If you have been educated in Mumbai you would have paid a pittance for your school education in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and well even in 2009. Well my father did his schooling in Mumbai and paid Rs. 5 (1935 – 1945) my mother paid about the same in 1952.

Then time stood still. My parents spent Rs. 5 (standard V) and Rs. 10 (standard X) for my schooling. I studied in Podar college Mumbai – and frankly do not think it cost my parents more than Rs. 2000 for theĀ  Bcom degree that I got. Then my CA course – again Rs. 2000 or thereabouts. Which means on a total cost basis it cost my father Rs. 5000 to educate me. Liberally adding the same amount for books, the total cost of my education is a grand 10k. Not a penny more. It cost my nephew the same in 1999. Inflation? You must be joking. Excel cannot even calculate it at 2 decimal places!!

Now come to the painful part. Tastes have changed – SSC schools are passe. At the place where i live at least there is a choice of schools – Nerul – Apeejay, DAV, Ryan international, Don Bosco….but all are CBSE. And the fee per year is 300% of my TOTAL COST OF EDUCATION – for one year. My friend with 2 kids paid Rs. 35k for his 1st kid (nursery) in 2003 and is today paying Rs. 50k (2009) for his second kid. Welcome to the world of branded education!

When we shift from a subsidised cost to real cost the change can be stunning. Are we living on any subsidised hand outs? Yes. Water – the subsidy is stunning. If it is re-priced your water bill can go up from Rs. 60 a month to Rs. 3000 a month – are you prepared for it? If not start today!

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