This morning, as I walked into the swimming pool area, I saw the son of my father's friend. I walked over to him to say Hi and make polite conversation. After the How are yous, things drifted to work.
He asked me if my office was still in Begumpet. I replied in the negative and said that that company had shut down and I was now working for a company called Splendid Green Technologies. "Oh!", he said, "you work for them now?". "Yes", I said.
And then he dropped the bomb.
"How much are they paying you?"
"That's none of your fucking business!", I wanted to say. But restrained myself.
I muttered a ridiculously low figure.
"Oh! that much they are paying you!"
"Yes, but about a third of it goes into tax", I offered, trying hard to reduce his shock.
"Oh, ok". Didn't work too well.
I hurriedly took leave and walked towards the changing room.
The fascination for the knowledge of everyone's income really is amazing. Many people cannot help asking these kinds of questions. They will itch and itch till they ask that question. And they will have an opinion about the figure no matter how high or how low it is.
Income is a highly personal piece of information. And I have often been embarrassed by people asking me the question. I am rarely prepared to answer this and end up saying something ridiculous when the answer should be short and simple: "None of your fucking business!"