Thursday, May 22, 2008

Value for money

A term that is bandied about a lot these days, especially since we live in an era of consumer monsters, who insist on getting every paise's worth. But i remember the time when two of the words were used differently, and remember the generation which worked hard to make us understand the value of money. That generation lived most of their life before liberalisation, and are yet to come to terms with the plethora of choices that are now on offer.
It hit me a few days back, when I was sitting in a desserts joint working my way through a chocolate mound, and saw a man, perhaps in his early sixties looking into the shop, and for a fleeting second, at me. The melancholic look said it all. The look of a man, who has perhaps spent an entire working life making sure that his family was well provided for, that his kids got a good education, and they had a home they could call their own, and while doing all these, mostly missed out on things that he'd like to have done.
And now, when the kids are all grown up, and he finally has the time, he realises the world has changed, and the value of money has been drastically altered, and that the plans he might have made are rendered useless, thanks to the prices and the amount of people who are capable of and willing to pay a premium for the same services. People, like his own children, who work hard to make sure they earn enough to pay the premium, and end up not having enough time for the people who kickstarted their lives.
Long ago, when he gave up that new shirt piece, so that his child could have a new toy, could he have imagined that one day, his child could buy shirts from brands he thought would never see in India, but not have time to remember the toy his father had once bought for him? Could he have imagined this was the way it would all turn out to be? And after he looks at me through the window that separates our worlds, i look at myself, and wonder whether it'll all work out the way we plan, or will we also be unable to comprehend the lives we bring out into the world?

until next time, values

13 comments:

~nm said...

This is something I've wondered myself too..lately..

When I was writing a post on teaching my son the value for money, it made me wonder do I value it too? Am I careful in spending it? And then I felt that probably I need to learn a lesson or two before I start teaching him the same.

Sari said...

If we spend sum extra bucks on few luxuries of life dsnt mean dat we dont value the money . After all its our hard core earned money.

But yes this is not generated rather inherited from our parents. And now we have to make sure that it get passes on ...to the next set. For this we surely need to be carefull....

Epiphany said...

Or may be the old man was just wondering which of all the fancy names actually meant coffee ;)...just kidding...agree with the post tho'!

Because of B said...

chakravyuh hai.

Arunima said...

This is a very sad post. I almost felt like crying. I was just reading an article in outlook about a retired couple who is really struggling with the rise in prices.

austere said...

I can so understand this.
The eight hundred buck starting salary, you guys have never seen that, have you?
Oh yes, sandals at Metro are 880. Plus taxes.

manuscrypts said...

~nm : yup, i think the onus is on us to lay down a few benchmarks

sari: well, do we understand the value of money? thats debatable :)

manuscrypts said...

epiphany: chocolate!! :)

b: nahi yaar, we can change it

manuscrypts said...

arunima: exactly, there is a sense of unfairness...

austere: yes, thats exactly what i was talking about...

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