My two kids, Vignesh and Karthik are of two extreme personalities. The elder one, as his name is, Vignesh, is silent, looks very studious, does mischiefs that get unnoticed, and hence has a very good reputation both at home and outside. The younger one Karthik, resembles Lord Muruga, in all his activities – Karthik is known for his eccentric characterisitcs, loud voice, hurry in doing/finishing whatever he does, and height of all things, he gets angry very quickly. In fact, during his childhood days, I used to tease him that we kept his name as Karthik, because he was similar to Lord Muruga, in the sense that just like Lord Muruga used to get angry with Lord Shiva, and Goddess Parvathi, and go up to one Hill or the other, thereby getting his nickname as “Kundru Thorum Kaatchi Alippavan Muruganavan”, Karthik used to go to some corner of the house, and show his anger to us.
In keeping their personal belongings too, Vignesh, is very very careful about all his things. I used to see, small small pencils, that he still uses, telling him that they were similar to “Gandhiji’s Little Pencil”. He remembers most of the play stuff they he got during his very young years. On the contrary, Karthik doesn’t care about his belongings, takes at least three to four pencils, 2 erasers, 2 pencil sharpeners a week. Inspite of that, whenever we ask for something, while helping him on his studies, he wouldn’t have anything at that time. Karthik has reached his all time heights of getting three school bags last year for the single academic year. This year too, it is hardly the first term, that has got over, and successfully, he is on with his first bag of the year.
Vignesh, for the last three years, has kept his school bag, without any trouble, not even a tear here and there, or any zipper fault. Just a few days back, he came up with the first complaint about his long-standing bag, that one of the main zippers has become faulty. I was thinking of repairing the same, but his dear paternal grandmother, was telling him, that she would like to get him a bag for his 10th birthday, which is about to happen on December 7th. Vignesh’s dad, suggested his mom, that she better gave him the money so that Vignesh can pick up a bag of his choice, and I can at the same time, approve of it so that the money is spent wisely. Yesterday, being a Sunday, we had no other choice but to kill our time without my husband, because, he was off to a corporate meeting. So, Vignesh and myself decided to drive down to Roshan Bag Mall, located at the heart of T.Nagar, near the famous T.Nagar bus terminus. We went to the first floor which was having a dedicated section for school bags of different sizes. We were looking through several models, and I was just becoming convinced with a bag, whose price tag was around Rs.670/- (plus a 10% discount on it). I should have picked up the same, but saw a beautiful American Tourister bag. I just thought, I will enquire the price of it, and yet settle down for the one which I had already made up my mind. The salesperson, politely, took that bag, and kept in front of us. He kept on speaking about its features, its quality, extended warranty, etc., etc., and Vignesh was quite naturally attracted towards that bag. When I asked him the price, the man said, “It is Rs.1550/- but comes with a 20% discount, and hence will finally cost Rs.1240/-“. I almost fainted when I heard the amount. I think I paid a school fees of about Rs.40/- per month during 1979-Rs.1990, which would mean that I might have been able to pay around 3 years of my school fees. Of course, the cost of living of those ages and today are incomparable. Vignesh also kept telling me that these branded ones will definitely last for a longer time, and promised to keep that bag, for the next few years to follow. Also, deep in my heart, I knew both my husband as well as my mother-in-law would definitely want to buy whatever their dear one, Vignesh, had liked, especially being his birthday gift. We finally got him that American Tourister bag, and also two small bags for the two of them, to take to school for their half-a-day sessions.