Sunday, February 28, 2010

A beautiful "CURD" mind

For sure, the title isn't projecting the right essence of the post. It fluctuates between the extremes of seriousness and fun. So what is it supposed to mean? Translated literally in Hindi it reads "Dimagh ka (sundar) dahi" Yeah, possibly it would have pitched the right tone now. But wait till it unleashes completely.

February is usually a quite month. One of the reasons, I like this month of the year, is the climate. It is near perfect- Not too hot, nor too cold. It is also the month when our nation sits and watches Budget. Year after year, I have failed to understand what it means (to me and to others). No matter, how serious and grim I try to be in front of the television, it still manages to give me a flak. It is just too complicated and unhealthy for my heart. All I understood from this year’s was that I would be paying a little less tax. Even that hurt me. I had to finally make amends with myself that I also belong to middle class, aam admi category, who is affected by almost everything. Be it a price rise in sugar, diesel, chappal, and you name it. The best part of being poor is that you almost always give up hope and when you give up hope, it certainly feels much better. So the poor man lives for the moment and is happy. The rich keeps getting richer and you would rarely find a Ambani cribbing for a sugar price rise. He is beyond all that. And yet he tries to get tax wave offs for better profits is another story. But certainly when he goes home after a hard day of work and has a cup of tea from Tina, I am sure, he does not think of how much it costs. So to my thinking, he is better off too. Now comes out favorite Aaam Admi. He pays most of the money he earns in taxes, fights with the vegetable vendor for a price rise, sulks for his loans, children’s education and gets so habituated to sulking that it becomes his favorite pastime. Sulk to pass time, gosh! He cares how much is the monthly outgo and creates a new mini budget sheet at home only to be at the receiving end of his wife. To me he is not a aam admi. He is the "gutli" admi. Because he never eats aam, but keeps couting the gutlis.

As I said before, the good news is that I would be saving some taxes. The joy was short lived though. A pessimist friend of mine over a cup of caffeine told us that from now on our Provident Fund would be taxed and added "Dont forget the price hike in Diesel; which means it is going to be much tougher than you think. Usually diesel hikes have a cascading effect on all the rates and it does not matter if you drive a personal vechicle or not, it still would have a nasty effect on your life style". I had to nod to his pessimism and appreciate his knowledge. What choice did I have? So after the conversation ended and caffine kicked in my nervous system I began to think seriously how to move from the gutli-admi category to the better rich class. Getting poor was certainly not an option. The social pressure would be been enormous to bear with. So my conscience convinced me to study the basics. I readied myself to get accustomed to the budget and its implications. And there I was sitting in front of a random TV channel and listening to what Pranab Babu was trying to say. Now come on, I knew I would not understand it completely at one go, so I switched to AAJ Tak who were supposedly giving a more human version of what it means. But no matter how much I tried, terms like GDP, per-capita income, capital gain blew the remaining steam in me. I decided to give a try to the flamboyant "Economic Times" next day. But sadly, it did not enlighten me a bit. It only increased the confusion and left my mind in tatters. `So there I was back to square one. The stress induced from the budget certainly made me hallucinate and there I was talking to myself which reminded me of Russel Crowe's "A beautiful mind". Mine was slightly uglier. A beautiful “curd” mind. Something I am contemplating on.....

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