Being Women


I’m someone who is an adherent believer in value for money. Impulsive’88 buying is not engrained in my nature. And that’s how I have been – bachpan se! And neither over the years had it accelerated or depreciated. In a generation where money building is a priority, aadmi kahi na kahi nadaani ya anjaane mein bhool jata hai ki paisa mehnat ke saath saath kismat se bhi aata hai. Kismat jo kabhi aasmaan pe baitha-ti hai aur kabhi dhobi pachaad deti hai! I learned it very young when I saw Papa go to work every morning holding his leather pouch on his Priya scooter – UAI 5072 and Mummy made the ends meet with that salary! 

In short, fizoolkharchi is a strict NO! But then, dil toh bachha hai ji, thoda kachha hai ji. This weekend as I was able to leave the shopping center post the usual purchase of bread-milk-anda, my eyes fell on this 8 cms ka typewriter. Even though it was overshaded by the bigger items, it found me before I did. I instantly knew it belonged to me, and within moments I was making the payment. As I drove home, I knew I paid a little on top but then I do allow myself to do it once in years. 

Anyhow, we all have certain beliefs. Har ghar aur insaan ki manyaataein alag hoti hai! I am filled with certain ideologies and my little tot absorbs some of them from time to time. Thodi choti hai par samajhti hai and phir samajhati bhi hai!

Last Mother’s Day was one such day. The school had a trade fair to commemorate the day and children were asked to bring in some money to buy products/items/things for their mothers.  Naturally, the girl walked up to me and said, “I lost three teeth till now and the tooth fairy has given me 3 dollars – a dollar for each tooth.” The six-year-old then did her maths. 

The girl owns a red and white handkerchief with a zipper on top; it’s an intersection of a purse and a handkerchief. It’s Mysha’s piggy bank of some sort, you can say and the girl uses it very wisely to accumulate her payments from the fairy, the quid pro quo for the tooth. 

BTW, this is a great business here. The desi parents in us wonder why the names of Santa and tooth fairy top the chart, when parents are the absolute bottom line – the payer of the cost! Bhai saaf si baat, hamare desh mein toh toota daat chuha le jaata hai – sasta, tikau, saral, adbhut! 

“Yeah!”, I said.

“So, what will I get for 3 dollars? What do you want?”, asked the little one. 

“I have what I want!” I smiled looking at her face with my eyes showcasing her reflection, and she smiled back in reassurance.

“Let’s gamble with 3, I’m sure you will find something for me.”, I trusted her to do well and sense how little can be more. 

She happily held the coins in her fist and went jingling her way to school that day. I had the least expectations, I knew it was 3 dollars, so she could take it either way. 

 I ran to pick her up from school that afternoon, completely unaware of what awaited my way! 

“Mummmmmy!”, she ran as she saw me from distance. The glasses on my nose helped me see her carrying something in her right hand held high. 

As the distance closed, so did my vision, and I saw a cigar shape device with a white bottom and a pink top. It wasn’t long before she caught hold of her breath and said, “Close your eyes. I have a surprise for you.”

My daughter doesn’t wait to be home for big revels, her excitement makes her talk out loud, anywhere – a park, a theater, or in this case, a schoolyard. 

It wasn’t long before I did close my eyes that she went ‘tada’ while shoving a pen on my face. As I said, it was pink on top, white on bottom, cigar-shaped and had green leaves on a white base. Very pretty! 

“Mummy I looked everywhere in the school fair until I came to this pen. I knew this will make you happy! You like writing, right?” she beamed at her achievement. Well, she should, after all, she knew her audience. 

Of course, the pen did make me happy but more so the fact, that she could locate her mother in her vision. And just when it couldn’t get better, she said, “And guess what, it was for exactly 3 dollars. Not 4, not 5, exactly 3!”

I have said it before and I mean it more every day – the biggest moments and feelings in life come in small pieces without a price tag, or in this case, minimal.

My seven-and-a-half may wear glasses but she sure is working on her vision.  A vision that makes you see more than what meets your eyes.  If you still haven’t read Premchand’s Eidgah, toh mera nivedan hai ki please padhe. Shayad hi koi kahaani aapko itna sikha paayegi, aakhri tak tod ke aapko jod ke jaayegi. They say you are what you eat, and then I say, you act (karam) what you read. Read good, write better!

By Saumya Srivastava

With a degree in MBA finance and being a part of the market research for almost six years, Saumya Srivastav believes that writing is where she actually belongs. In the last four years of her writing career, she has built a viewership of 12 million, and her articles have found places in several writing portals, and more importantly, in people’s hearts. You can contact her at

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