The Price of a Cricket Bat

Last year around this time, Aaryan’s school organised the annual school fair. Like any school fair, the students and teachers set up stalls for food, games etc and the school invited some local vendors too, who sold their wares.

The school kids enjoy this day long fun-fair by eating whatever takes their fancy and shopping for whatever they like too. Now, for buying food items, the kids are given some Rs 300-500 from their pocket money account and as for shopping of articles, the bill goes to the parents!! So, last year Aaryan ate whatever he wanted and shopped whatever he wanted too.

When we met him, he showed us the goodies. He had bought…

  • A trendy asymmetrical kurta which is in colours of my choice and which fits me perfectly. Whenever I have worn it, I have got compliments, though, personally, I would have never bought a jazzy kurta like that. Pic from the internet below.
  • A Kashmiri embroidered jacket for me which is simply beautiful.
  • A watch for his dad. Now this is not an ordinary watch. It is a Timex watch commemorating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the school. A collector’s item!
  • 1-2 teeny-weeny things for himself.
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While we were very happy at his thoughtful gesture (and this cost us Rs 3870) but we told him in clear terms that he should not do any shopping for us at school. He should focus on food and have fun playing games and enjoy himself in general during such fairs.

This year, before the fair, we reminded him once again, “No shopping for us!”. The fair was on 29th May and I was in school on 31st May for the Parent-Teacher Meeting. Since I was very early than the scheduled time, I was chatting with Aaryan and his friends in the classroom. They were telling me what all they did at the recently concluded school fete. Among other things, Aaryan told me that he had bought a cricket bat. I was cool with it. He plays many games and cricket is one of them. And the very next moment, his friend nudged him with his elbow and asked Aaryan, with a mischievous smile “Did you tell the price of the bat to Mom?”. I looked at Aaryan and I could see that he was very uncomfortable with the question.

I knew something was not right so I asked him about the price of the cricket bat. Very sheepishly he said “Rs 6500!!”

6500 for a cricket bat!!??, I was shocked beyond words. I took him outside and asked him some more questions and gave him a sound scolding.

It is a bat from Sanspareils Greenlands which is country’s leading cricket gear brand and the legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Virendra Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, C Pujara and many others use this brand.

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The MRP of this on website is Rs.7699!

Rs 6500 for a bat is fine if you play cricket professionally or play exceptionally well. But is it right to buy such an expensive bat when you play the game of cricket sometimes in a week and when things don’t go right while batting as per your expectations you throw the bat in disgust or anger and sulk!! Ok, the last part is bit of an exaggeration but you get the drift.

A few things emerge from this…

  • Aaryan’s friend is more sensible than him.
  • He followed our advice religiously. He didn’t buy anything for us!!
  • He still has to learn the value of money!
  • We need to be more precise in our communication… it has to be, “No shopping of expensive stuff when you are all by yourself, for some more years.”

While, I still fume on seeing the bat, KG is nonchalant about it. He believes it is a learning curve for Aaryan and that it is not the price of the bat but it is the price we paid for him to learn independent decision making!

Image 1 and 2 Courtesy : Google Images

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53 thoughts on “The Price of a Cricket Bat

  1. Shilpa
    As a parent you would expect the best out of your son.
    In my opinion,it’s important for children to have value for money and Values of life.I think,by shopping for you both,he has shown his values of life.

    • Yes Shilpa..it’s all about values of life.It won’t be long before you realise your son is a grown man.Thats the time,world,society,his friends and his MOHALLA will judge him by the values of life his parents have him.
      I think he is on the track,but,you would know better.

  2. I think thats ok… I many times deal with kids who come on trips… now mostly these kids do not get money normally… but when on trips they have money and so when they see a market… they just go crazy… most of them spend everythign they get… its general and natural I think…

    but like you told him and others do tell them and that is how they learn… its all a growing up process I guess…

    • Agree with what you have said, D! Even I have seen kids getting carried away and eating shopping for whatever they see! Hope Aaryan learns from this experience! 🙂

  3. Loved your post. It was so genuine. Of course, you also know, these are his learnings. We have also done enough such things. Let me tell you one, we, my husband and I, bought a cycle worth 7.5 K and it is languishing in the parking from Day 1. We had several plans of cycling as part of exercising but after the cycle came, nothing happened. I feel so bad everytime I look at it. But still no action 🙁

  4. Looking at all those stuffs he purchased I must say he is good in making decisions “what to purchase”……. and value of money n other things every one learns with his/her age n experience…. I am sure he will learn this too…so don’t worry 🙂

    May almighty bless him with all success in his upcoming life….Ameen !!!

    • May be the school itself can put in things which are not expensive enough for kids to be buying them!?! Ofcourse the children might have questions as to why these stuff were on sale then!

    • Yes, as long as one learns from the experience! 🙂
      Thanks, it sure is very pretty!
      Even I wonder, why such expensive stuff is kept for sale for kids. But then have seen such stalls even in Aaryan’s earlier local school. I guess, all we can do is guide our kids…

  5. Let Aryan enjoy his cricket bat without feeling guilty. From next year, please tell him the maximum amount (budget) he can spend. He will do alright.

  6. Such a nice post.I liked the way he bought things for you both, though even I would not like my son to just buy anything for us without knowing what we generally like. But it is okay. Next time please make him understand, that, at least he should call you and take your permission before spending such a huge amount, on things which may just be passing phase of interest in his life.
    I think the school also should think well before keeping such expensive things meant for professionals. Now to use it also will be a big problem for him for he has to be very careful while playing with it, though you may not say anything to him, still the Mazza of playing with it would be gone. Well I am just saying, who knows he might definitely enjoy playing with it, and make good use of it.
    We have all made such stupid mistakes, although we do know the value of money, and some day he too will learn from his mistakes.

    • Thank you so much Rama for sharing your advice and agree with what you have mentioned… All of us (his grandparents included) have given him so many instructions and advice… This sure was a big learning experience for all of us, as well!

  7. hahhaa
    buying for himself happily. Even this made me laugh it made me think too. I think with time Aryan will learn about the value of money and how and when to spend it 🙂 I enjoy such daily anecdotes by u shilpa

  8. Hmmm to an extent I agree with ur hubby, it is a learning curve but then if you don’t teach him the value of money now then when?

    Handling a kid is seriously no mean job!

  9. Personally I find this whole concept of kids spending buying things at school without parents being aware of what they are buying and the cost a little unacceptable Shilpa 😀 There are other ways to teach them to manage finances! But thats how schools these days work I guess!

    • This is an annual fair in a boarding school where parents may or may not come. Even I am not in favour of stalls for such expensive stuff. In our days, we had stalls for food, some games and some stalls selling inexpensive things. But times have changed and so has these fairs. Even in the earlier local school of Aaryan, there were stalls from local shopkeepers too! Guess, that’s the trend!

  10. I second the suggestion by SG. Give him a maximum budget and make sure that he sticks to it. It will become a good practice for the future, as well.

    But how can any school make kids buy anything they want, and send the bill to parents? And how can kids decide what is the best for themselves at that age? I guess the school is getting some commissions on the products sold.

    But I think you should still write to the school management asking them to regulate this unrestricted selling practice. They should come up with a pre-paid credit system which will enable each student to spend only as much, during fairs.

    Destination Infinity

    • I loved SG’s suggestion as well. Will do that from next time!
      Agree with what you have mentioned Rajesh. But that’s the general trend in all schools. I believe, we can only guide our son towards better and sensible decision making.

  11. You’re quite right that that was an unnecessary expense but I am sure he will slowly learn the value of money. I truly love the kurta and the jacket that he chose for you!

  12. Interesting. What I find strange is that the school allows vendors to sell such expensive stuff in a school fair. The idea of letting such young kids buy anything they want and then sending the bill to their parents is like teaching them all how to become Veronica of Archie comics!

    Personally, I feel that kids would learn to handle money better if they are given a fixed amount to spend and are told to manage their expenses within that amount. It will teach them how to prioritize their needs. And even then, there should be a reasonable upper limit to the price of the goods being sold. Kids who have just entered their teens, spending thousands of bucks like water, on non-essential stuff… I don’t see how that can teach them the value of money.

    My mom used to give me 2000 bucks annually, when I was in school. I had to buy cards/gifts for my friends from that money. All canteen food, fast food like Maggi & cold drinks etc, any other extra (i.e. non-essential) purchase (including comic books and toys) was to be managed within that amount. And I also had to keep an account of how much I spent on what, and my mom could check my “book-keeping” any time she wanted to!

    Plus, don’t you think such a “free hand” might give rise to the green monsters of jealousy and inferiority/superiority complex in kids? Some parents might have more money to give to their kids… others might be on a tighter budget. Do kids really need all that stress and negativity at such an early age? Even some grown-ups have a hard time dealing with these issues in today’s materialistic world!

    • Don’t be too angry on Aaryan though. His heart is in the right place. The school is responsible for this situation, not him. Just make him aware of all these “traps” and teach him how to avoid them and work in a budget, and he’ll be good to go. 🙂

    • I know what you mean, Kadambari. They have town visits once in 2-3 months when they are given Rs 300-500 from their account. The kids are free to use it any which way… so kids learn to prioritize what they need coz they even need to keep money aside for bus travel back to school else they have to go back walking! We see a difference in on what Aaryan used to spend earlier and what he buys now when he has these town outings!

      Though there are strict rules and the kids by no means can flaunt their parent’s money but agree it cant be ruled out completely. As parents we can make our child see our reality…

  13. I feel that it was a new experience for Aaryan. This is a learning curve for him…now that he knows that he cannot buy such expensive things am sure he will be careful in the future. You too are right in your place of being upset about the whole thing. Why not give him an upper limit below which he can spend, so that your mind is at ease and he too understands how to manage a budget.

  14. just the fact that he also chose to buy for his parents shows how well he’s been brought up…to think of others before self. laudable!

    and LOL….he did manage to stump u next time around!

    well, kids of course take their time to learn the importance of money…. maybe opening a savings account for him in a bank and teaching him how it all works, might teach him to handle money more carefully. 🙂

  15. I reserve strong words to the school authorities. To term their fancy sale and selling price in the fair as outrageous will be mild. This was an indirect plunder , using the hapless and impetuous young minds as scapegoats.
    It was the kid’s affection that prompted him to buy the wares in the previous fair, since perhaps you let that buying go by with a slight rebuke, he may have gotten bolder this time around.
    I would take the bat back to school and paid them a couple of hundred to keep it.

    I’m sure you will make the boy understand the value of money and the price of things.
    Good candid post SG.

  16. that’s a really costly bat.. but probably he wont make that mistake again.. I remember we used to have book sales etc at school but I always took permission from mom before buying anything, even though I had the money. Why dont you ask him to call you before buying something expensive?

  17. The school management seriously needs to sit down and rethink what can be allowed to be sold at these kind of fairs… But in all fairness to Aaryan, he obeyed you and even thought of his loved ones while splurging. Lessons on money management are never easy, but once learnt are very important to be followed. I learnt from this, I’m sure Aaryan and his parents will too 🙂

  18. That was really sweet of him to buy the stuff for you. I’m impressed!! But seriously, coming to the bat, I would freak out for sure. 6,500 for a bat!! Man, why do schools do that and how do they think from where the kids get that money? May be parents should talk to the school authorities on selling such expensive stuff. Anyway, as you had spoken to him, I’m sure that will make sense to him 🙂

  19. Ah the need to instill the value of money in your child! A very relevant point raised, Shilpa, which I am sure was well learnt by Aryan. As your husband rightly said, this is a learning curve for Aryan and I’m sure he is going to more cautious and calculative about spending money the next time.

    BTW that was very sweet of him to have picked up a kurta, jacket and watch for you both 🙂

  20. lovely choice of gifts by Aryan. Loved the jacket, watch and the asymmetrical kurta.
    Regarding the bat like you have already said, it is a learning experience for him and you. Btw, i can see some balanced parenting there. While the mom fumes dad is nonchalant. The problem is when both fume or both are nonchalant.

  21. How good his decision is depends on why did he buy “this” bat.

    If he understand technicalities of it and made a conscious decision for going for this one. Its cool. Even if he is not a professional player but he want to enjoy it that way. That is important I guess.

    but he just splurged then may be a little more way to learn. 🙂

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