My uncle was a poor clerk. His five children were ill-fed and ill-dressed. It was a problem for him to meet household expenses. He was often frustrated, But frustration did not kill his good nature. He was polite, helpful and accommodating. He used to get a loan from my father, who would never take it back. He was worried about the future and marriages of his children. He would condemn the dowry system. He used to calculate the expenses on the marriages and would be satisfied to think that he would get a few thousand as Provident Fund.
But one day fortune smiled on him. He became the proud possessor of a prize-winning lottery ticket. The whole family was overjoyed. My father thanked God for helping his brother. After a few days, he started entertaining fears whether he would get the money or not. The prize of rupees five lakhs was paid to him.
My uncle was, soon, a changed man. His children started talking about shifting to a new house. He himself gave priority to the owning of a house. He would ask the price of every house and expressed contempt for living in a locality where the poor lived. He would boast of being intelligent, hard-working and honest. His visits to our house became less frequent because he started feeling that my father should visit his house, He started thinking of resigning his job because that lowered his status in the society. He thought of setting up a business. He consulted a large number of people regarding the ins and outs of different types of business. He planned to make a huge investment. He would go to different factories to know about the extent of investment.
Whenever anyone gave any suggestion, he would be suspicious. He branded people rogues who wanted to grab his money. He considered his relatives jealous. He criticised them for giving very small dowries to their daughters. He often said on oath that he would neither give nor accept a small dowry. He hated the who reminded him of his old days. He wanted to bread with old friends, old ways of life and the old environment.