How to pay the credit card bill next month? How do I get that promotion? How can I afford that house? How to patch up with my manager? Where should I travel with my partner? We are all plagued with these kind of questions every day. We all worry about bills, success, future – a level where we are concerned with day to day living, about gaining material goods, about social status, about mending or forging relationships, about day to day existence, about finding happiness & comfort. This is one plane of our existence. But, we do think a lot more than these materialistic questions; we ask a lot of existential questions too – who am I? why do I get up in the morning? why should I do what I do? why is there so much suffering in life? is comfort & luxury the ultimate goal of life? or is it god? if he/she/it is, then why god? What is truth? Why truth? How can I help others out of pain, etc. another level, which according to me is the second plane.
Why me? in the whole world to talk about money? Simple – because I’ve driven myself to financial hell. I am the best bad example you can parade around. The guy you should not emulate. Over the last 4/5 years when I actually started to sober up and see through my expenses, I understood money management is not just about where to invest, but a lot about our personalities. What money means to each of us is different and subsequently the way we use it. So, it is important to understand ourselves and our inadequacies to understand why we spend in the way we spend. I’ve noticed how people around me spend money and tried to understand why they spend so trying to label them for fun. The list is limited (with no intention of hurting anyone) and not exhaustive. But, I’m sure we may recognize ourselves, our partners, families & friends in this.
What we believe-in, what we are, what we do, what we love, what we feel when we are alone form our character. However, for various reason, we may not showcase our likes/dislikes before others. Our desire to fit-in, to gel well, to be accepted by others pushes us to feign interest in stuff we don’t like or hate what we like – often projecting a different persona by wearing a mask over our true character and show others a different ‘us’ altogether. But, the less the gap between our personality and character, the less we have to lie & deceive and the more at peace and less in conflict with ourselves. The more the gap, the more the chances for a split personality disorder (pun intended). But, the fact remains that we all have a character and personality and sometimes, they are at odd with each other.
An unfortunate acquaintance without realising my penchant for books, and that I can go on and on about them asked me a few questions about my habit. Here is how the interview went.
Q: When & how did you start reading?
A: I always loved good stories, thanks to my grandfather. And, ’was lucky enough to get a few comics from my cousin and books from my uncle as hand-me-downs. When free at home mostly because of the different holiday schedule (in school) than the rest, I ended up with books to kill time, but, very soon realised they were really good company. Sometimes more interesting than the people in my life.
I was walking to and fro in the hall, waiting for the heavy lunch to digest. It was a great lunch with family and friends when suddenly the gate rattled, ’saw a postman putting something in the letterbox and go. Ah, another bill to pay I thought and went to fetch it. To my surprise, it was a letter addressed to me. Really? I got a letter? That was strange, I didn’t have many friends and the ones I know are all in Hyderabad with cellphones, who would’ve posted a letter then? I opened it hastily to see it was sent by my friend who was giggling right beside me. That was a surprise. It was only a week earlier, when I shared my love for letters with them. Why did I like hand written letters so much? What was so romantic about them anyway? Is it the clichéd idea of a lone person sitting on a desk, writing on a parchment with a quill, sometimes smiling to himself, sometimes in deep thought, that never failed to raise goosebumps? Could be (yea, I know I belong to a different era). Last week, I walked into a local bookstore and stopped by the stationery aisle to check for letter-pads (out of curiosity), and found a few handmade paper letter-pads & envelopes which looked too sterile and sanitised to use. None had the charm, warmth, playfulness of the papers I once knew. These, simply didn’t invite a person to write