How did I become rich?

Time: 1988-92

Location: Tinplate Colony, Jamshedpur


Growing up in Jamshedpur and about a year short of being a teenager, I had turned out to be my mother’s only help who could visit shops to purchase daily supplies. Instead of handing me a list of things to procure, she preferred to speak out, “दो कीलो आलू, एक कीलो मसूर दल , एक  कीलो मसूर धूलि , चीनी एक कीलो, 250 gram जीरा, धनिया पावडर 250 gm वाला पाकेट, एक पाकेट टाटा नमक, थोड़ी हरी मिर्ची सब्जी वाले से ले लेना etc…” A good exercise for me- if I bought all what I was told, I cleared the memory test, else it was exercising to and fro to shops to buy the forgotten items. By the way, I re-visited shops only to buy what my mother had missed out in the first instance.


My father worked with Tinplate Company of India Ltd. with a take-home salary of not more than INR 3000 per month in those years. This was lot less in a sense if you consider this- 2500 square feet house provided by Company, electricity cost nominal and medical facilities free to all members of family.


After winning a long argument with my grandfather, my father had decided to go ahead with the decision to educate both his kids in an English medium school. This was sometime around 1980. The decision was paying off quite well. While my sister was a bit sharper and smarter compared to me, I use to score better in exams compared to her. My habit of slogging is since then. 🙂


In expectation of a great future, our parents worked hard and continue to fund our schooling at INR 250 per month per kid- almost 10 times a hindi-medium school in those times and 1/10th of what I pay for my elder daughter today. So I am rich today since I meet such increase in expenses.


Year 1992, I was in Class IX at Gulmohar High School and when Iraq attacked Kuwait. We enjoyed the images of war on Black&White TV branded, Uptron. However, as a kid what I remember the most is the increase in Oil prices- overhearing my father’s conversation at petrol pump, “इतना मेहेंगा, क्या करेंगे आगे जा कर”. Petrol prices, if I am not wrond increased from INR 8-9 per litre to around INR 15 per litre and within a short span of time to INR 22 per litre in and around gulf war.


I use to worry about the pressure on pockets of middle class people (courtesy of growing in an industrial township) as expenses grew faster than salaries. Everywhere I use to hear adults discussing मेहेंगाई (became friend of “inflation” only after my graduation)- sugar prices had increased to INR 10 per Kg. Since then sugar prices have increased 300% and petrol prices by 225%. So I am rich today since I drive a car and have a 2-wheeler as well.


Year- 1999-2001

Location: Indrapuri Colony, Indore, Madhya Pradesh

 I had grown up to live my fantasies in real. Had fallen for Monica at age of 17.5 and we were married at age of 22. Living in Indore, we use to pay rent of INR 2200 per month, used soyabean oil for cooking at INR 30 per litre. Dinner at शराफ्फा  बाज़ार costing not more than INR 100 and post stomach full of डोसा, पाँव भाजी, साबूदाने की खिचड़ी, दही भल्ला and गुलाब जामुन.

Our breakfast use to cost INR 20 for 2- पोहा at INR 4 each and 250 gm of जलेबी for INR 12. With MBA curriculum at the back of my mind, I use to find it cheaper to have breakfast outside than cooking at home. 🙂

Today, in Delhi we consume Safola lite as cooking oil costing INR 90 per litre. Rent paid is INR 16000 per month and a weekend outing costs us atleast INR 500-750 for a meal. I can spend all this and also a movie to multiplex at times. So I am rich.
 Monica believes, money has always worried me but I know what is worrying for me. Its failing to be more disciplined in life with regards to money. I spend, when felt at heart and on anybody and for anything. After all, I am rich. 🙂
 I promise nothing more on inflation from me till I watch Peeply Live.