Sunk cost of a property

I had just settled in Mumbai in a rented flat. This we got after paying a handsome amount of rent. My school friend, who is now a driver of a JCB crane, too had settled in Mumbai. He had invited me to his place from the time I had told him about my job in Mumbai. So, I planned to go to his home as soon as I settled with my accommodation. I conveyed to him that I will be coming to his place and asked him about the address. Surprisingly he asked me my address instead and did not give his own. For a moment I thought maybe he used to ask me to visit his place just out of formality.

After an hour he called me and told me that he has reached the downside of my building. That was a pleasant surprise. I went down to receive him. While coming upstairs he was asking me about who lives in the next flat and other such stuffs about society, to which I had no idea at all. Then he met all of the roommates too with all the warmth. He expressed admiration about the flat, expressed a happiness of knowing that I was living in a good place.

After a while, we left for his place. He had got a car to take me to his place. I enquired about the car and got to that it was his boss’s car. He got it in the context that his best friend (me) was visiting him. We drove to his place. It was in ‘not a good’ area. So I almost had a thought “how is he living here?”. To not make him uncomfortable, I kept all these thoughts in my mind. When we finally reached his home, I sat down. He had called his sister and brother-in-law too, who otherwise used to live at a km distance to the home on the context of his best friend coming home. His mother, wife, kids too had been waiting to welcome me.

As I sat down, I ran my eyes here and there, as if inspecting the house. He had almost the same things which I had at my place as a necessity. The food that they made for me included much more variety than I ever had my place. By the time I had my lunch, even the two-three neighbor families came. They were having the chit-chat. They knew each other so well and also tried knowing me in the short duration that they interacted me.

While I left his home, only thought that was on my mind – ‘What was the difference in his and my place?’ The difference was in the so-called society. The ‘posh’ nature of it. The people living might be more educated and all. So I paid more to be among elite class but what was the use of it? Nothing. Why? Because we hardly interacted or I should say, we avoided the interactions as much as possible.

So, the ‘society’ cost is a big component of the cost of high worth properties. At the same time, it is a sunk cost, as we never use it.

#MeToo

It was one of the lucky Sunday that I had a weekly off on. I have lately found an interest in cycling, that Sunday too I had decided to cycle for 50 km. Hence after completing half the journey, I reached banks of Ganga in Haridwar.

While walking along the Ghats, I reached a famous place in Haridwar named as Har Ki Pauri. Despite being just another common day, it had attracted huge numbers of devotees. Everyone was there for different reasons and was from a different class. Some of them were doing a Pooja for someone recently passed, someone was doing prayer with family and someone was just there on a picnic. Few of them were coming via fancy cars, having n number of material with them and most importantly accompanied by a priest. On another hand, some had chosen Ghat as a bed last night and had hardly anything to offer than the prayers. Only one thing was common among all of them and that was praying to Ganga. Dubki (taking bath) in Ganga was an integral part of that prayer.

Walking along the banks, observing all this, I reached an area with relatively less crowd. I finally decided to sit there while sipping a cup of tea. I opened my mobile to post about my cycling journey on Facebook. As soon as I opened Facebook, I noticed a #metoo message. The way in which it was written I couldn’t avoid reading it. As i scrolled down the newsfeed, I realized that there were many more such messages posted that day. Unaware of what was going on I googled what was all this and got to know the situation. I was happy to see such a taboo subject was being discussed showing a mirror to everyone.

Suddenly, i looked back as a thought stricken my mind. There were so many women who were practicing the ‘dubki’ in the auspicious place. No matter what was the background and what were they doing there, everyone was doing it. And after the Bath, they obviously had to change the cloths. Both the times, they faced an issue of being observed by people. They were conscious but helpless. Few men found it like an open opportunity to ogle. The men who were supposed to be there for auspicious reasons had assumed that they are permitted to check the women out. I thought may be the people who were working there every day may not be practicing this as it is common for them. But after some observation I found my assumption to be wrong. The situation was so worse that, some ladies tried hiding behind hardly helpful boxes while others had accepted that there is no use of all hiding.

I was wondering how these #metoo issues were very much accepted? Who would be writing #metoo on behalf of so many women who don’t have facebook but have seen serious #metoo situations? So I just thought of initiating on their behalf.

Learnings from a future M.P.

So I joined this new organization recently. I really was nervous about various things – from location to people and what not. But, then, fortunately, I met few really amazing people here. Someone might think it’s too early to say this, but for now, I will like to go with my assumptions.

One of the people I met was Ram (Name changed as asked) and I was super-impressed by the way he carried himself. Anyone could easily distinguish him from the crowd by the way he carries himself.

So, One day I was traveling back in his car and at the gate, all the guards greeted him so well that I couldn’t avoid, but notice. I asked him, “so all of this, because of your work or car or what?” And he smilingly said, “Nothing of that. it’s just that every day when I come here I don’t miss greeting them. Exceptionally on some days when I get sweets from home, I share those with them.”
I saw a similar response to him at few restaurants, which he had visited just a couple of times.

He is older to me but will always call me with respect. I even saw that this was the case when he talks to other people who are at lowest level in his reporting line. He will transfer his knowledge to others, very easily. He empowered subordinate in their work like a packing supervisor had become a good office staff under his guidance. Again impressed!

I was once boasting to him about how good I am at not letting anyone go against me on mails. One day, I was about to blast a colleague over mail, who had wrongly pinpointed me. Luckily, Ram was around me, so I showed him the draft mail. He told me to calm down and said that people do try to play mud games when someone is doing something good. I don’t have to react to them in their own way, else it will be my loss. So, I framed much better, much calmer and much more positive mail and it worked.

I at that point thought of writing about him but then thought it may not look a good idea and hence dropped. But finally wrote after today’s incident.

So, taking you to flashback first. On the very first day, I had liked his Kurta very much and wanted to get a similar one. I conveyed him my desire but he had got it from his hometown. After few days in the work, I got to know that he is a son of a M.P. So I myself felt awkward that I was asking him for such a thing and hence never talked about it. Two weeks later when he visited his home, I suddenly I got a call from him, “How many meters of cloth do you want?” I was damn surprised, a son of MP visiting a shop to get something as non-important as this thing.

All the incidents surely told me how a MP might be carrying himself, creating influence with simple and genuine acts, take care of people around, respect everyone, carry on with good work positive work and most importantly while being at higher level give attention to the lowest level.

VP – Netmeds / IIM Lucknow, VNIT Nagpur

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