I was never designed to understand inflation. Seriously. Yes, the theoretical part is all fine and makes sense. But something has been hardcoded in my DNA, that doesnt accept inflation. When my granddad was alive, the whole family would attend some kalyaanam or kaadhukuthu, fully kattify and give 51 bucks as the moi. 51 bucks, that’s it. No fancy gifts. No gift cheques. And people seemed happy with it. Even if they weren’t nobody complained. But today, 51 bucks is downright cheap. Even travelling to such an event costs more than that. Still, somewhere in my brain an utterly stupid question keeps popping up ‘what the hell is wrong with 51 bucks? your presence is more important than what you give…’ and so on.
Just as inflation is alien to me, so is the amount of money people make these days. I had never dreamed realistically(yes, there are realistic dreams like bathing in a bath tub and just plain dreams like ‘I wanna be an astronaut.. yippee’) of making what i make today, but here’s the surprise, what I make today is just about the money many people spend in KFC or McDonalds or Barista. I think these are the people who will frown when you give 51 bucks at some function they are hosting. No this is not just some rich guy poor guy divide talk. It is partially that, but its more to do with how reckless we are with money.
Yesterday, there was a discussion about the pros and cons of the iPhone in internal blogs at my workplace. There was an anonymous comment speaking for the iPhone which went like ‘Paying 36100 bucks for the iPhone was worth every penny..’ or something like that. That was where I stopped reading. I know this amounts to not just the phone, but also the plan and so on.. blah blah blah et cetara et cetara. But still that was about one and a half times the money my family made not so long ago(4 years ago to be exact) ‘annually’, that money fed a family of 4 for 18 freaking months. And today, it is the money well spent on a freaking phone. I am not immune to such nauseous spending, back in college I made an unreasonable demand for a PC to my dad, who finally gave in to my cajoling/threats and wasted 26k. Today, i realise it was a major chunk of his life time savings. What a nasty little wart I was.. I still am. After starting to work, I spent 10k on my sony ericson phone. But sometimes, obnoxious statements like the ‘36100 bucks’ reminds you of the past, hits you with the sense of how much indiscreet we have become with money. Tomorrow, if I were to hit some jackpot, remind me of this post and ask me what I am doing with all the money. And if I were to make such obnoxious statements, I hereby give you the right to smack right across my face.