• Sunday, February 01, 2015

Beginners' Guide to (not) paying

Dyuty Auronee­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I love money! No matter how much of a crude capitalist that makes me sound, asking for money is sweet rather than selfish on Eid day. The mood and the merriment are always on their height on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and what adds to the excitement is children lining up in front of the elders for 'Salami' or 'Eidi'.
Now that I'm a grown-up, I have faced the situation where the hunter becomes the hunted. Bordering on 20 and earning pocket money on my own have qualified me as a potential source of salami for my siblings, younger cousins and even the little girl who lives next door and visits our home on Eid day. The little daredevils are smart at digging money and making excuses to get more out of the elders' pockets. No kidding.
Although I am on the other side of the tug-of-war now, the hunt for 'monetary blessings' is a game I cannot afford to lose. So here are a few strategies that I came up with to save my wallet from getting exceptionally lighter. As much as you try to find out ways to obtain salami, you might want to keep these in mind because one day you will find yourself on the other side too.
Avoid your opponents:
Step out of the house early in the morning so that you can avoid confrontation with your opponents or better, lock yourself in the room and stay put. Just make sure you know your safe haven beforehand.
Distract your opponents:
If you cannot succeed with the former trick, try this. Take Eid selfies with them or tell them that notes can have a lot of germs and should not be touched. Or better, ask them to remember and tell you the number of dates that they had consumed throughout Ramadan. Basically, I am asking you to take advantage of their naivety and leave them too confused to ask for money.

Choose a different weapon:
DIY Eid cards or other small gifts such as fancy stickers may go easy on your cash and do the trick for you. Using a little creativity can actually be more rewarding than whipping out ten taka from your wallet in ten seconds.
Befriend your enemy's enemy:
Always remember that you are never too old to ask for salami from your elders. So, once you obtain your share from the elders, you can donate a certain portion of it to the ones below you on the Salami Pyramid. Target a net gain rather than an equaliser, no matter what.
Lose the battle, not the war:
If all fails, here is what you can do. Stock up on fresh and clean Tk10 notes beforehand. The children will surely love them and you can hand them out instead of bigger amounts and save yourself from going bankrupt on Eid day.
Just like I have always looked for tactics to gain salami, I have quite mastered the art of avoiding paying them too. However, when the kids come to you enthusiastically showing off their empty pink pouches or empty panjabi pockets and waiting for you to pick up the hint, none of the tactics seem to be of much help. You feel as gooey as a melted chocolate bar and finally give in to the cute little ones. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Maybe that way, you get to have less of a meal at your favourite restaurant but it's totally worth the smiles you bring to them.

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

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