Saturday, April 17, 2010
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.