Advice for the guv'nor

Sep 16, 2013, 09:32 IST | Rohan Joshi

Raghuram Rajan is good looking?! How dare he

Rohan JoshiDear Raghuram Rajan,

Like several other Raghuram Rajan experts, this humble writer has keenly followed your storied career since it began nine days ago when you became Governor of the RBI. Like you, I am also an economist of some merit, capable of handling tricky monetary situations with finesse.

I am sure you have read my seminal economic texts “Give the Dominos Guy The Coupon Code but Not The Actual Coupon So You Can Re-Use It HI-FIVE!” and “Rupee: Fact or Fiction?” so I will spare you the boring details. I only mention them because I need you to understand that I know what I’m talking about when I offer you the advice that I am about to.

Mr Rajan, you have taken over governorship of That Office That’s Not SEBI at a crucial juncture in this great nation’s history. If you’ve read the papers over the last nine days, then you must be aware that this is a time of great volatility (and also that KBC has begun). In this time of need, we look to you for a solution to this crisis. I refer of course to the problem of calling accomplished, intelligent people “sexy” in an environment where sexual objectification is the bogeyman that lives under your bed.

RBI Governor
Being the first RBI Governor in 20 years to not suffer male pattern baldness is just plain sneaky. File pic

The truth, Mr Rajan, is that a lot of people (and Shobhaa De) think you’re sexy. Articles have been written about it, tweets have been posted about it, and yesterday, I even saw a girl from South Bombay look at one of those strange pink newspapers. Miss De went so far as to say that you have (and I quote) “put the sex back in the limp Sensex.” This is true in the same way that Shobhaa De puts the “pun” back in the phrase “reading Shobhaa De is punishment”.

Mr Rajan, you have made such a splash that the internet awarded you its highest civilian honour, your own hashtag. I speak from experience, Mr Rajan, when I say that such sexiness is a heavy cross for any one man to bear. I am afraid it will go to your head, and so I feel it is my job to keep your feet on the ground. I take no pleasure in this task, in the same way that the 2G scam caused no loss to the Indian exchequer. Promise.

First of all, Mr Rajan, lets look at your qualifications. I am told you went to IIT for a bachelors’ in electrical engineering, and then IIM for a diploma in Business Administration, following which you were awarded a PhD by MIT for your thesis ‘Essays on Banking.’ I read it, and I want to say it’s good, but as I already said in my review, it has “too many numbers, not enough dragons and an unforgivable absence of made-up broom sports. One star.”

Also, for someone who went to IIT, IIM and MIT, you have done very little of consequence with your life. Safeguarding India’s monetary policy through a crisis which may actually be fiscal in nature is nice and all, but with your IIT-IIM-MIT qualifications, I expected more. I have found no pictures of you at a Thanksgiving party in Silicon Valley, and not one tweet supporting an obscure NBA team. Most damning of all Mr Rajan, I saw an interview that suggests that you failed to claim your free generic western accent even though you worked with the IMF. Speaking of which, if you really were such a key agent of the IMF, how come the four movies about them starred Tom Cruise and not you?

You have also used underhanded methods such as the element of surprise to convince us of your sexiness. How dare you use brains and eloquence to supplement your “a good catch, in a solid, smart South Indian sort of way” looks? And being the first RBI Governor in 20 years to not suffer male pattern baldness is just plain sneaky.

And yet Mr Rajan, I urge you to embrace this bestowed-upon sexiness. We live in an irrational world where the politically correct anal call it a crime to be accomplished and attractive at the same time, a world where Kamala Harris being called the “best-looking” attorney general magically robs her of her degrees, wisdom and legal acumen; a world in which your attractiveness supposedly detracts from your immense financial (and political) savvy. It doesn’t. If you can save the rupee AND keep some vapid starlet’s face off the front page by taking his/her place, you’re okay in my book. Which by the way is an economic tome called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective eBay Discount Voucher Users.” I’ll be sure to send you a copy.


Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on 

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