‘We have been fortunate’
Ibought a 3BHK flat (resale) in Ashiana Utsav six years ago during Navaratra because we believe that buying property brings us luck in these auspicious nine days. This is considered to be a period of purification and thus good for buying properties and starting new ventures.
Six years ago, I took this decision to shift from Kalkaji in Delhi to Bhiwadi in Rajasthan because my work required me to travel a lot and my wife, who had not been well, would be cared for in a project for senior residents.
My professional life began in 1966, when I joined the Indian Army. For the next 25 years, I served in places like Jammu and Kashmir and various parts of north and north-east India till I was finally posted in Delhi in 1990. However, around this time, my wife fell ill and my son was about to start his career. I wanted to take care of my family so sought voluntary retirement.
I also wanted to spend my silver innings in peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of our friends, who had moved into a retirement resort, had a serious discussion with me about retirement. I felt the need of living differently after hanging my boots up as I realised the changing socio-economic scenario in Indian society would soon have a great impact in seniors’ life.
I feel Delhi is not safe for elderly people. First of all, the resale value of real estate has gone up so much that most homes are beyond the reach of middle-class people like us. Second, even after spending so much money, where is the guarantee that you are safe? Every day we read about cases of crimes against the elderly; we read about untoward incidents in newspapers. So, I decided to shift to Bhiwadi. Buying a house during Navratras has worked for me, I feel I have been fortunate ever since.
—As told to Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Ashok Gongopadhyay with his son and grandson