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बुदम and his crude business models

बुदम was a dreamer to become big in his life. But ‘work hard’ the main ingredient was missing to achieve his educational goals. बुदम was miserable for causing pain to his Dad (Mahesh) and wanted to pay him back. बुदम knew deep inside that he had hurt his Dad immensely, and he could/can not repay his debts. Most of the time बुदम remained busy at home, doing house chores, बुदम wanted to pay back his Dad by doing some सेवा. बुदम developed the routine to give his Dad head massage and feet massage with सरसों का तेल (Mustard Oil) and cold water before going to sleep. बुदम looked after Dad’s manicure and pedicure on weekends when Dad had free time. This routine continued till his death. बुदम knew that his Dad never asked him to become something, whereas his Dad had expectations from the rest of the siblings. One day बुदम asked Dad, what was his advice to him. बुदम’s Dad recited the Sanskrit Shaloka:
“उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथैः ।
न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ॥”
“Only hard work makes things possible; the Deer does not get into sleeping Tiger’s mouth by itself”. बुदम understood two laws, first – Tiger (Be strong), Second Hard work (Nothing happens without it despite you are strong). This was the first time बुदम got close to his Dad. He wanted to set the benchmark for himself. Since undoing all the failures in studies was impossible but he could do something to make money. In conversation with Dad, बुदम came to know that Dad’s take-home salary was roughly Rupees 1,500 after deductions in the year 1975. Kalpana Di was close to finishing MA Economics and getting some queries from prospective grooms’ parents. Neighborhood kids were going to be free after final exams. बुदम needed some regular job to save for the next year admission to PUC. बुदम asked Kalpana Di if some job can be found for him. Kalpana Di asked a family friend. He got बुदम attached with the electrical contractor and learned a few electrician’s skills. बुदम used to finish house chores extremely fast and the whole house used to be spec clean, he was making a small amount of money from Kids’ tuitions in the neighborhood, and handyman पेंचकस was doing good business from the neighborhood. बुदम had learned quite a few tricks from his electric GURU Avtar, how to hold live electric wire without getting shocked. बुदम was an expert in making electric rod of electric coil element, hardwood/asbestos sheet/dish heater’s main heating coil with asbestos base, and heavy-duty electric wire. बुदम stumbled upon making electric rods by accident. बुदम ‘s household had an old electric stove in a dilapidated state in the junk box of broken appliances, you never know when you need them to fix something. बुदम used the old electric coil element with asbestos base, removed the rotten coil, and asked Hemant Bhai, what would happen if he put this thing directly in the water bucket. Hemant Bhai told him it would heat water much faster than the usual geyser or on top of an electric heater. Hemant Bhai cautioned not to touch the water when this was plugged in. बुदम figured out that lesser the electric coil faster would be the water boiling time. बुदम’s crude electric water boiler was hit in the neighborhood and बुदम was making money from both hands. He heard one compliment from all neighbors that the whole family could take shower due to बुदम’s water boiler. Eureka moment for बुदम, that he could make all the neighborhood feel clean early morning after a hot bath. There was another catch in his product, it used to get bust soon say one month, thus he had to replenish those regularly throughout the year. Nobody was complaining since everyone needed the hottest water boiler which used to get bust in a month and everybody wanted a hot bath early morning. (Teenage बुदम did not know what business model it was. Today बुदम [61 years old] Master of Computer Sciences, MBA ITM and Master of Commerce from North America, who is digging deeper into his बुदम self and adding the pieces together, can comprehend what he did in teenage without any educational background). Despite keeping the whole house clean, tutoring neighborhood kids, making water boiler for needy customers, बुदम had a lot of spare time to spend, since most of his contacts used to be in school or, university or, at work. बुदम started going to the lower Kaithu market area and friended with Bittoo Halwaii, Sita Ram Paanwala, and Chiku Bhai running corner Convenient Store. Bittoo became his best friend. बुदम started spending a lot of time in his shop in the daytime. He used to order Pakoras, Samosas, Sweets, and several cups of Hot Chai. When बुदम used to run out of money, Bittu kept his account and बुदम paid his debts in time. During a discussion with Bittoo, बुदम heard about GOL PAHARI at the end of the Lower Kaithu Area, on the other end, it was Annadale Ground. There was/is a very scenic beautiful trail between GOL PAHARI and Annadale Ground. बुदम fell in love with GOL PAHRI and spent most of his spare time watching trees, flying foxes having fun, and birds in the surrounding area. बुदम was at peace and used to spend time in trans watching tree leaves. His quest to find God’s way of doing things continued.
One day बुदम met some street kids (not interested in education but do some other kind of jobs to make money) of his age interested in playing cricket. These kids were free with no worries about studies. The plan was made to start playing cricket in Tara Hall school after school hours in the afternoon around 4PM onward. The front ground on cart roadside was not the possibility. But second ground towards the Pili Kothi’s side was an option. But it was fenced solid and no scope of climbing the fence. बुदम suggested unscrewing corner bolts and other strong kids could do the rest. Handyman पेंचकस showed his charisma and unbolted the corner side of the steel net. The teenager street gang was in with Bat, Ball, and Wickets. बुदम volunteered for refreshments and cricket ball the team was set. It was a group of 5-6 kids, not full two teams. One used to bat, and the rest used to do fielding. Nuns noticed that teenage kids playing on the ground and watched them playing from the upper level of the ground. The street gang left after a couple of hours of play from the way they came in. One day बुदम hit the ball and it broke the window glass of the room at the upper level. The watchman was standing at our exit path and no way to run away. बुदम was the only one who could speak a little bit in broken English. But nuns knew Hindi too. They asked the kids who broke the fence. बुदम said he did it along with other kids; we were together in it. Other kids said it was done by बुदम only. बुदम accepted that he broke the glass and apologized for it. But things did not stop here. Cops were sent to Gyan Devi Bhawan on a verbal complaint by TH school since a lot of police officers’ kids were studying at TH school. Cops coming to talk to बुदम had to go through Mr. Ashok Goel landlord of Gyan Devi Bhawan. Somehow Mr. Goel convinced them that he will sort it out. Cops left without talking to बुदम. Mr. Goel did not say anything but got some message through Kamlesh Didi (Mr. Goesl’s better half). She told बुदम very politely, not to do that and it can be troubling for him.
After this incident, बुदम felt humiliated and went straight to GOL PAHARI and started thinking about what happened. बुदम was singled out for the crime, where others were also an equal culprit. Now बुदम went into memory lane where he started thinking why he used to get so many punishments in the school days from grade 5-10; whereas similar offenses done by other school kids never got any punishment. बुदम started looking into his responses and dissected them minutely. Most common repetitive trouble-causing issues were as follows:
Teacher: “Why homework not done?”
बुदम: “I do not understand what you teach. So how come I could do the homework.”
Teacher: “Why you can not understand the lecture?”
बुदम: “You do not know how to teach.”
Teacher: “Why are you late?”
बुदम: “I did not wake up in time. “
बुदम could feel the pain of punishments of बिच्छू बूटी treatment, मुर्गा आसन, बेंत treatment, standing hands up, etc., etc., and suddenly he felt that his little sister Vibha was watching him from a distance, he wanted this to stop forever. बुदम came back home and told the whole pain to his ‘illiterate’ mom. She stayed quiet for some time withholding her tears and came up with a good solution. She said people lie to save themselves, but you did not lie. I would not ask you to lie but tell you not to say the truth and find some way to avoid it. बुदम asked again, I know the word lie, but can you explain more with an example. बुदम was drinking water at that time. His mother asked what you were doing just now. बुदम said he was drinking water. Then she explained if you said you were doing nothing or you were not drinking water then it was a lie. Stuff did not fit in बुदम’s head why he would have to tell that he was not drinking water to make it lie, how this kind of stuff can be made in other circumstances. बुदम wanted to make up a lie. बुदम wanted to visualize TH incident where, Nun said who broke the fence, to make it lie, he would have to say ‘he was not drinking water’. It did not make sense in his mind. But liked the idea not to tell or avoid it somehow if it would cause some problem for himself. बुदम needed to do some work on avoiding some technical questions, and their responses.
बुदम fortunes had taken a turn for good and was making money from multiple streams, like tuitions, his water boiling heater was doing wonderfully. He was making a few hundred rupees, which he gave to his ‘illiterate’ Mom. बुदम’s ‘illiterate’ mom said it was more than what she got for whole month household expenditure. बुदम said he can make more if needed. बुदम noticed his Mom started spending some money on her makeup stuff and his Mom also started buying some beautiful things to make her look good. बुदम’s mom was gorgeous, and बुदम always thought that Hemant Bhai was on Mom with fair complexion and beautiful features, etc., etc., he got Dad’s dark color and his ordinary features. बुदम thought if he had money who cares features. It was not a secret at home that बुदम’s mom took extra care of Hemant Bhai, in terms of serving him food, he was special to get milk and his birthdays were celebrated since he was social with nice company. बुदम never had nice company to talk about and the question of birthdays’ celebration never arise. बुदम always felt why this differentiation in Mom’s head. It made sense that he was not good in studies, Hemant Bhai was a topper and was going to become a Doctor or an Engineer. बुदम thought of getting Mom’s love with money power. बुदम had started doing it. But despite his giving most of his income to Mom, he did not find any change in Mom’s behavior to treat him at level with Hemant Bhai. बुदम was looking for some answers.
बुदम wanted to have a regular stream of income to survive and not to be a burden on father. बुदम got the job with an electrical contractor and later got a steady job as a salesman at Batish & Sons. The quest to make money was rising in बुदम and wanted to make some extra money. बुदम looked in the sky and asked the divine to move his leaf so that he can make some more money. Within few minutes an exceptionally beautiful couple on honeymoon were heading towards him. बुदम had an aura to help people’s serious problems. बुदम asked them how could he help them? They said that they got married and need a book on sex education. बुदम asked, you mean with nice pictorial description, they said Yes Please. बुदम said let me check with the owner. बुदम told about couples’ problem. Uncle Batish told बुदम that it was illegal to sell those things, and he did not have it. बुदम insisted please do something for this couple, they would thank you for the rest of their lives. Batish Uncle told बुदम that there was a street vendor sitting on the bridge close to Lift of Bridge View Hotel, he got some this kind of stuff. Batish uncle told him to look after his sales instead of doing charities. बुदम went to the desperate newly married couple full of money power, especially for honeymoon. बुदम wanted to make money from them and they would be happy and going to bless him too with good fortune. बुदम said he could help them but with one condition, they would have to buy few items from ‘Batish & Sons’ to make uncle Batish happy. They obliged and did good shopping from Batish & Sons. बुदम asked the couple to wait in front of the Grammar School and he would check with the vendor. बुदम talked to the vendor about a newlywed couple and their need. The vendor said he got a lot of stuff tugged nearby and can get it for genuine customers, but it was illegal to sell that kind of stuff. The vendor was happy that he was getting risk free genuine customers through बुदम and was happy to give a good commission.
बुदम looked in the sky and asked for help to manage this show without much hassle. बुदम wanted to track the sales, commission, and material available. बुदम built the catalog with names of things and gave alphabet to each item. Like “A. शादी के बाद”, “B. Playboy”, “C. Anonymous (He, She, They series)”, “D. मस्तराम”. बुदम maintained the accounts in mini diary fitting in the hands of palm. Used to show the prospective clients the catalog in his palm and used to print their desired item into the special colored paper. Like, say BD. बुदम used to change the alphabets daily and the vendor was informed about catalog’s codes for the day. This was needed for making sure the client was genuine and not a govt official getting hold of the catalog and codes. So, changing the code every day was of utmost importance. बुदम made sure that the prospective client confirmed the quantity of purchase so that he could get his commission as per the business flow. बुदम was surprised that the vendor remained honest to sales made through this process and gave full commission he earned. बुदम was making more than his monthly income from Batish & Sons in less than a week from this venture. बुदम had a real problem what to do with the money. बुदम did not want to talk about this business to anyone, since it was going to bring trouble to him for sure. In jail, it would be worse than बिच्छू बूटी treatment. If Dad knew this thing, he would volunteer himself to put him behind the bars. The major problem with बुदम was if he got caught than he did not know how to make up a lie, other than say, ‘he did not drink the water’.
With this kind of cash bounty, बुदम’s lifestyle changed. बुदम started fulfilling his innermost desires available to rich and resourceful families. Teenage बुदम enjoyed expensive cigarettes like MORE, 555, Dunhill, learned ice skating, roller skating, started enjoying hiking, spending on expensive meals in nice restaurants. बुदम gave a lot of money to needy sitting on Kalif Bari Road with disabilities. बुदम never shared this bounty with his close family and friends. बुदम never bought anything which one could ask how he bought expensive stuff. Why बुदम never shared this fortune with family and friends is for anybody guess. Cheers!

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Vipin Kaushik

Grew up in Shimla and was catalyst in bringing computer education in Shimla. Now working as AVP System development with US company.
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Navneet Bakshi
Navneet Bakshi(@bakshink)
10 months ago

Very interesting. We have to piece it all together. I am a bit slow, but I will do it.

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