Working as the CTO, there are lot of assumptions people make about me. One is that the CTO is supposed to be super rich. The running joke is that whenever we go out for a restaurant for team lunch/dinner and if there is a delay, someone or other would recommend me to buy that restaurant, so that the team doesn’t have to wait. In fact, at times, I wonder if people expect me doing this at my home.
A lot of the biases are negated when they either meet me in person or when they come to my place. Ours is a small cozy place (rented) but a place we’ve been for the last 4+ years and something I would call home (irrespective of whether we own it or not).
While the jokes are all fun at that moment, there are moments where I’ve really felt super rich. It’s funny how most of the times, it didn’t really need a lot of money to feel rich. Here is my list, when I felt super duper rich and made it in life.
Good day biscuits
This is my favourite kind of biscuit and not really because I like the specific taste. Goes back to the childhood stories and experiences. Back when we were kids, we had multiple levels of biscuits at home. Whenever it was just our family, the usual biscuits we get to eat was Marie Gold. And any time we get any relatives to our place, the cookies got upgraded to Good Day (not just for the guests, but for the whole family). That’s when I realized that Good Day is the high class version of cookies. And since then, the goal in life was to get Good Day whenever I want. Thankfully, I can afford this whenever I want. 🙂 #mission-accomplished1
This was again a childhood dream. There were so many stories how the tip of the pen is made of platinum and how thin and fine the pen writes. Of course, unlike the other ink pens (we weren’t allowed to use ball point pens, since they were supposed to mess up our hand writing and gel pens were out of questions), this pen had a cool way to fill in the ink. It felt magical to refill this pen. Now, I have three of them (and force myself to write only because I have them). #mission-accomplished2
I didn’t knew hard cover books existed at all and never understood why they were a lot costlier. But once I saw a few of them (mostly in the US), I started buying them. The initial idea was that I’ll get to maintain them for a longer time. Instead, they become really good gifts (even better gifts, if the book is marked with your scribblings/notes). #mission-accomplished3
Again a recent one, but originates from the childhood memories. If we can call something as our family business, it is in creating cotton clothes. So, towels were made of pure cotton, but they weren’t soft. The first time I got a chance to stay in a costly hotel, I saw the towels there being so big, fluffy and soft. I made up my mind that one day, I become rich, I’m going to have only towels like this at home. Even now, I spend an enormous amount of time at the towels section at IKEA. This is still work in progress and still searching for the right brand (all recommendations within my wife’s budget are welcome)
PS: While explaining this list to a friend, she added the “gold foreign chocolates”. The cover of this chocolate felt like real gold wrapper :).
This whole concept of feeling rich is never incomplete without this story I once heard from Preeti Negi. I’m sharing the story based on what I can recollect and I could be wrong in some minor details. But the core of the story goes like this.
Preeti stayed in south Delhi (this is the posh part of Delhi). This was at the age when she (and most of us as well) didn’t understand the difference between rich and poor. Probably the time when we were slowly learning the concept of money. It so happened that people around her in her friends circle were well to do. For example, her family had a Maruthi 800 and a scooter. And the other friends had much better and fancier cars.
There were a few scenarios which made her wonder if she was rich. For example,
- To pick her up from the school, her dad would come and pick her up in scooter. The other kids will be picked up by in their fancy cars by their driver.
- Kids don’t know how to compare until they go to their friend’s house. The other houses were usually fancy and her house wasn’t that fancy.
That’s when she came back home and asked her dad, “Dad, Are we poor?”. Her dad explained to her they are rich in happiness. And as a family, declaring that they are rich in happiness became a tradition. Of course, she didn’t understand the depth of that statement. But now, she understands what it means and why “being rich in happiness” is all we should focus on.