Money makes the world go round. We all knew this, in a way or other even when we were kids. Yes, our interpretation of the same, or the value we associate with money kept changing as we grew older. As we earn more, it seems we tend to cling to it with higher intensity. Money has always been important for me too, but to get a unique experience or to go through some emotion which I have never felt before has always been more important than money. Some of the best experiences I had in life were free. Like sleeping under the winter sun on the roof of my house. I haven't been able to replicate that experience, in last 15 years, since I started earning. Then there are some really great experiences where I didn't care about money and splurged it, rather than clinging to it. Like my foreign holidays, that have always been hedonistic and heady.
There have been times, when people took money from me with no intention to repay. I still gave them the necessary help when they needed the most. Because for me relationships were more important than moolah at that time. Sometimes, when I gave money to acquaintances, despite multiple follow-ups I never got it back. But I never stopped trusting people. Because it is not the money, but trust in humanity that makes the world go round.
I remember an incident around 8 - 9 years ago, when I was at Delhi Airport and a guy came up to me - a complete stranger - and told me a story of how he needed to reach some place urgently and he didn't have any money. He asked me to buy him a ticket and also asked for my bank account number, so that he could send me the money back once he reached his destination. I found his story genuine and gave him money. And, guess what, he actually sent it back. Isn't it an amazing thing? He didn't really need to do it. But he was a good guy.
I don't remember his name or face.
But only his act.
You can't put value to goodness.
But still there is one minor incident related to money, which I always feel bad about. I must have been 7 or 8 years old then. My uncle gave me a Rs 10 note and sent me on an errand. I had to buy curd from a nearby shop. I bought the curd for Rs. 5 and shopkeeper returned the balance Rs. 5. It was a decent amount in late 80s, for a kid. A twenty something boy approached me and told me that to avoid losing money, I should keep it in my handkerchief. He helped me with it. I held that handkerchief tightly in my hand. When I reached home, there was no Rs. 5 note in the hanky. That bugger had robbed me in the broad daylight. I never felt bad about losing that money. I felt bad because he took me for a ride.
I don't remember his name or face either.