The SRE often reminds me of royalty. I'd read once, long ago, that the Queen of England never handles money. She never needs to, apparently- there are always ladies-in-waiting around to shell out the cash, and merchants are probably thrilled to give her stuff and then put up signs saying 'By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen'. Well, the SRE hardly uses cash, apart from what he gives his caddy, and the occasional tip when he travels out of town. He does use a credit card, usually for buying books,CDs and clothes. And since he never needs to check whether or not he has sufficient cash in his wallet to pay for them, he tends to buy what he wants to buy regardless of the price. He is, however, not at all familiar with the prices of many of the other things that are used in the house. At times he expresses shock and horror at the total monthly outgoings, but is routinely shot down for not knowing the price of anything.
While my mother was in hospital, however, our household routines were quite disturbed. The SRE bought a dozen oranges for me to take to the hospital, and was horrified to pay Rs 140/- for them. (They also happened to be the biggest and most expensive oranges at a shop in an expensive residential area, but at times convenience does rule). That was bad enough. A day or so later he realised that his razor blade needed replacing. For some years now he has being using Gillette Mach 3 blades, which are really expensive but do last for a long time. He had, however, never bought them himself. When he finally did, he was so horrified at the price that although he has bought a pack and kept them in our bathroom he can't bring himself to actually use one! He now claims that he is like the traditionally scroogy bania who would just hold out his roti near the ghee tin, and feel happy that the ghee wasn't getting over. So he simply looks at the packet of new blades, and has a perfectly good shave with the old one!
Methinks the new year deserves a new blade. I pray that I can continue to do the regular shopping so that the SRE, the most generous man I know, can shave in peace! Happy New Year 2010.
This is especially for M, my eldest child, who wanted a happy post for the New Year.