Sunday, January 23, 2011


What kind of dreams will I dream, if I happen to sleep on a mattress stashed with currency notes? I am binging on gold biscuits sprinkled with diamonds.
An IAS couple from MP has piled more than 360 crores of cash. Since the tax officials were unable to count the notes manually, counting machines were brought in to count the cache of cash. Honestly, are these people sane, stashing away cash in washing machines and masala containers? Even in quilts!

Perhaps the inspiration flows from the top. If the powerful can shovel loot in distant Cayman Islands, then lesser mortals can stash it in mattresses. When the convict and the judge share the same interests of piling cash, justice can take a holiday.
And if one gets caught in the lure of greener pastures, then brazen it out. Abandon the sinking ship and, announce poker faced that, “I was not even aware that my mattress had foreign currency. I don’t know where it came from.”

I would like to share a story which I read in Economic Times this week.
The Yaksha King, Kubera is said to be the treasurer of Gods. While on a visit to Lord Shiva’s abode, he met Ganesha. Lord Shiva as we all know is a hermit-god and Ganesha is his son. Realizing Ganesha’s penchant for food, Kubera invited him for a meal.
Ganesha’s hunger was insatiable. He ate all that was there and demanded more. Kubera tried his best to feed Ganesha until there was no food left in the kingdom. Finally Kubera begged him to stop and pleaded forgiveness.
Ganesha replied, “The difference between you and my father is that you try to provide more and more while my father seeks to reduce the desire for more. And this is the reason for my existence in my father’s house and not in your kitchen.”

Industrial houses and companies wish to grow, in size as well as on the balance sheets. If the employee working in the same company wants to grow likewise, his aspiration cannot be termed as undesirable. If employer hunger is celebrated then the employee’s personal aspiration is also justified. He is merely not satisfied with a Santro and desires a SUV. Nothing wrong with it. Food fuels hunger. And greed is synonymous with growth. Then, is contentment complacency? For business houses it sure is. Perhaps we will have to ask Shiva to shed some light on his theory of less is more?

As of now the mantra seems to be more, more and more. Kubera rules. And honesty seems to be mere lack of opportunity. Most palms itch and need to be greased.

I am thinking of stashing away some ten rupee notes in my pillow and see what dreams I dream tonight. No harm in trying.

Damn. The pillow is too uncomfortable. My neck is hurting.


  1. a very thoughtful post Alka. Dil maangey more but ultimately it is the simple pleasures of life that matters...

    ke peechey bhaagney se there is no looking back...demands willonly keep growing and one will have no time to enjoy the simple 'bare neccesities of life'!

  2. oops !!! it was meant to be paisey ke peechey bhaagney se....but the 'important' word paisa got omitted in my previous comment

  3. greed makes people insane. you should see men making millions trying to beat thousands out of poors.

  4. @Always Happy...Unfortunately not everyone gets this basic fact right.Thank you sweetheart for reading.

    @Harish.....Insane is the only word which comes to mind.There has to be a limit.

  5. But, then aspirations can't be label under the same umbrella encompassing greed.

  6. I wonder why some people want so much of money... There has to be a limit for everything...

  7. @Rachit and Tanishka..Monetary aspirations beyond limits may be termed as greed..but then who defines the limits? That is the question I am raising that when companies are greedy for more revenue then the same applies for its employees.
    It is debatable but stashing cash in washing machines and Swiss banks seems insane.

  8. I hmmm dont know .. well i guess i do want money or have enough to let me have some fun, you know if i want to buy something then let me buy it , rather then think hmm if i save for the next two months i can buy it then...

    I definitely dont want a LOT of it cause i know what happens had a nice expereince with a friend.. so jsut enough would be good :)


  9. hii

    very nicely written post! I heard this story from my mother :)

    That Rs 10 note idea was interesting! lol!

  10. If it were up to me, I'd rather buy cotton for my pillow than stashing currency as replacement. And dreaming? I think I might not sleep even if I am being protected by the top class world security.
    Perhaps, that is the story when I have the money that I don't own.
    If I have made it, I'll sleep like a baby.
    Nice post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  11. Neend agar aa jati hai to,
    Taat ka tukda bhi makhmal hai...

    Very simple for me....

  12. @Bikram...Wish everyone was so grounded, sane and wonderful...

    @Giribala....Obsessive obsession with more is a dangerous trend.

  13. said it..very apt.

    @Sushant....Welcome here, Sushant. How true...

  14. @AS....Lovely...Appreciate your spending time.


  16. If my dreams become technicolour and I manage a pair of Jimmy Choos, I will happily stash my pillow with ten rupee notes. Btw do you have change?

  17. @Ria....When is the D day? Good luck dear.

    @Purba...Honestly, I will be satisfied with Ms Shettys five paisa coins not valid anymore :)

  18. More is less in today's world. And you can never dream the right dreams if you stuff the pillow with ten rupee notes. Get real, girl! Do you think the hight and mighty stuff anything less than thousand rupee notes?

  19. strangely money begets money..
    dream on!

  20. @Zephyr....Thats the best I could manage...

    @Magiceye...Yup, temptation is as old as Adam and Eve...But is there any limit?

  21. more.... little more...some more...... thats how it goes on increasing..... some how or some where one has to get satisfied, and if there is no satisfaction at any point of time then every thing is worthless..... dil to bachha hai ji..... iska kaam hai zid karna , zyada ki chaahat rakhna , and ultimately its our mind which has to super impose on DIL.... other wise there is no end for our greed......
    BTW.... very well narrated post.... wish ur pillow remains comfortable....

  22. Hahaha... loved this post.. :)

  23. Hi Alka,
    This post is reflective as to how commerce and growth are treated differently these days. A business should grow and employees should be able to grow as well. Peter Drucker said profitability is more important than profit. That means how an organization effectively utilizes its assets is more important than the amount of profit the org generates. However, everyone seems to forget this principle.

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have shown the right path by offering almost all of their wealth to charitable causes. That is how organizations should behave.

    As for corruption, I think that couple had some disease. They loved the smell of currency. Otherwise why would someone sleep on them ;))

  24. @Irfanuddin..Welcome here. appreciate your spending time. Very well said. dil to baccha hai ji.the irony is that contentment is considered as complacency.

  25. As long as the nexus between Politicians-Babus-Business remains, such money mattresses will be laid for all time to come.

  26. Hi Ashwini,

    Honestly I look forward to your comments.No one has commented on the topic I wanted to discuss about organisational and personal desires. Isnt it easy to make out who has read the post and who is commenting just for quid pro qu?.
    You have provided clarity on the thought by citing very apt examples on how organisations should find the right balance between the wisdom of Shiva and the opulence of Kubera.

    Agree, only insane people stuff cash for future ten generations....unfortunately there are are many suffering from such insanity.Temptation is as old as Adam and Eve...and only wise know their limits.

  27. Hey Alka,
    You are most welcome and thanks for the appreciation. Your posts are well written. You manage to wrap seriousness in fun. That is what makes them interesting and fun to read. Keep writing and I will keep commenting.


  28. @Ashwini and sm...Thanks for spending time.

  29. LOL... that's seriously a great idea... let me try that too... oopss... i have all 'coins' in my purse! never mind...

    :) brilliant write-up.. i wonder wht they d do with all the money? whts the use of being 'rich' this way and u cant even show off you being 'rich'! wht s the point? :D

    loved it!

  30. In most cases wads of currency can buy justice seems to be true, basically it is the lawyers who decide the case in the beginning itself based on the value.

  31. Nicely written, Alka.
    You want to sleep comfortably?
    Remember, a clear conscience is the softest pillow...

  32. Greed and Anger are two that need to be removed but they will never leave a person.Nice article. God bless.

  33. Hey Alka!

    u have an amazing style of writing! Keep it up!


  34. And yes, Congrats for being a Notable Newbie!
    Well deserved!

  35. @Matangi....Thanks.Try with coins and lets see what you come up

    @dguide..Welcome to the blog. Appreciate your spending time.

    @Vikram....True.Well said.

  36. @krsnaknows...Welcome here. Appreciate your spending time. Thanks a ton.

    A Restless Mind....Thank you dear.

  37. Really after passing through the season of scams citizens are now getting the taste of money matters as money mattress. If not in reality after facing the inflamed inflation then at least in dream.

  38. Thoughtful post. Even if we can not sleep, we can at least dream about but what about the fellow on street, poor men can not even dream because mid way beat police will kick him to move on elsewhere!

  39. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful story about lord Ganesha and Kuber.

    less is more.!

  40. u wrote it so beautifully with full-on masala. but had u stashed 1000 rupee notes i m sure ur dream would have gone try again ;)


  41. @Arpana....Well said.

    @SR Ayyangar...There is a satire in TOI 29th Jan by Jug Suraiyya as to how ITax men trouble the middle class and have no clue about millions stashed in foreign banks and mattresses.

    Dharamvir..Thank you for reading.

  42. @subtlescribbler...No 1000 Rs notes. All goes in EMIs and onions.

  43. Ma'm,

    I think it is more of an obligation to us readers than to get away with a what-a-fantastic-post comment. Responsible readership is about contribution. And, for that reason, it takes a moment or two to sit down and read your blog. Hope you do not mind the long-ish comments :)

    I think it is a choice that we as citizens have made over the 60 years as a nation which gives way to corporate bailing over universalization of PDS. I am not anti-congress but I am anti-anti-inclusiveness.

    Our policies ( as well as public opinion ) have become reactive rather than being pro-active ( our proximity with Myanmar and strain in Indo-Nepal relations on account of their Chinese bent on affairs ). When something bad comes to light, then only we ( or pretend to ) act. But this does not bother us much- we have IPLs and World cups to wash that all up.

    I would hold the current generation of children responsible to for every scam that has surfaced. Had they refused to ask their bureaucrat/businessman/politician fathers for PS3,iPhone or United Colors of Benetton outfits, there would have hardly been any scam at all. Had they disowned ( yes Disowned ! )their parents because they take that 'extra' for doing their duty, there would have been no blamegame that we are noticing these days. Had my Bihari schoolmates said it on the face of their fathers that they won't marry if there is dowry, things would have been straightened out already. But we, young people, are confused- we want modern luxuries at all costs while clinging on to pre-colonial values ( the sacrosanct status accorded to people ). This lack of accountability has resulted in everything that is bad- socially as well as politically.

    I read it in some book recently that rural India has a higher voting percentage than the urban India. But, we as part of proud Urban population, make it a point to attempt to cover up our apathy by strident remarks on the Govt. I do it and so does everyone else. I do not have time to vote and could not care less about it. Sitting on the couch, I do not mind saying,' this country is going straight to hell', even when I did nothing about it myself. I believe, concern without action is worse than having no concern at all because then you are atleast not lying to yourself.

    I hope your post pushes people into doing something.

    Thank you for thinking about this all !

  44. Sri,

    Honestly when I started, I was looking for 'what a fantastic comment' to find some readers. Now I look forward to varied views which shed some light and make the whole process of blogging more meaningful. From now on I have decided to reduce the frequency of posting. A few fun posts will of course remain, cause I enjoy reading and writing humor.Commenting has become quid pro quo. Often people comment without reading the post which is easy to make out. Only few discerning readers wish to delve deeper.

    I agree that the root cause of greed is the loss of moral values in our changing society. We respect and envy a man with Mercedes and forget to ask where the Merc came from in the first place. Temptation however is as old as Adam and Eve but it has assumed monster proportions. We should be the change we want to see but it is easy to blog and write than to take the crusade on the streets.To that extent we are all culprits.
    Having said that I am guessing that you are an idealist. Which is a good thing but not so helpful in offices. My father-in -law was an idealist and he said it as it was. He was never promoted while all his juniors got promoted. My husband learn t his lesson the hard way. He changed his job several times as spoke the truth even if it was unpleasant. Unfortunately it harms you in the long run though you do sleep with a clear conscience and your head held high.
    Sometimes little fun does no harm..try.

    Good Luck.

  45. Ma'm,
    Your father-in-law and husband are more of an inspiration to me than being a deterrent. MY father too, who has a slim ( :P ) bank account and is a class2 officer, is not that on the face yet does the same everytime someone comes around asking for favours. But the kind of confidence, absolute that is, these people exhibit in anything they do is- well, intoxicating. I would want to have that :)

    Another thing that I like about your posts as well as your follow up comments is that you are very well balanced. Maybe it is the excess energy that I have that makes me go extreme at times. But you are steady. Crisp ! Lot to learn for us youngsters.

    PS- Ok from now onwards, I will attach a what-a-post comment before writing anything else :D

  46. As Ayn Rand said -"Money is the base.. the foundation of life. Its an end to some mean". The trick is to keep that "mean" in sight. If one cares about his ambitions n life, he will keep earnin money but it wont go into his head. If one keeps money over his life, he wl go bonkers. Thats the difference b/w greed and ambition and it purely depends on a person. Ultimately, if there r "culprits" like Raja, Kalmadi etc... its the persons thmselves..not money.

  47. @DG...What you say makes sense...Temptation is as old as Adam and Eve...One has to make a distinction between greed and ambition.
    The question I was asking was that for Industries greed and ambition both are justified but for people working in the same industry wanting more and more is labeled as unhealthy greed. Yes, one has to draw a line somewhere.

  48. Nice writing Alka! Satire at its best!

  49. Nice post.

    An honest man is one who does not expect more than he can deserve. I think this Ayn rand Quote answers many of the questions discussed above.