Jabir: Nala, I’ve been meaning to ask, if money didn’t exist, would you still get up every morning and do what you do for a living? For our living?

Nala: Jabir, I sell fruit. It means I’ve spent more than half of my working life haggling with people who feel victorious when they pay 5 rupees less on a purchase of pears and another fraction drawing dirty, envious looks from other stall owners when I manage to make a sale that they haven’t and yet another fraction seeing unsold fruit rot right before me. It’s not always fun but it’s what puts food on the table and I have to do it.

Jabir: Yeah but what if you didn’t have to, would you?

Nala: I would, I would. For all its woes, it still makes me the woman I am. I wake up every morning, charged because I feel like I’m in charge. I feel responsible for my family like I’m sure you do. It’s empowering you know, being an entrepreneur. The fact that in my own humble way, I can sell health to customers who I’d never allow to walk away without a smile and value for their money.

Jabir: So, you’re kind of glad money exists?

Nala: I am. When all is said and done, it gives me purpose. It gives my life purpose. I’m not quite so good at anything besides selling stuff. I wish everyday however, that I was better.

Jabir: And why is that?

Nala: Because I want to give you better.

Jabir: You’re doing more than the best you can.

Nala: If only I could…if only I could…have…

Jabir: The mini pick-up?

Nala: Yeah…but a truck like that costs a minimum of 4 to 5 lakh.

Jabir: Hmm…

Nala: If we owned one, I could save on the commission I pay Bhaskar every morning for bringing my stock on his vehicle.

Jabir: Wouldn’t you rather pay the commission than diesel, registration, extended warranties, insurance, general maintenance and other accessories?

Nala: No. Not quite! Our own truck would give me wheels to get to the source of the produce I’m selling on a daily basis. I can pick what I want to sell and not have to rely on a middleman. Think of how much travel time I’d save even. I could sell the fruit at different places, home deliver large quantities, reach so many more customers. The list and scope is endless!

Jabir: Hmm…go for it then!

Nala: Easier said than done. We’d have to get a loan. How’re we going to pay the EMIs and raise two children? And I wonder if the banks will even lend us money so easily? I’m not a big league retailer or anything. I just own a fruit stall at the moment.

Jabir: Everyone’s got to start somewhere right, Nala? And what if we convince them we can pay them back?

Nala: Yes, but we’d have that much less for the kids…for ourselves!

Jabir: You’re seeing the bigger picture aren’t you? We’ll have more eventually, in the long-run…if all goes well. And who knows? You might even have more time to spend with us. With the added facility of a personal vehicle, you’d knock off a few hours on your daily commute.

Nala: Wait a minute…not if I’m going to pick up the produce myself, I won’t!

Jabir: That’ll barely be a few days a week. Not every day!

Nala: True. I won’t need the ripest of the lot every day.

Jabir: Exactly. I’ve looked at Car Loan Schemes. It’s usually an 8-10-15% interest rate and you can get a loan for almost the entire amount. We just have to have all our paperwork in order. And it is.

Nala: Wait. You mean Commercial Vehicle Loan Schemes…we’re using it for commercial purposes.

Jabir: Right right. Commercial Vehicle Loan Schemes.

Nala: Jabir! We’ll be paying an EMI for almost 7 years. Roughly 6 and a half thousand a month. And we don’t even know how many more sales I’ll be making.

Jabir: You’ll be paying an EMI for 5 years. That’s all you’ve got. But! You’ll be making double the sales Nala. The pick-up accommodates triple the cargo you’re stall holds currently.

Nala: To think of it, that’s a conservative approach, actually. I could sell a lot more than double. Given the amount of localities I could potentially reach. And who knows, we may even pay off the loan sooner at a reduced amount of interest.

Jabir: See! There you go!

Nala: But the kids? How will we explain to them to want less in a world that’s out there to lure them? They’re kids! And we have to indulge them every now and then.

Jabir: You’re wrong there Nala. There’s a way for them to be happy without throwing every materialistic thing into their laps. There’s the bounty of nature and knowledge and the arts and sport and they don’t require you to the break the bank!

Nala: We might have to live from hand to mouth for a bit.

Jabir: Then so be it! Go get your little truck Nala. It’ll do you and us big good.



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