Celebrations come at a steep price
Amjad Masih is a sanitary worker with the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) whose Christmas was eclipsed by worries of repaying the Rs5,000 loan he was forced to take as his salary had not been given in advance.
In fact, even the loan he took for Christmas did not come about easily.
Two days back, he had walked eight kilometers from his house in Saddar to his friend’s place in Naseerabad because he had no money to take public transport.
“I requested him to give Rs6,000 so I could buy clothes for my four children for Bara Din,” he said.
At first his friend refused, but then later managed to give Rs5,000 on the condition that he would return it after getting his salary as soon as possible.
After securing the money, Amjad’s low spirits were temporarily overcome with joy as he took his family out for shopping.
The couple bought clothes for their three sons and daughter, but did not buy anything for themselves.
“The rates at Tench Bhatta Bazaar were higher than last year, so we spent the entire day searching for things at lower price,” he told Dawn.
In all, he spent Rs3,000 on his children’s clothes and saved Rs2,000 for a family dinner with his brother and two sisters, and their families.
“Being the eldest brother, my siblings come to my house to celebrate Christmas,” he said.
As the day ended though, Amjad’s worries returned as well.
“My monthly salary is only Rs8,000. After returning Rs5,000 to my friend, I will only be left with Rs3,000 for the entire month,” he said.