Money matters. A lot. But how much exactly? Would you be curious about someone’s financial worth just because… you are? Of late, I’ve noticed a tendency in people to assess what a person’s worth, in exact rupees. Like how much they’d be earning, and how much financial backing they have from other sources, and where and how much they’ve invested, and how many alliances they have for the sake of money-making. Which I find completely bizarre.
For one, I don’t know what purpose it serves. I mean, WHY would you want to know all that about someone. Okay, so I’d like to know how much Mr Ambani senior makes, and how much Shah Rukh got paid for dancing at someone’s wedding, or guess how much my boss’ salary would be. But why should I care how much my friend makes by way of his business, what his turnover is and why his dad does not invest more in their business? Unless of course, my friend wants to discuss it with me for a specific reason. (Nobody, by the way, should discuss finance with me. I suck at it!) Or if I was competing with someone professionally. Like if I was Anil Ambani, I’d like to know what Mukesh was all about in every currency. I cannot cultivate an objective curiosity about such things, however.
Perhaps it’s about where these people, who take the time to calculate their friends’ and acquaintances and random strangers’ return on investments, come from. Perhaps in business families, you do talk in terms of what others are worth. And perhaps, because I’m not from one of those families – neither new money nor landed aristocracy – I don’t relate to such assessments. And fail to see where they lead to.
To tell you the truth, in our family, there was also talk of money sometimes, but the talk was about who was earning honestly and who wasn’t, and how pathetic it was that people did anything to make a quick buck. We were very middle class like that. Still our. I still think I can respect someone with character more than I can someone with Swiss accounts of money (which is not to say that everyone who’s rich is unscrupulous). I still don’t get awed by greenbacks, and how much someone spent on a diamond or a wedding party or anything else, if I don’t like what I see. And when I see what I like, I think of what great taste that person has, what creativity, what resourcefulness; not how much money.
The Guy and I find that either we’re blissful in our ignorance, or that we’re just not that kind of people. We also think that if someone were to sit down and work out our financial standing, how unimpressive we’d seem compared to so many other people we know.
But tell me, is it normal to think of how much who is spending on what and where they’re getting their money from? Normal, not in a judgmental sort of way, but normal as in common.