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Frugality In Action


wealthymattersThese are words written by my friend Sunita,to her baby grandson,on Earth Day.I was struck by the frugality of her family and of the older generations.

 In families like ours clothes were passed down from child to child including the nappies which were made of cloth. They were washed and left to dry in the sun – naturally disinfected with the warm sunshine. I remember we children not only handed down clothes but also school text books because we all went to the same school. And we went by school bus with all our other class mates. We also went walking to the park, often on our own because the roads were safe enough for little kids to walk. As for the car, our family had one car which we happily shared with other people sometimes fitting in 8 people in a car meant only for 4! And over the holidays when we had cousins and aunts pouring in, we would roll out mattresses on the floor and manage to squeeze in – sometimes 10 in one bed!  We also managed to share one bathroom among 8 and we never knew what a bath under the shower was because we bathed in half a bucket of water each. No – we were not poor nor did we live in a village. We lived in a lovely apartment in Bombay and our families’ income was much higher than the national median. We had a refrigerator at home, cooking gas but no telephone. Still we managed to keep in touch with everyone that mattered.

My granny would collect the wax paper the bread was wrapped in to pack up my biscuits for school. She would also collect the string that were used to tie up paper parcels and re-use it. She would re-cycle old envelopes and share our magazines, books and comics with our friends and neighbours.

Plastic was something unheard of . We went shopping with cloth bags made from old curtains or homemade rafia bags. We used cloth napkins on the table and the only things we really disposed off was garbage.

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

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