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The diary of Bhaskar Sharma: The amazing (rat) race

Bhaskar Sharma is a regular 35-year-old corporate slave. You’ll get to know him better over time as we bring you excerpts from his diary – because “life isn’t easy for middle-aged men”

brunch Updated: Sep 19, 2015 21:12 IST
Atulya Mahajan
Atulya Mahajan
Hindustan Times
Bhaskar Sharma,LinkedIn,Humshakals
Money is a great leveller. There’s only some things money can’t buy, for everything else – there’s MORE money. (Illustration: Abhijeet Kini)

Girish Pandey is now CTO at Apsara Technologies. Click here to congratulate him.’

Thank you LinkedIn for ruining my day. Next time, please don’t send any more such announcements.

And most certainly do not ask me to congratulate someone when my heart is performing somersaults in a shark-infested ocean of bile. Send emails with images of juicy mangoes, if you must. Or Sunny Leone.

Pandey! The lousiest, idiot-est guy known to mankind is now a CTO at a major technology firm? The guy who got punched in the eye by chubby Namita for pulling her hair in 5th standard is now a big-shot.

The one who would get bored in class and throw chits at girls is now on the board of a company. Sigh.

What are you, Bhaskar Sharma? A mere Senior Manager at Technosys? People with lower aspirations would be impressed, but my self-worth just dropped to Rohit-Sharma-in-Sri Lanka levels.

I was to be Usain Bolt in this race, but ended up being, well, I would name an Indian athlete, but we don’t even qualify for Olympics sprints. In the words of the great Paresh Rawal, “utha le re baba”.

Why did I even have to click open on that email notification? It invariably comes up with bad news. Of promotions. Of people landing fancy jobs. Of people whom I used to consider the dirt of the earth now going up the corporate ladder, while I play cricket with my boy in the park.

I feel like the pimple on the face of a giant hippo, like traffic signs on Delhi roads, like the script of Humshakals. Pointless.

I may be looking calm outside but inside I am crying like Salman Khan when Aishwarya chose Ajay Singham over him in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

I won’t be able to go to the school reunions anymore. Talking of school, wasn’t that where we all got inducted into the rat race? I still remember my neighbour Gupta aunty who would visit my classroom before her son’s, just to see if I had stood first or not.

When it comes to being under relentless pressure, every student older than five is Sachin Tendulkar. I got beaten up once for scoring only 90 per cent in class 8.

Just last month I reviewed my friends’ LinkedIn profiles. There was Mehta, who dropped out of college to pursue journalism and is now probably making a few cups of tea a month at his newspaper.

Nair, the prodigy, barely completed his PhD a few years ago and is now a post-doctorate at a US university. Kalpana collects blankets for her NGO. Ha ha.

Money is a great leveller. There’s only some things money can’t buy, for everything else – there’s MORE money.

People run marathons. Some swim across oceans. The rest of us spend our lives running the rat race, where it is always fun to look over the shoulder and laugh at the people behind us. I just cannot afford to get left behind in this race.

Wait, what, Mani just became Partner at McKinsey? Dear lord, is this the end of the world or what?

Bhaskar Sharma, you better pull your socks up, or brace yourself to getting relegated to the B-league to be compared with classmates who took up ‘arts’. *shudder*

As for you, Girish Pandey, may you get loose motions today.

Atulya Mahajan is the author of two books, his latest being a political satire titled Democrazy. He tweets as @amreekandesi

From HT Brunch,September 20
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First Published: Sep 19, 2015 19:04 IST