Saturday, October 03, 2009

The pleasure, treasure, and leisure theories of addiction.

Its the start of the festive season here in India. And such a lovely start for me.

I got an award ! From
Just Speaking My Mind. And she says some very nice things, calls me Mavshi (Aunt), and tells me I should write a book....

Thank you, Shilpa.

Age and certain other characteristics preclude me from jumping up and down with joy, but I decided to check out "addiction". Not the type that is studied all over the world by medical and psychological scholars, and not the type that includes stuff you eat/drink/inhale/inject etc.

Among the various explanations of addiction, one kind of rang a bell : the "pleasure" model .

The pleasure model proposed by professor Nils Bejerot. Addiction "is an emotional fixation (sentiment) acquired through learning, which intermittently or continually expresses itself in purposeful, stereotyped behavior with the character and force of a natural drive, aiming at a specific pleasure or the avoidance of a specific discomfort." "The pleasure mechanism may be stimulated in a number of ways and give rise to a strong fixation on repetitive behavior.

Actually , I think there is a slight misprint. Its not "pleasure", but "treasure".

Replace the word, and the model is a perfect fit. Study the enhancement of personal treasures of those who qualify in the above definition and you will see. The application of this model is exhibited in minute detail, by our powerful leaders, herein after referred to as politicians. The emotional fixation of the crisp paper, acquired through devious learning, and the resultant purposeful, driving behaviour, designed to avoid discomfort for several generations after you.

Fits our fellows to a T.

A week from today, my state , Maharashtra goes to the elections. The Election Commission has made it mandatory for candidates to submit detailed affidavits declaring their assets when filing their nominations.

It looks like we are about to elect money addicts.

13 constituencies in the state are suffering from the worst ever agrarian crises, with farmer suicides, and a stingy monsoon, and the net worth of the candidates from these places , has increased by as much as 1,157 per cent since the last general election in 2004, according to affidavits they have submitted. Two of the leading candidates belonging to the ruling combine have assets worth Rs. 310 million and 890 million respectively.

Most ministers and powerful politicians in the state have been successfully addicted to the pursuit of the lucre, and have managed to double, treble, and quadruple their assets in a short period of 2-3 years.

The emotional fixation described in the "treasure" model , is the single minded focus on money, money and more money.

The "purposeful, and
stereotyped behavior with the character and force of a natural drive" is the complete lack of finesse with which deals are struck with crooks and builders, and the great manipulation that is done to show that the letter of the law is followed. . Luckily for them LAW is only 3 letters. The entire remaining alphabet is available for exploitation, such as C for corruption, B for building, R for reclamation, D for denotification, F for Firing, I for Innocent , O for Officers, T for Threatening and Thugs, M for Money, and so on.

The "treasure model" also mention "
a specific pleasure or the avoidance of a specific discomfort ".

The role model is right there at the top. The First Citizen of the Nation, has just undertaken a 5 day pleasure trip to the state of Gujarat, which is usually treated as the bogeyman by the ruling party. Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on Oct 2, gives the nation a 3 day weekend.

It is supposedly in the fitness of things that the first citizen undertakes a tour to visit places associated with the Mahatma. And get appropriately recorded for posterity. But the first citizen is also "seized" of the matter of the lions, and so she will also spend some time in the National Parks, where efforts are on to cajole the lions to make an appearance. Mostly, they say, by putting up buffaloes as a carnivorous attraction. And to hell with what Gandhiji would think about this.

Of course, the several religious places of worship in the State, are also in line for their share of the circus.

And how ? The President will travel with a retinue of 117 persons , most of them relatives who will be bussed over from her native district. No one knows who is paying, but instructions have gone out from Delhi, to book hotels, government guest houses, cars, buses, jeeps, forest houses, caterers and the like, and spare no efforts in order to be blessed with the Presidential Approval . What is left unsaid, is that the State of Gujarat is supposed to pay for all of them, and spare no effort to ensure that the First Visit goes of successfully.

What a a role model! First the President's son is selected as a candidate for state elections. Then , everyone except the son, takes off on an all expenses paid trip to Gujarat.

Why blame minor state politicians, who dispense favours, like the H1N1 virus dispenses Swine Fu ?

And so we have these firmly addicted rulers. All following the "treasure" model of addiction.

I have just decided to introduce a "leisure" model of addiction. These leisure addicts, read, write, comment, eat, laugh, get angry, all of this virtually. On blogs. Doesn't cost the taxpayer anything. Well, nothing in millions anyway.

But maybe, just maybe, we will introduce an aspect of investigative activities in all this, which would have to be real and virtual.

Just wondering if a "Right to Information (RTI)" application to the country's Chief Information Officer, regarding the big Gujarat trip would yield any further bloggable tidbits .

Stay tuned. And addicted . To leisure.


  1. And to hell with what Gandhiji would think about this.


    Congratulations on the well deserved award!!! I too join her to add, perhaps you should write a book! :)

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  4. Wow! very stimulating and insightful. No wonder there is a request for writing a book.the connection from pleasure to treasure to .... is quite intriguing.

  5. Indeed addictive ! Long back i put a banner on my blog from Greenpeace which read something like..'long after all the trees are gone, the fishes are dead etc etc..we'll realise we cant eat money' !

    And here we have the President of the country ! I wonder if 'impunity' and 'arrogance' can have better examples than this.

    And ah the lions...well, i am glad for them. That they got their meal !

  6. Well, your blog is certainly addictive- congratulations on the award!

    re: the First Lady- it's a wonder she can assert herself about some things like extended family holidays and election tickets to the son, when she is silent on so many affairs of State.

  7. Congratz for that award. That's a most fitting award for you.

    And ye, I'd agree with others in telling you to go ahead and write a book. I'd want a signed copy of it when it finally comes out in print.

  8. Congratulations on a well deserved award, Ugich.

    Politicians must be the same the world over; addicted to money. Greed rules. As a leisure addicted blogger I am happy to write and expose ours whenever possible.

    Thanks for a well written blog. Well, all of yours are well written, so that's no surprise.

  9. Great transition from pleasure to treasure. And it is all so apt in today's time. I think the current president has been the worst opportunist in terms of using government property for her family etc!

    PS: I should add that you are a word smith, how you come up with these gems!

  10. What a perfect award~ your blog is very addictive. When I arrive at your blog, I settle in and quiet my mind before reading, because I know it will be filled with rich descriptions, interesting facts and a sense of humor that is refreshing. Count me in on the addiction!

  11. One other I can think of is addicted to the familiar landscapes of growing up, of where one lives. An attachment that comes from such an addiction.

  12. Thank you everyone for your very kind words and comments...