Now perks get the axe


This is a frame by frame account of my conversation with a resident of sea-facing flat in Juhu (who also happens to be my senior from college married to an i-banker with once the biggest names in American investment banking)

“Why wasn’t there a Plan B..,” she begins. And continues. “I gave it to him. How could he do this to me and my kid.”

What did you do, I asked curiously, as this friend is known for her volatile nature.

She narrated.

“You jerk!” screamed this married-to-a-rich-i-banker friend, aiming her bulky communicator phone at her husband. “You’ve destroyed my life,” she carried on. “Just look at me..my hair’s a mess, my nails are desperate for manicure. You loser, you nobody.”

Her husband, let’s call him Mr B, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to the 5-star spa, the nail salon in South Mumbai, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at another joint in Bandra.

My friend, “If his achievements can be wiped out in a day, or a few weeks, was it all just a paper game?” Worth thinking.

Not only that, but they no longer had the money to pay for an army of bullied servants to wait on her hand and foot. Worse was to come – the brow-lift would have to be cancelled; her credit card would have to be snipped in half and there was no way, he told her (and she told me sobbing), that he could carry on spending for the sea-facing rental flat in Juhu.

Now this female wasn’t to be confused with the stay-at-home mother who selflessly devotes herself to the upbringing of her children, with all the housework and domestic chores that entails. This one, in fact, gave up work (quite happily too) as soon as she married, ostensibly to create a stable home environment for any offspring that might come along. She then employed a battery of house staff to do all the domestic work she promised to undertake, leaving her with little to do all day except shop, lunch and luxuriate. (And play back the lazy details to lowly citizens like me)

On the other side, Mr B — a workaholic, accustomed to being under pressure for 18 hours a day was having a tough time too. We hear that they are frantically looking for work, and gets a heartburn everytime he hears that his few lucky colleagues are being recruited by former competitors.

That thing called the future, which we all hold in the back of our mind as a time to which we can look forward when our efforts finally come to fruition, when we will get what we hope and work for, our prayers answered, our dreams fulfilled – that future is no longer a shining promise. To a certain sect of professionals, of course!

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