Name: – Lipi Thapliyal
College: — Faculty of Law, Delhi University
Interned at: – RNM and Associates
How did I spend my 1st internship stipend?
“Never spend your money before you have it”–If these words spoken by U.S President Thomas Jefferson were addressed to me, they would have been spent in vain. My first internship was with a boutique corporate finance outfit, RNM and Associates and the idea of receiving my stipend exhilarated me so much that I did exactly what Mr. Jefferson had advised against. To make things worse, my HR manager made me feel like Anton Chekhov’s ‘Yulia’ and a considerable amount (almost half!) was trimmed down for inexplicable reasons. Nevertheless, I still had around 3,200 rupees to spend.
My buddies would have definitely been more merciful if I hadn’t been such a Scrooge all along. Finally, I was able to reason with them; their ‘ridge-tent’ treat was taken care of by Dominoes and a promise of a ‘bungalow’ treat next month. It was a stroke of luck that they missed sight of a newly opened fancy restaurant.
After treating my friends and catering for their sundry demands I was left with the meagre amount of 2,000 bucks which was definitely not sufficient to cover debt owed as well as future expenses. So, cash in hand crumbled from peanuts to small bits of it and debt piled up since I bought some stuff for my younger brother before going home for vacations. I still regret that I was not able to buy anything for my parents and I did not have the faintest idea that the fag end of my mishandled money was destined to be spent for some noble cause.
It was the evening when my last currency note of 500 was lying relaxed dues to my determination of not squandering this time. I bought a packet of chips from an old man who used to sit near the tea shop I usually went to after work. He was my grandfather’s age and found solace in telling me about his family, his grandchildren studying in some distant village in U.P. That day he sounded low. When I asked him, he told me that he was having some trouble hearing and he consulted a doctor at a government hospital. He showed me the prescription. I took him to the chemist and he reckoned up the cost of five day medicine to Rs. 200-250. Then we came back to tea shop where I saw my friend, a journalist. We discussed the situation and decided to defray the expenses. I handed the old man whatever money I had at that time and my friend promised that he’d use his contacts at the government hospital so that his treatment was done properly. I asked the old man to meet me the next day, but he did not come and after my Diwali vacations ended, he kind of disappeared; left me wondering whether something happened to him or he made all that up to cadge some money off me. But I’ve always believed that it is better to err on the side of humanity and benevolence.
Moreover, I learnt a crucial lesson- prudence! I guess readers can put up with a small rhyme here:
“It is for cadgers to learn
Every dime is hard to earn
Else when you will be broke and your heart will burn
Then you’ll yearn, for that wasted penny that was hard-earned.”
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