Friday, February 15, 2013

Had enough of Retail therapy? Try Gifting Therapy!

We're young, we're rich. We've got spending power! The new India. Our disposable income is hiking up by the moment, along with the inflation. But, so are our desires.

I usually head to an Idli- mendu vada vendor near Vasai Railway station on weekends I'm here with my girl ( She's my wife now, but I still like to call her my girl).

He saw me today with my swanky ride, a Bajaj Pulsar 220 F- I really don't know what the F stands for, but I can think of a few words to describe it ;).

Handles best with both tyres on the ground

Whilst I am not much into the aesthetic value of bikes and more into the horsepower in it, I have to admit it's a beaut. My kid brother gifted it to me for my marriage; he was deliriously happy some woman had agreed to matrimony with me, and hence is a much loved materialistic possession. Add the fact that I reached Vasai to Andheri in 35 minutes flat says a lot more about the speed machine the bike is than my riding skills.

It came as no surprise when the enthusiastic 'Anna' proclaimed that this was a really beautiful bike, and the one in silver was better lookin', in his opinion. I was too busy devouring the delectable Mendu Vadas, and the most I could do was nod. You don't ever want to argue with the person serving you, do you?

When full, and having ordered some for home, I saw him gleaning at someone else's bike, and asked if he was really into bikes? This was the surprise.

He said yes, he liked the bikes. And yes, this was his age to enjoy them. But, he also remarked that he was sure months after buying it, his mind would get satiated off it and meander towards other materialistic possessions, and that's how it was.

What struck me that a hard working, moderately educated breakfast provider had understood that this Retail therapy was an exercise in futility, the void of desire in us would never, ever be fulfilled.

That's what we do all the time, don't we? We want good grades at first, then a kick ass job, then an increment, a new job, a bike, a house, a car, a bigger house! It's a never ending list.

The way I see it, if I look at it from a different perspective? We learn less, cram more to get good grades. Understand less. We lie and warp the truth to get a job. Every increment gets in more responsibilities, every new job absorbs more of our time. A bike, a house and a car bring along loans, worries and sleepless nights.

Of course, we are social animals. Of course, we need a car to reach late to work in, good clothes to flaunt, and trophy houses to gloat over. My question is, does it end, and can it end?

Honestly, no. I don't think it can. We take pride in these achievements, and rightly so. It is directly linked to our self esteem and self worth. It's retail therapy.

Regardless of this, try gifting therapy. In simple terms, gift your time, your attention, your skills, your money, to your loved ones.

Gifting therapy means doing things for other people. For their happiness, for their well-being.

We have the latest smart-phones, who not gift a 1000 rupee phone to your loyal house maid? Got some free time, who not teach a few children? Gift a kind word to a sub-ordinate, it may mean so much to him. Gift a seat to an old man in the train, and his thank you will really make you happy. On your birthday, gift half the amount of the wicked party you were to have to an orphanage, and interact with the children there, I can assure you the party will still be great, and you won't need a lot of alcohol to get high.

I know of many people who keep gifting materialistic things, their time, energy and skills, and they are the happiest people around. That feeling of doing something for others, that high is ten times greater than the feeling of buying a new tee to accompany those 48 others in your wardrobe.

Some people may call it a selfish need again, and I am not debating that. I do it, because it makes me feel much better and happier than buying anything for myself. I am but sharing my experience of Gifting therapy.

Let me know how gifting therapy works out for you. I'm hooked to it!

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