JAVEID HASAN MALIK
There is no better temporary delight in this life then receiving cell phone message which reads, “ your account has been credited with Rs ….as monthly salary” as money matters and especially in contemporary times it is no less then elixir. Now, going back to my childhood days when I used to always get reprimanded from my father for not leaving school until my pocket didn’t get warmed with a one-rupee coin, so that I could afford to buy an ice-cream which cost fifty paisa and a lollipop of same price, every rejection was invitation for crying and tearing of my homework and that trick often worked in my favor.
I often used to cry before my friends that my father was a miser as he never gave me money easily. But, now time has moved on: I have reached an age where I am no longer a parasite on my family and time has taught me the value of hard earned money. I am able to understand why money is so dear to humans; why people keep money pocket close to their heart; why money is everything. Money teaches so many lessons in life and in a small span of time I have realized how friends become foes due to money,; how one gets duped by one’s closest colleague.
It was midsummer of year 2015 when I got my first appointment as lecturer on an ad-hoc basis in Degree College, Sopore. As per the norms of service rules those days, the first salary was released after six months. After five months of wait, I was close to the threshold of receiving my first salary and on the direction of the section officer of the college, I had to open an account in local bank so my salary could be credited. I remember clearly , it was the 18th December 2015 10:55 am, in the morning when I received the message, “ your account has been credited with 90125 rupees”. It was a eureka moment for ; I jumped high in joy and punched the air with my fist as if I was celebrating victory on a cricket field.
I was restless and being naïve I kept on disclosing what most people consider secret , to everyone whom I met, as no one had to reminded me, never discuss and count your money before others as it was invitation for an evil eye. Days after receiving my first salary, I felt restlessness: I was concerned about the manner in which I could spent this. Different thoughts kept on cropping in my mind ,buying an earrings for my love was out of context at that time as I didn’t have one ; buying a car was far off thing to dream about as this much money wasn’t enough and finally after long thought I opted for saving.
Months passed by, then one day sitting as routine in staff room , one of our newly joined colleague with whom I had shared my secret salary message asked for a favor in the form of a ten thousand rupee loan; for a moment I didn’t respond as it was big deal of trust for me as I wasn’t too much acquainted with his character but he kept on asking and promised me to return it within two days. I, finally, succumbed to his persistence and Pity, I handed him required amount of money.
Two days passed peacefully.
I didn’t tell him anything but then after one week’s time I became bit anxious and suspicious about the promise of two days. I gathered some courage from rarity in asking for return of money but in return he asked for one more day extension before he could return citing some fabricated excuses. Time has passed by, two days changed into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and now still in 2018 I haven’t received that amount yet and, in fact, I have given up!
I have stopped reminding the man about the loan, and deleted his phone number. However, with time, the number of defaulters who have duped me continues to rise. Even my neighbor has duped me of 5000 after receiving it from me citing his son’s illness which in the proved to be a lie and my wait continues. Now , few days ago, my cousin rang from New Delhi and requested to lend him seven thousand rupees urgently but this time I bluntly rejected which I shouldn’t have done, citing fake reasons as I’m suffering from a trust deficit and suspect even my blood relatives. The main reason for my miserliness over generosity harks back to all those defaulters who have broken the thread of promise with me. Alas!
The author teaches Chemistry at GDC Boys, Baramulla and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org