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

This entry was posted in Biography, Finance, My First Lessons and tagged , , by badri. Bookmark the permalink.

About badri

As I approached 68 (2013), my son, Anand insisted that I had proven enough in my 45-year long career and it was time I took life a little easier; enjoy traveling (that I love) and social life. Yet, I somehow wanted to contribute positively and was exploring my options. My son-in-law, Navin suggested that I should write and share my experiences, “being a self-made man, you should tell the next generation how you overcame various obstacles to reach this position, in both, business and social circles.” He pointed out that while I was sharing my experiences with family and friends, as they approached me, a blog had the potential to take your voice to many, many more. He also insisted that I start mentoring youngsters who were new in their businesses. I was convinced. I offered my services pro bono, as part of a Guidance Program. Also, I started writing on this blog, bringing out figments from my memory as experiences that might be of value to the readers here. My daughter Meeta is sweet enough to spare her time to edit what I write. As a youngster, I thought one meal a day, one set of school uniform a year, a public place to study, lack of finance and basic shelter would keep me from achieving my dreams. To compensate, I started giving 110% of what was normally expected. Yes, 110% even in bad deeds! This worked. The very limitations started inspiring me in different phases of my life – meritorious results in studies; strength to shoulder family responsibilities; satisfied employers; establishing a successful business of my own; and in my adventure trips and other travel plans. Having done what I wanted to, I agreed it was time for me to expose myself! I felt, through this blog, I could and should share my expereinces. Hopefully, readers would find some bits useful and if not, they’d enjoy reading. Look forward to interact with you. Happy Reading, Badri Baldawa

11 thoughts on “My First Lessons in Finance

  1. Nice one. Small incidents do have big impact on our life and how it shapes up after the incident.

    My weakness is –
    Not Knowing when to say “no” even to your beloved ones, for their good

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Thanks for sharing Sir. Well it is a pleasure to learn it just by reading and observation. Indeed, You experienced it and that’s what pays off. A very good message delivered by the experience.

  3. Nice blog and thanks for sharing your experience. Looking forward to more such blogs.

  4. Dear Kakaji

    Inspiring words. You as a person have inspired many including me ( Strongly ). Enjoyed reading. Please do post other inspiring stories of your business success from which we can learn.


  5. bhaisahab,

    truely inspiring , keep senting us such fruitful lessons !!! a lot to learn from yourself., thx

  6. Indeed you have made your plan work out well Fufaji, where today you are in such a respectable position to help others in need. It is great that you have started the blog to pass on your learnings to us all. This firms our belief which our elders have been following, “Value and respect Money”!! Keep posting. Thanks. JSK.

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