Today’s post continues with Shobha’s Story.
Shobha Lamba adds, “Everything depends on the situation. Initially, we suffered a lot as we had to pour money on my husband’s treatment and we could not recover much from the medical insurance company. Not all issues are covered by them. Due to my knowledge and experience, my standard of life has increased. I have cane sofas and moodas at home. I make sure to apply varnish and leave them in the sun, every 3 months. This is low standard of living. But, this is more than enough for the comfortable seating of visitors. Recently, I have hired several servants. This was a necessary development. These are situational requirements. We do not have children. And now we plan to adopt a child in 5-6 years. We need money for not only taking care of the child but also other necessities. Who knows how our future will be? Savings are important to bring up the child properly and we are on a tight budget. Now, how will you judge my standard of living?”
She continues, “My husband told me to marry again for a child. I told him that kind of desire is not life. That desire represents low standard of living. When one of the couple has such desires and wants to leave the other that is lowest standard of living. Marriage is not only this desire. There is more to it than meets the eye. Being together during bad times and good times is important. During traditional marriage ceremonies, we promise to be together for better or for worse. But, people do not remember this today.”
She tells us about another incident, “People tend to compete with each other for the show of a high standard of living. They aspire to be one up on the other. One of our housewife neighbors bought a pressure cooker. Another bought a bigger one. The first one bought a scooter and the second took a loan for buying a car. Are these necessary? We need to question ourselves. This kind of competition is not healthy.”
Competition can often go into people’s heads. Many people today, intentionally, do bad unto others. Take, for instance, our neighbors. Before we came here, they had been living on repainted objects plucked from buildings, gone for reconstruction. They have themselves told us that they have paid a couple of rupees to the security guards and brought stuff like their outer security door. They have even sold this stuff to make money, only to keep up their standard of living. The woman lives on hand-me-downs from her sister, who lives abroad. They have even gone to the extent of stealing stuff from our house in our absence whenever we would lock the door and go out for some time. What would you call such people?