Isn't it?," I asked.
"Forget about romance. There is no life in inconvenient, compromised & dilapidated house at the end of a narrow lane, Ravi. There is no pride in poverty. In fact, it's not a living - it's only surviving - somehow, " my journalist friend said.
"Come on! We are not poor anymore. Our GDP growth is better than any developing country!!," I said.
"You are talking about India. I am talking about Indians. Indians living in Kolhapur. What i see is - everyone is running away from his home & home town. On the run, his first step is Pune or Mumbai and next U S A. Why? Because, after the independence of India, Indians lost their freedom. All are running away from becoming slaves of local kingpins. For the common Indian citizen - there are only two options. Become a slave of some American company and live in big city like Pune or go to US and live as a second class citizen," my journalist friend said.
Ravi Karandeekar, Non Resident Indian (NRI):
|Shri Shahu Vijayi Gangavesh Talim Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.|
"I know about white slaves in IT Parks of Hinjewadi & the second class citizens in the countries all over the world. But I don't know about those who are left behind in Kolhapur. I want to meet them. I want to talk to them. How can I do that?," I asked.
"Only way to do that, is to go and have a good conversation!," my journalist friend said.
I took my friend's leave and started walking on the roads of Kolhapur. In a few minutes, I realized that I can not walk like others. Because, I can only walk on footpaths. Not on the main road. As a born & brought up in Pune, I can deal with the encroachment on the footpath. But can not deal with the vehicles on a road. So, I asked someone, "Why are there no footpaths in Kolhapur?"
"Because, except one or two main roads in the city - there are no proper roads in Kolhapur!," the fellow said and asked, "Are you NRI?"
NRI! Being NRI in India would be a good idea. As a NRI, I will get a license to ask any question to anybody and can have a good conversation! So, I returned to my hotel and asked the receptionist, "Who is your favorite customer? NRI or Punekar?"
"You are my favorite, Sir!," the receptionist said.
"Yes, I know. But tell me - what should I do to become your most favorite?," i asked.
"Remove your trousers!," the receptionist said.
"Anytime!," I said.
"And wear half pants - bermuda - in which you checked in. Middle aged Marathi NRI with grey hair and white mustache in bermuda is my most favorite guest!," the receptionist said.
"That's great! What about the rest of Kolhapur? Should I wear Kolhapuri Chappals?," I asked.
"Did you see anyone wearing Kolhapuri Chappals in Kolhapur?," the receptionist asked.
"No! Not a single person!! Surprising!!! But I didn't see anyone in bermuda too. Are you pulling my legs?," I said.
"No. I am serious. Go out - see the results! What are you dying to see at Kolhapur?," the receptionist asked.
"Talim! Can I go inside the Talim and talk to Pailwans?," I asked.
"In bermuda - you can even play kusti with number one pailwan of Kolhapur!," the receptionist said.
The receptionist was right. I had a good time at Shri Shahu Vijayi Gangavesh Talim. If I had been wearing a langot, I would have played kusti too. However, important discovery was - all doors are open for NRIs.
Kingdom of Nobodies:
|Vinayak at Rankala|
Next couple of days, I roamed around in bermuda. Had great conversations. But went on becoming more & more sad.
I came to Kolhapur to meet the young working guys who haven't became crazy about home ownership. Young guys who are not desperate or frustrated about owning a home. But I was not expecting to meet the self-employed or salaried young guys who are not even thinking about owning a home. But day by day, I realized that all are only struggling to survive. They have accepted that home ownership & respectable life is not their cup of tea.
The workers in MIDC earn enough to somehow mange the monthly expenses. Self employed struggle to sustain. They can't go back to their traditional jobs or don't see any possibility to earn more than what they get.
"If you fail to get a job in Pune or Mumbai and are left behind in Kolhapur, in no time, you become a nobody. You know what is my goal - at this point of time? Not to become a member of Kingdom of Nobodies!," Vinayak, who met me at Rankala, said. He has realized that typical college education is not enough to break away. He is following his brother-in-law's advice who is working in UK.
"Rich & well-to-do in Kolhapur are having a good time. Workers are happy to work over time for Nashta & Dal Roti. But someone like me, who is MBA & works as a manager, finds it difficult not to become depressed. Particularly when you meet your childhood friends. They consider me less capable, unambitious, loser," Dilip said.
"I find it difficult to believe you! You look professional, well balanced, satisfied person to me. In fact, you look a happy guy. You can't be depressed!," i said.
"That's the problem! Someone who lives in his hometown with his family can not afford or manage to remain unhappy for a long time!!," Dilip said.
"OK. But tell me what will make you happy? More salary - lots of shopping - nightlife - what?," I asked.
"Respect!," Dilip said.
"That's too vague....abstract. Be specific," I said.
"No this is not vague. See...when I got married...girl's father wanted a boy who owns some land...girl also wanted to marry someone who owns land... but isn't a farmer... since I had a job & land, I was considered as most eligible - & was most 'wanted' - now, after the marriage...my wife is not happy to live in a village 10 km away from Kolhapur...result is I am losing respect - day by day!," Dilip said.
"Why don't you buy a flat or a plot in Kolhapur?," I asked.
"Because, I can't afford! So, I am neither a farmer nor an executive in an industry! Sometimes, i wonder, whether I am a man or woman? Then I tell myself, I am nobody. And in this kingdom - there is no home for a nobody, " Dilip said.
1) Tuesday, October 22, 2013
UrbanGram Kolhapur Launched!
Feel free to call me:
I enjoy talking, sharing my views and giving advice about buying property in Pune real estate market (so, i do not charge anything for the first 3 minutes!) Call 919860044110
If you like to chat, join me, RaviKarandeekarsBlogs on Google Talk.
Yes, my email id is Ravi@RaviKarandeekar.com Feel free to write to me. I reply as soon as i can.
Join me on Google +
Subscribe for Free!
To receive free emails or free RSS feeds, please, subscribe to Ravi Karandeekar's Pune Real Estate Market News Blog
For my blogs on premium real estate projects in Pune, real estate investment, advertising and other related topics, please, visit and join my Ravi Karandeekar's Pune Real Estate Blog Group