My First Lessons in Finance


“Badri, can you go to Hiralal Bhai and tell him that I need Rs.50 loan to get some grocery. There are no grains at home for Maa to cook”, my father, known as Kakaji to most youngsters in the family, told me. The year, 1957.

Hiralal Babaji was my dad’s cousin. His grocery shop was about half a kilometer away from home. This 70 year old, respected gentleman was kind-hearted and very helpful person. I loved him.

I was immensely happy, as a 12 year old boy, I was recognized and given a responsibility. I ran to Babaji with the message.

Pat was the reply from Babaji, “Pirthya* na jaar bol, peli ka liyeda rupya peli laar deveju.  Rupya muft ma padya ha kai? …… Rupya Jhhaad par koni laga”.  (Tell your father to return the money that he owes me already!  Is money lying around?  ….. Money does not grow on trees).

I was shocked and left speechless.  I never expected that reply.  I went there thinking it was my right to get that Rs.50. I left, my head hanging in shame – a shame not just for me, but for my dad. I communicated the message to kakaji without lifting my head since I didn’t have the courage to watch Kakaji’s face.  This incident was my first major disappointment. A sense of rejection made me analyze the event seriously and formed my first lessons in Finance Management.

  • Develop a status where one can extend financial support to others and know when to say ‘yes’
  • Believe in financial discipline: Know your own limitations
  • Know when to say “no” even to your beloved ones, for their good.
  • Money is not freely available, one has to earn it.
  • Do not take the availability of finance for granted.
  • Wealth and status can be earned by maintaining low profile.
  • One can share love without limits, but not money.

This small incident had a major impact on my philosophy on financial matters. I valued every paisa – what it rightly deserved.

I had just accepted a self-imposed challenge. Life now, had a purpose –

I will plan and create a situation where we achieve a status not only to take care of ourselves, but to help the needy.

I am indebted to my Babaji Hiralalji for inspiring me by teaching the first lessons in my life

* * *

 * My dad Prithviraj Baldawa was called “Pirthya” by rest of the eldermembers of the family.


Edited by: Meeta Kabra