August 23rd, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Life   Comments Off on PARENTING…
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I distinctly remember it was the year 1995. My daughter had just appeared for her graduation final exams. She said, “Pa”, as she proudly addresses me “Yes “, I said. “Pa, I think you have spent more than 450,000 rupees on my education alone so far”.

I was taken aback. Never ever thought of that, and why should I. I had only performed my duties towards both my kids.

“Why, how did you ever come to think of that?” I asked.
“Nothing, it just occurred to me”, she replied.

Just then, I recalled that every July, follwed by the next April, I used to stand in a queue outside the books shop to buy the books for the next class for both my kids as they had been upgraded. This job over, the next was the school dresses shop as kids grow very fast and the previous years clothes don’t fit. Gradually as they go to the higher classes, they needed tuitions for subjects so  they have to be transported to the tutorial section and brought back after the hour. Please don’t talk of the pocket money and other undocumented expenses, which have been spelt out in the suceeding pragraphs.

The fees were to be deposited every month which were exhorbitant and the schools did not spare me and kept on asking for school building funds and other charities almost every alternate month.

That was 1995 and I am sure if you calculate the expenses in today’s fiscal scenario it would cost a million rupees per child to educate him or her right and proper. The costs have risen on all fronts. In my schooling days the school shoe costed  30 rupees and now it costs 1500 rupees. During my student life, there were no Pizza Huts, no Big Bazaars and no Malls. Today one visit to any of these places costs more than a thousand rupees. This estimated cost on their education is apart from the expenses on their higher education after the graduation. Professional courses cost a lot.

Is it worth spending so much on kids, or is this an irrational expenditure? Kids are of not much use to their parents until they are properly educated. When they complete their education, it is worse, they fly away.

Apart from spending money on them, it is the time spent on rearing them up which is incalculable in terms of money. One has to explain the dos and donts in life and it sometimes takes a lot of time in making them understand the hard facts. Being parents means that you never have time and energy for yourself until your kids fly away. And once they are gone you do not know what to do with the time left in your life.

You wake up in the morning, brush, bath, go fetch milk, sit on a bench hoping to talk to someone, who is not forthcoming, walk home, make tea and when it is ready, wake up your wife who is still inside the quilt, serve her tea – hoping against hope – that she has no complaints early morning. Thereafter, pay the phone and electricity bills, sit and wait for a phone call from your kids who are twenty thousand kilometers away.

Doesn’t matter, life’s like that. The cost factor notwithstanding, children have many benefits. After they have gone away, you never do the things you used to do when they were with you. When you help them in their homework, you just recall how you used to study the same things while you were at school. Don’t forget that they are a bundle of love and affection and with their small fingers in your palm you can feel the warmth of their companionship and enjoy the sheer joy of their  warmth. They are trustworthy and they take utmost care of you

You and I have to grow faster, but in the company of children you still feel that you are young.

And there are times when they teach us what to do. And when your kids become parents, you smile when you look at them visualing the fact that every dime which you had spent on them was worth a million and that your kids are now stronger and sensible than we were.

At the end of all this I can confidently say that my efforts were well worth the trouble I took and the fruits are aplenty.

Ravi Matah

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