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Thou shalt not covet

S Radha Prathi, May 30, 2016 0:05 IST

Times have changed. But then, so have our methods to economise on expenditure.

Gone are the days when people would help themselves to office stationery or use the telephone to make personal calls. For that matter, we do not find too many people borrowing newspapers and magazines subscribed by their neighbours. People hardly get their pharmacist to bill them for medicines after purchasing cosmetics and bars of chocolate. If you are under the impression that we have come of age and do not indulge in petty penny pinching, think again!

Times have changed. But so have our methods to economise on our expenditure. Correct me if I am wrong. Have we not seen people making a beeline to a plug point to charge their phones and laptops when they visit others at their homes, offices, hospitals or auditoriums? If there is free Wi-Fi, they will not pass up the opportunity to use the same.

The phrase “missed call” might make it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being mouthed and used a maximum number of times by Indians. Movies and large file are always invariably downloaded or uploaded on free resources.

There are people who pamper their taste buds and sometimes satiate their hunger by playing tasters wherever possible. I know friends of friends who keep fit by always attending trial classes for a week in various yoga centres and gymnasiums around the city. Then there are those international faux pas where our countrymen are renowned for buying exotic branded clothes or fancy items abroad, use them for the special occasion and return the same and get a complete refund without the slightest iota of guilt. Well, the list can go on endlessly.

True, most of us like to save a pretty penny. There is nothing wrong. However, using weird and unethical ways to economise on expenditure can prove to be morally degenerating in the long run.

It is said that once a thief entered Cha-nakya’s humble home on a winter night. The robber was extremely surprised to see the minister and his wife sleeping on a mat, while there was a pile of blankets in one corner. Even as the thief was wondering about the anomaly, Chanakya woke up. The burglar could not help articulating his question. Chanakya said that the king had sent the blankets to his home to be distributed among the poor. Hence he would not use the woolies that did not belong to him. The malefactor left the premises sorry, ashamed and reformed – a role model worthy of being emulated. It is time to awaken the self esteem in us. Better late than never!

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