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Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain

Dear Pravin,

Fellow LBC blogger, you will notice when you visit here, that I've completely changed the title of your blog topic. While I love the challenge of getting my head around the latest group blog post, I like to put my own, personal take on it. I treat it more like a writing prompt than a topic.

One of the amazing qualities which Indian people possess, I have found, having lived in the sub-continent for over two decades, is the ability to save money. No matter how little a person earns, they will nearly always manage to save something out of it.The recent demonitisation drive in India bought hidden savings literally crawling out of the woodwork. Every Indian budgets in both the short term and the long term. I couldn't believe how much cash which even poor people had squirrelled away.

When my husband lived in Dublin three decades ago, he was friendly with another man from north India. Ranjeet had left his wife and family behind in a rural village and had come to the western world to find work. And he certainly worked. He had little education and could speak hardly a word of English. He found a low-paid job in a typical curry house. He lived in a shared, rented room with a few other men in a similar position. He budgeted carefully, ate simply and refrained from smoking and alcohol, which made him rather unusual among his companions. He was completely focussed on his goal. Eventually, he rented a small shop.

Around thirty years later, Ranjeet's condition has improved considerably. His business did very well, thanks to his hard work and dedication.  He was able to bring his family to Europe from their rural, Indian village. They live in a large, beautiful house and all the children have adapted well to western life. It's great to see Ranjeet enjoying the fruits of his hard labour. However, he still works hard, as he has always done.

My husband had another friend here in India, Ranajit, who hailed from eastern India. Same name as Ranjeet, but a different spelling. Ranajit was a disciplined man who worked in a respected financial institution. He lived on a strict budget, had no car and always used public transport. He took a lunchbox from home and never bought snacks outside his house. He, too, was from a village background and had, apparently, known financial poverty. But when I saw his house, I was shocked. It was huge. He seemed to have built it so that all his children could live with him and his wife after their marriages. Sadly, however, Ranajit passed away a few years ago and his children have decided not to live in the house he'd built. I find that very sad that he never got to achieve his dream.

It seemed that Ranjeet, our north Indian friend, had gone through the pain of separation for a few years and ultimately was reunited with his family. But Ranajit, sadly, took a lot of pain throughout his life and didn't get to enjoy a long post-retirement period surrounded by grandchildren, as he'd hoped to do.

If you decide to go undergo short-term pain with a long-term goal in view, it's good to achieve that in the end. Short-term pain and long-term gain is a very good thing. But long-term pain with no long-term gain is really sad.

I have recently resumed blogging with the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a group of bloggers who post on the same topic/prompt every Friday. I'm an old member of this friendly group and delighted to be back. The current blogging members of this group are: RamanaChuck and Pravin. Thanks to Pravin for the topic/prompt 'What Would You Do In The Long Term?'.

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  1. No issues. I too did the same, changed the topic in my own way.

    Good stories of two Ranjeets.

    I believe that why should we define some experiences as "pains" we must just live through it. Easier said than done.

    1. I waited for years to marry my husband, so it was a long-term rather than a short term pain. I got him in the end and we've been married for 22 years so it worked out for me. But it was hard to go through..

  2. My long term goals have all been achieved and I am at that stage of my life where I live one day at a time. If I wake up in the morning, I am delighted that one more day has been given for me to enjoy and that is what I do. I don't save any more, but I spend on things that are necessary for my well being.

  3. There are occasions where long term pain is unavoidable but I tend to agree with you. Usually, the tougher the journey the sweeter the reward.


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