Nothing is free in this world

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Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:15 AM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:18 AM

Some people prefer only free things, but hardly know that 'Nothing is free in this world’, as aptly quoted by author Sebastian Douglas. I spent my early childhood in utter poverty, but never became a miser or a freeloader, all thanks to my parents. They taught me the importance of frugality but never allowed me to be a borrower or a parasite. They made me a self-reliant person. My mother would always say that it is better to eat simple food at home than to be tempted by the delicacies at neighbour’s home. Later, when I witnessed many freeloaders in life, I realised the true meaning of that advice.

By Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar

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In our village, there was a rich man, but he was actually a miser. He was fond of acquiring everything for free or minimum price. He had a peculiar habit. He would visit the local market only in the evening, and being the closing time, the sellers would be in a hurry to dispose of the unsold items. This person would then ask them to give the items either free or at a throw-away price. He was so shameless that when he was invited to any party or ceremony, he carried a lunch-box with him. He himself would eat there and return home with the lunch-box packed with delicacies. I had lost respect for him when one day I saw him standing in a queue of flood-affected poor people. Some charitable institutions were distributing blankets and this person was waiting there in worn clothes acting needy.

One day this miser learnt a hard lesson. He saw an advertisement of a lucrative financial scheme which promised to double the original investment with attractive interest rate. A free luncheon was arranged in a luxurious hotel to give information and interested investors were invited for it. This person went there to have a free lunch, got tempted by the scheme and invested a large amount to get a huge return on it. After some months, the fraudulent promoters of the scheme suddenly wound up the business and ran away keeping the investors in dark. The miser not only lost his money but paid a heavy price for the free lunch that he had that day.

One of my friends was also an example of this freeloader mentality. He had a habit of giving missed calls to others. He would only respond when the person across the line called in response. He became a subject of mockery in our friend circle. During the initial days, when we were all small businessmen, we celebrated the weekend in various restaurants. We all agreed to pay the bill on sharing basis. This freeloader friend would chat and dine with us, but leave the party under some pretext just before the bill arrived. We observed his behaviour and removed him from our circle. Later no one trusted him.

The only precious free gift for us is abundant love from god, nature, family and friends.

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.

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