My Mum has always said I was born with a silver spoon.
I took that lifestyle for granted, when I was little. Now an adult, I look around, feel blessed and praise the Almighty who despite all the hardships we have been through over the last four years, kept us feeling that way.
I always believed in buying the most expensive of things. The most expensive watch. The most expensive mobile phone. The most expensive car...and so on, as you get the picture.
However, I have managed to subdue myself in that regard, now. We no longer have the most expensive car, or mobile phone, or anything for that matter. But whatever we do have, we are satisfied with it.
Our phones play music, take photos and look good. Our televisions play programmes, sound okay and the pictures are not fuzzy.
But while we learnt to undo our ostentatious lifestyle, in that duration our near and dear ones who weren't part of the rat-race till now, joined the glitzy ranks. These were family who had unstable working careers, ambitious migration plans, or simply had just started their own business; obviously, things weren't expected to happen overnight, and they didn't either. So, now when we started saving, they started spending.
And spending like we never spent before. Because, quite frankly, the technology breakthrough now was unachieved back in our days. Our choices were limited, but now - hell's broken loose with brands...
Nevertheless, even back then, I couldn't have told brands apart, as my little cousins can do now, even with their eyes closed. I didn't know that Kenwood's default sound system in cars is way inferior to Bose's (apparently, they told me it is). Nor did I care. Or do.
The extent of brand awareness they have been nurtured with, is mind boggling. Even for someone like me, who has lived in England for a good many years.
And it has taught me a valuable lesson, the kind that I will make sure my children get to be educated with as soon as they can tell right from wrong.
To dream the life of a millionaire, one has to start low, so to speak. If you don't know what it feels like to be able to afford something yet not buy it, how could you possibly relish the feeling of actually buying it, years down the line?
Our new generation is ignorant of the value of money. They all have it, and that is all they care about. They don't see where that money comes from, or how it was earned, or how hard it was to buy the lifestyle they are living. They were just born in it.
And their parents, who probably didn't see any of it in their childhood don't even spend a fraction of time teaching them to respect it.
They all are busy spending away. Spending away as if there was no tomorrow. Nike. Adidas. Next. Gucci. Louis Vuitton. DKNY. Dior.
Just spend it all away and make it all right.
But that doesn't make you rich. In fact, that is the plug to your recession. And almost always, when you pull it, it takes it all away...
My Dad told me of how poor he was when he started his career. He lived in one of the dingiest areas of Lahore (if I ever go there again, I will make sure I take a picture to show you), had two daughters (my sisters) to fend for, but no job.
Today, I never forget that. If he hadn't tried to get us out of there, we would have been stuck there, like several others today. And I know that.
There is no harm in living a luxurious lifestyle. You have earned it, so spend it. But, think back to where we all started. And where we all must go in the end, and tell me...
Does it really matter whether we shop at Debenhams or Harvey Nichols? Shouldn't we see if it fits us or not, first, and that it covers us just okay..?
Do we all have to own a four-wheel drive? Can't a smaller car do the job right?
Does everyone have to have an air conditioner? Can't we spend just one night under a tiny ceiling fan?
Did we have to...did we really have to make ourselves and our children a slave to brands?