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Is Luxury Justified

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Kamalji, May 30, 2013.

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  1. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Is luxury Justified ?​

    DNA had this lovely article, called Giving away one end of the Candle. Read it here
    Giving Away One End of the Candle | Davetopia

    the blogger called Higgins says this “ is it immoral to spend some of yr earnings on yr own comfort , when many are dieing of poverty and starvation. When a cup of coffe at Barista, can feed a family for a day or more. Kindly read this article , pretty interesting and surely going to make yr grey cells tick.

    There are two kinds of people, one who were like Mahatma Gandhi, who lived with basic necessities, and helped others, who were lower than him financially. And there are the other lot, some who party a lot, some who buy bags worth a few lakhs, and there are many who have fancy cars, fancy homes and all that.

    The question here is, for the rich person living in luxury – is luxury justified ? You have a maid and other helpers say at home, who work for a pittinace, whose children may not go to schools, but your kids go to schools that cost a few lakhs in fees every year,the maid has a small house where 10 people sleep in one small room, with just a fan, and in yr home, u sleep in the Airconditioner. The question is, is it fair, and is it justified ? this is what the author is trying to ask the question.

    I thought this over tea, how unfair life is really,we have been given the same number of fingers and eyes and toes, but different fortunes and destiny. What about me, and what about my luxuries, went the thought. Well, as I am growing older, I am getting used to more luxuries, and loving it. I love AC in the night, cant sleep without it. I love the new Samsung Grand mobile which my brother gifted me last month ( God bless him), after nagging me to buy a better mobile than the nokia that I have, for which I wont even get 200 bucks now. And then he downloaded Whats Appl and now I send and receive jokes and clips, and life could not have been more wonderful.

    I too have a maid working at home, plus brother has many a staff working in the office. He sits in his AC cabin, and they in the fan, in the 40 degree heat. He has cold chilled water, and they the ordinary matka water. But both coexist well.

    Do I feel guilty about being well off, than the many others around me ? that the increase in the petrol price does not make me blink, nor the increase in the veggies and fruit prices, or the electricity bill? Nope, not at all.

    My justification for this line of thinking ? Well, here it goes.

    There was a time I was broke, but no one came to help me, and neither I was looking for charity, I lived within my means. So many rich friends, who were in the same line, never ever showed me the way to make more money, to educate me, but I don’t hold it against them really. Its OK.

    Then when the Goddess of Wealth was happy with me, I still stayed within my means, for it was magic that was happening, for I was the same hardworking chap, working same hours, now making a 100 times more than before, I was baffled. It rained money, exports being tax free then, and export incentives excellent, and profits on goods damn good, it was too good to be true.

    What would most have done in my shoes ? They would have decorated the home, with new paint and furniture, a new car, taken family abroad for holiday, a cruise etc, fancy clothes and watches, and jewellery etc. Well I did not of the above, just kept the money in the FD’s in nationalized banks, and had a thought that this is a mirage I am seeing, it may disappear soon, which turned out to be right, and it soon stopped after a few years.

    But by then , Goddess Lakshmi had watered the parched bank accounts of mine, and sure money went in, and it grew. And I did not spend it as it came, meant that money doubled in 6/7 years in the banks, and that interest was good enough for me to spend later.

    I allowed the chicken to lay eggs, I did not eat the chicken then and there. And I had the patience for the eggs to be hatched into chickens, and then they too laid their eggs. For every lakh that I saved and invested in the bank, after seven years I had the lakh back and a lakh as interest, so I spent the lakh of interest, I did not touch the original principal. Now the principal is intact I am enjoying the interest after taxes.

    When we worked then, at times we used to work Sundays, at times till midnight when the shipment was to be packed and sent the next day, it sure was hard work. And there was no overtime, for I was the boss. Wife also worked that hard with me.

    Now should I feel guilty about the luxuries I am enjoying , when many others are reeling under the inflation effect ? Nope. I am enjoying the prudence I showed when money came in, I saved it, and am just spending the interest that was earned over the years. I had a cancer operation, chemo, treatment,and that too cost a lot of money, but it was prudence that made it comfortable for me to get into a good hospital, paid thru my nose, and got well. I followed the saying, work like a donkey, live like a king !

    Like all of u, I too see poverty , and disease around me, and we do what we can to some that we know. But we cannot remove poverty totally. We see the problems of the poor, but are they ready to listen to the remedy of ours ? That is to stop producing more children, to work harder, to not have shame in work, like they will immediately say, this is not my job, if the boss just says, that the tea has spilled on the floor, pls mop it, this is the reply given. The boss has no choice but to do it himself.

    In my office, we have 3 toilets upstairs, two for staff and one for me and brother and bhabhi. The sweeper has disappeared for months now, the bathrooms are dirty, I clean my own bathroom, I get down on my knees and mop it up, and clean the kamot and the wash basin with soap, and it sparkles, it takes about 20 mins or so. But my staff , even though they use it, refuse to clean it, and want someone else to come and do it. They have their pride, u see.

    So I don’t feel sorry for them at all, nor feel guilty for my comforts. They will remain where they are, for they are ashamed of some types of work, for me, I am not ashamed, I will do anything, which others may consider demeaning, like cleaning of bathrooms, which abroad is fine, for u have no help, but in india , it is not done.

    The poverty and sickness is not my doing, I have not eaten anyone’s money, I have worked hard for my money, and slogged it out, and everyone who makes good decent honest money, knows the long hours and stress that goes with the job. So guys and gals , don’t feel bad or guilty, just have a ball, the money is all yours, u deserve the comfort of all that money that has come to u.

    Relax friends.

    KAMAL MAHTANI

    An attractive woman on a flight asked the priest sitting besides her “ Father may I ask a favor ?”
    Of course my child, what can I do for u ?
    Well I bought my mother an expensive hair dyer for her birthday. It is unopened but well over the customs limit and I am afraid they will confiscate it. Is there anyway u could carry it through the customs for me? Hide it under your robes for example ?
    I would love to help u, dear, but I must warn u, I will not lie.
    With your face, father, no one will question you !!!

    When they got to customs, she let the father go first.
    The customs official asked the father – “ Father , do u have anything to declare “?
    Father – From the top of my head till my waist, I have nothing to declare !
    The official thought this answer to be very strange, so asked – “And what do u have to declare from the waist down to the floor ?”
    Father – I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on women, but which, to date, is unused
    Roaring with laughter, the official said – Go ahead father, Next !!!!!!!!!



    Police knocked on the door of a woman and said “ please open the door, your husband has met with an accident, and he has become as think as a papad.
    Woman – if he is like a papad, why should I open the door, slide him from under the door !!!!!!



    A bus full of housewives fell in a gorge and all were killed.
    All the husbands were seen weeping for a week.
    One chap was seen weeping for a fortnight. When asked why, he said “ My wife missed the bus “ !!!!!



    A stranger knocks on a door , and a small boy comes out, the strangers asks for a glass of water.
    The boy says “ instead of water, will u drink Lassi ?
    Stranger – Then it is all the more better.
    The boy brought a huge mug of lassi, and the man being very thirsty , finished the whole jug.
    Stranger – Does no one drink lassi in this house ?
    Boy – yes we all drink lassi, but last night we noticed that a rat had fallen in the lassi and died, as we were about to throw away the lassi, u came along, so we offered to u !
    The stranger angrily threw down the glass on the floor , breaking the glass.
    The boy started to cry, and told the stranger – You broke the glass, now what will we take to the toilet to clean our backsides ?
    The stranger fainted !!!!!!!



    Arz kiya hai,

    Baithkar mehbooba ki bahomn mein as JOSH aaya,
    Biwi ne dekh liya, aur ICU mein HOSH aya !!!!!



    Do u know why the language we speak at home is called Mother’s Tongue, and not father Tongue ?

    Because fathers are not allowed to sepak at home !!!!!!



    A woman with two kids was marrying for the third time with a widower.
    While the pheras were taking place , the kid started to cry.
    Mother gets angry and tells the kid
    “ if u don’t stop crying, next time I will not call u to the wedding”
    Groom faints !!!!!!



    Classic Insult
    A boy posted a picture on Facebook, with him holding his pet dog
    His girlfriend commented “ Which one is u ?
    The boy replied “ The one holding you





    Since I cannot force them to clean their own toilet, I keep quiet. And then I don’t feel sorry for their everyday plight too, I just pay them what is due. And when they need advances for something, we just flatly refuse, for we too are not bound to do them favors are we?

    So I don’t look o ut of my ivory tower much, I mind my own business, I don’t go out of my may to help others, nor do I advise others much, for I have come to realize that people don’t want my advise, they want my money, and I am not keen to part with it. As someone told me recently, do u think u will take it with u to heaven/hell, and I just laughed, and said I will let the rats eat them, but I wont let u touch my money.

    And this article has made me resolved, that don’t fele guilty kamal, u deserve everybit of what u want, don’t bother about others, u have not cheated them, the government is there for them, giving them doles in the form of subsidies for gas, cheap wheat, etc.
     
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  2. GoogleGlass

    GoogleGlass IL Hall of Fame

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    Nice article & your views on it were realistic Kamalji.

    If we feel for the poor & disown the luxuries we enjoy then it's time we take sainthood.

    It doesn't mean we have to go overboard and enjoy all the luxuries. We make an earning to have a nice life for us & the family - so no harm in enjoying.

    A part of the income should go for charity - if we can do that that's great. This is reality.

    We are simple beings and not meant to turn a Budhdhaa, Gandhi, Teresa and shock the world - Kamalji turning into one all of a sudden would raise my hair and say the summer heat is high poor Kamalji couldn't bear with it and hence I need to take him to a psychologist. :)
     
  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    To an extent I do agree with you Kamalji. I have seen this with my own maid. It is not as if she does not earn enough. Between her and her husband they have enough to put away a decent nest egg. We tried very hard to tell her to put money in a bank or a post office and save money so she would have enough for her kid's education. She refused. She kept putting her money in some chit fund. That, as all chit funds go came to a sad end. But fortunately for her the people who run the chit fund had let out their house to her and that house was in an area which was under the control of a cooperative. So through them she managed to get the house but still she and her sisters managed to sell whatever they had and shelled out some total of 8.5 lakhs. Tell me Kamalji, if they don't have money, where does this money come from? And still they will come and cry a hard luck story and want huge amounts of advance every year for their children's fees, uniforms, books ......

    Not just that, they refuse to live within their means. Every occasion is one for grand scale, lavish celebrations. Last year they went to the village and had a huge function in a big hall (like a wedding) when the daughter came of age. They have a house in the village too which is rented out. Still they need money to go to the village. Which means I should not cut from the advance, give some money for expenses, give a gift for the girl, frequent leave ...... and then at the end of it she behaves as if she does me a favour. I am seriously losing any sympathy for her. All their so-called "poverty" is just a facade.
     
  4. gopalan1937

    gopalan1937 Silver IL'ite

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    Kamaljee,
    Nice writing. You are echoing my thoughts
    Gopalan
     
  5. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear kamalji,

    A good one.

    How does a middle class honest person have a money nest(leave out sinking rich by corruption or black money or by any unfair means)? By being thrifty and by living within means. If after some years when his finances are comfortable what is wrong in having some luxuries for himself/herself. I don' think it is wrong to have an A.C or car or anything he wants. it is the fruit of his hard work. Helping others...some discretion should be used. if they are working for us we pay them according to the agreed salary. They should plan their finances according to the income they get. Our maid got her daughter married at the age of 13. We tried to convince her to educate her, let her stand on her feet and then think of marriage.(we even offered to pay for the fees and books) She did not listen. By the time that girl she was 17 she was the mother of two kids, spending for formalities...we are not responsible for it.
    A part of our income is bracketed for charity...we would give where we feel that money would be properly utilised. Because it is my money I think I have the right to spend the way I like, give where I like.

    Syamala
     
  6. kelly1966

    kelly1966 Platinum IL'ite

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    Kamalji..
    read your reference article too.. I strongly believe that charity starts at home.. and I've seen more often that we give our maids advances they become more extravagant(like satchi said).. but we continue to do so as we feel or else they will fall into a debt trap with the money lenders...
    I don't feel guilty for spending MY OWN HARD EARNED MONEY on myself or family.. but as I know the effort that goes into earning it and hence will never spend it frivolously..
    strongly believe in jitnee chaadar uthanhi per failanaa chaahiye...
    kerman
     
  7. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Like the others here, I too am totally with you, kamalji. Enjoy yourself, you deserve to.:)

    me thinks as long as we do NOT beg borrow or steal or make money by illegal/unlawful means (oh my, list is quite huge, I see hahahah ) We have every right to enjoy our money. but some people are really very poor so it is good if we contribute to charity a certain percentage of income. again there is nothing as disappointing as our money going out for a wrong cause or an undeserving case so the ideal scenario would be to make money, enjoy it without guilt and help a truly deserving case to come up in life too. (Hmm my family has long given up on me calling me an idealist :hide:)
     
  8. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Kamalji,

    the honest truth is these words rich/poor etc are so unique and relative. If it is one's own hard earned money, I do not think one should feel guilty of spending it. Every one comes with their share of good and bad and it is not wise to compare. What seem like luxuries might look like ordinary things for the rich of the world and viceversa. Of course I don't have to tell all this. We all know it. All we can do is do our best, be our best and live our lives the best possible way in every sense of the word.

    Enjoyed the snippet as always Kamalji!
     
  9. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear GG,

    Yes correct, we are not made out to be saints.HAHA.Even Mother Teressa needed to fly first class, so i hear, and that is donation money, so why not enjoy with our own hard earned after tax money eh !Carity if we can do fine, if not , its ok.

    HAHA. Dont worry, even god cannot change me, he will go mad with me.HAHA

    Regards

    kamal


     
  10. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Satchi,

    Their lands in their home towns are worth a fortiune these days, and they have bighas now, meaning a bigha is some 3000 yards, that is 30,000 sq feet. These maids etc they borrow, they splurge on festivals, and then when the time comes to get it cut from their salaries, they start misbehaving.As u said it is a facade, and they want to live above their means.

    i have already lost sympathy for them, i live in my world, i pay them their salary, simple and nothing beyond.They just dont deserve our grace.

    Regards

    kamal


     
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