I had just settled in Mumbai in a rented flat. This we got after paying a handsome amount of rent. Cost of the property was good but we happily paid for it. Reason being this is kind of society we were looking hard for almost a fortnight.
One of my school friend, who is now a driver of a JCB crane, too had settled in Mumbai. He had been repeatedly inviting me to his place from the time I had told him about my job in Mumbai. I was unable to meet him for the first few weeks as I was busy with the search of the accommodation. So, I planned to go to his home as soon as I settled with it. I conveyed to him that I will be coming to his place and asked him about the address. Surprisingly he asked me my address instead and did not give his own. For a moment I thought maybe he was inviting me to his place just out of formality.
After an hour he called me and told me that he has reached my apartment. That was a pleasant surprise. I went down to receive him. While coming upstairs he was asking me about who lives in the next flat and other such kinds of stuff about society, about which I had no idea at all. Then he met all of my roommates too with all the warmth. He expressed admiration about the flat, expressed the happiness of knowing that I was living in a good place.
After a while, we left for his place. He had got a car to take me to his place. I enquired about the car and got to know that it was his boss’s car. He got it from him in the context that his best friend (me) was visiting him. We drove to his place. It was in ‘not a good’ area. So I almost had a thought “how is he living here?”. To not make him uncomfortable, I kept all these thoughts in my mind. When we finally reached his home, I sat down. He had called his sister and brother-in-law too, who otherwise used to live at a km distance to the home. Again this was on the context of his best friend coming his home. His mother, wife, and kids too had been waiting to welcome me.
As I sat down, I ran my eyes here and there, as if inspecting the house. He had almost the same things which I had at my place as a necessity. The food that they made for me included much more variety than I ever had my place. By the time I had my lunch, even the two-three neighbor families came. They were having the chit-chat. They knew each other so well and also tried knowing me in the short duration that they interacted me.
While I left his home, only thought that was on my mind – ‘What was the difference in his and my place?’ The difference was in the so-called society. The ‘posh’ nature of it. The people living might be more educated and all. So I paid more to be among comparatively elite class but what was the use of it? Nothing. Why? Because we hardly interacted or I should say, we avoided the interactions as much as possible.
So, the ‘society’ cost is a big component of the cost of high worth properties. At the same time, it is a sunk cost, as we never use it.