I am at Kanchipuram today. This is due to dire circumstance and not by choice. My car is being serviced (this involves spare parts from Europe and so will take a month), and so I couldn’t drive back. The driver is on holiday for Easter (hey, Happy Easter, everyone!) and so he can’t drive me to Chennai and back in another car. And I could take the bus except I am not very enamoured of taking a bus to T-Nagar and then an auto to Velachery in the April heat.
All right, that last bit is laziness, not dire circumstance. Be that as it may – due to a combination of laziness and dire circumstance – I am spending this Sunday at the guesthouse in Kanchipuram instead of my flat in Chennai. This also meant that after a very long time, I read the Hindu Business Line, and specifically its Sunday personal finance agony aunt column.
The letter in today’s column featured a goal which features almost every Sunday:
For my daughter’s graduation, I would require Rs 10 lakh in 2021 and Rs 10 lakh for her post graduation. I wish to create a corpus of Rs 12 lakh for her marriage by 2030. For her marriage, we have 30 sovereigns of gold and 2 kg silver.
(The Hindu Business Line: Investment World)
Before I get to the financial matters, let me address the language. As an editor and grammar-bigot, there are two things about this which make my eye twitch:
- It uses ‘would’ instead of ‘will’. This appalling misuse is clearly notrestricted to North Indians.
- It uses ‘marriage’ instead of ‘wedding’.
Using ‘marriage’ instead of ‘wedding’ actually makes me twitch twice as much, because I have no way of realising which the letter writer actually meant. Did he want to have twelve lakh rupees to spend on her wedding? Or did he plan to give her twelve lakh rupees as a sort of nest egg to accompany her through married life?
If he did mean wedding, that makes me twitch for another, non-grammatical reason. I wish that just one Sunday, somebody would write in to the personal finance advice column and proudly announce that they were saving purely for retirement and that if their kids wanted a big fat wedding they had better pay for it themselves or elope.
This whole saving up so you can afford a big wedding thing must be one of the leading causes of misery in India. So much present consumption foregone, and all it accomplishes is to put the bride and groom through even more stress. Haakthoo.