I turned 40 this month. It’s definitely not the most cheerful thought in my life right now. Even if turning 40 means that the benchmark for my weight loss program moves from Deepika Padukone to a more manageable Reema Lagu. In a desperate attempt to feel better, I tried asking the Hindu Business Line Editor if he would allow me to write a 700 word column instead of the tight-as-a-noose 600 word limit he sets me. But nope. The older they are, the more dangerous they become and need to be controlled even more, is the Bee-Line directive for expressive female writers.
On the home front, Hubby, who made it to this position some 3 years ago, is sniggering at my discomfort now that I am officially “over” the hill. Aaaarrrgh! My Lil One, who believes that women older than 35 are anyway technologically challenged and belong to the Bronze Age or something, was looking forward with great scientific interest to the pass-over moment when mom would become an antique belonging to the Jurassic Age. And he is irritated to find that mom pretty much looks the same, acts as weird as before and can yell even louder than the 30s version. Sigh. I am depressed.
But how the hell did Raghuram Rajan come to know about this is what I want to know. To predict that this Great Depression is around the corner with such terrific accuracy! What a cool dude! But I tell you, when one economist is in trouble, it’s only other economists that come to the rescue. Editor, I hope you are reading this and squirming.
Dr. Rajan did his bit with his early warning signal. After all, forewarned is forearmed. And Arun Jaitley is trying to get me to smile by telling me that India is a bright spot in a dark world. FM, this is really sweet of you, but you know, I turned 40. Not 4.
Dr. Sen and Dr. Bhagwati have stopped bickering and have not taken a single pot-shot at each other for the past one month. How nice! Though, on second thoughts, a much better birthday present would be the two engaging in a clash over something crazy like whether Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a saffron NDA version of a more UPA Veer-Zaara.
And the girls have simply outdone themselves. Janet Yellen, the renowned dove, has suddenly done quite the volte-face and turned hawkish. “What!” she declared to the media with the curled lip and spiteful voice, “Maintain low interest rates in the US when this woman turns 40! I shall raise a toast immediately and the interest rates in a while in her honor.” I take a bow, Miss Yellen. With this statement, the markets have gone into a tizzy and the dollar has suddenly become expensive. Central Banks, FIIs, Mutual Funds and Investment Banks are all lapping up the dollar, causing the gold prices to crash. Thank you, Janet!
Angela Merkel, my other friend, adds on to this birthday cheer in her own way. Mmmuah! Why else did you think that this finance hardliner suddenly took on the “I shall not let my home break up” role, reminiscent of the ever sacrificing Indian Bahu in those insufferable soaps? Retaining Greece inside the Eurozone makes the Euro weaker and the already strong dollar, stronger. Hurrah! That has made dollar-denominated oil less attractive to traders using other currencies. The oil market is simply reeling under the bearish sentiment and the WPI-led inflation numbers in India continue to be negative.
I totally like it. Lower crude translates into lower prices for oil-based products. Very useful for depressed women economists wanting to buy a bright lipstick to cheer themselves up. Owe you one, Angela!
Hubby is reeling under the impact. A long drive in a new car and gold earrings are on the cards. Thank you, economists!