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How costly your spectacles can be?

Many of us wear spectacles compared to the troublesome contact lenses. I am one who wears spectacles, without which my vision is blurred. It is a different matter even with it my vision(!!) is blurred!! (pun intended)

I maintain two sets of spectacles as without it, the life comes to a grinding halt, particularly driving. I can still read and write without spectacles but would not drive as it endangers fellow citizens. With the year end coming to a close, it is prudent to check your eye sight and change your spectacles to take advantage of the Rs15,000/- limit for medical reimbursement. This is one item which easily consumes a good 30-40% of the medical reimbursement, if you are one who wears spectacles and believes in an yearly eye check-up and buying a good looking one which doesnt weigh heavily on your nose, though it burns a hole in your pocket!!

Yesterday, I got the eye-sight checked up and was told that the power (or the lack of it) has remained steady through the year, not like our Sensex and there is a very remote possibility of it going up as well. Thats the good news.. Then comes the shock of your life when you sit to select the glasses.. The minimum price of a frame is around Rs1200/- to start with. I did this at Turakhia, so there can be an premium pricing. But using a little expensive eye-wear is absolutely okay with me as I think that is the only luxury item I use!!

This time before I went for the eye-check, I made a conscious decision of not changing my frame. Why to change when it is not broke? I am not a fashion consicious person so that doesnt impact me as well. After the eye-check up, I was offered by the salesman the option of choosing the frame which I politely refused. He was okay with that and we moved on to discuss about what kind of lens should I opt for. I decided to go for optical fibre non-breakable ..blah..blah lens which practically means it would not break if you drop it and it is not photo-sensitive.

The salesman gave a quote of Rs2500/- for the change of lens alone and I was wondering should I change the frame as well considering the high cost of the lens. The salesman was a smart guy who quickly sensed my dilemma and offered to sell a new frame. I was in two-minds should I or not? Recession, job loss, salary cut all appeared before me in no time and I stuck to my original decision of not changing the frame. Better get the balance in medical reimbursement taxed rather than give it to Turakhia and Sons!!

As I waited for the credit card charge slip to come, I noticed the previous sale made in the bill register. Can you guess what would be the amount? It was Rs21,290/-. I was really floored. You think Rs2500 is luxury whereas there are people who are buying spectacles at almost 10 times the price. Should I still consider my spectacles a luxury item? I guess, NO!!


Adwait said...

If I put myself in your shoes and think...I will still consider it as luxury ! Notwithstanding the misers, It all depends on how deep the pockets are plus with whom the comparison is made !!! There are people who probably don't have money to get their eye tested !!!

Athin said...

Rs. 21,290/- guy might be eligible for reimbursement from his employer...................

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Dear Adwaith,
Very true..

Dear Athi,

May be, yes.. he is eligible for a higher reimbursement limit!!

Suresh Iyer said...

Believe it or not; I had exactly the same thoughts when I was forced to buy a pair of spectacles a couple of months ago. Ended up buying a pair worh Rs.6000/- and believe me it is literally edge of the seat stuff when someone as much as comes near the glasses, especially my two monsters!

Discovered your blog today; have spent considerable time reading your last few posts. Enjoyed them immensely.

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Hi Suresh,

Thanks for your comments.. Welcome to my blog.. nice to see you here..

You know great men think alike!!!

I can imagine how tense you would be when your kids climb and jump on you..

Keep reading !!!