Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Something From Deep Inside

Yesterday I was waiting at a railway station to receive my friend. One stranger came to me and asked for 100 Rs. change. While giving it to him, a 2 Rs. coin slipped outta my wallet, so, by habit, I Picked it and touched it to my forehead. And I realized the stranger in front of me was in tears !

I asked him the reason, he didn’t reply but on the other hand, he asked back a question. "Why did you touch that coin to your head?”. I, being a fool, gave a foolish reply, "It’s Goddess Lakshmi and I should respect her". And I was astounded by the stranger’s reply. “Always give respect to your money. There was a time I was a millionaire. But I never respected my wealth, and now look at me. I don’t even have money to eat daily bread." And without waiting for my reply, he disappeared in the crowd.

When experts discuss topics like Recession, slowdown, cash crunch, layoffs then I feel frustrated by the hype we have created about it. I am no finance expert neither this is the topic I can talk. But the effect that these things have on our daily life forces me to think about something.

Our forefathers came from many different villages to the city. They bought houses by saving each penny. During those days, words like “savings” were not for teaching people how to and why to save. That was an integral part of our forefather’s lives. People used to save money at least 2-2 months before buying an ordinary item like pressure cooker. The house was not addressed as “one-room-kitchen”. No matter how small the space is, the feeling that we are living in our “own” house was sufficient. No one really needed their “own space” for living. So dozens of guests were welcomed In a 2 room house. Women had so much daily work to do that they never had necessity of joining aerobic/yoga classes. People not only knew their neighbours but everyone in the town lived as if they are a family.

Then time changed. Wages of our young and dynamic generation increased day by day. We now came to our "Big" apartments! Earlier when relatives used to come, we had very little space to accommodate them. Today, space has expanded but now we don’t even have time to visit them, let alone staying there for a couple of weeks. In earlier days, there used to be only one TV and entire village could claim its authority on it. Now-a-days we have at least 3-4 TVs in a home because everyone wants to watch a different channel. Gone are the days when people used to buy new cloths only on some special occasion. Instead of having cheap or expensive category, we now have "full payment" or "EMI." or "credit/Debit card".

Do you even realize how much we have changed our definition of “NEED” with the changing time? (and of course salary). I am not saying this because I don’t want money. I certainly do. I love it as much as you do. But that is not the whole issue. The question is if tomorrow something bad happens and we have to manage with a very little amount of money, will we be able to do it? I guess NO. Are you aware that banks are not only for the purpose of drawing money but sometimes we should also deposit something in it?

Let’s see positively towards recession, slowdown or the layoffs incurred because of it. In these situations, we will at least come to know what our true "needs" are. When everything was fine, we had enjoyed it to the fullest. So why can't we accept it if the situation is not so good now? In greed of earning more and more money, do you remember how many old friends and relatives you have lost? When was the last time you called all the numbers you have in your cell? or visited all the people you lost contact with? When was the last time you saw the sunset or sunrise and smiled? when was the last time you actually not worked and relaxed for a day with your family? Have you even talked once to your next door family or your neighbour ?

Let’s spend 30% of the time in a week for doing the things that won't help us to earn a penny. Just fill your life with the people you love, for your hobbies, for the things you want to do and see, how Happy you are..! We really have "lot of money" but the problem is, all our money is wasted in showing people that we have it. Let’s not allow things like recession or depression affect us. Don't forget about the rule of nature. Something that is going up will certainly go down sometime.

Get hold of your "piggy bank" laying somewhere in the corner of your room. Open it gently. what do you find? You will find some coins that you had saved for buying something that you like, you will find a clock that you had bought for your father from your very first salary. You will find the ticket of a bus you boarded while going for your first interview! Can you see that yellow ticket?? It's the ticket of a movie you watched by saving money from your pocket. Search deeper in your piggy bank. What do you find? You will find a plenty of free time, memories, struggle, those funny moments with your near and dear ones, those crazy things you did with your friends, that canteen, your last bench, those 20 Rs. prepaid recharge coupons, friends who were so close to you once but now the inability to contact them, and many things that you gained or lost during your journey. Just watch that piggy bank once with your eyes wide open and then close it. Keep that piggy bank in a place where your eyes will always remain focused on it and then continue with your life. Does something just changed? If yes, what is it? :)

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