It was a warm day. Damu had just dined his sumptuous meal consisting of Murungakka (Drumstick) Sambar, Thakkali (Tomato) Kootu, Paruppu, Rasam, Venndakka Poriyal and a delicious Ugadi Ubbutu. Both Damu and Bhagiyam had visited the Venugopalaswamy Temple, offered their prayers and had later fed the cows in the temple before returning home. Of course, Damu had been attending to his Kadai (Shop) from the morning. Business had been good and Damu had kept himself safe even during COVID times through Social distancing.
Every customer was subjected to both temperature check and Pulse Oximeter check. The customers had to wear a mask and use sanitizer before entering the shop. Now that the vaccines were available, Damu and his team had vaccinated too. However, they continued to follow the same rules at the outlet.
Bhagiyam began the conversation while placing the Silver Betel nut plate in front of Damu. She took out tender betel leaves and removed the stalks. The leaves had been washed well and Bhagiyam applied a little bit of Sunnambu (Calcium Hydroxide in Tamil) before rolling them up with scented Asoka Betel nuts. The couple and their family had begun the day with a Ugadi Pachhadi and a simple Lakshmi Pooja. The day had been hectic and now it was time to relax for a while.
“So sad to see even the wealthy suffer during the Pandemic,” Bhagiyam observed pathetically.
“Of course, the poor have been suffering continuously and my sympathies are with them. I simply cannot understand why the wealthy suffered along with the poor. Maybe they missed out on something and we should figure out why,” said the logical Damu.
“Well, I’m also surprised and happy because our family and business were able to thrive during these trying times. I must say that you are a genius,” exclaimed Bhagiyam.
Damu extended his arm and collected the betel leaf roll from Bhagiyam and began chewing.
Meanwhile, Damu noticed that Bhagiyam was eager to seek his reply.
“You see Bhagiyam, businesses go through ups & downs while family needs keep fluctuating. Therefore, we must be prepared with a contingency plan. Our elders did business, and they grew. However, they diversified their investments while also creating multiple sources of income. My grandfather used to tell me that one should have business income, rent income, interest income, income from other ventures and agricultural land, which should supply requisite grains for the family. His life had been successful due to these practices. Both my father and my uncle followed the same principles and therefore all of us are happy. I’m trying to emulate my elders. This has insulated me from financial troubles,” chuckled Damu.
A surprised Bhagiyam looked at Damu and exclaimed, “I’ve spent more than twenty years with you so far. Have also contributed towards the business and the family. In fact, I’m the one who looks after the farms and the properties. I’m able to understand the entire gamut of things yet feel like Dr. Watson in the company of Sherlock Holmes. Neither my B. A. Economics nor my Diploma in Home Science are helping me to unravel these mysteries. I think we should publish a book based on these conversations between the two of us in the interest of everyone concerned. Since you are a successful person, the book will do well.”
“Yes Bhagiyam, I agree that it is a good idea. It’s time to share the ideas from the past in order to make our society progressive and self-reliant. After all India had the largest share of Global GDP during the first thousand years of the common era. I think it is time to reach the top once again. Now, Bhagiyam let us begin the process by doing the prosperity endowing Lakshmi Pooja that was being done by our elders. The story of the pooja and the procedure should be shared with everyone and a prosperous beginning can take place from this Akshaya Tritiya.”
Bhagiyam agreed and both of them began to plan for the sharing of the knowledge which would endow prosperity.
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