I do not know why I am thinking of this passage today. People without self-knowledge should know what this means:
“What is it like to get kicked in the ass? Is it the same as getting shot in the head? Clearly not. Is it like being punched in the gut? Not at all. How about a smack in the nose? Is it like that? I think not. No, a kick in the ass is something special. It propels you forward, reeling. It makes you look silly. It hurts your pride as much as your ass, although it certainly does hurt your ass, no doubt about that.
Come to think of it, when was the last time your ass hurt that way? When Mommy or Daddy spanked you, that’s when! See? Ass kicking is spanking for adults. It’s not a death blow. But the recipient shouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.”-Stanley Bing, What Would Machiavelli Do?
See this too: Merchants Of Policy, A Confederacy Of Dunces, The Hilarious Case Of Manu Joseph, Are My Villains Ayn Randian? My Experiments With Sarcasm
I love pettiness.
A friend once told me: “What I like about your blog is the way you describe the pettiness of people. You are not trying to make a particular point. What you write is often along these lines: “I said this to her, and then she said this to him.” But, what becomes obvious is the absolute pettiness that emerges from the interactions between the half-anglicized Indians inside an office.”
I find this a very bold statement because people often feel a need to search for socially acceptable justifications for everything. I often tune out much of what I hear about what people think of literature, or what I write. It is ear in and ear out for me. I often hear people saying that they like Ayn Rand’s novels because of its internally consistent philosophy. But, why can’t they simply say that they are pretty damn good novels? Isn’t that harder?
I have never read this before.
I have been hearing for long that reading the newspapers is the mark of a good boy. So, I have been reading the newspapers regularly to see what our salt-and-pepper-haired, intelligent people say. From what I hear, these are the people who know the ground reality. Their opinions do not come out of an ivory tower, like that of mine or that of academics.
But, when I read them, I feel that I have never read such highbrow English before. I have never read such lame theorizing before. But, it makes a lot of sense to read them because it is wrong to have such “prejudices”. It is wrong to dismiss people without giving their views a fair hearing. Let me read. I will begin with Mint-The WSJ, a newspaper of high editorial standards. Continue reading
I was not sarcastic as a child. I was too innocent to understand the art of insinuation. When I was in second standard, one day, as usual, the children in my class wanted to go out and play instead of learning Math. Our Mathematics teacher was ingenious. She was a clever lady. She found a way to put an end to this nuisance by saying that the kids who prefer games to her class should line up in front of the classroom. I sprung up from my chair and cheerfully walked out of the classroom. After waiting for a while for the other kids to follow, I walked down the stairs.
Walking down the stairs, I ended up staring at my 1st standard class teacher who stood far away. I was still not over my deep crush over her. I used to be deeply depressed in those days. I had believed that she had left the school, and the job. I wondered whether, as usual, my suffering was unnecessary. There was of course, a reason why I fell for her. The law of causality tells us that nothing happens without a reason. In a parents teachers meeting, she had hugged me saying that I was such a quiet child. With a smug smile on my face, I thought how naive I was to believe that she was unaware of my existence. Continue reading
As usual, inflation targeting began in the United States. In 1971, the US cut the link between the dollar and the Gold. Soon other countries followed suit. Inflation started rising to unprecedented levels in the US and the other industrial nations. Like in today’s India, the inflation of the 70’s was blamed on the rising oil prices, and various external factors. Like in today’s India, many economists had believed that with rising inflation unemployment would fall. Low growth was also associated with high inflation. But, in the 70s, with high inflation, growth fell and unemployment rose.
In 1979, the Fed decided to have monthly target rates for the growth rate of M1. (M1 consists of the public’s holdings of currency and the checking account deposits in banks and other depository institutions) In 1971-81 period, the inflation in the US was in double digits, but, something changed after that.For close to three decades, inflation in the US was steady, but historically low. Fluctuations were mild till the ongoing global slow down. This is historically unprecedented. In the 70′s and 80’s, inflation in New Zealand was higher than in other OECD countries. In 1988, the CPI inflation in New Zealand was 9%. Inflation targeting began in 1990, and by 1991, the inflation was down to 2%. Inflation and output volatility declined. By 1994, New Zealand was among the fastest growing OECD countries. In the financial year 2012-13, prices fell in New Zealand, month after month. It was so remarkably successful.
Read the whole article in the Business Standard.
My detractors tend to be shorter than me, but they also tend to have access to stronger goons.
My favorite blog post, A Confederacy Of Dunces was published on this day, a year back.
My office rant ran into twenty four pages. I wrote this when I had left my Magazine job—when I felt that every inch of energy was being drummed out of me. When I finished it, my eyes were blurred and my body weight had dropped. I had an infection that lasted six months. One day, I would find myself in a hospital bed hearing that my kidney functions are damaged. When I left the hospital, I did not hear back from someone I had known for seven years.
But, this is more beautiful, and more bitter than anything I have ever written. In a few days, it was shared more than four hundred times on Facebook.
The upside: One evening, after this was published, my ex-colleague Miss Michelle would call me. What I heard was a silent cry. “You wrote it just to spoil me, isn’t it. I am so surprised that this is what you think about me?.” I said, “Yes. But, there is not a single word in it that you can deny. What is published in your Magazine—It is their prerogative. What I write on my blog, it is mine. Even if the clotting in your father’s brain turns into hemorrhage, I do not care. I want just that. Now, shall we debate the technical and stylistic imperfections of the piece? ” Continue reading
You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you.
Krishnapriya: You are an abomination. You seem barely human to me. I have always thought so.
Me: Do not say that.
Krishnapriya: That is how I feel much of the time. Honestly. When you knew me, I was a very insecure child–defensive and very very spiteful. I guess I was intelligent too. I do not want you to use that for your writing.
Me: You need not say it to me. You know, I am old and have gone through different phases in my life. I precisely remember what I had felt at different points. I can use that insight into myself in my writing. What I write is not personal. I think it is only you who know that. Your judgment in such matters is so accurate. The other people are totally clueless. But, look, I am human. This has always been a consensus. But, these days the consensus is that I am “attitudent”. Continue reading
The search engine spiders did not know how to crawl my Yahoo Geocities page.
The year was 2003, and the search engine spiders did not know how to crawl my Yahoo Geocities page. I had written many short stories on my Yahoo Geocities page.
To capitalize on my writing skills, I decided to enter short story writing contests. I once had this plan to become a published author before I became a legal adult. But then, I was never much of a “multitasker”. Today, I know that I am not in a hurry.
It began on Sulekha. Sulekha once had a short story writing contest. But, only bloggers were allowed to enter their contest. I started blogging without even knowing what it meant. My fellow bloggers were salt-and-pepper haired NRI’s. They were all angry and upset people who just needed an outlet to vent their anger. Continue reading
“Doing charity is intrinsically difficult. Steve Jobs once said that he is not deeply engaged in philanthropy because there is no measurement system—-It is very hard to measure whether you have succeeded or not. But, according to the Bain and India philanthropy report, 80% of the individuals and 90% of the NGOs are satisfied with the efficacy of their philanthropic activities. Many economists think that this is because people often donate for the “feel-good” factor, and prefer to believe that their money goes into the right causes. “
“And, charity will never be sufficient. Economist Jagdish Bhagwati once said that an outright redistribution of wealth would only increase the food consumption of the poor by one chapatti a day. Some economists have estimated that sharing the total wealth in developing countries would leave its citizens with a few dollars a day. It is clear that charity will not solve the problem of world poverty.”
Do read the whole article in the Business Standard: Do Indian businessmen have cash registers for hearts?
No one like us!
“India was relatively unhurt in the global financial crisis. The developed countries have a lot to learn from our highly regulated financial system.”
This is a popular claim. And this is of course, nonsense.
I also suspect that this is an extension of the philosophy of the people who are not-so-intelligent (Right wing people) by the people of so-called intelligence (Leftist people).
I recently read Ila Patnaik’s response to this claim:
“India is a very poor country. We know very little about how to establish institutions or regulate markets that can support a sophisticated economy where a billion people can enjoy high productivity. Nobody in the world wants Indian-style monetary or financial policy-making. Our path ahead lies in learning how fiscal, financial and monetary institutions work in countries where per capita GDP is many times bigger than what we have in India. Our hope for making progress lies in learning these things with an open mind, and demanding a pace of change in India so that we can become more like an OECD country. A villager with no roads may foolishly boast of having no accidents, but he cannot teach people how to regulate traffic on busy intersections. It is important for policy-makers to remember that India has no lessons to offer to regulators operating in the sophisticated world of finance, and proposals suggesting that they should learn our style of regulation only make us look foolish.” Continue reading