Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thrift and thriving 1

2007 was a very important year for everyone's finances. It told us why we need to have solid financial plannings and gave us ample reasons to fall back to a policy which many of the new generation considered outdated, that is being thrifty. That year and thereafter we saw unprecedented number of bankruptciesand many people losing their jobs and with that many other things which they owned on credit. In the midst of all one thing stood pretty clear Indian banks and Indians somehow and for some reasons still thrived. People were perplexed and were asking how and why.

But the answer was simple Indians have thriftiness deeply rooted into them. Right from the big corporate banks to my father everyone believes in the phrase

“A penny saved is a penny earned” or “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush”

While many in the western world were being affected with affluenza, we on the other hand still upholded virtues like frugality. No wonder RBI has one of the stringent guidelines when it comes to operations relating to credit for the banks. We have one of the highest Cash reserve ratios and Statutory liquidity ratios. We can see it this way, being thrifty was a big reason why indian business and banks did survive and continue to do better than just surviving despite behemoths like Bank of America and Morgan Stanley feeling the pinch. But the real understanding of the concept of thrift and thriving comes when we look at average Indian and an average American. While many Americans during the subprime mortgage crises came to streets, Indians mostly survived and some managed to do well as most of them had their own homes, had savings in the bank and still had other assets like gold to fall to.

If we look closely we can find that word “thrift” is cognate to the verb “thrive”. In the view of Theodore Roosevelt malloch chairman and CEO of The Rooservelt group "Thrift if if properly understood should be joined with constellation of other characteristics that make society more just and ultimately more prosperous". Infact being thrifty does not make a person a miser, but opposite to that by not being thrift one becomes a person who wastes. Mahatma Gandhi's one of the strongest beliefs were to refrain oneself from wasting. It is for that very reason that thrift inevitably leads to thriving.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IPL Saga: Survival of the richest,is it?

Mr Charles Darvin must have been rolling in his grave if he had a glimpse of the title. Heads have been rolling and many skeletons have been coming out of the closets. The latest one tasting the curry seems to be honourable Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution(phew that one was long) Mr. Sharad Pawar.Although Mr Pawar with his partially disfigured face and completely dysfunctional mind for his ministerial duties (Though 100 percent functional when it comes to amassing Paisa) would have seen this coming long time. This is in no way just to lambaste Mr Pawar. The IPL is getting murkier with everyday passing and would have definitely put some bollywood masala movies to shame when it comes to twists and turns. Well to their defence i am mostly snoring just 30 minutes into the most of the movies.

What started as a well thought thought and a scripted event has turned out to be the most unpredicted one, to the predicament of Lalit modi. Heads had started rolling in the previous year with Kunal dasgupta who was part of the initial ensemble cast of the IPL saga leaving MSM. But like there was a lull before the storm and then all of a sudden it was IPL making more headlines than any other national news. Controversy after controversy appeared with an unperplexed Lalit modi at the centre of it all. Surprisingly IPL has made more headlines than India's recent string of losses at the hands of Zimbabwe. Looks like cricket on the fields stands no chance of competing with the one being played off it.

But there are still so many questions no one can answer, some obvious ones being what would be the fate of Lalit modi, or what about the future of IPL. But one thing for sure, all this has undermined the strong foundations cricket once held in my country and the popular belief rich always get away.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's all in the (Sur)name.

Knowing me many of my friends might be surprised that i wrote this, some might be shocked and many would surely frown upon this post. But i have been waiting for a long time to write this article. Finally the moment came when i was sitting in this office and this guy came to me (Better to keep the details anonymous). He asked me my name, i gave my first name and he asked me for my surname. As i told him my surname, a smile appeared on his face, and he was very happy to know i was a jatt. By this point i also came to know he was jatt too so a new conversation starting about our villages and from where my folks came from. Nothing striking came to my mind at that time, but it was when he left, it came to my mind, would i have been treated the same way if i was not a jatt, or say a dalit or a SC.

India as we all know is a very diverse country in every aspect. Religion is the most sensitive issue here and maybe followed by language conflicts. If we see the conflicts

there are

Hindus vs Muslims, Hindus vs Sikhs, Hindus vs Christians(Down south)

Sikhs vs dalit Sikhs, Hindus vs Dalit hindus, Dalits of one cast vs Dalits of other casts and many more my mind ran out of count.

In the midst of all these, Indian government is trying to resolve differences by introducing caste based bills, enhancing quotas based on castes and encouraging people to know each other's castes (census issue).

We live in such an environment today that caste should have been the least important of issues when we have Maoist terrorism, Pakistan sponsored terrorism, internal security problems(so called hindu terrorism), farmer suicides, famines, floods, illiteracy and many more problems up our sleeves. We have advanced to the 21st century and going towards space age but still the social stigma attached to being a dalit or a muslim still continues.

I have no idea when the caste system was invented, but surely the person or maharishi who did it must have been one hell of a genius. It has stood so much and surely has passed the test of time. Hats off to the person who devised it, its surely more rugged than Dr Stephen hawking's theories or for instance good old woodland shoes.

When i was born i had no idea what sandhu is or for instance what kumar, verma or sharma meant. But last 22 years have been really tough for me learning about the cast system and deciphering it all along my school and college days and still going on.

Once a very learned man said

I am neither a child, a young man, nor an ancient; nor am I of any caste”

I for one know that who helps me is my friend and who doesn't can be a friend in the future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Drive........................................

As I was cruising down the NH-1, I looked out of my car's window. Although i was completely in trance due to the mesmerising way in which the car glided on tarmac. I saw something, something that on most days nobody would have even noticed, let alone give a second look. But then it was no ordinary day and believe me no ordinary sight was that.

Probably most of you have seen it and some would have seen it more than once and at different places and through virtual sight as well. But that day it was different, it was more vivid than anything else there on the road. I stopped but I did not look at her (yes it’s a woman and stop your thoughts right here, it’s not what you are thinking it is) instead I thought about her and thoughts just flowed. She was the one thing that made me come out of my trance and yet it was nothing more that what I had known or seen before. She was the one thing most of the foreigners knew about India and how to represent it when picturising it although how much in an illusion they might be.

She was brown, maybe a bit dark, clad in a sari. She had an earthen pot on her head and was moving slowly. She looked at me and even at more than 100 km/h I couldn’t miss that glance of simplicity. She was in a way the perfect way to describe Indian simplicity. I fell short of words describing her and that one moment of simplicity one hardly finds and if found hardly cares about. I felt for one of those rarest moments that life still has many simple things to relish without being regretful after the moment.