Husband and wife

by Michelle Fortes

A lady to her husband: Avoid giving too many clothes for laundry.
Husband: What happened?
Wife: The maid won’t be coming for work for a couple of days.
Husband: Why?
Wife: She’s going to see her granddaughter over to her daughters place over the Ganesh Chaturthi holidays.
Husband: Alright, I’ll keep that in mind.
Wife: Before I forget, how about we offer her a festive bonus? Rs. 500?
Husband: But why? Diwali is around the corner, why don’t we just give her the money then?
Wife: Oh, no… She’s a poor lady, works as a domestic help. She’s going to see her daughter. With her meagre income, how would she be able to enjoy a good holiday? Poor thing!
Husband: There you go! Getting overly sentimental again!
Wife: Don’t worry about the money; let’s cancel our plan for pizza for dinner tonight. No point wasting money over eight slices of stale bread.
Husband: Great! So now we have to give up on our pizza night so the maid can get a bonus?!
Three days later, when the maid is back at work, the lady’s husband asked her.
Husband: So, how was your holiday?
Maid: It was wonderful, sir. Didi had given me 500 as a festive bonus that added to the joy.
Husband: I heard you went over to your daughters place. Met your granddaughter?
Maid: Yes, sir. I had such a great time. We spent 500, all of it in just two days.
Husband: What did you buy with that money?
Maid: I bought my granddaughter a shirt for Rs. 150 and a doll for Rs. 40, sweets for my daughter and to offer at the temple for Rs. 50, each, spent Rs. 60 on the rent, bought my daughter bangles for Rs. 25, and a nice belt for my son in law for Rs. 50. We spent the rest of the money buying notebooks and stationery for my granddaughter.
Husband: All that for Rs. 500?
In a shocked state he started thinking and seeing pizza in his head.
Each piece of the pizza started buzzing in his head. He started comparing the pizza’s price with the maid’s festive expenses over her family.
He started imagining each piece of the pizza as different things she bought for her family like kids dress, sweets, rent, the bangles she bought, the belt she bought for her son in law, the books and pencil she bought.
He had only imagined the delicious part of the pizza, he had never thought of the other plain and dry part of it and today because of his maid he could understand the other part of the coin or the pizza. A simple 8 pieced pizza taught some reality of life.
This incident made him realize the meaning of “Spending to live not live to spend”.

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