Feb 28, 2006

1 days salary?

Recently i was visited by Sub Constable Gokul Prasad of Habibganj Thana. No, dont get any ideas - it was the verification process for my passport application.

Now, I live in a very comfortable bachelor pad and only have some good friends visit. So the main entrance is the door to my bedroom. Im not used to men in uniform striding into my bedroom with rifles. It was quite disorienting.

Anywe Gokulji and his comrade proceeded to fill in the app and ask quite a few irksome questions, and I had no choice but to answer. Didnt wanna take any chances with the passport, u know. One of the pieces of information they extracted was my salary - and this one was actually needed on the form.

End of it all - he asked me to do his 'hisaab kitaab'. Now, I dont understand how this man - or anyone with a trace of self-respect can openly ask for money. To me, it is no different from beggary. Dude! u r in a uniform - I have respect for that. With ur rifle, in my bedroom, i find u almost intimidating. How can u just throw all that away and beg?

I generally do not pay ppl like this - its a matter of principles. Anywe, i was kinda surprised and before catching up with the situation, I gave him 100 bucks. He looked at it and smirked. 'Yeh?! Humne to aapse isse zyada socha tha. Zyada nahi to-Ek din ki tankha'. Which would be around 16 times what i gave him. Anywe i just gave him a blank look and he left.

All this happened a month back and i kinda forgot. Till yesterday, when someting similar happened with the postman - which i shall spare u the details of. (If u r still reading, its the least i can do)

I thought about that line. 'One days salary'...

It started about 9 years back - I joined class 11. Slogged for two years and coped with the pressure at home to 'make a career', till i fought the JEE and won. Another four years at IIT (Ok, I enjoyed those - but it still took time, money and a fair amount of effort to get that BTech). Then i belled the CAT and got into the absolute slogfest at IIML (Ok not quite, but there was an awful lot to do there).

Essentially, i went through several stringent quality tests before i was branded 'IIT-IIM'. Even on an IIT-IIM branded product, the recruiter ran its own quality tests before offering me my job. Now I go there and spend 9-10 hours a day, every day, and create some value (somehow) for the company.

9 years invested, and 9 hours of effort - for one days salary.

Could i just give it to this guy for 10 min work - which he is also paid to do?

Maybe. But i would lose some respect from the person i see in the mirror. He works hard for this money. I wish Gokulji could understand. But he cant. Thats y he is where he is - and thats y i am where i am.

Call me arrogant - but this is the way i think. Im proud of it - and can not and would not be any other way.

Some people i know feel really sad for beggars. So do I. But i will not give them even a rupee. '5 bucks man. Tujhe kya farak padhega? Woh khush ho jayega'

Its never about the amount, my friend. Its about the principle. Some people can feel guilty about the money they were born with, and want to share it with the less fortunate. I dont have any fortune. Ive worked hard and earned every bit of what i have. And Im not giving it away. If someone wants it, they should also go and earn it rather than blaming it on luck. I can help them. And id be as happy as you if someone got out of their misery - and if i could help them in any way.

But im not giving anything away for free. Not a days salary, not a rupee.


  1. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Agree that i cannot give my 10 hrs' salary for someone's 10 min job... atleast not to a "Thulla"...
    But man....have a heart....you may have earned your IIT-IIM degree with your hard work...there are a lot of " what ifs" which could have happened......So help some to half as good a degree...if you can

  2. Do not trivialize this. Its not like I never had any bad luck, or that 'what if's always went in my favor, nor do I deny that I had some opportunities that others didnt.
    Its about making the most out of ur opportunities. Id be glad to help some1 to achieve not just half-as-good, but all that i have. And i dont want anything in return.
    But - i am not giving anything away to some1 who does not put in at least as much himself, as i do for him. We'll talk in detail sometime, if u want to..

  3. Totally agree ... I won't say that I've never bribed a cop but only when I know it was my fault and .. well .. bribing the cop seemed like the easy way to get out !

    We all work hard for our money and giving away baksheesh to the postman, maid, watchman, dhobi, traffic cops and the beggar on the road seems like a waste !