05 March, 2011

How much do I Earn?

To start with, let me make myself very clear- I am proud to be an Indian. I love my country, my city, with all its pros and cons. But there is one irritating habit of us Indians that I would like to point out. And I am not generalizing. Not ALL Indians do this but some do.

Delhi girls- when they meet a guy first time. First few questions go something like this-

Hi. Whats your name? (so far it is OK)
What do you do? (Harmless question but still trying to asses the financial status)
Where do you stay? (Definitely trying to assess the status. South Delhi is more posh)
Which car do you drive? (After this question, she decides whether to continue the conversation or dump the guy there and then).

This was about Delhi girls. Would you believe it that one of my relative directly asked another one, (who was working overseas)- What is your salary? Needless to say, the other person was speechless and flabbergasted.

Back to me now. This is how quite a few of my relatives ask me questions.

Relative-How much do you charge for your personal training session?
Relative-What time do you start your sessions and what time do you finish?
Relative- What is the duration of each session?
Relative- So you take .... number of clients in a day,...... in a month and each pays you....amount.

By now I can see he is mentally calculating and doing his maths. He has ciphered his numbers about my earnings in a month. He is mentally assessing- OK How much does her husband support her financially. Who must be buying her designer bags and shoes. Is she doing it on her own or is she relying on her husband? I can clearly see on his face.

WHY? That is my question. Why are we so concerned as to who earns what or spends what?

I spoke to another friend and asked, how and what am I supposed to answer in a situation like this?
This friend humorously suggested, next time, say- I am bankrupt. I have no work. Can I borrow some money from you. Then, the other person will run in the other direction instead of probing further.
I said, I have too much of pride to say something as atrocious as this.

How would you handle such questions without being rude?


  1. Two options:-

    1. Tell this you are celebrity and soon you will put your tax returns in The Hindustan Times. Even MM wants to know.

    2. Second typical Panjabi answer:- Just enough to get buy.

  2. Hahahha! I can't believe people ask such prying questions. Why do they care how much you earn anyway?! It's none of their business. I really don't know how I would deal with such questions, luckily no one has ever tried to assess my financial status! Maybe because I am young and it is clear that I am dependent on my parents?

  3. @ Leia

    Yes. See you are also finding it unbelievable no? People are too insensitive and probing. And for those kind of questions, I do not know how to evade. I mean- I could be very rude if someone directly asked- how much do u earn. To that one can say- it is none of your business. But to the questions that were asked to me, what do I say?

  4. I also hate when people ask personal questions. You have mentioned it all. I hate those questions. I just evade them. Say something like it depends....., it is like this etc. May be then they get the messg.

  5. oh ya people do ask such questions in delhi asking, how much rent you pay?
    what do you earn and how much does your husband earn?
    my standard reply is the one A wrote "enough for us or thik thak in hindi"

  6. So sad but so true!
    I'm really not sure how I would handle such a question...I'm hoping someone would be decent enough not to ask!

  7. ha ha haha ! i just had time to read this post. This is certainly a very annoying and rude trend. It shows you the calibre of the person asking the question.
    I would say there are many responses.
    " Oh, do you want to know how much I am worth?"
    " I find this question intrusive and prying."
    " Excuse me, I need to answer this call..."
    laugh as if you didn't understand
    anything, depending on your mood. Just don't tell them, if you don't want to. It is in any case information that should be available only to people you are close to and whom you trust with that information.