- At one point, I used to read only the travel blogs on my Reader. I used to be inspired by pictures of vineyards and blue beaches and fall colours, and start researching potential holiday locations on Tripadvisor. Now, I skip ahead when I come to these blogs, knowing that I won’t be off on any big holidays in the near future
- I used to click on every Facebook ad or mobile notification advertising a sale of clothes or accessories or cosmetics, and spend a few hours browsing tempting pictures. Nowadays, I don’t bother to click, because even the temptation, the possibility of a purchase is something I cannot afford
- Someone in the office-a young chap straight out of college, actually- looked at my phone the other day and asked (in the nicest possible way) why I have such a dabba phone. I own an Asus Zenphone that cost me under 5K. I didn’t really answer the question-there’s so much to say, and yet, so little
- When I look back on the kind of money that SR and I had spent on luxury stays and spas in the first 2 years of our marriage, I marvel. Those sums that were spent so thoughtlessly in those days, seem huge now.
- When a relative presses a Rs.1000 note into my hand for Onam or Diwali or a birthday or an anniversary, I no longer refuse. Secretly, I am pleased, although I make token protests
- When a colleague told me about an austerity measure she was taking-dropping the idea of a Rs.15 lakh membership to a Club, I nearly laughed out loud. But I didn’t. I just nodded wisely, and told her that in another year, she would be able to do it without worrying about the sum
- I don’t visit supermarkets anymore because I may end up overshopping- instead, I make a list and order online on Bigbasket.
When I read what I have written so far, I get the feeling that it sounds like I am hinting at financial difficulties. Frankly, there are none. The wolves aren’t at the door. We are not out on the street.
But like Pachalam Bhasi tells Rajappan in Udayananu Tharam, “Oru cinema kude pottiyal theernnu pokanulla kaashe ippol Rajappante kayilullu…” That roughly translates to: the money you have today will get over if one more of your movies flop.
That’s pretty much the situation right now, and some austerity measures seem advisable. I can live without holidays abroad and new clothes every 2 months. I can live without premium club memberships. However, I cannot stay away from eating out. Or stop buying food and chews for my dogs. Or live without internet and a library membership. So, I am choosing my battles.
I spend a lot more time indoors, watching TV, playing board games with SR, reading library books, reading online about the Middle ages, watching B & B play… it is true what they say-some of life’s greatest pleasures are free.