Buying two acres in Hoskote
I drove down with my husband and young kids to see the property and was in for a terrible shock. The two acres had been eroded severely to the left by continuous rain.The complete top soil had been washed off over the years, down into a nallah along the left of the property. But not to give up on my word I bought the property in my Dad’s name, as he was an agriculturalist from Goa and that made buying it legal in Karnataka.
However overnight my Dad made his will because he said he was unsure if by the time he passed, the other siblings would agree that the property was mine. I laughed at him then and went along indulgently to the lawyer, to have the will drawn up. In it, at his passing the property was bequeathed to me. At the time he also made me executor of his will and again I laughed saying Dad why worry, my brothers and sisters won’t touch what is mine. Dads words have come to haunt me so many times and so many years later.
Several times in the later months Dad, Mum and us drove down to see the property and just feel good that we owned something in a village in Karnataka and not just in Goa. We took sandwiches and juice and sat in the shade of the neighbours plants and enjoyed the beauty of the place. At the time the villagers grew carrots and beans and potatoes and other root veggies as the soil was red and beautiful. We left it as is, because I had no more money to fence it and put a gate.
Then one day when we went to see the property we were shocked to find almost one field of beautiful red soil was dug out and was being sold off by the local mafia. It was time to fence and put a gate. So along with a friend who could speak the language, we raised a fence but not after a lot of fighting with the locals. We have never had fences and we won’t allow it they said. Leave 10 feet along the side for a road to access our fields at the back, they said and which we were forced to do. Slowly with the help of the local police we put up a fence which was just kucchaas ( poles of granite) strung together with barb wire and with slabs of granite called chapadis in the front and back. We bought the chapadis second hand from a convent in KR Puram who were erecting a huge wall instead.
The gate we bought from another convent who was selling their old gate and that was erected to safeguard the place. Then buying old tester cement blocks from another place we erected a small little 2 room building with a toilet at the back. All the windows had iron grills and the doors were iron too as we were told the area had bandits. I guess that is why we have never stayed overnight there. The fear of the bandits still overcomes our minds.
Then came the slow transformation, and we sank all our savings into turning the place into a Shangrila. -- to be contd next week ----
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