The other day on my way back from office, I was travelling by bus. As with most public transport, you encounter different people with differing perspectives. They are sometimes weird, funny and sometimes offensive. But, mostly they are entertainment for me. This particular conversation, however, rubbed me the wrong way. It got me thinking and feeling guilty and rebellious at the same time.

 The whole discussion started between an elderly couple, who were returning from a housewarming party. From what I gathered from their conversation, a newly married couple built an independent house with all comforts and luxuries in an affluent area of the city. The elderly couple felt it was a waste of money and an unnecessary expense at such an early stage in life. They were of the opinion that the young couple should have built a commercial complex thereby earning rents and thus saving money.

As their conversation progressed, they started to include the other passengers into the fray. The conversation soon veered into stories of personal struggle and hardships faced. Each person told about the struggles of their parents to give them a comfortable life and how, one should save as much as possible. The general consensus was that since our parents braved all hardships to give us a comfortable life, we owe it to them to struggle just as much for the next generation. Most of them felt that one should not waste money on lavish homes, vacations or other leisurely activities, unless you can make money out of them.

On the face of this reasoning, it seems quite logical that one should not overspend. However, the argument that building a beautiful home that you dreamed of, going on vacations, spending money on pampering yourself is an absolute waste of money, does not sit well with me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is never a good time to take a vacation or pamper yourself unless you take a stand for yourself. If you don’t live life now, then you won’t have the health or the faculties to enjoy life in your old age. One can never stress enough on the importance of relaxation and stress release in the fast paced world today.

As Indians we are always taught to save first and hopefully enjoy life after retirement. But, it doesn’t work that way in reality. Do we really owe it to our parents to save more and enjoy later? Tell me your thoughts on the comments section.
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