Distress To De-Stress

Stress is a disease of the twenty-first century. Everyone seems to be in stress – from a child to a retiree. The only time you are free from stress is when you are inactive. So you look for long weekends and holidays to escape from stress. The moment activity begins mental agitation returns. Vedanta speaks of your birthright as a human being to combine dynamic activity with perfect serenity of mind. Then perfect action emerges. You are successful and happy. Billie Jean King, the Wimbledon champion, says dynamic activity performed in an environment of tranquillity brings excellence, effortlessness in the midst of intense exertion.

What disturbs the mind? You believe a bad boss, nagging spouse or the weather causes you grief. The truth is that nothing in the world can disturb you except yourself. Stress is defined as mental turbulence caused by unfulfilled desire. As long as a desire remains unactualised you will be in stress. Yet desire is being recklessly fuelled and people are in stress.

Unbridled desire makes you unhappy. When desire is fulfilled you want more and greed  leads to delusion. Fulfilled still further, you are envious of those who have more than you and arrogant towards those who have less. If desire is obstructed the thought flow going from you to the object of desire gets deflected towards the obstruction. This is called anger. All this creates a lot of misery and tension.

Unrestrained desire prevents enjoyment. A person obsessed with money can never enjoy his money.  He has the best that money can buy but he is so stressed that he doesn’t enjoy any of it. Desire puts you on a collision course with others which prevents you from having meaningful relationships. And desire forces you to compromise your values. When you cross the line set by your own conscience you become a slave of your own weaknesses.

Rampant desire unsettles the mind. The mind rambles to the past and future, unable to concentrate on the present. This leads to failure. The nervous nineties in cricket or unbelievable lapses in a tie breaker are striking examples. When the intellect holds the mind on the present action without allowing it to meander to past worries or future anxieties you are concentrating. The moment a desire is fulfilled your attention shifts to something else you do not have. Thus you no longer enjoy what you have. Lastly, the mind gets attached to what you have. The law is – attach you lose, detach you gain. Possess and enjoy the world but never get bound to it. Wherever there is attachment the interaction becomes painful and in the end you lose the object. Hence desire is your greatest enemy. Yet this very enemy you pamper, nourish and encourage.

Vedanta says desire obstructs your gaining object of desire. A person obsessed with marriage finds it difficult to find a partner. A man lusting after money does not gain it. When you rise above desire and work for something beyond, the object of desire comes to you. Then you can enjoy it thoroughly with a calm mind.

So what is the way out? The first step is to manage desire with intellect. If the intellect approves, go ahead and fulfil the desire without fear or guilt. But if the intellect vetoes it, keep away. This gives relief. The next step is desire reduction by upgrading desires. Pick up a higher desire. The lower one drops.. Finally when the lure of the Infinite grips you all desires vanish. You are in Bliss.


Failure vs Mistake

The difference between a failure and a mistake

A failure is a project that doesn’t work, an initiative that teaches you something at the same time the outcome doesn’t move you directly closer to your goal.

A mistake is either a failure repeated, doing something for the second time when you should have known better, or a misguided attempt (because of carelessness, selfishness) that hindsight reminds you is worth avoiding.

We need a lot more failures, I think. Failures that don’t kill us make us bolder, and teach us one more way that won’t work, while opening the door to things that might.

School confuses us, so do bosses and families. Go ahead, fail. Try to avoid mistakes, though.

Greater Noida Crisis : The Economics Behind

Greater Noida Crisis : The Economics Behind

Greater Noida crisis are making waves in almost all quarters of the society. I mean the  government, judiciary, politicians, real estate power brokers, banks & financial institutions, investors (common man) and of course the Farmers.

One fine day the court decides that the compensation given to farmers is not justified and the state government has taken their lands on some false pretexts.

Lets look at how the money changed it hands during the whole transaction –

Land Flow chart

FARMERS ————————> GOVT ———————–> BUILDERS ———————–> INVESTORS

Farmers gave land to the government against money, govt sold this land to real estate builders against money (& say bribes) and then the real estate  companies sold their projects i.e land divided into apartments to the Investors. These Investors borrowed money from the Banks to finance their deals.

Banks lend both to Investors & Builders, as they were authorized by the Govt.

Money Flow Chart

FARMERS <———————– GOVT <———————- BUILDERS  <———————— INVESTORS

(builders  & investors : borrowed money from banks)

Investors Money = Personal Savings + Investors Bank Loans

Builders Money = Investors Money + Builders Bank Loans

Govt Money = Partial of Builders Money

Farmers  Money = Partial of Govt Money


In-depth balance sheets –

Builders Books should account for the Investors Money, Builders borrowed money from bank for the project, Land Cost, Bribes to Government Officials, Actual Project Cost (to be few majors).

Builders Profit = Investors Money + Bank Borrowed Money – Land Cost – Project Cost – Commissions

(Commissions here include bribes paid to Govt Officials for allocating land & commissions handed to agents for selling their properties)


 Case Analysis :  Judiciary says return the Framers Land

Government will return the Land Cost to the Builders. Now the main concerns are –

1. will Govt also return the commission / bribes they received – NO

2. money given as commissions to agents will also not come back.

3. money already invested in starting the building work, will not come back. (which includes Investors Money  and Bank Borrowed Money)

4. now the money left is not enough to be returned back to investors and the bank. (builders profit is directly proportional to investors money, now he is in a fix. if he sold flats at high rates, he needs to return the same money back or if he sold the flats in nominal rates, he still needs to return back).

5. builders are in a bigger problem here. however the kind of people they are, its extremely difficult to extract out the Investors money. they are in such a grave problem, that they cannot do anything but to delay the payments, or give back a small token of money.

6. investors who are the common people will be crushed. they have already taken loans, they EMI’s have started (some cases) and they see no future.


What is going to happen ahead –

1. farmers can’t use these lands for agriculture again. that’s why they sold in the first case.

2. farmers said the Govt took land at a very cheap rate, they have never denied the fact – they are open for re-negotiation.

3. after the political situation settles down a little, they are going to re-negotiate.

4. Govt will again sell the same land at revised rates to the Builders, they will again receive their commissions.

5. Builders will further pass on their new cost to apartment owners on pro rata basis.

6. in the end the investors, will be required to pay more – whether he likes or dislikes. (as this is approved by the Government)


Money invested in the supply chain is going to yield better results be it Banks, Builders, Government, Farmers. (quantum is huge)