6 point something and you

What is this GDP growth number all these smart Alec types seem to be flaunting about and how does it affect my sorry office going monthly salary earning ass ? Is 6% really that bad ? We are still growing aren’t we ? Unlike the horror stories of Europe or US I catch on the CNBC ( because  it is next to MTV  on my favorites list on Tata Sky).

I don’t understand any of this shit but I am more pissed on inflation , the buggers on the TV are saying inflation is only 7.52% but the shit on the market is way more expensive than last year. Even more than that I am pissed at housing loan EMI which now requires me to moonlight as domestic help, sweeper and ironman in my house and on every weekend I look at the polythene bag from Hotel in which I had lunch with family six months back to get by.

Like any self respecting global citizen with access to free Internet at office I decided to do some research (by that I mean I typed India GDP growth in google and read all first ten search results). I looked at it and said to myself the situation is not that bad we have gone down to 6.1%  growth rate in 2009 in fact we went down to as low as 5.8% and then last year were back hitting at 9.4%. So effectively this too shall pass it is temporary blip and we should be okay.

GDP numbers over last 4 years
We have been here before

Then I made the mistake of reading another link and I was WRONG.  2009 was a frigging election year and superstar economists in UPA were still alive and not comatose so they moved their hands and legs and gave Indian economy some steroid shots.  They reduced the taxes by reducing CENVAT by 4% ( Taxes you don’t see but are included in all the stuff you buy) , reducing Service Tax by 2% ( the small amount of tax you see on your Telephone Bill, LIC Policy, Credit Card Late Fees or practically on any form of service including shulabh sauchalya) and brought the Interest rate to single digit ( RBI rate at which Banks borrow was 4.75% as against 8.5% today). Also only thing fucked up then was Global economy , India found its mojo again and began to cruise. 2009-10 was year in which shit was not flowing from all directions like today(apart from the time that we had General Elections and all sort of shit got floated around). The year also saw Agriculture grow at 5.4% which is kickass compared to current expectation 2.5%  .So in effect what all worked in 2009 is not going to do now and we need new tricks but the monkeys at Delhi are busy digging a fucking hole mafia style.

While Pranab Da, Maunmohan Singh, Montek Singh ( Sounds like guy selling UPS rather than planning India’s future) are sitting and shagging their way to glory nincompoops like Mamtha, Anna , Amma, Raja, Pawar, Diggy , LKPD Advani and countless sundry characters with no idea on how the fuck to run a country are setting agenda for the nation. I have no hopes from the people who take away my hard earned income in taxes, so I turn to the really smart people in private enterprise to see if they have any bright ideas, ways that we can survive this long periods of low growth. The problem I see around is my Managers who are all in mid 30s and super bosses all smart and suited in 40s have no fucking clue how to handle a long term implication of economy growing at 6%. They have all seen only short periods of instability which have cookie cutter response like fire people , cut number of coffees served in office , remove soap from bathroom dispenser etc. Once the growth is back they get back and hire the people they have fired at better salaries and voila ! the soap is back in bathroom. I don’t think they have shit clue on how to tackle a workforce which will not be able sustain their current lifestyle unless and until income grows by 12-15% every year while the business grows at 6%. So what do they do , collectively the Bhajan Mandalis also known as CII , FICCI , NASSCOM all stand up together and start blaming the government ,which in first place doesn’t care a fuck as to what these Bhajan Mandalis think of government. These bhajan madalis keep singing in the temple but god is as serene as ever and smiling at shit happening in front of him.

My intellectual pursuit  ( that means a relaxed Friday afternoon)  wanted me to figure out how screwed am I,the answers were all in the links. Let me start with the largest item on my monthly auto debit EMI , what happened to it .In my case owing to peer pressure and the deeply screwed middle class genes I bought a house which I could have afforded in long term only if my salary grew by at least 10-12% over years. The EMI for every lakh I borrowed on a 20 year term was Rs.852 when it got sanctioned but now I pay Rs.981 per lakh per month an increase of 15% in last 1.5 years and if I was unlucky to borrow from ICICI the number could be higher by another Rs.90 per lakh. In effect on a Rs.20 Lakh loan I end up paying Rs2,580 per month more.

The situation for housing loan EMI is far better than how the companies who borrowed from the Banks have been screwed. Though companies do not normally get 20 year loans just for comparison if all are made equal the company EMI for 20 Lakh loan has gone up from Rs.17,040 per month to Rs.23340 per month an increase of 37% in last one year. So all those people who had built large commercial complexes , factories, businesses on borrowed money are KACHING Royally fucked.

In effect are Banks making more money ? Yes and No ! Banks don’t lend their own money , they take money which we all put in FD or let it remain in our SB accounts and lends them more often than not in Indian Bank Gopalakrishnan style. Money that Banks make is only the difference between what they pay us and rate at which they charge the borrowers. Even though the Interest rates have gone up by almost 5.25% the deposit rates have also gone up. So all Banks collectively in 2009 were making a net of 2.9% on its lending is now making about 4% , that is lot of money so they are making more. The problem is on other end very similar to us struggling to pay the increased EMI  lot of companies are struggling too and are now at massive risk to principal itself ( Telecom companies , Kingfisher Airline, Power Companies etc.) , and Banks are not earning enough to cover money companies are not paying back. So in effect Banks are also screwed.

Next comes cost of other essentials like food,water, clothing,cable TV, what has happened to them.

Inflation over last two decades

What the fuck is Inflation and what are these %ages they keep talking about? It is simply a number according to government at which the prices of things in country is increasing( Mind you formula is so complicated and people calculating it so incompetent, all links to reality are extinguished).

Why do prices of things increase ? There are  three possible reasons , people have lot of money and wanting to buy limited resources so the seller increases prices ( Very similar to what happens with Tazam poo day before varalaksmi nombu), or the money is same but somewhere the production/supply is screwed and people don’t have enough to buy, the third most screwed up situation is people don’t have money and there is not enough goods. The third situation is which gives birth to all the heroes of late 70’s and early 80s, effectively pushing the country to a situation which was prevalent in India in that period. Where are we now ?  In the begining of 2011 we had lot of money and chasing too few things , we now are in a situation where the money we have is less but we are facing shortage in lot of essential stuff hence the prices are going up. We are now heading towards a situation  if we do not grow at enough pace would walk into the sets of 70s movie with satyen kappu as head of household. If you see the graph above the inflation in December was at the same level of 91-92 , the same year when MaunMohan Singh tore the poster and emerged like  Nasserudhin Shah in Hero Heralal but presently he is watching all this with enthusiastic energy of Guzarish Hritik Roshan.

What it means effectively is that with the way there is a global shortage ( Artificial or real) of commodities including Oil and our grandpa economists not doing anything ( in lot of cases they can’t do anything other than actually find Saudi Arabia size oil reserves in Meghalaya or Mizoram) inflation is here to stay , things are going to get expensive every day and cost of borrowing is not going to come down.

Like in a well played violin some strings are more screwed than other so in future also some people will be more fucked than other. People who directly or indirectly earn their monies from Rural/Agri sector I think you should start building relationship with your local Mannapuram Gold loan manager if you want to retain the present lifestyle. People who earn their monies directly or indirectly from Manufacturing /producing or any other physical form of commodity , depending on how much the borrowing is on your source of income may oscillate between Mannapuram Gold Loan and Sacrificing luxury spends like new swanky mobile or new car. Life is not fair and as an illustration the code writing buggers, people giving cancer treatment where a gelusil would be sufficient and their ilk , collectively known as service providers would be relatively okay as they would be the one eyed one’s in a blind country.

I have no freakin clue as to what to do in current situation which has failed all the multi milllion earning buggers around the world. So like they say Gambling is a victim less crime  and I think the current situation is winner less massive fuck up.

M.A. Chokkalinga Bhagavathar

My Current Look

The only Image that comes to my mind whenever I think of building a home for self is that of “Veedu Taata”. The fear that I would be tossed between various government offices like Archana or finally start looking like veedu taata has been an effective deterrent to real estate purchase.

As an Iyer man you are under constant pressure from your parents to accumulate more than one flat in notable area. Your mama payiaan from NJ has a flat in both Nanganallur as well as Madambakkam, Periamma daughter has bought flats in K K Nagar, East Tambaram and near Ashok Pillar and that wretched attai paiyan has bought a house in Kumabakonnam agraharam for his parent’s last days ( I am sure he was hoping they would reach there faster than at current pace).

In absence of the most crucial alphabets for iyers : B.E, M.S and H1B in any form around my name I am left to fend for myself with the kosuru Indian Rupees from manufacturing/finance jobs. How do you fulfill such ambitious multi location, multi type real estate expansion but for to mortgage remaining 25 years of your weekend gourmet lunches, occasional electronic indulgences , Van Huesen Shirts, only in planning foreign vacation, that damn chain you planned for your wife this anniversary at least. The rules of House financing are fairly simple and are applicable irrespective of the size of buy or your economic condition.

1. The final cost of the irrespective of how fixed is your contract will always be higher than you planned

2. The sources will always be short of your anticipation , forcing you to resort to some distress measure

3. The EMI will always be 30-40% higher than your comfort level

4. Most important of all your wife will ask for modifications which are humanely not possible

ICICI Bank wants to have photocopies of all the paper I have at home/office including the Hindu Paper Metro Plus supplement with lot of sesame oil in the Kitchen Shelf. It is only matter of time before my office realizes that the 27543 photocopies which I have taken during this week have nothing to do with the legal cases in office. They have made me sign papers which I am sure entitles them to use the skin of my great great grand children in case their children default in repayment. I also saw a clause somewhere which spoke about not having sex without prior intimation to Bank.

In spit of decoding the Da Veedu code , I think I am a victim of  peer pressure and only way to salvage the situation is to borrow more and start an Ashram somewhere.

Taata Paati

This post actually necessitated a brand new blog cause my previous blog was dead for all practical reasons and also was dedicted to a cynic who would not have appreciated this post. The galvanizing force behind actually putting the finger tip to key board was remembrance post from Krishashok.

Being born to a mother with significant malayalam influence  Tamil New Year in our house is fused with Vishu. So on this day  ( Dear Mr. Mu Ka , I care a “F” if you think April 14 is not a new year) my mother gave me Rs.500 for Vishu Kani and same to my Punjabi wife but my lucky daughter who is yet to learn counting beyond 20 got Rs.1000. On end of enquiry commission it was revealed that my daughter has been talking about buying herself a Ben 10 Watch and her friends had told her it costs Rs.1000( May be a later post on child economics) and this grant was towards fulfilling that wish. This gesture of from my parents was very normal and I am assuming gets repeated in all modern households with different denomination of grant. On the surface this was a simple action but in my case coupled with the post from Krishashok on influence of his paati on his life and philosophy left me to feel the void.

My Paternal grandparents were dead long before my parents entered holy matrimony , considering they were product of the 40s and 50s did not allow me a chance to meet my grandparents from that wing. As I write this post I just realized I have not even seen them in photograph either. My maternal grandfather only lived long enough to at least leave a mental image of him for me and may ammamma for all practical reason believes she gave birth only to my chitti and that is only valid family she has. I have spent toal of 4 vacations in my life with my maternal grand parents and have no memory whatsoever of that period . Also may be I can add my once in three year visits to Chennai when I spend 40 minutes at my chitti house to ask my ammamma how she is doing. I made it a practice to leave a Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 for her expenses and which I am told before my car would have left the street would have gone into hands of my cousin for her churidhar benevolent fund.

This effectively left me with no memories , no childhood indulgences and in effect no influence of my grandparents from either side. From what I hear of both grandfathers and knowing my ammamma I think I am perfectly at peace with not having their influence but I am sure I would have loved to meet my paati. What I miss about not being around grand parents which both my appa& amma and mummy&papa ( My wife might chance upon this blog) are showering on my daughter  is unambiguous clemency. I missed my grandparents the most when I left my tiffen box in school , when I broke our window pane , when I bashed up a classmate or worse when I failed in 3rd Standard maths examination. These were the  red letter days in my formative years , as on each of this occassion my mom summoned the inner strength of women and turned into a really powerful physical force. The failing in 3rd standard had got my really mild mannered father also activated for first time in life, you see accepting academic failure for a Iyer father is an unheard event.  Grandparents in my view bring a prejudice and bias to child rearing which are very helpful if you are a child and I truly miss that. See the way I was as a child with serious propensity for mischief and violence logic always would ensure that I get  the stick and this is when biased grandparents ensure that they take you away from harms way i.e a screaming mother with iddukki in her hand.

I miss you both the taata’s and one paati and ammamma I wish you you liked my mom then may be you would have liked me.