‘Price Tag’

Pata hai, unn ka (read her fiancé) credit card mere paas hai!! Unhoney apna credit card mujhe chupke se diya aur kahaa jamm ke shopping karna, jo dil chahe wo kharid lena”, quotes a Marwari girl who is going to be married soon while talking to her cousin (male) over the phone. Naturally, the girl is in freaking shopping mood and nothing comes in between a girl and her shopping. Nothing else, literally!

Bahnon ka ek-ek ghagra 8 se 9 hazaar rupaye ke hain, issey kam ke pasand hi nahin aa rahe”.

Bhai ka chola kurta dekh rahe they, kam se kam 4-5 hazaar toh lagenge hi”, she continues to pin-point the prices as if without that her brother will not be impressed by her fiancé’s status or as if he has never heard of so expensive clothes being bought by somebody in his family!!

Waise unhoney honeymoon ki shopping toh already kar li hai, bol rahe they ki 60 – 65 hazaar ka shopping kiya hai sirf mere liye. Sab kuchh kharid liya hai, jaise skirts, jeans, minies wagerah wagerah!”

“Aah…Rs.60-65,000 of only clothes for honeymoon and that to only for the bride, couldn’t she be a little modest while saying the number!!” (thinks the poor cousin silently on the other side of the call.)

In Marwari families, a marriage is a status symbol for both the fathers. Especially for the girl’s father it’s an opportunity for him to make a statement to the society, basically to his own network of friends and possible foes. So the shopping has to be done wisely also keeping economy in the mind. Kyun ki, maa kasam.. kharcha bahut honey wala hai! And the bride is too choosy in everything she buys, even the brands of the mehndi and haldi.

The phone call is on, “Shopping ke liye papa aur mummy bhi saath hain aur papa ka budget toh fixed hai. Unn ko jo pasand aa raha hai wo mujhe pasand nahin aa raha. Itney saarey dukaano mein kuchh bhi achha nahin hai. Mera toh dimaag kharab ho gaya, aakhir shaadi mein dhang key kapde toh hone hi chahiye na!” “Phir unn ko (read her fiancé) phone kiya toh unhoney ek dukaan batai Kalkatta (in general Hindi the city’s pronunciation changes a little) mein. Hum log wahan gaye aur wahan toh mast kapde mil gaye achhe daam mein. Mujhe toh mazaa aa gaya!!”

In the meantime, her cousin on the other side of the phone call is nearly silent with uttering a few words in between, like ‘achhaa (to his surprise)’, ‘that’s good’, ‘badhiya hai’!!

Bhaiya, papa bula rahe hain, aur bhi bahut shopping karni hai. Main abhi phone rakhti hun. Baad mein baat karte hain”, she hung up the call finally!

In the entire conversation, one thing was common, the price-tag. Remember, wahi price-tag jo hum hamesha kuchh bhi kharidtey waqt dekhte hain, jissey dekhne key baad hamari pasand napasand mein badal jati hai aur napasand pasand mein. Iss tag ka dusra naam hai ‘maal’ aur ‘jahan maal hai …wahan taal hai’!! Hai na…

The cousin was happy for his sister, at the same time he thought of what he’s got to do with those over-stressed price-tags!! He was laughing inside on the way the prices were told with an exaggerating voice and the way ‘money’ spoke through a human’s mouth. He wondered about his own fate when he gonna get married!!?? Should he expect his would-be-wife to be happy with his money or his affection? Should he also believe that money can buy ‘Love’ along with ‘Happiness’ for that matter??!!  And if this is true, he might need to pull-up his socks to earn more to keep his favorite lady ‘happy’ and ‘lovely’!!

We all have heard the infamous quote, “Money can’t buy happiness” – aah, that’s a philosophical jargon!! Well, the phone call proved it wrong. Money ‘can’ certainly buy happiness! So keep making money, happiness will follow. (or the other way round!)

Judgement is yours.

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