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How much do you love your dough?

You love money. Don't you dare deny it. You know very well that money is what makes the world spin about on its axis. No money equals no “significant other”, no chocolate cakes, no aviators, no leather jackets… need we say more?

To put it shortly, these pieces of paper are our very own 'Precious'; for some, the love goes a little overboard, and as a result they are dubbed a 'miser'. But even within these misers, there are different classes.

There are some who are almost misers, others who are stingy with cash, but not so much that they have a mini apoplexy every time they bring out their wallets. And of course there are the ones who make Scrooge look like a philanthropist. And by Scrooge I mean Donald Duck's uncle.

We took the pain of studying these cheapos around us, and came to the conclusion that they can be roughly classified into five levels. For your information, these five levels are listed below in an order of increasing severity. Now you can just go ahead and find out your miser-level.

LEVEL 1: I might take a hundred bucks to the mall. As emergency cash.
And those hundred bucks will probably stay in your pocket for at least four months. You don't like buying stuff on an impulse because that's wastage. Hence, you don't carry around much dough; after all, you can't buy anything if you don't have money. While such people might just be what we call 'careful spenders', such behaviour is a clear indication of a potential miser.

LEVEL 2: Yes, love. I'm cheap. That's exactly why I can buy five shirts at the price of one.
You are cheap, you know it and you are proud of it. So much so that you go around flaunting your special 'talent'. Since you are so open regarding your…uh…'condition', you will eventually (if you haven't already) end up with an eye for detecting the cheapest item available at any shop, without forgoing on the aesthetic department. Ever. You also have an annoying habit of belittling the spendthrifts.

LEVEL 3: I am not a cheapo, you moron, I'm just… a careful spender.
Of course. Why should you, of all people, be referred to as a 'cheapo'? Just because you use single toilet paper and read your neighbour's newspaper under the sodium lamp down the street? Definitely not. It's because you 'forget' to bring your wallet to the restaurant every other day and your friends have to pay for your share.

It's because you hand your grandpa a pair of used socks for his birthday. It's because you have no qualms about eating expired cupcakes and using expired cosmetics. We could say a lot more, but never mind. You are, and forever will be, in denial.

LEVEL 4: I have no money.
You never have any money As if! We know very well that you have a lot of dough, considering the fact that you never spend any of yours. You have a nasty habit of playing the pauper, tending to feed off of other people's money and preferring to go hungry over spending your own dear cash.

You certainly love your money. You are obsessed with it. You hide your money in some super-secret vault and spend your days locked in that vault cooing to your sweetheart (and goodness knows what else). And yes, we will stay away from your precious. Chill out. Sheesh!

By Sarwat Yunus

Paka Princesses and White Rocking Horses

I just finished writing about how when we were young, the opposite gender had cooties and we would never ever go near them. It was ingrained into our puny brains how icky and disgusting they were. Thinking of kids today however, the realisation suddenly hits me -- I am old. I'm too young to be old! How is it possible that there's a generation gap between my younger cousins and me?

Apparently, nowadays, cooties are not an issue. With the easy access to information and advanced research, it's hardly surprising that the new generation doesn't believe in cooties. What's surprising is how far they take their disbelief; and how openly they proclaim it.

There's no awkward age where the internal battle of wills over 'It's yucky' and 'She's so pretty' happens. No sudden moment of 'Wow! That's not icky.' I swear, kids these days are born aware.

I know an 8-year old who used to pretend he had a 'hot' (8-year olds are supposed to think that the word means warm and nothing else!) girlfriend when he was younger and brag about it to his friends. Especially when the girls were around of course, and when he didn't stop bragging about it to his crush, who of course was crushing on him too, she flipped on him and drama ensued. Drama! 'I'm never talking to you again,' and 'How dare you talk about her' drama. Definitely no fear of cooties there.

Another girl I am very close to was very up-front about her views on boys and girls and dating. When she was 6 or 7 years old, she went up to her mother and told her very matter-of-factly that she was never getting married. She had her reasons. However, she would have a boyfriend, of course. Regardless of the fact that she is extremely modern and a feisty fashionista and drama queen, I was slightly shocked.

I wasn't really surprised by her mentality, but to tell her own mother. That bit surprised me quite a lot. In this day and age only God knows what the children will come to.

Then again, telling your mother that you plan on having a boyfriend is one thing. It might be acceptable to a certain extent... I think. But imagine the look on daddy's face when his little girl shatters his protective PG-rated dreams.

The 5-year old little sister of one of my friends did just that. She went up to Daddy and said, “Abbu, jaano amader class-e ekta chele ase. O onnek handsome. Oke dekhle amar chokh pink heart hoe jae.” (Daddy, there's this boy in our class. He's very handsome. Whenever I see him, my eyes turn into pink hearts.)

I can only imagine her daddy's reaction. Imagines: *Daddy loads shotgun* “If you ever dare make my daughter's eyes turn into pink hearts ever again...”

Even toddlers these days watch Disney movie kissing scenes with dreamy looks on their faces. I still have to avert my eyes in embarrassment when my mum is present, even if it is only to roll my eyes and mutter, “Grow up mum, I'm 16.”

Still, it counts for something. And those kids practice whatever they learn, I'll tell you that. I've seen a 4-year old try to kiss a girl on the mouth. Insistently. And play with her hair. Not inquisitively; he was smirking. Up until that point I just thought that baby boys smiled cutely and innocently. It was cute of course, but not very innocent.

Times change... and no matter how many great-grandmas turn in their graves at this grave matter (looks at Shaer) it is beyond cute. Paka kids are totally adorable and kids these days...

Are definitely paka.

By Sifana Sohail



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