Just Rs.50!

Hi Everyone,

Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction.  But this could be a true story for many parents who are constantly thinking of ways of coming in terms with their teenaged children. This could be my story as well in distant future.

My daughter Angel (we fondly call her by this name), 15, is a free spirited girl. She always seemed to be interested in dance even as a toddler and by the time she was 10 she decided for herself to be a Kathak dancer, it was her dream. Now she is on her way to materialise her dream.  As parents we always tried and still trying to protect her, give her values she could value for in life and most importantly respect her decisions. This was our promise to ourselves when this angel stepped into our lives.

Everything has been perfect so far in our lives.  But as they say it doesn’t take time for time to change.  Angel was always care free but now she is turning careless. And I could see it clearly.

One fine day she was talking to her friend over the phone and a note of Rs.50 slipped accidently from her pocket as she was trying to take out her wallet from her pocket.  She didn’t noticed it at first instance but after few seconds she did glanced at that note but preferred to continue her conversation.  I thought it might be something really important that she was discussing and I did my part and picked up that note and put it on the table.  When she finished I asked her was there anything serious she was discussing that she didn’t notice the note lying on the floor.  Pat her reply came ” Mom it was just Rs.50, even it remained there for the entire day no one would steal it. So why worry?”.  I was silent.  And from that day I saw Riya asking for money every now and then. It ranged from mobile recharges to pizza parties.  I was getting nervous (not suspicious) and spoke to my husband about my worries.  He has always been a better person when it comes to holding on one’s nerve.  He calmed me down and spoke to me about the peer pressure kids have nowadays.  Ultra modern gadgets, fast food chains and social media/  internet have made so many in roads in our lives and teenagers are the first ones to get attracted and fall prey to these illusions.  He asked me to speak to Angel and she would definitely understand.

In due course of our conversation he made me realize that illustrations work better rather than plain words to make our point clear and have a strong impact.  So I have decided to take Angel for a long drive to our hometown.

“Angel we are going to spend this weekend at grandma’s place.  We will go by road, I will drive and we are going to have loads of fun, what do you say?” I asked her.  She seemed to be hesitating  initially but soon ready to pack her bags.

Soon the awaited day arrived and we were off to our destination.  On the way I stopped in front of a medical store.  Angel asked me ” Mom are you okay?  Why you have stopped the car here, do you need something?”.  I quickly handed her some money and said ” Darling, in hurry I forgot to pick up my medicine for migrane, can you go to the counter and get it for me?”.  “Mom!” She exclaimed and she left and in few minutes she was back but without medicine.  On enquiring she told me that she is short of Rs.50 and the shopkeeper is not ready to give the medicine.  I asked again how much we are short of,  she irritatingly ( it was a hot day) said fifty and I reiterated Just Rs.50.  She was calm and asked for balance amount. ” I am sorry darling I am not carrying enough cash.  We can withdraw from a nearby ATM and can purchase it later.  Let’s go now.” As we drove off I asked her if it would have been a serious medical problem for someone and medicine was denied for the shortage of just Rs.50 how would you value that amount in terms of somebody’s life.  She was mum, trying to look out of the Car’s window.  Moving further we came across a beggar asking for alms.  I stopped a gave a fifty rupee note to him.  My daughter looked at me astonishingly and said “OMG, mom you gave him Rs.50?” I said no, Just 50, but how would you evaluate the value of this amount in the eyes of a person who slept empty stomach for two days?

A long silence followed till we reached our destination, and I have reached my goal and I could see it. To completely be sure I intentionally dropped a note but not Rs.50 this time it was Rs.10, and she was quick enough to pick that up handed over to me.  She said ” Mom now I understand the value of every single penny, these petty sums may not be of huge importance for more fortunate ones like us but they could mean a fortune to many.  Thank you mom for that important and well taught lesson.

In our fast paced lives prices of commodities are going up but values are going down.  Let’s try to hold on to them and pass them to our next generations.

Kalpana.

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