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When money does not count.

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This morning splashed across the pages of one of the National papers was the picture of a multi millionaire and his flamboyant lifestyle. The article mentioned how he had a fleet of mighty machines that included names like Triumph Rocket III, Harley Davidson, MV Augusta, A Carrera Porsche, Audi and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti apart from a few BMWs. The Media always highlights the lives of the ‘Rich and famous’, there being shows on television entirely devoted to prying into their lives.

It sets me thinking. Why are we wealth obsessed as a Society? Does more money equal more happiness? Right from our childhood we are brainwashed into believing that success is equal to wealth. When the management graduates finish their courses at the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) the media screams about starting salaries that run into crores of rupees. The ultimate Indian middle class dream for their children, seems to be to get into an IIT—IIM that will ensure that ‘their lives are made’. The competition is intense (Each year more than 3 lakh of students compete with each other for about 3980 seats for the IIT Joint entrance exam and kids are pushed into preparing for it right from 9th grade.) Those who make it into these Institutes are the ‘Elite’ and the others are ‘Lesser mortals’.


Fast forward 20 years. Most of the young trainees are now ‘successful’ head honchos in large corporate houses, or have set up their own ventures and doing really well.(Doing well again being judged by the money that you make) Most of their lives revolve around work. Most of them have kids but no time to watch them grow. Travel is a part of the job, and most of the executives spend at least 15-20 days away from home, attending meetings in different countries. If the wives too are working, then the children are sent to crèches (really good crèches that provide a ‘homely atmosphere’ they proclaim.) or an army of maids take care of them. The parents justify it saying they are spending ‘quality time’ on weekends. (Personally I think ‘Quality time’ is a myth. The child when spotting a butterfly sipping nectar or a rainbow wants to share the moment right then. Later, when the parents are available, it is not important anymore.)

Most of the people in the high positions are lost without their work identity. Their work defines them. “I am Verma. I head Finance at XYZ Bank.” is how most introduce themselves. They forget who they really are. They have forgotten their hobbies long back. (If they play a sport, it is usually Golf or Squash—upwardly mobile, you see) They lead busy lives, network are seen at the right places at the right times and are ‘successful’.


At least 6 couples I know lead the above mentioned life and I know for a fact that out of the six, four of their wives cheat on them.(Who knows what the husbands must be doing—I only know about the wives and luckily none of them read my blog.) It is sad to see the way they have drifted apart—two people who were once in love, and dreamt of happily ever after, now living as strangers under the same roof, in the guise of being husband and wife. I had recently written an article for a National magazine and had interviewed a family counselor and a life skills coach who has more than 15 years of experience in the field. What he said left an impact on my mind—“There is only one main reason why families break down and that is lack of communication.” And then again when he said “In the 21st century the biggest epidemic is going to be loneliness and the only vaccination is a strong family bond.”


No matter how much money you make, nothing can replace the loving relationship you share with your spouse. Your children (and your spouse) will love you far more and you will have a meaningful relationship only if you spend that all important commodity—TIME WITH THEM. What is the use of all the fancy vacations and designer labels if you cannot connect with your family?

A good friend (who incidentally happens to be an IIT-IIM product) sent me this video that he really liked---and I loved it too.

Watch it—and tell me what you feel.( and hope you have a GREAT weekend--spending time with the ones you love!)



NOTE: This post DOES NOT draw any corelation between educational qualification and cheating.The point I am trying to make is that in pursuit of Wealth, we are spending less and less time with our families which lead to unhappy homes.

Comments

  1. loved the post!

    i m doing my engg nw n both my parents r working.. whn i was in my school tht is until my class 5, i dont remember a single day tht v spent as a family. though it changed over time, as i started to have a say in their issues.. though i think smetimes parents smetimes cannot become an equal with their kids which smetimes is necessary.. bt tht is jst one of the issues.. u'r post.. i cant dare imagine the future! once again.. it's gr8!

    ReplyDelete
  2. haahahah I loved that video!! It's so catchy and funny! I loved his expression when he was 'non-profit'. lol

    Your cheating-sample is a scary one. Very scary.

    I have a practical example of how money has taken over. Ten years ago when I was in school, signs of wealth to me were when my classmates' Mums would come and pick them up at 4 o´clock. My parents worked til later and they never picked me up.
    Nowadays, I have younger cousins at school and the trend is that the maids pick them up, not the parents. Now maids are chic - what the hell?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Matangi: Thanks for stopping by--and thanks for the compliments! I dont know what the future holds--all i know is that committed effort is required to keep a family intact.

    Devil Mood:Oh yes--earlier Moms would take their smaller kids to the parks.But now they are all with the maids.(When my kids were smaller I used to take them always and I'd be lost in a sea of maids.the kids would be busy playing!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. i luved the video.. i even added it in my favorites!

    u really have a point there.
    but u see.. no family is happy unless some dreams get materialized too.

    Wealth does have a role in our lives nd a BIG one.

    time is required.. but one cant just forget the need of money.

    Right from childhood.. whatever we do is fr wealth/money.

    Why do we study?
    no one likes to study.. no likes to lock him/herself up in a room fr 2 yrs to get into IIT just for the heck of it.

    They need a frikkn career nd a salary package that makes em look better.
    so that their neighbor doesnt own a bigger car than them.

    So that their parents can go out nd flaunt their kids' ID cards!

    IF its not always about money, then its not always about time too :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes. I for one am never going to be a 'hard worker' I just want to get enough to come back home and enjoy myself.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Unfortunately, PS, it seems that a person's value these days is measured by one of three things:

    1. the type of work you do,

    2. the amount of personal wealth and 'things' that you have, and/or

    3. whether you fit a ridiculously hard-to-achieve body image.

    Being measured by one's goodness and kind attitude towards others seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.

    It's a sad world we live in at times - one can only hope that it gets better in years to come...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very true. Money does not buy happiness. Not only that, but it causes rifts amongst loved ones.

    I have had rich friends who carefully chose boyfriends who were equally rich if not richer, and married them. Apparently, now they are not happy. They have all the luxuries...maids, drivers, cars, chefs, but no one to to spend time with because their husbands are busy trying to maintain that status in society.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so true P.S.
    Dinner time and meal times need to be spent with our children as well, if we are to have any impact on their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  9. as i plan to start work in the next couple of days, these are thoughts that are already in my mind. its not that we dont think about it, we do but if we are not careful, things go for the worse.
    we just have to ensure, we dont get carried away

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  10. This has always been on my most argued topics
    "Quality time" I have still never been able to understand the reasoning i've got frmo many who like you said...spend that few hours with the kids.
    Wholly agree on this wealth influence issue.
    As kids, we never heard words like rich, money, etc from our parents. They let us be kids and they saw that they gave us the most important thing we needed at that time..." A patient ear, and lovely memories..."

    Hopefully one day there will be a balance in the equation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi PS! Loved your post and the video.

    I worry about the direction the world is going in, too... I worry for my kids sake. Normal is sooo unhealthy in so many ways right now.

    And it's not just about the money. Around here, it's all about the popular culture and what is considered "in"... parents get sucked into it as much as kids do. (And I hear about tons of people -- men and women -- cheating around here, too.)

    It really stresses me out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what u said is really true..unfortunately my parents are not like that [my father even now after joining mbbs coaxes me about my studies and all:)]...last 10s of first 1min of that video is really funny!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey PS,

    "There is only one main reason why families break down and that is lack of communication.” And, to think that we have so many different modes of communication now than ever before!!!

    Cheers,
    PK

    ReplyDelete
  14. good incisive post...

    most of us as parents make this mistake of assuming that if we provide all the things that we couldn't enjoy during our childhood then they are much better taken care of than we were.

    and then we justify our crazy work schedules by thinking that we are doing all this to provide them a secure future.

    the only person getting fooled in this is we ourselves.

    and as for cheating in marriages... i read an interesting comment recently which said that 'why is it that most couples who have gone through love marriages recommend arranged marriage'?

    i have this theory that cheating is more rampant in 'love marriages' than in arranged marriages. maybe somebody should do a survey and find out if this is true.

    but if you ask me most of the cheating happens because of the lack of time & attention that both spouses give to and get from each other. getting this attention from someone outside makes them feel good and worthy again!

    don't you think so?

    p.s. i think spirituality also goes a long way in strengthening family ties.

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  15. A very thought-provoking blog Ps. and scary too. In trying to provide our kids a better future we are ignoring their present.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm so thankful to my mom now for not working when I was in school. U know why? Coz its fun listening to all the kiddy tales now :-):-)

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  17. Nice Post Ps. .

    Unfortunatley there is a strong belief that success is related with money, People feel that if they have a flamboyant life style, luxury sedans, beautiful bungalows then they are rich. The sad part is are we rich inside?.

    It is very sad to see people looking for hi-fi old age homes for their parents. What is the fun of making more money? when you dont have time for your dear and near ones.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm not sure if there is one simple answer for why we aren't doing as well as families as we used to. Of course, you're right about today's excessive focus on the material things ... but on dual working familiaes, being a working mother myself, I know that feeding my own needs as an individual are eseential to my well being - pursuing my career tops that list ... and the best thing I will pass on to my kids are coming from that well contented place in my mind.

    But there are pitfalls as well ... so ... no one simple answer ...

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  19. I really dont know how I would turn out to be. But, I do want to spend time with my kids...well, in my profession .....I dont know what to say PS, really dont know. Money is necessry too. But how much is adequate is debateable. I can say Rs.X/- is enough, I wont slog more, but my spouse may want more or even say that a bit lesser would do. Comming from a family where we were like the 3 musketeers, I wish, plan and hope to give the same to my kids. Moreover I love kids.

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  20. totally agree with you 110%...

    when i moved to Delhi, 14 yrs back, i was taken aback by the first question new acquaintances would ask you "where are you staying?". If you stayed in south delhi (read posh)...you were somebody worth knowing...then we come to which part of S delhi....!!!

    good post...and very relevant to the times we live in...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thinking aloud: We do think exactly alike!This divide is very much there in Mumbai too.Worli,Peddar road,Churchgate etc= Posh. The farther away from these areas and the 'posh ness quotient' goes down.

    Arvind: "how much is enough?" is the all important question here.

    Madhumita: To each his own i guess.Mine was just a personal opinion.

    Fruitu:I agree with you so much.That is my philosophy too.

    Shruti: my kids are thankful too that most of the times I am home when they return!

    Nancy: Don't know--makes me think as to how one can improve family relations and balance work.Its a kind of catch 22.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Guru: I agree with you 100% that cheating happens because the partners do not get time and attention from each other.Sometimes boredom sets in when they get caught in the routines of life.They HAVE to make an effort to keep their marriage fresh.I dont know about the love marriage versus arranged marriage bit.Maybe it is because the people who have love marriages are a bit more unconventional(as they go against tradition) in the first place?

    Palsworld:Ironically it is these very devices (like black berry and mobile) that keep you chained to your work even when you are at home.

    Brocasarea: :-)I didnt know you were pusuing MBBS> Gald u liked the video.

    Sue: Somehow it bothers me too..This crazy race and comparison.More wealth does NOT mean more happiness.

    Prats: I guess each of them have thier reasons for doing what they do.Personally I agree with you.

    Vinni: Good luck--and I guess the main thinbg is where to draw a line.

    Gillian:I agree with you 100% about dinner time! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Solitaire: you made a very relevant point there about money causing rift among loved ones.Ambani brothers is a case in point!

    Scotty: So true about what we are judged by.Things like kindness, honesty, consideration, generosity etc does indeed seem to be fast vanishing.

    Freelance Guru:That makes two of us!!

    Cupid's pal:Glad you liked the video.I am not saying money is not needed at all.All i am saying is relationships are deteriorating by vitue of 'being too busy'--(Doing what?Pursuing career which in many cases amounts to making more money--either for yourself or for the organsiation)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ps You are very wise. As the mother of grown up children, I can attest. Your children are with you for only such a short time...it seems to me that you should put your life on hold to focus on them while they are with you. When they are grown, you will have plenty of time to pursue your own dreams. If your dreams are so important to you that you cannot put them on the back burner while you have children, then perhaps one should think about not having children at all.

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  25. @ wrote unfortunately there instead of unfortunately!!:)..

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  26. sorry typed unfortunately there instead of fortunately!:)

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  27. Hi PS,

    When you say money can’t replace love, one cannot agree with you more. Unfortunately, our priorities are often based on monetary considerations alone. To a certain extent, I guess one could safely say that there is also an obsession to do everything just for display rather than out of interest.

    I don’t suppose anyone should denigrate the importance of money in our lives, but why should one let expenditure rise to meet the income? And what is the point in buying a top class sports car for your wife only to discover later that she has eloped with some ‘Conrad’ in the same car, while you were busy with your business in Singapore or Australia? Living has become expensive while lives have gone cheaper!


    I am an IT engineer by qualification, and I live and work in Cochin. My friends often ask me why I have chosen to stay back and work in Cochin while I can easily explore my opportunities abroad or outside Cochin, and I just smile back and tell them that their priorities doesn't coincide with mine. Its a different matter that many of them who had opted to take their flight abroad in sole pursuit of a better career ended up converting each day into an endurance test. People tend to chase more money either by choice or compulsion. If compulsion is the reason, there is nothing one can do except commiserate and if it is by choice, we could try and show them what they are missing in not extracting the maximum joy in life by spending more time with your dear ones as much as you can accord.

    At the end of the day, why go for a lonely drive in a Ferrari when you can happily go for a drive in an Ambassador Classic with your family .. thereby vaccinating against the “biggest epidemic” your friend mentioned!

    Enjoyed reading your post. And hope you’re having a great weekend :-)

    -Balu

    ReplyDelete
  28. I enjoy reading your blog! :)
    Thanks for this....

    ReplyDelete
  29. That video is pretty funny. The post smarts a bit, though, since my husband lost his job this week. We thought perhaps we were safe because he works in the finance industry, and rich people always need people to move their money around. But, alas, we were "re-structured". Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy out a lot of unhappiness. Anyways, hoping I'll get some portraits commissioned soon.

    I also liked your post about being mistaken for younger. I would never, ever get mad at that! I have been mistaken for the "babysitter" at times!

    ReplyDelete
  30. very good post, i always think abt this issue...and from my life i hav understood that education is top places and money make people respect or watever....
    i have gone through the experiance of people always asking wat profession, from whic univ, how much do i make and so on...after ansers i can c expressions too...recently, an uncle in my family made a list of the doctors and engineers in my family and also made a list fo who will be docs ;)...humm and ya me the proud media person is under the category "other"..well its his luck that i dint bash his face in...i really dont undertsand the way people r now....but everyday proves that u have to hav enough wealth to sulvive in this stupid world....

    ReplyDelete
  31. A good mesasage there..I loved the video..reminded me in some way of the old Monty Python song about being a chartered Accountant.

    Money can't buy you friends..but it'll get you a better class of enemy ..

    What am I going on about..I've never had 'money' and not likely to..I'm an artist!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Niall: Best things in Life are always free and cannot be bought by money--our friendship for instance.

    Enigma;it is only in India that i have found that people think its perfectly kay to ask personal questions and are puzzled when you are irritated or do not respond.

    Julie: Have replied to you at your blog!Yes--the video was good!

    Nootka: Glad you did.Thanks for stopping by!

    Balu:If someone decides to run away with conrad they should seriusoly have a brain replacement surgery! :-)And you are so right when you say that priorities are different for different people.

    Brocasarea:Figured out you did--but then thought maybe you dont like your dad asking you to study!

    Debby:You expressed my views exactly--only better! It feels as if you have taken the words from my mouth and written them here! I agree so much with what you said about spending time with children, if you have decided to have them.

    ReplyDelete
  33. all that has been said is true,
    and i agree with you!!

    You seem an intelligent individual. what do you do in life? other than being a mum of two?

    hee hee im not flirting, i aint of age anywhere near to you! its just respect!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Money can buy happiness!! But I think there should be a balance between money and family.

    Great video. Damn it feels good to be a software engineer :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. A very thought provoking post. Thanks Ps.

    ReplyDelete
  36. 'Triumph Rocket III, Harley Davidson, MV Augusta, A Carrera Porsche, Audi and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti' man - do he needs some one to take care of his garage?
    :-D
    The vid is hilarious -- it feels so good to be a man, I say :-D moeny is neeed, but it is not every thing. (if it was not so, i wouldnt have been sitting here now)
    The biggest problem between the couples now a days is lack of communication. i have personally seen the efffects of it. When life becomes too fast paced, people forgt to live...

    Ps: izt not Triumph Pocket III, but Triumph Rocket III

    ReplyDelete
  37. xh: oops--Yes--It is Triumph Rocket 3!I'm dreaming too much of pocket bikes I suppose!If you are interested I an send you that article.You can approach hinm for job!

    SweetstickY: you are sweet!

    Jumpa:To an extent it can, but after that it feels empty.Trust me.

    Nextdoor guy: :-) See my blogger profile--ahve mentioned in detail what I do!And thanks for the 'respect'!!Oh--and how do you know my age?!!:-)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Very good post indeed and definitely makes one think. We do need money to live our life but money is certainly not the only thing.
    PS: Video was super !

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dividing time between family n career..is a constant battle in my head! I envy u...u seem to be so clear about wat u want(i wonder how!)..were u alwez like this or did u go thru the tough period when u had to make the decisions?i'm so confused ,while we are busy trying to make some big life-changing decisions. U probably know wat im talkg abt.. Sigh! Did i already mention I envy u?

    n i dont have evil eyes..pls don't get me wrong. God Bless u n ur family!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jumpa: Since you liked the video a lot I thought I'd tell my friend that you appreciated his sense of humour.(I loved your 'Title illa' post too and shared it with him!) :-)
    You can find him here

    ReplyDelete
  41. Pavi: I too went through a tough time choosing--but I am really happy with my choices now.I work at my own pace--do ONLY what I WANT to do--Really happy about that.

    Chitra: :-)Told my friend that many appreciated it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. i agree with you 101% and dats why i always make sure that my personal life comes ahead of my professional life!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sam: Nice wise Sam! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Just got time to see this video...its simply hilarious! lol!

    ReplyDelete
  45. hi,
    thanks for your comments on my blog. i haven't been here since quite some time and i feel like kicking myself. i must also show this post to my wife who's favourite line is the one that you wrote: "...must give kids (y)our time!" She'll be kicked to see/read that there is another person just like her too!
    Cheers,
    ravi

    ReplyDelete
  46. hi,
    thanks for your comments on my blog. i haven't been here since quite some time and i feel like kicking myself. i must also show this post to my wife who's favourite line is the one that you wrote: "...must give kids (y)our time!" She'll be kicked to see/read that there is another person just like her too!
    Cheers,
    ravi

    ReplyDelete
  47. a 25 year old at the start of a career that could very well lead to all that you mentioned in your post writes,
    its so easy for most people 2 b good at work and c tangible results
    its being a whole person that we have absolutely no training, no conditioning and essentially no motivation for
    most "successful" people realise late in their careers that their success was more a result of common sense and trusting their instincts
    if only we would realise that its the same mantra for our personal lives
    it does not take a four year degree or two year diploma to understand that a business is built by good people
    much the same way, it does not take a "self-healing" course to understand that a happy family starts with happy people

    hopefully not too motherhood and apple-pie
    spoken more out of observation than experience, please feel free to correct

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi,

    I think the structure of our soceity( meagre resources and population) is such that IIT-IIM is indeed a passport to a greener life. People evolve over time and there is no guarantee that they would still be in love with their spouse even if they curtailed their keep up with the Jones's lifestyle. Atleast now they have a good material life. I remember a movie dialogue that goes "Affection is desirable but money is indespensible".

    Marriage should be seen like a exotic derivative where payouts/rewards that are sought by the parties involved may not be inline with what we expect. So people must realise that life is a zero sum reward game and make their decisions accordingly and be prepared for the consequences. Tht is the best anyone can hope for.

    SK.

    PS: Good blog. Great drawing/painting talent

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm glad my mum chose to b a homemaker n ws always there for us when we got back frm school...quality family time these days is difficult but not impossible...but ppl are money-crazy n not everybody can see ur point...

    ReplyDelete

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