He did not want lo wrilea book thai would be read by 1500 people. So. he waited for many a summer. Then one day when his best was behind him, youth but a fading memory and a golden autumn a reality, he discovered that his son had written a book that attracted a seven-figure advance and made a permanent place in the top seller's list. Writing was not a bad option after all! Arindam Chaudhuri's "Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch" may have altered the life of many, but it certainly changed the way his father Malay Chaudhuri. looked at writing a book. "It is not only the son who is influenced by the father, the father too is influenced by the son. I got heart from the response Count Your Chicken...' generated." The senior citizen, using all his expertise more of than three decades in the world of economics, the young bird, having leamt to fly early, giving his inputs. Together, they dared to dream. Though this dream originated three years ago with a seminar, it actually goes back a long way. "It was always there. 1 grew up listening to father's ideas," offers Arindam. This dream, however, was a touch different. It was not about roses and romance, it was not about smart word play and laughing all the way to the bank. It was not about facing the world with a heart for any fate, still persevering, still learning. It was about you and me, it was about India, where "more than 80 per cent have no voice, are neglected and live a life of destitution below poverty line". It was about India whose economy is "capable of growth rate of 14 per cent" and regularly manages only five per cent. It was about Universal Humanism, because "Democratic Communism" does not exist, as Malay slates. Thus came into being "The Great Indian Dream", releasing in New Delhi this coming Tuesday. It gives you and me an insight into the Indian economy without taking recourse to the jargon that makes our Finance Ministers so exasperatingly incomprehensible. No attempt to 'deliberately mathematise economy so that common people don't understand". As Arindam puts it, "It is not just an analysis of Indian economy.
We have not just talked of unemployment, child labour. etc. Figures have been made comprehensible. This book is like storytelling. It is not about changing India tomorrow but changing the belief that India cannot change. That attitude will go away, it is all hogwash. We have given plenty of examples of other countries to prove that India can change and grow. It is not just small countries like Japan with a higher density of population, or Malaysia with that 2020 slogan who have been held up as examples but even China." Thai''s not all. The Chaudhuris turn many theories upside down. So instead of the downward filtration theory we and our forefathers have grown up with Macaulay, they talk of "trickle-up theory". Darwin told us about the Survival of the Fittest, the Chaudhuris tell us about the Survival of the Weakest. Ricardo talked of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. Here in "The Great Indian Dream", we learn about the "Law of Increasing Marginal Utility". All along in this book, the two authors talk of "happy capitalism" because "democratic socialism" is passe* and ideology has to bend "with the times". They hold out the mirror to Indian economy but far from evoking sympaOiy with the poverty of the country, they show us a ray of hope, tell us that we cannot be like the U.S. We can be better. "The quality of living can be better here simply because we have something called culture. This is a 25-year dream but within five years there will be an upbeat environment with greater social security, the Dalits and Muslims will gain the most from the progress." Arindam ridicules alt attempts by Government agencies to project the burgeoning middle-class as a possible market for multinational corporations. "Where is the purchasing power? MNCs are not committed to India, many of their top postings to the country are like punishment postings. We talk of 300 million middle-class. Where arc they? Forget others, even Coca Cola grows at 5 per cent per annum here!" Well.
Coca Cola may have had its share of problems in India but none of them seem to dog Arindam and his dad. Recently, there was a media report that the twosome had indulged in counting their chickens before they hatched when it comes to quoting the advance for the forthcoming book is concerned. Malay shares it all: "Macmillan cannot reveal the amount. We have no written confidentiality clause but we have been requested not to divulge the amount. However, in the agreement the figure has been mentioned." Adds Arindam, "The seven-figure amount or whatever has nothing to do with money. It is lust to ensure that the book has a good visibility, is pushed by the publishers, and is available to the common man who wants to read It-Chips in Malay, "What''s the point working for years over a book that is not read by the masses?" Truly, the Chaudhuris work as a team. And for the moment, there''s perfect harmony. After all. Malay waited for years before penning down this one! You can count your chickens on that!