The Gravy Train.


In India, whenever some new project is announced with much fanfare and foundation stones laid by local political bigwigs, the knowledgeable will know that there is a bunch of smart operators, including the ubiquitous bureaucrat and a gang of politicians is making money out of that project. Actually, one does not even have to be knowledgeable to come to this conclusion. Ordinary people without any knowledge of how public finance is managed will conclude the same way. It is the dumb ones like me, who do not know how to get on the band wagon of the gravy train and skim some off the top.

No, I am not seeking a Guru to teach me how to undumb myself. I am referring to the gall of the people concerned that have got on the gravy train despite the funding coming from the World Bank, whose auditing of expenditure is more stringent. Here is a detailed news report in our venerable Indian Express.

I am however gratified that this is not a local phenomenon. Politicians and other vested interests seem to be the same in other more “advanced” countries. Since some of my readers live in the vicinity, this report in the Washington Post should be of some interest to them. They can feel glad that their vested interests are no less than ours.

The Happiness Industry.

I was asked just yesterday by a friend Sundari, as to how I can be so happy all the time. This was after about ten minutes of telephone banter. I responded that she should not mistake my cheerfulness for happiness. She asked me to explain and I said that one can be cheerful and not happy but one cannot be happy without being cheerful. She decided that she had had enough and bid me good night. I hope that my readers will not run away without reading the full post.

Entrepreneurship is truly amazing. Find a need, design a product, produce it, market it and keep innovating it to cater to fine tuned needs as they change.

The latest need that has been identified as happiness. Why am I not surprised?

All that my so inclined readers have to do is to share their happiness formula in writing and market it and follow the formula listed in the second paragraph. Those who do not want to go through the process of getting hard copies published, the ebook option as well as the self publication online option are available.

You think that I am joking? There is big money to be made out there. If you don’ believe me, you can read this article in that venerable publication, The Economist.

After you read that, simply google for happiness and see how many ways there are to write about it and make money.

Wait.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

I have waited for so many things in my life that the process is no longer daunting. I have waited for delayed flights to take off or arrive, ditto trains; friends and relatives to do something or the other, letters to arrive, the pay check, bonus, income tax refund and so on and so forth that I doubt that I can ever make a complete list of all the things that I have waited for and for some that I am waiting for, too.

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

I am now waiting for one major resolution to a commitment that will give me some elbow room to maneuver my way around having some travel in my life. I simply have no clue as to how long I will have to wait, and so am unable to make any kind of long term plans leave alone short term ones.

As if that is not enough, after this post goes live, I will have to wait for posts from some of our LBC members to post/return to writing LBC posts, but I personally cannot delay writing because, as Grannymar puts it, I am a perfectionist!

Sigh.

Crime And Politics.

Nani Palkhiwala wrote on 16 January 1984.

“The picture that emerges is that of a great country in a state of moral decay. The immediate future seems to belong to the doomsayers rather than to cheer-mongers. We suffer from a fatty degeneration of conscience, and the malady seems to be not only persistent but prone to aggravation. The life style of too many politicians and businessmen bears eloquent testimony to the truth of dictum that the single minded pursuit of money impoverishes the mind, shrivels the imagination and desiccates the heart.
The tricolour fluttering all over the country is black, red and scarlet “black money, red tape and scarlet corruption.”

Our good friend Mayo sent this cartoon to me to see if I can do something with it in a blog and how can I not?

There is hardly any dividing line between crime and politics any more in India though in all fairness, many businesses can be exempted from the sobriquet of being criminal. Businesses however have to be very politically savvy to survive successfully in India.

Under the circumstances, what advise can one give as the father in the cartoon? Quite some famous politicians are cooling their heels in prisons just now! India however has a vast public sector which can easily accommodate the young lad. He can then combine his criminal tendencies, operate within the government and flourish.

Poor Nani must be wishing that he was alive to say “I told you so!”

Being Right.

One of the most satisfying feelings is to be proven right. Can you imagine anything better than being able to say “I told you so!” It is all the more satisfying when just a few days ago, I had written on the same subject in a different vein.

Now, I am on a high this morning because, I have been proven right.

We affectionately call our bureaucrats as Babus. Look at this fantastic achievement of our own! They have sure made us all very proud. We have come on top of at least one international comparison list.