First Salary

I was amazed at the difference and similarity of how two people were planning to spend their first salary. One of them was my cousin and the second one was my maid. Let’s make it three since I couldn’t help but remember about my experience also.

gift First my cousin – She was excitedly telling me about what she was going to do with her first salary. She had made a long list. She was planning of buying stuff for herself, brother, father & mother. She was going home for diwali & she would take those gifts with her. She was planning to buy a very expensive saree for her mom, I could visualize my aunt feeling so happy when my cousin would gift her saree. I was sure when she would get to know about the price it would add to the joy. I don’t mean to say that my aunt is greedy but her happiness would increase on realizing that her most expensive saree has been gifted to her by her own daughter.

The chat with my cousin reminded me of how I had spent my first salary. It was so boring. My mother had clearly instructed me not to buy expensive gifts from my first salary since I had to save money for my dowry. I was so disappointed but I understood her practical point of view. Half-heartedly I had accompanied my friends for shopping. They were going all out buying the best gifts whereas I was purchasing token-gifts.

Coming to the third person in the story – my maid. She had just crossed eighteen and had decided that she will work as maid for getting that extra income. While handing her the salary I asked her how she was going to spend her first salary. She responded by saying that , what will I do didi. I will just hand-it over to my mother. She will know better what to do with it. I didn’t sense any sadness in her voice.

It striked me how three persons had spent their first salary so differently. Yet the underlying emotion for all of them was same – concern, love and respect for their mother & family.

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