>…And round and round and round, till your head is spinning with either too much or too little of it. Or maybe not, if you can look at money as merely the means to an end and not the end itself.
I’m not there yet. I still dream of wads of notes. I wish I had so much of it that I could live without thinking of how I can get more of it. And yet, I’m thankful that I don’t have so much of it that I wouldn’t value it for what it can get me. And because at the end of the day, money can’t really buy happiness!
I’ve seen people marry for money, I’ve seen people sell their dirty little souls for money and I have seen days with very little money. And I still prefer the latter because despite not having the money to buy expensive toys or going on fancy holidays, we, as a family, had enough money to keep us happy when I was a kid. I didn’t buy too many books but borrowed them from the library because books were expensive. I didn’t buy too many clothes because there were enough hand-me-downs. I didn’t shop till I needed to. We gifted our friends posters, cassettes, mugs and such and were happy to receive those on our birthdays as well. We ate out once a week but at the fancy places only on a special occasion. We never flew to another city because we had enough time to take the train. We lived respectfully, we had enough and we had our wish-lists. I wanted things I didn’t have but never so much so as not to love what I had.
When I was in college, I valued every single penny that came from home to the hosteler. And it wasn’t just me – it was all of us – the collective college-going “we”. We walked any distance so that we could save the ten rupees we’d be spending on the auto. We thought coffees at Barista were precious – eighty rupees for a cup! We split the bills whenever we ate out, so that no one was burning a hole in their pockets. And we had a ball! We still had freedom, still had fun and we still had our dreams!
I started working for a very paltry amount of money. My dad tried to buy me out – promised me much more than the salary I was going to get so that I’d work for him. I didn’t care for the money because I was high on having gotten a job. I think I was a little unlucky with money then – never made as much as I should’ve but never needed more.
Today, I have so much more than I ever had. I live extravagantly compared to a lot of other people. We’ve been on holidays abroad, we can afford to believe in retail therapy, we eat out at fancy five star places whenever we fancy the idea, we have more clothes, shoes and everything else we require. We gift each other expensive gifts. We drive luxury cars, we indulge in designer stuff once in a while, even if it’s low-end designer stuff. We never worry about making ends meet. And yet we’re not as happy as we thought we’d be with so much money! It still seems less, a whole lot lesser than what we thought it would be. There’s always another car, another piece of jewellery, another piece of land we covet and can’t have. How much more to buy the happiness we want, I wonder!
And then I think back to the times I waited to be here and I’m so thankful for not having been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, for not wanting the sky without knowing how much it’ll come for. And then I also remember, money can’t really buy happiness.
What’s your relationship with money?