Do you believe in the power of stories?
And today, on the almost-3rd anniversary of this blog (it’s on Oct 7th, woot!), I want to share with you a story that has driven some of the biggest decisions of my life in the recent years and helped me turn my life around.
This is a story from my college days.
As many of you know, I was born and raised in India. The culture and lifestyle there, particularly 20+ years back was very different than it is here now.
Back in India, parents fund children’s college years. There are no jobs for students to do to earn an income. You learn to make do with whatever allowance your parents give you.
I am a middle child from a middle class family. My years in college overlapped those of my sisters… first my older sister and then my younger sister. Consequently, the allowances we received were pretty meager.
I didn’t think too much about it at the time though. It was the norm. Most students fell into one of two distinct classes — the “rich” or the “others”.
I firmly belonged among the “others” and for the most part, I was perfectly fine with it.
During the first years of my college I received an allowance of Rs. 800 (USD 12) per month, and a little more in the later years. Out of this Rs. 600 – Rs. 650 would go towards my board (a small room shared with two others), food and electric bills. That left me with roughly Rs. 150 – Rs. 200 (about USD 2.25 – USD 3) to for all other expenses — from books to tampons.
The cost of living in India 20 years back was quite low. But still, Rs. 200 didn’t go very far. Ever the resourceful, we — the “others” — made up with creativity what we lacked in the financial department. [Read more…]