Simple Truths – When rainy days never come

I was taught to save things for a rainy day. So all my life I did exactly that. There was a reason why this was drummed into my head, why this ‘value’ was planted deep within us. We came from a middle class family and there were times when life was hard and every last paisa had to be stretched till the end of the month.

I was not the only one, for there was a whole generation like me that was taught to save every paisa. We reused and recycled much before it became the borrowed mantra of the western world in their effort to save the planet, ironically after exploiting it. Sheer necessity forced us to recycle everything. Cycle tyres became our playthings, milk bags became reusable containers, whisky bottles were used to store drinking water and left over food found ten creative ways to make reappearance at dinner time.  

Inadvertently I grew up in a culture of fear. What if we don’t have enough for tomorrow? It is true that our generation grew up on the sacrifices of our parents but with those sacrifices and struggles we also inherited their fears. At the back of my mind the panic of the possibility of those hard days looms over every minute decision I make. I am worried to throw caution to the winds and gamble away good sense while inviting troubled times again. And so I pull back and tighten everything and every decision, from wallets to waist lines.

My generation spent little on ourselves, always with the conviction that we did not need this ‘little luxury’. Should a nice gift be presented to us it would be kept for that ‘rainy day’ or tucked in the furthest corner of old mother’s cupboard. Holidays were rare, candy and ice cream were non-existent, public transport was the order of the day, toys were a waste of money and a rare meal at a restaurant ended more with an apology that we could have eaten better food at home for half the money spent.

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