JournalismPakistan.com November 17, 2016
My young cousin in Mumbai is having a hard time like thousands of diligent parents being blackmailed by their children. His children, aged 12 and 10, have refused to extend him a loan. Being a conscientious parent he taught them the advantages of savings at a tender age and now the sin is not only coming home to roost, it is bouncing about like a pingpong ball.
They both have steel encased piggy bank equivalents loaded with Rs5 coins, Rs10 notes and several Rs100 notes given by stingy but loving aunts and uncles and various friends as shagun on their visits. Being a hi-tech freak himself dad has given them all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to prepare them for the new age. These are not some pinky plastic doodahs with a smiling piggy face and a slot on the top that you can drop gently onto the ground and smash to bits. This is safer than a Brink’s armoured vehicle and demands computer guidance besides codes to be opened. It also has a voice that warns of marauders. These are steely pigs.
Consequently, the kids are sitting on a veritable fortune. But they won’t give Mum and Dad the password to get to the code to get to the voice activator to reach the lovely legal notes and coins. They have asked their parents to fill in an application each supported by two pp sized photographs and a letter countersigned by a gazetted officer.
Dad was supposedly caught last night trying to pilfer one of the domestic bank vaults by trying various combinations of four figures because he had to pay for the milk in the morning but they caught him because the camera on the computer had been kept in surveillance mode and was capturing imagery through a heat and movement signal in front of it. He has been put on the blacklist and his loan application returned.
I need the money for milk and veggies and you are the ones with the real cash, so please, pretty please, give me 50 bucks.
Dad, said his daughter, you are raising your voice, you are the one asking for the loan, we don’t have to give it, you know, please act like an applicant.
And, said his son, you really didn’t think we wouldn’t have put a warning system, how could you do that, steal our money?
I wasn’t stealing it, he said, I was borrowing it.
In the dead of night, Dad, really?
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.