Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sebaceous matters

Sweat equity is a term used to describe the contribution made to a project by people who contribute their time and effort, for which they are given some kind of monetary benefits in certain forms.

I know lots of folks who should be given sweat equity in Mumbai. And would love to know, how someone who is based in Dubai and enriching commerce there, can get sweat equity here, all of a sudden.

I realize that IPL has brought in a lot of new concepts, like cheerleaders, buying human beings, redefining fours, sixes and wickets, based on who pays how much money to TV people, and a promotion of a certain sense of carelessness that arises from holding matches at a time when children have final exams in school.

When we went to school, most of our sums involved hundreds, and when something was in thousands our jaws literally dropped. Today , if you do not know how many zeroes after 1 make a crore, that's probably me.

Do bus drivers in Mumbai need to get sweat equity ? They offer their time and effort towards the Mumbai transportation system , get paid a pittance, suffer long work hours, stressful working conditions; all this year after year. Part of the pittance goes into compulsory savings, and they retire (if they don't fall sick earlier) on a measly pension. And the sweat equity goes to the municipal bosses, and politicians, who specialize in favours.

What about the police in Mumbai, notwithstanding the immense ridicule they face ? 12 hour workdays, in a 40 degree humid weather, no shade, and wild traffic, with a good chance of collision if they stand in the middle of the road ? Hardly any breaks, no proper meal stops, personnel replacements. And I wont even mention weapons, some of which should actually be in a museum. There is so much sweat, but again the equity deludes them, as it is seen flitting to higher echelons...

As I sit at the window, there is construction happening on a huge building outside. They work from sunrise, well into the night under lights. Sweat is the order of the day, as they climb higher and higher, without safety nets outside the building, some folks without helmets, working at the edge of a slab, 8 floors above the ground, under a searing mid-day sun. They certainly contribute to the success of the project, but no one has seen the equity so far. Maybe it comes in the form of a another job as mason somewhere else, again 15 floors up. An unavoidable slog, while the family stays back, at the native place, worrying about the truant rains.

I work, I pay my taxes ; I rush to meet deadlines; I specialize is standing in queues; in some way, I too offer my sweat, and possibly get my benefits on retirement. I help fund the various projects that my city/state/country initiates through my taxes. Inadvertently I even fund, some totally unjustified expenses of those in power, simply because my taxes are used there.

And between the bus drivers, police, teachers, and ordinary folks, we give our service to the nation for many years, before getting our savings back in pension form.

That's not equity.

As per IPL, the government or employer should have taken one look at me, suddenly gone ballistic about how great an asset I could prove for them, and offered me a huge amount as sweat equity, just to be part of them. Up front, just like that, even before defining my work. And I would get more and more as time elapsed. All based on someone's vision of my work, and not any actual work.

If someone made a noise about it, I would be transferred , my employer would go on leave, my neighbors would look strangely at me, and the bhajiwala would hike up the price of things every time I visited.

In the meanwhile, we have a twittering minister who has given external affairs a new meaning, a crassly commercial , possibly unscrupulous commissioner, who is trying to redefine cricket as a corporate and entertainment activity, a lady who got her nose fixed, getting a sweat equity of 70 crores, even before a single game was played, and visuals of tax people carrying heavy bags to investigate somewhere, as their bosses fly in from somewhere else after practicing a suitably tight lipped look.

Of course there is Pandemonium in Parliament, which is now the norm, regardless of the issue. There will be an investigation by a committee, which is also the norm. They won't discuss the findings in Parliament which is also the norm. Someone will demand a CBI enquiry, which is also a norm.

The Kings (Super and Ordinary), Indians, Challengers, Royals, Daredevils, Chargers, and Knight Riders, will continue to play by day, and attend parties by night.

Maybe you will also have some Pune Peshwas, Apro Amdavadis, Trichi Terminators, Ludhiana Laloos, Baroda Babas, Allahbadi Aams, Shimla Sahebs, Tripura Tigers, and Jammu Jewels joining in the fray.

And the enigmatic lady with the nose job, will go on to newer projects, newer equities.

No sweat.....!


  1. loved the last line..very well written..

  2. Its a very apt post about IPL . Yeah , IPL is all about money minting ,the game is incidental. The brazen guys are sweeping the money in crores (hundreds of crores infact) .its a tryst of our socialistic democracy that while cricket mongers are worried about where to keep the money , the poor people who sweat themselves to death remain penniless all their lives.

  3. Kya kare, some people have all the sweat...

    This just proves that education does not equal honesty and integrity esp. in politics..

  4. 'Deterioration happens over a period of time and then gets accepted as normal.'

  5. The key word is 'equity'. There is no such thing when politicians are involved. Fairness is a myth, sad to say.

  6. You said it all. Nothing more to add. Sad state of affairs - external and internal!

  7. It is sad how some people get paid for nothing and people like our domestic help and construction labourers have to slog to earn a pittance.

    I'm sure nothing much will change after this current controversy. Tharoor may have to resign as part of the govts' face-saving measures, but thats about it. Used to have high regard for the man, but what with all these controversies he seems to be rahter immature and as caught in the trappings of power as the rest of them.

  8. I do so enjoy your thinking, Gappa, your writing.


  9. There are so many things that are happening in the space that it sometimes can get very befuddling and confusing.

    Its the classic story of a how a simple game can get to such a heady mix of politics, poilticians, moneybags and sleaze. The last of those, may be overstated. But ought to be stated as well !

    yes...sweat equity... no sweat ! :)

  10. "There will be an investigation by a committee, which is also the norm. They won't discuss the findings in Parliament which is also the norm. Someone will demand a CBI enquiry, which is also a norm.

    Sums it up. :(

    And we will continue to spend a lot of our free time watching the IPL.

  11. The thing that saddens me the most about this whole sordid affair is that Shashi Tharoor does not even try to keep up the pretense of innocence.

    His behaviour whether in parliament or before reporters this week has been completely brazen!

    And yes, buying and selling human beings is really not cricket- it's a slave market.

  12. With erratic power supply in peak summer all of Indians deserve 'sweat equity' don't we? thanks to power supply by Tata steel we are better off but the Jharkhand Electricity board should hang its head in shame for their handling and distribution of electricity to the public. With the common man suffering these ministers have the cheek to talk of crores and five star hotels. And what about Lalit Modi? Is he any better? 'Ek ser to dusra sava ser'. Last week it was sania/sohaib saga and this week it is Shashi Taroor/Lalit Modi megaserial. Feel like breaking the TV set but then the loss would be mine.

    Sorry for the rambling monologue. You raised the right issue in your extraordinary style. well said.

  13. The unbelieavable thing is rich people doesn't do much work...They make the right friends, put the money at right places and they party...

    I believe as Indians who love this country let's stop watching this Tamasha called IPL

  14. lakshmi Thank You !

    Kirti Everyone realizes that IPL is a money machine, but then they continue to slavishly rush to see it and pay for it. I thought it was shaky thing. Now look what has happened !

    Bones Sweat for some, AC for some others, and the remaining folks like us, keep watching like fools. Seeing whats in the news, maybe some change will happen. ..?

    nsiyer I guess we must accept minus with the plus. ...

    Darlene Yes, fairness does appear to be a myth....

    Radha And this news drives everything else off the main page !

    Ritu, Pearl Thank you !

    Arundhati Sometimes , I think people do everything, but their assigned jobs ,when in Government. Or maybe even otherwise. ...

    Kavi We should probably standby for a movie on all this...all the ingredients are there, they just needed a heroine/vamp, and she arrived as Sunanda !

    IHM So sad.

    manju You know, I actually felt bad when they "acquired" Sachin for a price. I even blogged about it : A Grand(ma) commentary on the state of cricket circa 2008...

    HHG What you say is so absolutely true. ..

    Diplai Thank you

    Jon Thank you and welcome to the blog ...

  15. Great post.. in your inimitable style!
    Loved the last line :)sumps it up!