He stood with one foot on his old scooter, looking up at the building he had recently completed, with a frown. The building looked, to a purist, like a large multi-colored cake one usually sees in small bakeries in the by lanes of the Old City. Bright orange colored walls competed for attention with bottle green doors and violet lines along the windows. A purist would also have gently shuddered, put on his glares and moved along quickly.But in this part of the town, the three-storied building was sure to be appreciated.
Twenty three 2-bedroom apartments of 650 sft each along with 14 shops on the ground floor and 7 more in the cellar meant for parking. A pent house on the terrace was the crowning glory. Building more than 15,000 sq ft on a 220 square yard plot was an act of wizardy as most was without sanctions.
The frown had nothing to do with the esthetics of the structure. He was completely satisfied with that. The frown was in trying to figure out how he could lease out the two hundred sq ft in the basement meant for parking and the two other apartments on the rear side of the building that overlooked the colony drainage.
The solution presented itself in the form of Thirumala Prasad [TP]. An acutely spectacled gentleman, about the same height as Buchi Reddy, one would have missed the steel in his effacing demeanor if one did not look carefully enough.“Yes Sir,” Buchi Reddy said.
“I would like to start a school in the two apartments,” said TP and added, “The nursery and kindergarten section will be in one apartment, the middle and high school in the other and in the next three months, I will take the 200 sq ft in the cellar parking for the junior college as soon as I get the required permission from the authorities.”
“Would that not be too small for a school of so many classes?” queried the builder with a drop in his jaw line. “Don’t worry Sir,” replied TP, “the 2 bathrooms will be converted into 2 classrooms and each bed room would accommodate two classes with benches facing the opposite walls.”
“2 classes in each, 10x 12 bedrooms?” asked the builder whose jaw continued to drop, “And where would the teachers sit?”
“Yes Sir,” nodded TP, “The teachers never sit. In case a staff room is needed, I will accommodate it in the corridor. The school will run from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm and after that we will start the tutorials for engineering and medical entrance exams. In fact, my wife wants to start a tiffin room in the morning till 8:00 am in the basement right away too.” “How many students do you think you will have here,” queried Reddy, trying to regain his composure.“We hope to have 500 as we start and, of course, it will increase soon,” said TP.
“What about games and recreation for the students?” asked Reddy, liking this man more and more by the minute.
“Games? Sir, when the school runs, all the other apartment dwellers will be off to work. Their vacant parking area should suffice,” said TP, adding, “What is important is that we need a few toppers in both the streams of education we are training for. That is important. Who really cares for the kids?”
Month: November 2010.