Fiction: Buying a Plot

Abu Siddik

- Abu Siddik

“This is the plot. See how beautiful houses are mushrooming night and day! Ten years ago it was dull, marshy, infested with pythons and foxes. Now it is more than gold!” gloated the broker, a lanky young man, shabbily dressed, teeth marooned, face poke marked.

“How is the price?” feebly the newly-wed couple, aged around thirty, asked.

“Ha, ha, ha…you make me laugh, ha, ha, ha…” he spat and became ruddy, “You’re double engine, earning with four hands! And you ask the price!”

“Count legs too! Ho, ho, ho…” the boy echoed with the same zest. But the broker did not heed to the boy. He studied the girl and was firm to steal her anyhow.

“Don’t worry sister! Leave that on me. After all we are from the same village, and you play and grow before our eyes. How can I cheat you? Don’t think of money. I’ll do whatever I can. The problem is that the owner is a miser. You can’t have dirt free from him. But you need not be worried!” he thoughtfully scratched head and made some quick numbers, and looked relieved.

“Who’re our neighbours?” tenderly asked the boy.

“What you do with your neighbours?” retorted the broker and lectured, “People are all busy here. Who has the time for idle chit chat? Moreover, they are very smart! They love their four walls and share sorrow and bliss with their corners. Good guys! Engineers, doctors, lawyers, professors, and a few have relations in America.”

The boy and the girl were happy. Such a beautiful plot with such good neighbours!

“Sister, don’t nurture a second thought. You are lucky! Such a clean plot you can’t find anywhere in the town. Papers are o.k. The owner would not sell it. I have already refused a dozen  customers, all rich and have high status.  Only a day before he changed his mind, and today you are my lovely guests,” cajoled the broker and flashed a striking smile on his shrewd face.

“But…a… we need some time,” meekly they said and looked at each other.

“How much?”

“At least a week.”

“A w-e-e-e-e-k! I can’t. Customers will kill me in the meantime. They know my house. They will ring and ring and if I tarry they will crack my head. Huge demand, sister! If you hesitate, it will escape your sweet hand!  But you are from my village so I give you two days. Eh? Today is…”

“Saturday,” they hurriedly confirmed in one tongue.

“O.K. by Monday evening you fix. It’s done!”

“But…”

“No ifs and buts. Sister, go home and coolly decide by tomorrow.”

 “But I need my father’s opinion,” the girl argued.

“Why? Your guardian is with you. Am I wrong?” he stealthily looked at the boy.

The boy smiled. 

“He’s not my guardian. He’s my hubby, and I call him by name. We are friends,” the girl frowned.

The broker looked confused, “Hubby…friend…?”

A silence followed. A short man and his fat wife from a newly built orange house came, smiled and asked, “Are you buying the plot?”

“No…yes….”

“Why do you dither? Prices are jumping up by night and day. Look at our house. We come here two years ago. The land was empty and cows and buffaloes grazing whole days. See the change now. Can you see a cow or a buffalo? No. Only designed houses, and the designed babies playing ping pong on the roofs! Moreover, people are sacred here.  A place for worship is being built with our liberal charity. You can contribute and be a part of our noble mission of cleansing hearts,” babbled the fat woman.

“Oh! It’s fine! How noble is idea of purifying hearts! Madam, soon we meet at mornings and evenings. Have a nice day!” they exchanged greetings and parted.

A few paces away they stood for a while under a coconut tree.

“Brother, see a plot in an area where the people are not sacred, and there are no places for worship,” firmly opined both.

“I take you in good faith, and you spoil my day. Where can I find such a plot?” the broker was confused.

“We’re not in a hurry. Take time and find such a plot as we just say,” they stressed. “The neighbours may be poor, illiterate; their huts may be crooked; the place may be wild with thickets and thorns and no flowers bloom there. We have no issue. All is well. But not a sacred and educated souls be there and no temples of gods!” they plainly put. 

The broker felt irritable. He scratched head and hand, alternately wearing a funny look. Whether he is happy or sad, his face does not betray.  His hope of making a huge deal was dashed, and he nervously mumbled, “Let me find then ...But where can I f…i…n…d… such a plot?”

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