Back at my parent’s, the normal discussion topics would be a mixture of the neighbourhood and world stories, gadgets and mythology, cricket and rib tickling comedies and of course office politics. When I learned that I am going to join a big family post wedding, I felt the conversation topics would now get interesting with the addition of many unique characters.
To my dismay, I found I landed into a family, whose world spins around lands and sites.
There is one area in which the family is highly knowledgable, to the extent that they can be called HOWREs a.k.a Highly Obsessed With Real Estate
The world of real estate and construction. Each HOWRE is a civil engineer without a degree. Zero theoretical but 100% practical knowledge.
Apparently, each of MIL’s and FIL’s siblings have built their own homes on the lands they purchased, including them. Their fathers, mothers, grandparents and forefathers did the same. The current working generation got all the engineering skills as inheritance, which they duly implement after having technical discussions near and far, now and then. If I have to single out a particular quirk prevailing in them, it is their absolute disinterest in buying ready-made houses or apartments. Everything has to be done from scratch. And no architect business too. Right from scouting of the land, to registering it, to getting the quotes for raw materials, to going to the length and breadth of the city to get that perfect granite stone and tap fittings, to overlooking the mason’s work, to designing each and every part of the house, from drilling to plotting, every working knowledge is possessed to the HOWRE.
When I got married into the family, there were two house constructions going on. Every Sunday, instead of going around the city, I would be politely asked if I was interested in checking out the ceramic tiles or the bath fittings. Not to appear as a snob and eager to mingle with all, I tagged along with them one day. After one Sunday, which involved us going from one place to another the whole day and me getting a near sunstroke, I asked them to carry on their eureka moments without me.
I thought things came to an end after the house-warming ceremonies of the two said houses. Before I could finish my question to MIL as to what would be the new point of discussion going forward now that no more construction related work is pending, came the phone call from a cousin, saying he is interested to purchase a new land for investment purpose. Later I got to know that this site-seeing is more interesting than constructing a house altogether. In came the older HOWRE’s with their immensely accumulated knowledge on and thus continues the land-brick-sand saga at my place.
It has latched on to Zack’s friends too. If at all they want to purchase any land, they take away the happy-to-help FIL and eager-to-watch BIL’s along with them. Zack plays the communicator in case of language barriers.
The ladies of the family are a notch higher than the men. They never seem to tire out of constructing houses and discussing ‘sites’.
I have an inkling that if at all another life starts developing inside me in future, the soul will enter the world with a full working knowledge of how to construct a house.