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Monday, November 17, 2014

Raining Money


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

20 comments:

  1. Beautiful memoir. What I always found most fascinating about the gullucks was the breaking part... the curiosity of 'how much we have saved' resulted in that moment of pride when elders in the family would appreciate the efforts put in, no matter how meager the sum, is something that can never be found with a bank account.

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    1. Thanks Arti!As the 'gullaks ' were mostly associated with childhood, it always remained one of the fascinating things that fired our imagination:)

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  2. I would have loved to know how much you ended up saving in that bank and if the same minor account continued as you stepped on to your adult life. Some curiosity, you see!

    My experience of this piggy bank was when we were given these earthern ones to collect money for missionaries who were in regions that were remote and hence needed money to keep them going. We meticulously put in coins hoping that the same money would help someone. I wonder if they used the money for those missionaries.

    Good to stop by Rahul, after a very long time.

    Hope you are well.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. So good to see you back after your intellectual pursuits( belated congratulations for the doctorate:)! A big thanks to add value to this post by citing the story of collection by the missionaries!
      BTW my memory does not serve me very well as to wohat was the evenual balance in the SB account of childhood but would never have exceeded beyond Rs 200/-( on the higher side!....)

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  3. Decades back i was drawing a three figure salary in expensive city of Bombay.
    I saved at least Rs 10/month and i remember it was SBI.
    Today,a movie ticket costs Rs 350.
    I am trying to find my savings,my GULLAK,both are invisible

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    1. Ha ha Chowlaji! Much the same here as I too started with a three figure salary and had to save most of it to pay a housing loan taken very early in life:)

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  4. Aww! such a cute story.
    I wouldn't want to break a piggy bank, ever. To me, that's destruction. :( I would have done the same thing. I had a personal cylindrical (not piggy) bank that had a lock and key because I couldn't think of breaking a piggy. :)

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    1. Thanks Divya! There were so many versions of the piggy banks which I saw as a part of growing up! One with a key was one of the funkier types:)

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  5. Lovely story! Made me nostalgic, my grandfather had given me a terracotta golak and I was always waiting to put some money in to it!

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    1. Thanks Padmaja and It is heartening to read everyone's own story of a piggy bankor a 'golak' of the childhood times!!

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  6. Your write-up sent me down the nostalgia days. Those good ole days, when little meant so much more.

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    1. Absolutely, the liitle things bring the most joy!Thanks Purba!

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  7. I never had an earthern one, had the ones that can be opened. Still have!
    I loved collecting coins & still do!
    Great post, Rahulji :)

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    1. So good to read that Anita! Little blessings in life:)

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  8. Your anecdote resonates with me.Yes gulluks were great fun and taught us a valuable lesson too.
    Loved your post.

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  9. A big thanks IndujiAnd am happy that the post struck a chord with your thoughts!

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  10. Withdrawal of Rs 5! It sounds so unbelievable now and you still had money after watching the movie and eating samosas. Such good old days. :)

    Saving is more of a habit, as you rightly said.

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    1. Sounds so funny and more like a fairy tale now, Saru:) Thanks for reading!

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  11. Thanks to the fancy piggy banks, I now realize the happiness that ensue when I sacrifice a little amount every month for a year or more :-)

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  12. So good to know that child in you is still saving in the piggy bank, Ashwini! BTW, I purchased the earthen golak again:)

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