Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Signs of Prosperity

Rakesh Sinha eyed his son Sujay with pride. He was just 30, and he had already bought a flat in an upmarket locality. "Papa, you enter the house first with ma," Sujay said and his wife Chandni nodded with a smile.

Rakesh and Kamla entered the house - feeling overwhelmed that their eldest son at least had achieved what they themselves couldn't in all these years. Rakesh had worked for 45 years in a government department, rising up the ranks but still only modestly. And it had showed in the way they lived.

Rakesh's eyes brimmed as he saw the sparkling new home. Dull walls, leaky roofs, makeshift homes - that is what they had managed with most of their lives. In the initial years, he had to take care of his parents and siblings. Then, what he earned barely met the needs of his growing children. Though loans started becoming available when he was in his late forties, he could not afford the EMI. They had shifted from one rented house to another, sometimes changing children's school to suit the locality, sometimes the house closer to where they studied. They had to be happy with the simple joys life offered. And the greatest relief was when a loan was repaid.

Luckily, he had been able to give his children good education - or rather, they were able to make the most of what was available and all were in good jobs, earning well... And here was proof that their sacrifices had paid rich dividends.

He felt a tremor in his heart every time he thought of the loan that Sujay had taken, but his son and daughter-in-law had assured him that the repayment terms were very reasonable and easy. "In your times, being indebted to anyone was a shame... Now every one has at least one EMI to pay," Sujay assured his father.

"Times are changing," Rakesh agreed. His friends seemed to have similar stories to tell. In fact, they were envious of the current trend. "If only we had had this facility! We could have done so much for our children!"

Rakesh had to agree as over the years, he watched his son buy a car by taking a car loan, enjoy an international holiday by taking a personal loan, send his children to the best colleges abroad by taking education loans; and, of course, take care of his parents' health with medical insurance.

Rakesh died a peaceful man, knowing his son was prospering.

Sujay, as the official head of the family, looked at his mini kingdom with pride. The latest in the sedan range, a second home in an upcoming suburb, his children abroad... He had achieved much; much more than his father could have ever dreamed of.

The next moment, his phone pinged and he looked at the EMI due notification in his phone. Before one loan ended, the next seemed to begin.

He rushed to work sighing. If only he could enjoy these luxuries at peace, without having to worry about repaying the loans! But that seemed like a distant dream. His wife already wanted to buy some jewelry for an upcoming wedding in the family and he was planning to apply for a personal loan. Maybe, after that...

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