Indian economy got liberalised in 1991 and since then, like most of the world, our markets have been flooded with thousands of commodities and options for us to choose from. Although there are a few things that are of absolute necessity, there’s no doubt about the fact that some of the other products on display are not only completely useless but are rather ego fillers. In order to maintain or fulfil a certain idea of a lifestyle, we all buy stuff just to impress people around us, for, we are social animals. For we all have become or slowly becoming Charvakians, the ones who believe in the philosophy of ‘eat, drink and be merry’, and the list of buying useless things is becoming longer than ever.
A Quora user put out a question ‘What are the most useless things most Indians spend their money on’ and crazily enough Indians were quick to respond to it. From buying houses, paying EMIs for sedans, purchasing out-of-budget smartphones on EMIs to spending money on utterly racist fairness creams, the list is an interesting one and some of the responses will definitely leave you in splits.
Here’s what Quorans had to say about the things we should stop spending our hard-earned money on:
This had to top this list. From going berserk, shopping for those super expensive clothes that we are never going to wear again to splurging on decorations and venues, marriages in India are literally ‘a big deal’. And as one of the Quorans rightly points out no matter how lavish the wedding may be, how well arranged every event may be, relatives are always talented enough to come up with complaints.
One of the responses reads “Well weddings or marriages are definitely not useless things, But spending huge amount of money on it is definitely useless.” He took this one to heart.
2. Beauty products and fairness creams
This one will definitely make you feel guilty, whether you’re a man or a woman. The cosmetics industry is literally feeding on the insecurities of millions. Not a single soul on the planet is untouched by this and face creams, sun screen lotions, shaving creams, perfumes, shampoos speak volumes about how we all now have a warped view of beauty.
Fairness creams, be it Fair and Lovely for women or Fair and Handsome for men, are the most racist products in the market, but so are we right? We just couldn’t agree with this Quora user more for saying “We need to come to terms with the fact that no cream is going to make us fairer, it depends on a pigment called Melanin found in human skin cells that we acquire from our parents. So either change your parents (if you can) or have a plastic surgery. If you cannot, get over it.” Bang on!
3. Smartphones on EMIs
The option of buying smartphones on EMIs just because you cannot afford to buy it is in itself absolutely bizarre, but Indians seem to fancy the idea of impressing their peer group. We are definitely confused why do people do that?
4. Tobacco products and cigarettes
Almost all Indians have witnessed the utterly disgusting gutkha/pan masala stains in public places or public transport and also been a victim of passive smoking. Many Quorans listed out this as one of the most useless expenses Indians make at the cost of their health and we cannot agree more.
One of them writes “I have literally observed the spit stains in the streets of my city while driving. I could easily spot one in every few meters. This just proves the how many of us are into it. Plus we give ourselves cancer. Congrats.”
5. Jewellery and accessories
A major portion of marriage expenditure goes into buying jewellery and accessories. Indians invest heavily in gold, silver and diamond jewellery. And the jewellery brands are well aware of this weakness of Indians.
6. Loans for cars
Sedans or hatchbacks? This question immediately pops up in the minds of many before buying a car. A Quoran rightly puts it “Nobody cares what car you have. Not even you !” But some of us do get carried away by the societal display of wealth and end up taking huge loans which take years to repay.
Here’s what a Quora user thinks about it , “Buying a car in crowded congested cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, etc which has extensive taxi service already just to use it on weekends and fortnights. Do the math.” Oops!
In case you want to read more, here’s the entire Quora thread.
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