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Notes to Myself

Month

December 2016

Bye bye 2016…

Year 2016 has been the most disappointing year of my life.

31st December 2016 – the most disappointing day of the year.

Bye bye 2016…the scars you have given won’t heal for years to come…forever, actually.

 

 

 

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On Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of Paytm

Not sure if you follow Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm. He is a very interesting and inspiring person and he is just 37

Sharing few interesting links.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm sold 40% of company for 8 Lakh when he was in crisis, coz he had borrowed money at 24% per year interest. And he recently sold 1% of parent company for Rs 300-400 Cr.

 

I liked when he quoted D.L. Moody who said: “Character is what you are in the dark.”

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This was published in Jan 2016, long before #demonetisation was announced.

Swag of Paytm CEO | Vijay Shekhar Sharma | Startupreneur Series

 

Vijay explains Paytm business model

 

 

One month after “Mitron…” Surgical Attack…

Today is 8th December 2016. It’s been one month since the so-called “Surgical Attack on Black Money” was announced by the PM through a nation-wide TV broadcast. The PM is a big fan of Big Bang…no, not the rom-com TV show, but the big bang approach. And the Bhakts (“follower” to the power of zillion) would call every announcement of his a “Masterstroke”. So the announcement to withdraw Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes too was a masterstroke.

Since then the narrative and tone of the Government is constantly changing. Firstly there were many flip-flips and partial rollbacks. Very soon it was clear that the exercise was not #demonetisation in true sense; but merely currency replacement. The stated goal was changed constantly – first surgical attack on black money, then bringing black money/cash into the financial system, then taking India to “cashless” society, and of late, making India a “less cash” society. But let’s call it #demonetisation (knowing fully that it is not) for the sake of this post.

Today, exactly one month  after the #demonetisation, 65% of the old currency is yet to be replaced. The PM had told nation in loud voice “Give me 50 days (till 31st Dec). Everything would be alright by then”. It seems highly unlikely now. The economy stands disrupted. GDP is estimated to go down by at least 1% (could be 2-3%).

But so was the awe (or terror?) of Modi’s authoritative style (Bhakts  call it “charisma”) that very few (of the prominent voices) dared to speak against #demonetisation. Curious case in point is HDFC Head Deepak Parekh. I am slowly beginning to lose respect for this man. He has been changing his stance more often than politicians. He had been admirer of Modi since beginning. However in 2015 he said “Nothing has changed on the ground“. I wondered how he gathered to say something against his boss. When #demonetisation was announced, Mr. Parekh on 16th November 2016 hailed  the move as a “Game Changer” (Game Changer is a first cousin of Masterstroke. Usually everything that the PM says beginning with “Mitron…” is a masterstroke and game changer). This was expected of Mr. Parekh. He is not Rahul Bajaj – someone who can speak his mind and speak against the government of the day. So nothing surprising.

However the surprising quote came yesterday when Mr. Parekh criticized the #demonetisation move and said that it has “derailed the economy“. There is no need to take this seriously. Either he would issue a clarification that he was misquoted, or he would actually issue a new statement praising the PM again.

The rest of the business community is keeping quiet. There is nobody who can bell the cat.

The way Mr. Modi and his Bhakt-brigade is going about supporting #demonetisation it looks that he would go Indira Gandhi way. He has been a narcissist for many years. However as one Lord John Acton said: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

The #demonetisation coincided with the halfway mark of Modi government (yes, it’s not BJP govt or NDA govt…it is Modi govt. Subtle but significant statement), we can only guess which way he is going. Recently he won the TIME’s people’s poll for Person of The Year. There was so much noise created by Bhakts. It later transpired that Donald Trump had won TIME’s Person of The Year 2016 award. Modi had won people’s survey (obviously – given huge Bhakt brigade, he would even win beauty pageant, if the criteria is online votes).

Anyways, the key issue is absence of a strong and credible opposition – and modestly OK alternative. Let’s see if that emerges by the time we enter 2019. Else, the “masterstrokes” would continue for another 5 years and the “game would be over” for common man.

Till then enjoy this humorous take by AIB on #demonetisation (Warning: Explicit language. Discretion advised)

MAHABHARAT beautifully explained.

MAHABHARAT beautifully explained.

It is said in the texts that 80% of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days Mahabharata war.

Sanjay, at the end of the war went to the spot where the greatest war took place; Kurukshetra.

He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood.

“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.

Sanjay turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust.

“I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.

“What do you mean?”

The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality, but definitely a philosophy.

The Old man smiled luring Sanjay into more questions.

“Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?”

Sanjay requested.

Sure, began the Old man.

The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses,

Sight,

Smell,

Taste,

Touch

and Sound…,

 

and “Do you know what the Kauravas are?” he asked narrowing his eyes.

The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them… and do you know how?

Sanjay shook his head again.

“When Krishna rides your chariot!”

The Old man smiled brighter and Sanjay gasped at that gem of insight.

Krishna is your inner voice, your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.

Sanjay was stupefied but came around quickly with another question.

“Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”

The Old man nodded, sadder for the question.

It just means that as you grow up, your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults. And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad.  Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.

Sanjay slumped down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he could understand and was struck by the enormity of it all.

 

“What about Karna?” he whispered.

 

“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being with the vices as your desire does all the time.

“Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”

Sanjay nodded silently. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone….

disappeared in the column of dust…leaving behind the great Philosophy of Life!

 

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