First Salary: I sent Rs 100 to my grandma
We asked you readers to tell us about your first salary and how you spent it. Here's the latest set of responses we received. Illustration by Uttam Ghosh
First up, we have this response from N Jayakumar:
While studying for my pre-degree at St Thomas College, I was staying with my uncle and grandma (Ammoomma in Malayalam). Throughout my stay there, I used to have petty quarrels with her.
When I joined the Indian Air Force in 1973, I received Rs 185 as my first salary.
I felt I should send a part of my first salary to my grandma and I sent her Rs 100 through money order. She was so overwhelmed by the gesture that she shared the news with everyone who came to visit her. I did not expect it to be such a great event for her.
The satisfaction of sending her that amount was so immense that everyone at my home also appreciated me for it. Today, I am a senior scientific officer in DAE and have never faced a shortage of money till date. Looking back, I feel grateful to the blessings of my grandma.
Swapnil Potdar who is currently in Helsinki, Finland also wrote to us about how happy he felt on receiving his first salary:
After my MSc, I joined Persistent Systems, an IT company based in Pune in June 2004.
The first salary that I got was around Rs 11,000. I was ecstatic. It was a wonderful feeling to start earning and help the family.
I did not spend anything and waited for the weekend to go shopping. I never had a wrist watch in my life. So, the first thing I did with the salary was bought a good Titan watch and a branded leather belt (I use them till date). Although it will sound stupid now, I'd bought a Sony stereo walkman.
I also bought a steam iron for my family, a sari for my mother, t-shirts for my brother and a good set of formal shoes, shirt and trouser for myself and my father.
As you can imagine, I spent the entire salary in the first week.
Reader Guru Rajan tells us why the memories of his first salary will remain with him:
My first salary was Rs 3,000 in 1997 which I received while working for an IT company in Chennai. I kept the money I received from my salary before God before spending it. A part of the money was spent on performing archanas and poojas in the temples.
With the remaining money, I brought a gift for my mother and a branded shirt for my dad.
In the last eight years, life has completely changed for me. I have travelled to different countries and earn in US dollars and pounds. But the emotions attached to my first salary will remain in my heart.
Dhananjay Singh Chauhan tells us what he did with his first salary:
My first salary was Rs 4,000 in 2004. Of that, I shared the first two hundred rupees notes to my father for safe keeping, which I later spent on a charitable job. With the remaining money, I watched films and had a good time with my friends.
Debojyoti Ganguly from Jharkhand took off his shoes to receive his first salary. He explains why:
After completing my engineering in 2007 through campus selection, I got selected in Ruchi Soya Industries Limited, a popular Soya and Oil firm in India.
My gross salary was Rs 10,000. But I received only Rs 8,840 in hand.
I remember I took off my shoes to receive my first salary (as if I was taking the prasad in a temple). That night was good for me.
After returning from office, I went with my friends and colleagues to a three star hotel to have dinner and drinks. That was also the first time I ever tasted scotch (100 Pipers). That was awesome!
Besides that, I sent a cheque worth Rs 2,000 to my parents for buying winter clothes with a letter that read: "Kindly accept this small amount from my first salary and seeking your blessings for earning more and becoming able to send you people more from my salary. Regards"
I continue that tradition till date.
Reader Venkat Raman wrote to us saying the happiness of drawing his first three-figure salary is comparable to none:
In 1975, after completing my post graduate degree in Science from Pune University, I joined DRDO as a science assistant for a monthly salary of Rs 600 per month.
My family comprised my mother, retired father, an elder sister and younger brother besides me. As I received my first month's salary, I went to a sweet shop and bought some sweets and shared it with my parents. They were very happy and my mother distributed it to our neighbours and friends.
As years passed, I rose to higher positions and retired from service as director in May 2012 with a take home pay of more than one lakh.
However, drawing the five-figure salary did not give me that much happiness and joy as compared to that of the first salary.
Ashit Shah from Ahmedabad was surprised to learn why his mother shared his first salary with his brother-in-law:
I was pursuing mechanical engineering and sought admission in AMIE in 1982. I lose my father when I was three years old. Subsequently, my mother had asked me to join my uncle's shop that traded in industrial goods so that I gain experience and have a feel of the outside world.
It was here that I received my first salary of Rs 250 which I shared with my mom. I worked in my uncle's shop for three years thus meeting all my expenses for engineering studies.
In 1986, I completed my mechanical engineering and got a job with Bhagwati Precimech Engineering Pvt Ltd in Ahmedabad. I received my first salary of Rs 700 as an engineer and my joy knew no bounds.
I wanted to share my salary with my mother. However, when I reached home she asked me to give the entire sum to my brother-in-law.
That's when I came to know that since our electricity bill was not paid for four months, the Ahmedabad Electricity Company had cut the power connection and my brother-in-law had paid the bill to revive the electrical connection.
Dear Readers, what was your first job? Do you remember what your first salary was?
Tell us a little about where you worked and what you did there? And of course, what did you do with your first salary? Did you buy a sari for your mum or a gift for your girl/boyfriend? We want to know so tell us all about it!
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'I have the envelope that contained my first salary'
Suresh Babu who worked in the Indian Navy tells us what he did with his first stipend:
In 1983, while pursuing engineering, I got selected in the Indian Navy in the first semester itself. I was offered a monthly stipend of Rs 400.
Since the Navy also took care of my tuition needs, I only had to fund my mess fee which I could manage with the stipend.
When I received my first stipend, I sent it to my mother. It was a great feeling.
When I visited home towards the end of my semester, I bought a saree for my mother and some toys for my niece with the little savings I managed from the monthly stipend.
Ravi Chinchalkar from Vizag may be earning 25 times his first salary. But he cherishes those old memories here:
When I received my first salary, I was about to complete my post graduation. I'd got a job as a teacher in an English medium school in a nearby place.
I earned about Rs 3,000 with which I brought a sari for my mother, clothes for my father and secured the remaining to meet other expenses.
Although I earn 25 times better than my first salary, I can never forget the experience.
Priya Ranjan Sinha ecstatically asked her dad to send her Rs 1,500 less:
On receiving my first salary, I called my dad to tell him that he may now send me only Rs 1000 now!
It seems slightly weird but that's exactly what I said to him.
After completing my engineering in 2002 (post the 9/11 crisis), there were no jobs in the market because no companies came to colleges for campus interviews.
After a lot of struggles, I managed to find a one year contract engineering job in Bharat Electronics (BEL), where I received a stipend amount of Rs 1,700 to 1800.
The stipend was not sufficient to meet my ends. However, at that time my father used to send me Rs 2,500 per month as my monthly expenditure. So as soon as I got my first stipend, I called my dad and asked him to send me only Rs 1000 that month onwards.
Since my birthday fell in the same month, I celebrated my first salary with all my friends in the nearby dhaba, where the bill came around Rs 700.
Eventually, towards the end of the month, I had to call my dad for reinforcements of another Rs 500.
Upasana Das treasures the envelope that contained her first salary:
I got Rs 1,000 as my first salary on the January 13, 2007. I brought my first mobile phone with it.
When I fell short of a few hundred bucks, I borrowed it from my mom which I returned to her when I got my next salary.
My first salary was paid to me in cash and I still have the envelope that contained it. That envelope is a prized possession for me.
Today, I earn enough to take my mom on vacations and take care of all her necessities but the charm of my first salary is just incomparable to any other pleasures in life.
For Philip TG, who is currently the vice president of a company, the first stipend of Rs 280 was special:
After completing my graduation in mechanical engineering in 1976, I joined a public sector company as an apprentice trainee.
My first salary (or stipend) was Rs 280. I shared the entire money with my father. I could see the glint of joy in my father's eyes when he received the remuneration of his son's labour.
Later I secured Rs 20 out of that to get back to my work place.
Those days Rs 280 was big money and I could also save some after paying off for accommodation, food and movies.
The satisfaction of receiving the 280 rupees was much more than what now I earn as the vice president of an overseas company.
And last, but not the least, Nibu tells us how he spent his first salary:
After completing my MBA from the IMDR, Pune, I got my first job with ICICI bank in 2006.
My first salary was 10,000 -- I had joined on the 21st and was paid only 9 days salary at the end of the month.
I took Rs 300 and treated myself to two plates Hyderabadi dum mutton biryanis which I'd always wished to have from a nearby hotel and was not able to afford due to my financial difficulties. The rest of the salary I sent home to my family.
Today, I am earning in lakhs, but nothing beats the taste of the biryani I had that day.