The Lesson learnt by a Shopaholic

The Lesson learnt by a Shopaholic

“Just two more weeks for Deepavali. And moreover my fortieth birthday also happens to fall on the same day. It’s shopping time. Let’s go to the mall dear. We need to buy clothes for the entire family,” said Deepa.

“ But Deepa , you bought a couple of dresses for everyone last month. Check the wardrobe. Do we really need to buy more?” asked Raj, her husband.

“Come on Raj! Those clothes were for daily wear. Deepavali is a special festival. We all need to wear something traditional and grand. This time I want to purchase a pure kanchipuram silk saree and a designer blouse that goes with it. A silk kurta and veshti for you and readymade pattu pavadai for the girls.”

“Hmm! Now that will cost dearly. Anyways, you love shopping. What can I say?”

Raj and Deepa went to one of the best shopping mall in Chennai – Phoenix Mall, which has all shops under one roof. Deepa entered RMKV – a shop famous for silk sarees. She asked the shopkeeper to show all silk sarees with the latest design. He showed her many sarees in vibrant colours and intricate designs. She was unable to decide which one to choose.

Finally she looked at Raj and said “Can I buy these three sarees? I just love them. Each one is unique.”

Raj knew that she would never take no for an answer. He just nodded his head.

She then bought designer silk pavadai for her daughters.

“ Deepa, our children never wear traditional clothes. The ones we bought last year- I’ve hardly seen them wearing those,” said Raj.

“Now stop complaining, will you?” she scorned at him.

Finally she bought a silk kurta and veshti for Raj. Raj chose to remain mute. He was in no mood to argue with her. The bill had already skyrocketed to a huge amount.

And finally she said, “I need to purchase a nice saree for our maid Priya too.”

Raj was glad that Deepa had such a noble heart.

“Please take me to the section where they sell ordinary sarees,” said Deepa to the shopkeeper.

“Ma’am , these cotton sarees cost around 800 rs,” he said.

“Oh no, no! Something even cheaper.”

He then showed her sarees that cost 300 rs or less.

“But ma’am. These sarees don’t come with a colour guarantee. They are also most likely to shrink. I wouldn’t recommend it to you”.

“It’s not for me. It’s for my maid, you see,” she said and purchased a saree from that rack.

“You could have bought a better saree for the maid,” said Raj.

“Now come on! We have already exceeded our budget. Besides this saree isn’t all that bad,” she said and walked out of the shop.


It was the day of Deepavali and coincidentally Deepa’s birthday. Raj, Deepa and their children wore new clothes that they had purchased.

Priya, their maid came at 8 am to clean the house.

“Madam! Happy Deepavali and Happy birthday to you,” she said, handing a gift box that was wrapped.

“Thankyou Priya! A gift for my birthday? How very thoughtful of you,” Deepa remarked.

When Deepa unwrapped it, she was surprised to find an expensive silk saree.

“Priya! Why did you give me such an expensive saree? It’s so beautiful.”

“Madam. I’ve been saving money since last year to give you a nice saree for your fortieth birthday. I knew that you would love this saree. I wanted to give you the best design and quality that is trending in the market. You will look gorgeous in this saree. I always choose the best when it comes to giving others.”

Deepa was left speechless. She hung her head in shame. Her maid had proven that in spite of being poor she had a rich heart.

She quickly ran inside. She swapped the saree that she had purchased for Priya with another expensive one that she had purchased for herself and gifted it to her.

The shopaholic Deepa had learnt a profound lesson from her maid Priya on that day.

This is a fictional story, no doubt but doesn't it strike a chord with most of us? Most of us enjoy shopping and buy the best things available in the market for ourselves, but when it comes to giving others, especially the economically backward, we have our second thoughts. Let us always consider the best possible option while giving or donating something.

And also most often we tend to be in a senseless pursuit of wanting more and more of everything. Let us pause to shift our focus and try to be a giver instead of perennially wanting more. That way, not only is the person receiving, happy but the person giving also gets a great sense of satisfaction.


Glossary :

Pattu Paavadai – Silk Lehenga

Veshti - Dhoti

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