Friday, October 26

An adventure to save or Thoughts on a rainy evening ...

I have always closely observed two sections of men and women in my everyday living: those who spend and those who save. There is another category of men and women too: those who cannot spend because they aren’t rich enough to do so. I often think, if these men and women were rich, they would buy the whole of Himalayas! Like a bridle on a horse, the empty wallets hold down these people. 

The other day a smart looking early middle-aged man walked into my office.  He came near me and was preaching to me about his ideas on spending and living. From the way he was putting it, I understood that he wanted me to spend more. “Abraham, you can’t take it all with you! Before you wink your eyes, your will be bedridden with all the riches you have made in the hands of your children. They will squash away the way they want. Do you wish that in your life?”  As this man left the office, one of my staff came to me and said, “Sir, When did Azeem acquire all this wisdom to teach you personal finance?” 

As I came home, I went to my library and picked up a book that spoke to me something about Spending and Saving :

The book reads thus:    You will meet people who will urge you to spend your money freely; they will tell you, “You can’t take it with you!” As you get older, you will probably have friends who eat at expensive restaurants every night, buy the latest electronic gadgets or fashion trends, and spend vacations at fancy beach resorts. You must avoid the trap of spending money willy-nilly simply because you can. Not only is this a road to financial ruin, it can cause you to forget what’s important in life.
I am not saying that you should never travel or buy anything nice. I am merely suggesting that you should think wisely about whether the thing you are contemplating doing or buying is really worthwhile or whether its benefits will be, at best , fleeting. I was once married to a woman who was always nagging me to buy a new sofa, a new TV, and so on. I’d explain that if we save and invested wisely, one day we could afford ten sofas or whatever. Needless to say, we did not stay married long, and now I am lucky to have your mother who shares the same attitude towards personal finances.
Happy, you already have five piggy banks, and you love putting money into them. Please continue to save. Those who save and invest wisely will face fewer financial woes throughout life. And please help us teach your new sister, Baby Bee, the importance of saving.  

The above quotation is from Jim Rogers, a millionaire and one of the most successful investors in the world. His words keeps talking to me. When he wrote the book , “A Gift To My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing”, he must have really really thought what it is all to “think wisely” about saving and spending.

The Kerala State Electricity Board's
power distribution poll
could be more complicated
than some of today's
saving instruments!! 
It is sad that many people just doesn’t know HOW and WHAT and WHEN to save. I think, the gift of saving is the greatest gift that one can gift oneself.  As a child, I too had piggy banks: two of them. I aggressively stashed away all the coins that I found here and there at home into these metallic boxes. They had great keys. Impatiently I would open these piggy banks very often to see how much was collected.... and that was growing up years. (Oh! I remember my poor grandma who kept some coins for charity had to lock her dear coins to save them from my piggy banks !!) 

Today, piggy banks have been replaced in my life with stocks, bonds, metals, commodity equity traded funds, mutual funds, fixed deposits and real-estates. True, they are complicated than my simple humble piggy banks...yet spirit remains the same: it is all an adventure to save!... and I laugh at those who need a bridle on their wallets to keep themselves off from foolish spending.     

Sunday, October 21

Wheels of joy

WHERE is the market for you, my song? Is it there where the learned muddle the summer breeze with their snuff; where men endlessly dispute whether the oil depends upon the cask, or the cask upon the oil; where yellow manuscripts frown upon the fleet footed frivolousness of life? My song cries out, Ah, no, no, no.

… Hello River! We have come to share with you our cycling secrets, 
our peddling hopes and our wheels of joy !!
Where is the market for you, my song? Is it there where the man of fortune grown enormous in pride and flesh in his marble palace, with his books on the shelves, dressed in leather, painted in gold, dusted by slaves, their virgin pages dedicated to the god obscure?  My song gasped and said, Ah, no, no, no.

Where is the market for you my song? Is it there where the young student sits, with his head bent over his books, and his mind straying in youth’s dream-land; where prose is prowling on the desk and poetry hiding in the heart? There among that dusty disorder, would you care to play hide-and-seek?  My song remains silent in shy hesitation.

… and quiet flows the dawn

Where is the market for you, my song? Is it there where the bride is busy in the house, where she runs to her bedroom the moment she is free, and snatches, from under her pillows, the book of romance so roughly handled by the baby, so full of the scent of her hair? My song heaves a sigh and trembles with uncertain desire.

... Hello River! 
Have we stolen your silence? 
Have we filched your solitude?  

Where is the market for you, my song? Is it there where the least of a bird’s note is never missed, where the stream’s babbling finds its full wisdom, where all the lute-strings of the world shower their music upon two fluttering hearts? My song bursts out and cries, Yes, yes.

Poem : 'Lover's Gift' ... Tagore  
Photos: Shot during a Calicut countryside spin