Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Money Matters

Welcome to the first rant in a long time. This isn't a post. This isn't a short story. It's a full blown rant about something I've been thinking about for a while now.Let me explain.

Tonight I went to the Leeds student union for their Give-it-a-go session on Iaido. For those of you who are unaware, it is a Japanese martial art, where the sword is unsheathed and sheathed again after a number of graceful and masterful swings. The martial artist fights an imaginary opponent,all the while being acutely aware of his surroundings. I was blown away by the sheer mastery and liquidity of the movements, each one subtly giving way into the next. I wanted to sign up for training. I was told that the annual membership fee was 10 pounds. I was overjoyed.

Then God or whoever the hell is up there(an oxymoron?) realizes that some poor dope has taken the bait. Time to reel the sucker in. I'm informed that the iaido obi and the wooden kendo like sword set me back 50 pounds. I'm thinking that's fine, a tad expensive, but alright,if that's what it takes. Then He/Fate decides it's about time the damn fish stopped squirming and down comes the ceremonial fish bonking hammer. It's 50 quid to get a membership for the sports hall in the University where the events take place. So lets see...10 and 50 and 50. That's 110 quid with another 20 or 30 for misc charges and I'm out nearly 150 quid. I couldn't afford it.That's when I realized.

I couldn't afford it.

I had the interest,I could with some hard work and time management,spare the time,but yet I'm denied the pleasure of doing something I fancy simply because I can't afford it. And that's not fair. Other examples which I'm sure my friends in foreign countries can understand:
• Looking for the least expensive item in the aisle at the supermarket.
• Putting off shopping or stock piling foodstuffs to avoid shopping.
• Purchasing stationery,detergents,clothes,rice and masalas from India.
• Kicking your rear end for your inability to spend 32 quid on a pair of Reeboks or 15 quid on a pair of Everlast gear even after a whopping 70% discount.
• Resorting to the dollar/pound store to buy your stuff.
• Walking to University cause you spend 275 rupees on bus fare daily. Or forced to get a bus pass since your residence is too far away.
• Can't get a goddamn pizza or a chicken sandwich or order takeout on a rough night cause the cheapest thing on the menu is 4 quid and the bastards don't deliver unless the order is for a minimum of 6 quid.
• I FINALLY found a DeathNote T-shirt, a shop that sells Shonen Jump Magazine and Bleach merchandise. It's 16 quid for the T-Shirt, 6 quid for the mag and 10 for the Bleach stuff. God is loving kicking me in the teeth.
It's times like these when you really wish that our Indian economy did a whole lot better. At 81 rupees to a pound,I'm getting an arrhythmia every time I go shopping or start gasping at train fares to Manchester. At times like this I wish that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and wish I could cold heartedly look at a peasant and tell him to eat cake.
60 odd years of independence and we still aren't doing good for ourselves. A land of a billion( that cliched term again), a majority of it illiterate, steeped in poverty and the rest of them a bunch of plain morons with more money than common sense. You know who I'm talking about. The politicians, the educators of this country. I have graduated from India's number one private university and what has it taught me? Wear my ID card at all times(even if I'm taking a piss) , that it's ok to plagiarize, that 75% attendance is just a crock and that the GPA never really matters at the end of it all. And people wonder why people take loans and go abroad to study.
We all have difficult circumstances; my mother has an autoimmune disorder and can't work and my dad is doing his best to give his only son a fair education. And for that I am ever so thankful. But at times I just wished that life would have been better. Not that I am dissatisfied with the life I had thus far. But a person can only take so much before breaking. I am at the end of my rope.

I just wish that I could trade my writing skills for a truckload of cash. I could finally buy stuff without feeling guilty.


Avi said...

Hey machan.. I can't comment on most of ur post. But about the last line. U know u can actually trade ur writing skills for a truckload of cash.. Well, provided we are talking about those small Hot-wheels trucks. But jokes apart, u could actually take up doing some content writing on the side. Look it up..

prateekmathur said...

well...lack of money hurts for sure...one of the major areas it hurts is the call rate to india..!! i mean if u cant afford to talk to ur friends and family...it hurts real bad man...but i guess we were all prepared for it...and it is a phase that would pass by time....

vigneshjvn said...

I sympathise with you, but it just isn't possible to accept spending in pounds/dollars/euros when you aren't earning in any of them, is it?
Speaking of His being in hell, it seems they aren't too far apart: Jyotishko Ray elucidates why.

Ashwin said...

guess UK is making a major cynic out of u. don't complain so much really. personally, i find india bashing highly irritating. but i shall stop right there. u have ur reasons. i wish u all the luck needed for survival. :|