I graduated from the university and found a government job. I took a working wife to share our incomes for domestic expenses. Our two children studied in public schools and later in private colleges. We needed to dress up well, eat out in the restaurants at least sometimes, spend money on entertainment, buy household appliances and gadgets, maintain personal conveyances, and boast of some savings in the bank. Our electricity bills increased because of the air-conditioners. Our petrol bills increased because of increased vehicles. Our house got new furniture and furnishings. Our family became a modern urban middle class family in terms of income and social status. But I knew how hard it was to manage our household expenses. There were bank loans to be paid off, credit card statements to be settled, electricity bills, telephone bills, water bills, house tax, income tax, household maintenances, and fuel costs to be paid month after month. Even if we managed to save a little, looking at the committed expenses, I really felt poor.
As the government is now going on increasing prices, I have to continually readjust and adopt to a lower standard of living. I have already started traveling in crowded public transportation, visiting government hospitals for treatment of my ailments and buying goods and vegetables from the weekly markets. The quantity of vegetables etc. purchased every month has been reduced considerably. The air-conditioners have been replaced by the air-coolers and the part-time domestic help has been asked to leave.
Certainly our family is gradually going down on the economic ladder. If this continues, some day we would be forced to return to old village life where money was secondary and life was managed within the locally available resources.
I sometimes fascinate the idea of actually returning to the care-free village life. It would be a life of living in poverty alright but it certainly will be better than the throttled middle class life in the city.
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