It was a weekend walk through the vegetable market when I spotted the earthen ‘gullak’ ( piggy bank) and was transported back in time. I must have been five or six that time when I was gifted one by my parents and every time I received a coin from them or from a relative or from the neighbors on the ‘Ashtmai along with halwa , poori and chana, ‘ the coin would be sent through the slot into the ‘gullak’. The jingle of coins was always music to ears and with time the ‘ gullak’ got heavier. Sometimes, to buy silly knick knacks like ‘gol gappa’, ‘churan’ or ‘orange goli’ from the vendors, I remember using the mom’s knitting needle to slide the coin out from the slot so as not to break the ‘ gullak’. Anyway, the exercise was more an innocent fun than the act of stealing coins more like ‘Lord Krishna’ stealing butter from the earthen pots from neighbors as the folklore goes!
This habit of slipping the coins helped in cultivating the habit of saving money, which goes a long way as one grows to fulfil one’s dreams! While still in school after having won a princely amount of Rs 50/- in a prize, my father took me to an adjoining bank to open a minor, savings bank account. So whenever I received cash from them or from relatives on occasions like birthdays, I would rush to the bank to fill a deposit slip and stash the amount in the savings account. I remember while still in Class VII , one day my parents were away to office/ school and I was at home with my younger brothers. There was a new movie release in the nearby theatre and unfortunately, we did not have the money. So with a bit of brainstorming with younger ones, I decided to visit the bank to draw the money. The cheapest ticket was Rs 1.25 so, we quickly got dressed and entered the bank and I filled the withdrawal slip of Rs 5/-. The clerk sent it to the manager who called me inside. He looked at me and smiled as he saw my younger brothers waiting!
‘Why do you need to draw just Rs 5/-‘he queried.
‘Want to see a movie,’ I replied in all innocence
‘You could have asked your parents’ he continued.
‘Sir they have gone for work and we want to see the morning show’ I replied wondering he will accede to my request.
He laughed and signed the slip and having achieved a small victory we headed for the theatre saw the movie, had samosas and were still left with few coins to deposit back in the ‘gullak’.
One day while cleaning the room the ‘gullak’ fell and the floor was covered with coins all over! It literally rained money that day.
PS : 1.The habit of saving can start very early in life and most parents often get their children piggy banks when they are young!Now a days with a culture of splurging this may sound a little cliche'!
2. Image kind courtesy Google