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First salary: At 10, this tutor earned Rs 200

January 09, 2020 09:22 IST

We'd asked you, dear readers, to tell us what your first salary was and what it meant to you at the time.
Rediff
reader Godwin GS Rao shares his story. 

Godwin GS Rao

I was nine when I lost my father in 1973.

What used to be a glorious and comfortable ride when dad was alive, turned into a stark nightmare after his death.

My mother who hadn't completed her education was dependent on dad's pension to run the family and take care of nine kids, including five young children.

Two of my elder sisters, who were still in school, started tutoring small kids to support our mother financially.

I was helpless that I could not support them in this battle for survival.

In 1974, when I was 10, a guardian angel approached us to to tutor their 4-year-old son.

My sisters who were busy requested if I could take up the offer. I instantly jumped at the idea.

The first month ended in a tumultuous manner. The child turned out to be a spoilt brat who wouldn't even listen to his parents, and had a slight fear for me.

At the end of the month, I received Rs 200. 

In 1974, it was a huge amount for me. It filled my heart with pride.

I handed over the amount to my mother who refused to accept it.

She made me keep it in front of our family deity.

I was thrilled to be able to support my sisters and mother. 

I went on to be ranked among the top four private tutors in Mumbai.

A few years later, a handsome young man came to me, bowed down and touched my feet.

Initially, I did not recognise him. But when I came to know that the boy had cleared his engineering degree with flying colours, I recognised him gradually. He was the first student I had tutored.

I couldn't hold back my tears when he told me how my own battle in life had set an example for him and helped him in mending his ways.

It was a proud moment for both of us.


READER INVITE

Dear readers, do you remember what your first salary was?

When did you receive it? Which year was it?

Do you have a photograph of it?

What did it mean to you at the time? Tell us all about it.

What was your first job and salary? And how did you spend it?

Did you buy a sari for your mum or a gift for your girl/boyfriend?

Write in to us at getahead@rediff.co.in (Subject line 'My First Salary') along with your NAME, AGE, LOCATION and photograph, if possible. We will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com!

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