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Monopoly with Excel Interior Design Institute,Nagpur.

With an optimistic viewpoint, we are spending this lock down time as an opportunity to gear up kids for a brighter future, if not the rat race. Playing the board game – Monopoly is thus, an obvious choice. This game is called Business in India. In our childhood, we mostly played it for the fun of handling money, owning properties, adventure of going to jail & getting married number of times. But now as entrepreneurs ourselves, we took it as a fortuity to make kids adsorb the lessons that come with money, power & responsibilities that follow.

When the game started, it was all hunky-dory. Having lot of money, buying properties & services, getting rewards & paying taxes was all fun. But slowly, as the game deepened, it was time to create monopoly & build assets. Now as an experiment, my 14 year old son Ansh, wanted to buy a property of each colour, to hinder everyone from holding a monopoly in any specific colour. So he purchased a property in 4 times more cost than its value. That seemed adventurous to him at first. We decided not to object, for he must take his own lessons. Soon, his finances dipped, as he ended up paying Income tax & wealth tax heavily. So also, as he was himself not holding a monopoly, he was also not earning any rent on the assets. Now with so little cash in hand, he could neither upgrade his properties, nor ask for higher rents and eventually had to mortgage them at lower prices. Soon he realized that in a zeal to harm others u first set your own tent on fire.

Our younger son who is 8 year old, was also an independent player. Too young to get the nitigrities of money, he was jumping with energy & playing with least attention. He was happily collecting rents on services, in hundreds while others where collecting rent on houses & hotels in thousands.

At a time, when he had a lot of cash, & his brother was dipped low in debts, i asked him, “Ishaan, 20 years from now, if some day, you come to know that bhaiya isn’t doing good financially, what will you do?” He took a pause for a moment & replied, “I will transfer a good amount into his bank account & not say a word about it.” That gave me immense satisfaction, thinking that i have done my bit as a parent it seems.

Later the younger one lost all his money, as he wasn’t building assets. A chap, who was earlier playing with least attention, eating mangoes in between, now sat erect and started valuing every Rs.100/- note that was coming to him. As he is very closely attached to me being his mother, he wasn’t bargaining on deals with me. This also made him face the heat & so, ‘Don’t mix business with emotions’ was the next lesson that came hard way.

Decision making & taking calculated risks were strengthened when they decided about which property to build houses & hotels on. Father asked questions before they took important moves to make them here their own logic. The co-relation between expense & income was best felt when they had to pay 5,000/- as tariff of hotel while they were earning only 1400/- as rent sometimes.

So many life lessons & money matters came handy, in a play way manner like never before. The game lasted for 8 hours but the lessons learnt were for life time.