Emotional Investment I
Investment has become a fashionable word, most inappropriate in the present COVID 19 moment. Investment signifies planning for the future with an eye on multiplying your money.
Financial advisors have latched on to this word as a selling strategy. When they smell money in your bank account they persuade you to invest for wealth creation through attractive returns.
They explain the virtues of compounding and show you how ₹1 investment in a financial product would grow many times its value in x or y years. They often underplay the risk associated with their proposal. Moreover no such promise is made in black and white without ifs and buts. You fall for it trusting the face that assures you, only to realise much later that there was a catch in the proposal. Smartest investors have fallen for it. Sometimes the investment may fail to return even the amount invested. Remember FDs of dubious companies promising astronomical returns?
Earlier the emphasis was only on saving for the rainy day. We were taught the virtues of frugality and saving. But that is ancient history.
The expression emotional investment is very impressive but has all the pitfalls of financial investment. Only the risk may be even higher.
To me Emotional investment means investing your time and interest in building an emotional relationship with a person X of your choice. It takes two to tango. The initial moves may show promise and the other person too may reciprocate warmly, or so you feel. This may lead you to miscalculate the intensity of the relationship. You may start to take X for granted. Soon you are clinging to the relationship. You yearn for X. You forget that X is not bound to honour the relationship eternally. X may one day move away from you or pursue other interests considered more important, being tired of responding to and reciprocating your overtures. Then you feel betrayed and rejected. Complex emotions overpower you. You are angry, frustrated and feel let down, all for no valid reason. You forget there was never a binding contract.
To be sure no relationship founded on empty emotions (a dubious concept, even if you swear by it) can be permanent. Emotion is a spontaneous phenomenon, a fleeting moment. It can change. As an investment proposition it is not a reliable commodity. Both the parties to an emotional attachment require other binders to make it stick.
To conclude, prudence dictates that it is best to avoid it. If you are trapped into it in a moment of weakness, blinded by irrational attraction, call it off at the first opportunity. Sooner the better, but easier said than done!
Emotional Investment II
Birju was watching the news….so many voices…so many comments….arguments, difference of opinions. And the Anchor…he had his own take on the matter. Birju looked and looked and tried to make sense of what the news was saying. He was bewildered. “What do I do?” he asked himself loudly.
He heard the key being used to open the door. He turned around and Rajesh walked in. “Do you want to join us…are you coming?” he asked imperatively.
“Where? Where are you going? I thought we were not allowed to step out of the building? Look I have cooked some rice and dhal with a dry potato sabji. Let us eat first.”
“We don’t have the time for this…..just put it into a dabba…ewe will eat it on the way”, said Rajesh.
“As yet…you have not told me where we are going and how we…..”
Rajesh broke in. “I am not going to hang around here waiting for some illness to grab me by my throat. I want to be near my people…my Pithaji and Ammaji. If anything is to happen….Well! Let it happen in the midst of my near and dear. They will take care of me as I will be taking care of them”.
“Arre bhai! How will we go all those miles to our home…no buses, no trains….you tell me how? Do you want to walk all that way as they are showing those farmers….I cannot understand head or tail of all this chatter that is coming on TV. Each one says something…stay home says one. Wear a mask if you go out says another. We will bring food to you shouts another. Arre baba! Keep your distance when you go out to buy your ration and veggies says a lady! And politicians say stay home stay safe!” complained Birju. “Mad! All of them are insane!”
“I don’t care who says what. We are a group of boys from our native land in Bihar. We have got bicycles that we used to run around in our jobs here. We are getting some spare parts…tube, pump, tools. We will set out tonight. Let us see what happens!” cried out Rajesh.
“What? You are going to cycle thousand kilometres to reach home….can we do it?”
“Unless we try…..we will just sit here and fade away into the walls of this crummy little room. I am going…are you coming?”
Rajesh bustled around stuffing some clothes, a sheet and few dishes into a rucksack. Birju watched him with his hands folded across his torso.
Rajesh unplugged his charger. He pressed the buttons on his cell phone. He heard the click and said, “Baba! We are leaving this city and coming home. Please bless us that we see you soon….how many days? We don’t know…maybe 15 days”. He listened to the other voice and then replied, “I want to be with you. Our land will feed us. There will be people who will help us on the way….don’t worry. I will call you everyday…I’m leaving.
Birju was hurriedly packing the food into containers that he used to deliver choice dishes to customers. Now, he was going to eat out of them and discard on his way to the familiar food cooked by his mother’s hand.
PS: This is a true story that I heard today. The financial needs of these lads had made them invest in a future that brought them to the big city. The emotional investment they had with their families was now driving them across a huge terrain hurrying towards a security that only their families could give them against an unseen, incomprehensible threat to their life and living.
These are two different posts on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog topic written by Padmini and Natarajan. Please do check out the other investments in this topic by Rummuser, Sanjana, Shackman and Conrad. This week’s topic was suggested by me.