Friday, July 1, 2011

Pehlee Tareeq!

When I was a little kid, the first of every month meant listening to this song on Radio Ceylon early in the morning :
Din hai suhana , aaj pehli tareeq hai,
Khush hai zamaana, aaj pehli tareeq hai

( Such a beautiful day, it's the first of the month
Everyone is joyous, it's the first of the month).

The first of every month was meant to be pay day, a day of celebration and joy. In our credit card world, perhaps it doesn't mean so much. I do remember a time when my household was run on a shoe-string budget, and the prospect of the first of the month brought great joy to us all. The kids would get their pocket money, there would be enthusiastic grocery shopping, and careful planning for whatever occasions that particular month would hold.
The first of each month meant many things to many people.

For me, it remains a point of honour to pay whoever works for me, on the first of every month.
The first person to be paid is the car cleaner, who comes to our door to collect the car key.
I can be sleepy and absent minded early in the morning, but if I remember the date on the previous evening, I keep his money under the car key, all ready for the morning, and his delighted smile makes my day.

Around the first of every month is when I need to order our medicines for the month.
Groceries can be bought randomly, almost ad hoc, but I'm uncomfortable till I've sent the list of our prescription medicines to the chemist.

It's a day of new beginnings, one twelfth of a new year, perhaps, but, nonetheless, a day of newness and renewal.

This month I'll
walk more, eat less,
save more, spend less
swim more, read less.........

There will be some changes that you hope to make, and some that just end up as good resolutions.

Half of 2011 got over yesterday, people. A happy second half of 2011 to you all!

Tell me, what does the first of the month mean to you?


Banno said...

Thanks for posting the song. Heard it after so long. You are right, the 1st of the month doesn't hold much importance these days, with credit cards. But I am sure people are happy to be paid on the 1st. It somehow means you can plan the month better.

dipali said...

@Banno: A month feels like a more manageable unit than a year:)

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Love the Cadbury's ads that have used the song...such a happy song, hain naa?

And of course I love the Cadbury's too :-D

dipali said...

@M4: Absolutely!

Sanand said...

Nice post.

dipali said...

@Sanand: Thank you.

R's Mom said... know it was the same at our place...first week of the month, getting grocies and stuff...amma and appa were working, but at some point in life when they built the house, we did have a slightly difficult period...infact I look back and smile at those days, when bro and I would think and discuss before asking amma appa for something, or how both of us walked back from a photo studio about 5 kilometres because we wanted to save some money or how brother used to take me backseat in his cycle with his legs barely reaching the ground so that amma didnt have to spend money on arranging a rickshaw...Awww..lemme call my brother now :)

dipali said...

@R's Mom: Ask my kids! They remember a time when I'd buy one tin of Amul cheese in the month, with the proviso that whether they ate it in a day or a month, that was all that would be bought. I do think that such financial struggles teach you a lot, and make you appreciate all that you have today!

R said...

lols! hearign that one after a LONG time!

pehli tarreq never meant much to me unless it was the first of feb as 2nd of feb is my birthday!

dipali said...

@Raam Pyari: So you are one more Aquarian! Will try and remember:)

Neera said...

Lovely post Dipali know I don't really have memories of pehli tareekh per se but in general memories of the ways we tried to save money are always very very endearing in a way to me :)

dipali said...

@Neera:I think those were simpler times, when middle-class households used all their ingenuity to get more for less. And those lessons remain with us forever!

Just Like That said...

At this stage in time, the first of the month is a time to get money from the ATM to pay the milk, the newspaper, the maid, the car cleaner etc etc etc.... It was such a simple life when there was no plastic. sigh. Now I no longer know what anything costs, (my Mom doesn't let me forget that either). It all is signed off with a flourish. :-(

Just Like That said...

and yeah, it definitely is a time to receive sms'es on the relatively full status of my bank acount.. :-)

dipali said...

@JLT: Which is why I try to shop only with cash, barring an emergency.
It helps me keep track of what I'm spending. Times have really changed, and I really don't miss waiting for the first of the month to have some money in the bank:)

Sue said...

The first of the month means yet another month of the best time of my life has slipped away and I set out to carpe diem even more fiercely. Unless, of course, I fall asleep. Many a slip etc etc.

dipali said...

@Sue: When its a choice between carpe diem and sleep, sleep is certainly not a bad option:)

G Vishwanath said...

Thanks to Sue for introducing me to one more new expression viz "carpe diem"
( that means "seize the day" to those who don't know and are too lazy to reach for the dictionary )

I hardly realize when it is the first of the month these days.
As others suggested, credit cards, automatic debits to accounts, automatic salary credits in banks have made dates irrelevant, except when it comes to paying he maidservant in cash on the first, my marriage anniversary and the wife's birthday, two dates I dare not lose sight of.

Instead of the first of the month, it is Friday evening that I look forward too every week.