“Is that too much to ask for?” Part II

​”There’s no money in women’s cricket, hence, no future.”

“IPL’s glamorous business is playing in your head, which is but only for men”

“Ever heard of any female cricketer or broadcast of an international match? They’re all oblivious”

One after the other, such pessimism made the road ahead marshy for her and subsequently with every step, Adira feared submerging in the bog.

So just like everyone who failed to understand Robert Frost’s conjecture in his eloquent work, “The Road not taken”, so did she but here on purpose.

When the great poet quipped:

“And I took the one less travelled by,

And that’s made all the difference…”

He rang bells of sarcasm on every individual who’s more or less a part of the mob, yet when interrogated will always mention his great struggle through a difficult path and thereby, claim indelible  triumph in his/her own eyes.

Similarly, even she thought of doing life the easy way by narrating great ideas and greater philosophies of breaking concrete and becoming a professional cricketer but never ever attempting those surreal ordeals.

Holding conversation with peers drowned into dullness as she instead spent her schooling hours by doodling in the chemistry class, poking her face outside the window in the physics class and with a sunken head sealed with ambitions in the computer class. Adira stayed perennially consumed in her own thoughts after that deft “NO” she’d received from her father. This was her class 12 and doubtlessly, Indian parents hardly take this academic session with a pinch of salt let alone playing cricket simultaneously.

Eyes welled up night after night as the pillows grew moist with grief only her heart knew about. Even today, she can’t recapitulate a single moonlit sky which didn’t give her sleep out of dreariness. Dreariness as a byproduct of incessant tears and frothful fears. Every morning that she got up, her feet trembled while getting down from bed. They were shy of crashing on the floor, on landing… Quite incapable of carrying her own weight now.

But, she was adamant. Adamant of not becoming a granny who whines about how life offered her lemons when she sought peaches.

Those tanned pages of every book she’d read in past on meticulous struggles, uncountable sacrifices on the path to glory and the will to adhere in every given circumstance were her Nightingale.

She incessantly muttered to herself that Adira is going to be Adira.

So she survived this woeful academic session, secured admission in a decent college and then thought to give a second shot to her passion. She was worried whether her parents would allow her to play cricket this time around or not. And energy to fight more battles at home had almost drained her mentally in the past two years. So, she put this little clandestine in her belly and hit another cricket field.

Life in this new second home was different. Here, she met a wider pool of players. From the ones who were just playing because they took admission under sports quota to the ones who’d travelled miles from their villages to a metro like Delhi in search of better facilities, exposure and recognition; every girl here had her own story which is quite usual yet, felt magical.

Adira had saved quite a few bucks over the recent years such that she could afford coaching fees, cricketing whites and shoes. She spent the initial few months borrowing cricket kit from her peers and often missed college to reach the ground.

Realities were appearing to converge with her expectations as she played quite a few inter college matches and many practice games. But soon she realized that she can’t go really far by playing this hide and seek game at home.

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Long run: We’re all dead

​Recently, ex governor of RBI, ex finance minister and ex prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh became the butt of all jokes when the renowned economist quoted the very great, Sir John Maynard Keynes:

In the long run, we’re all dead.
But I would like to take his case forward because as an economics student, I somewhere believe the man has got a point!

Source: localpress.in

In economics, short run, medium run and long run are/can be never properly defined. A short run for a policy can be 6 months in one country and 60 years in another country.
For example, Japan after atomic attacks wanted to grow industrially by increasing production. So companies like Daikin, Toyota etc came up and despite poor agricultural endowments; they were able to spur growth. The economic theory says that when production is increased to improve growth rate then consumption levels initially are compromised of the public in the short run (due to increased investments in production) but in the long run as profits start coming; incomes increase and expenditure/consumption rises too. And medium run always means the equilibrium. So here, medium run would be investment = consumption. 

Japan adopted this policy in 1950s and here we are in 2017, and yet the short run of Japan hasn’t ended. Currently, they’re having 0% lending rates yet none are taking up loans or consuming a substantial part of their income. This downfall in expenditure/domestic demand is what’s restraining japan from competing with China, us etc. It’s not the lack of technology there but the lack of young population (who generally demand the highest goods and services) 
Most of their population is ageing.
Compare it to India where I think 65% are below 25 and hence, demand is an all time high affair. And this brings inflation, currency depreciation, fiscal deficit etc in India.
So the thing is:
1. Long run can be as long as eternity
2. Till the time long run comes, external factors begin affecting the policy’s objective. Here, that externality being age group of population. Other common ones are political scenario, central banks efficiency etc
3. Long run NEVER comes. Like I said, medium run is equilibrium and in economics, equilibrium is a mirage. We can/should aim for it but in the foresight, its good to know that we’ll never reach there. However, in pursuit of coming closer to it we can grow.. That’s it.
Since there’s no medium run, there ought to be no long run.

Is that too much to ask for?

​”Is that too much to ask for?”, she sighed.
Adira plucked her school bag from the almirah after pinning the neatly pleated dupatta and sat in the bus. The occasional honking by the driver pestered her often, and consequently she would switch over to her dreams for resurrection.


Sliding on the seat, pushing the back rest of the front chair through her red striped bellies, she adjusted her focus onto things that offered her a new lease of life.

Racing with the morning sun to reach the horizon earlier, she religiously smacked her bat on reaching the ground.

An atheist, had finally found her God.

Soon after, she geared up for tossing the red cherry on a freshly flattened tract, as she kissed her divine idol before releasing it in the air.

“Beeeeepppppppp”, honked the driver one last time on that trip as the school approached and as always, Adira sulked on busted fantasies just like the little girl who was blowing soap bubbles at the roadside.

She marched to her class with bold steps, yet cowardice found solace within. Retrospection that ruffle adults had swept away this young giant’s mind.
“Is that too much to ask for?”, she sighed.
Her parents were bursting magnanimously on her for choosing cricket as a career option till yesterday but today morning, they wore layers of insecurities than the usual fury. Cluelessness did to them what a steady and determined spirit did to her: minds were blown; but in opposite directions.
Rebel is what they called her, when she didn’t succumb to the stereotypes of the world. Never asking anyone as how to conduct herself and plan her future  as a girl, ample of unsolicited advises poured in. In a first, those torturous remarks dented her morale and unrequited sarcasm bruised her ambitions.
Tirelessly creating and recreating speeches in the broad daylight during the recess break, the protagonist often found herself mindlessly bent over trivial issues. She wanted to convince her father to let her play and resultantly, those speeches were meant to quench the thirst of a father who declined to the glass of water on offer.
Breathing was involuntary and hence, smooth; but Adira’s heartbeat wasn’t so. It pounced at every request she made to her parents to let her follow her heart. After a plethora of futile efforts, she made a firm choice… To walk away.
To walk away from everything that appeared like destiny till few days back to experimenting one cheap life which everyone tagged as priceless. A life which would see you retiring at 55. A life where every nook and corner will be filled with, “Ladki hoke cricket khelti hain?”

A life which will see no family turning to you with an apparent rishta.

A life which even if shorter than the rest would be the largest you could’ve lived ever.

So eventually, she slithered with the butterflies in her stomach to the cricket field. Whooshing with the breezy atmosphere from the pavilion end, she came over the wicket and leaped forth on her left foot to deliver a half volley. With the non bowling arm pulling down tons of mental baggage at the time of release, Adira swung the ball inwards. The red leather disturbed the furniture of a seasoned batswoman and Adira’s soul knew no bounds.

Ounces of sweat under the basking sun, helped in forming the iron sans slag!!
Besides conquering what she felt she was born to, Adira inflated herself with oodles of self love, self confidence and self respect. With so many adjectives prefixed with self, she understood that you can be your favorite despite being selfish. You can care for others despite it not being at the cost of your own health: mental or physical.
She realized that when you want something and are tremendously passionate about it then the whole universe conspires to help you attain that goal. And that “she” is someone we all can be, if we’ve the courage to follow our dreams.
Because, in addition to all the material success, your pursuit of passion is going to carve your own identity, is going to help you discover yourself and most importantly, let you accept yourself. Accept your every mistake and take charge of things; and there’s nothing more sublime than this onus.
If you do all this and more, I promise you, you can be the next YOU of every motivational quote.

DEMONETISATION, HEAR ME TOO?

For a lot of years now, I’ve been believing that black money within India is necessarily present as cash only. However, the recent onslaught against the demonetisation policy pushed me to spend a few days digging for answers to every cross question put up, finger pointed and doubt raised. After all, how can the likes of Pulapre Balakrishnan, Prabhat Patnaik be so confidently wrong?!
What Modi did right?

This scheme has rightly halted the businesses of D-Company, Maoists and other terrorists who had crores of counterfeited notes. Cashless transactions, as inevitably forced down the people’s throat has found its way via PayTm and others, as they reportedly claim a 200% hike in transactions since November 8, 2016. Tax amnesty scheme and the probable, Benami land ownership are smart moves too.

What went wrong?

Historically, demonetisation has been implemented only under hyper inflationary circumstances. Using this traditional sequence of events as a point to counter the recent  policy is just the beginning of a tsunami of reasons that make this move alarmingly unrequited and political.

I believe that priorities matter. Is your concern to catch the offenders and their coffers or is it just to seize the stash of black money from their pockets? Well, for Modi & Co it’s certainly the latter. The very fact that bank employees are being “overworked” and the I-T department not, says it all.

This “overworked” is different in context from the usual one too, thereby making things worse. I’ll explain how: when banks are being put to function as centres of deposition of a defunct currency and withdrawal of the new one; pragmatically there’s no business going on within the banking sector. It has come to a giant halt.

In addition to this, the term “demonetization” in itself is very perplexing and questionable in the present times. It means to do away with a higher denomination currency. But in India, what has happened is not merely the warding off 500 and 1000 rupees notes but surprisingly, a higher denomination currency ie 2000 rupee notes, has been injected too. 

Speaking about history, right from Weimar Germany to Morarji Desai’s policy implementation demonetization has and as economists mostly point out, should only be executed in case of a presence of a very high denomination currency which is allegedly affordable only by the black marketers and hoarders of unaccounted cash. That currency can never be 86% of the total cash circulation!

In addition to this, by allowing farmers to transact with Rs 500 notes after very lately realizing that the timing of announcing the policy clashed with the sowing season, I doubt how this is going to work. It’s honestly strange! To say you’ve demonetized a currency and then to allow the major employer of your nation to transact in it is a paradigm in itself.
Moreover, perspectives matter more than facts when you try to analyse any economic policy. For me, money laundering at present will lead to financial inclusion of the unaccounted amounts of money but is this a win for the policymakers? Is this the aim with which the PM flagged off this policy? 

Rich business tycoons all over the country are dealing in black to save their prior savings and worse, get it converted into white and safely stored in bank accounts!! 

Explanation runs simple: say I’m a corporate business owner with 50 crores of black money in cash. I hire a CA who acts as an intermediary to find someone who has a bank overdraft of nearly the same amount. What happens next? The deal gets negotiated. The borrower from the bank agrees to clear his loan by paying 40 crores of cash to the bank, earns a certain commission in easing the wounds of the businessman and the CA goes home with a hefty commission too. 

The daily media reports which run the news that “6 lakh crores have been deposited in PSBs…” etc hail the policymakers but I’ve my doubts. If I’m able to park 80% of my black money in a bank by paying in black to the borrower and the CA in the process, how can the government see my deposits as their victory?!
The second story is very well known. You simply hunt for all your near and dear trustworthy ones whose bank accounts are really handy for you in the moment.

So to say that black money is being financially included through the regime ticks all the boxes right but to take this money laundering as a triumph against the battle of black money is naïveté.

To take the argument further, I don’t understand who throws the axe on one’s own poor feet? The supporters of the policy till now had one thing which could be considered a biggie to cheer about and sadly, it’s been taken away from them too. Enormous influx of cash in the banks was being taken as a sign of ease in lending rates and growth of credit market. Market stabilisation bonds were being eyed. But to make the matters worse, RBI has announced a CRR of 100% to strictly control the liquidity and thereby, possibly lead the lending rates unchanged. 
Second question that comes out of this is: why are the banks depositing the cash they’re accumulating as government securities and not increasing their loans with it? For PSBs, one can get that the lack of capital and NPAs make them unable but why aren’t the private banks stepping in?

What should’ve been done?

Instead of being so unrealistically quick in implementing the entire scheme in one go, the de facto leader should’ve launched it in steps. To begin with, real estate and gold transactions beyond a certain limit should’ve been made mandatory to be taken place online only. 14 lakh crores have been spent in printing the new “high security notes”, which’ve already been counterfeited in Chikmagloor, Bengaluru. (Counterfeiters in the business!)

RBI should’ve laid a greater impetus on market stabilisation bonds and should have speculated the falling stock market and currency in the ForEx market. Corrective measures should’ve been there in the hindsight.

This meeting of political agendas by fooling people will compromise the growth rate significantly and the nation will sadly still laugh at one of the major economic reformist of the nation: Dr Manmohan Singh. 

A policy which has already failed in India twice has been introduced to test the waters and glorify the “third time lucky” phrase.

Conclusively, I just cannot digest that such a macro move has been taken with so many miscalculations.