Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Credit card - a sweet poison

Let me take you back into 1999. I had started working just a few months back and had made a saving of Rs. 9000 to buy me a portable color TV. Yes, color TV that time was really a costly thing to buy and I had to shell out Rs. 8450 to get an Onida 14 inch color TV. I had taken out the money from the bank and was carrying full cash with me. Then I saw another customer buying TV through his credit card. Believe me that was the first time I was seeing a real credit card transaction taking place in front of me. The shopkeeper took the impression of the credit card with the help of some manual impression-taking thing and then called the bank and got the approval and done... so simple!!! Though all these now sound archaic but at that time I was really fascinated by this small plastic card and just wanted to have one in my wallet at any cost. Little did I know that small piece of plastic will make my life a helluva journey for the all the time to come.

Well, I did get my own credit card just a few months after, an ICICI Bank Gold Credit Card with a credit limit of Rs. 35,000 to begin with and thus started taking the sweet poison from that very day. Like all the youngster, in just 3 months, my credit card bill was running into five figures, though my salary was still in the four-figure range and then the minimum payment thing started and then the rest is a story I think most of us know, as we all do the same mistake over and over again until you reach a stage where even the minimum payment becomes such a big thing to pay that you start getting calls from the collection agent and those recovery goons.

Well, a word of caution for all the youngters just getting into their new job. Please don't take this poison at all if possible and if already taken, try to get rid of this sweet poison as soon as possible or soon you will be trapped into a Chakravyuh like Abhimanyu where you can only enter but just can't get out...

© 2009 Ranjan Kumar

No comments: