Money doesn't grow on trees

Bikram Vohra
Filed on June 11, 2020 | Last updated on June 11, 2020 at 08.28 pm

I used to watch my grandfather talk about austerity  and not run the tap when shaving or brushing teeth. You could not leave the table till your plate was clean. You got a lecture with the meal. When my father retired from the army, I watched him switch off lights and do sums and talk about wastage and the need for conservation. I promised with the arrogance of youth that I'd never go on and on about expenses.

I have it on good authority (my daughters) that I am worse than all of them and as I am now smack right dab in the centre of the senior citizen category, I have become crankypants and predictable.

I think it is very harsh, this indictment, because there is no reason for the TV to be blaring when there is no one in the room. And why do I have to go switching it off? And why is the A/C running on full power? Put it on low cool; it is not August, look at the electricity bill, we are a home, not the Waldorf Astoria.

Yesterday, at lunch, I made a passing observation that there was no need to make four dishes. Everyone looked at everyone else and raised their eyebrows and grimaced like children do when their parents exasperate them and I said, which reminds me the garden lights were on all night, no one switched them off.

My wife, who spares no opportunity to tell me I have become an old crusty curmudgeon and am at best tiresomely tedious, said we are all careful, dear.

Ah, I replied with some asperity, the old sarcasm, yes, things cost, nothing's for free, look at the phone bill, who has been making all these calls, why can't you use Zoom and what do you mean the groceries are over, we just stocked up three days ago, money doesn't.

Grow on trees, finished my wife, that is the fourth time you have said that today,.

I tell my daughter, your husband bought a phone for Dh4,000, what, does it do the samba?

No need to be snarky, dad, he needs it for work.

What, a cheaper phone won't do?

Here he goes again.

All over the world, there are millions of seniors like myself aghast at the wastefulness, unable to grasp why the obvious escapes everyone else, look at this, they have left the car running, what a waste of petrol.

It is to keep the car cool, says my wife with a sigh.

But it has been 10 minutes.

We have seen it all and then some. We know the value of money, it doesn't.

Grow on trees, yells my wife.

When will they every learn?

bikram@khaleejtimes.com


 
 
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