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Decade Decoder
Did life change?

Mohan Nayak

Between client calls, Mohan Nayak, the branch manager of a stock brokeragein Karnataka’s Shimoga, said how difficult it was to stretch his monthly income to make ends meet.

Price rise has hit him badly, he said, outpacing his salary hike. Petrol price is another wallet-nibbler.


Name: Mohan Nayak, 47

Profession: Branch manager of a stock

brokerage. (He didn’t want the firm’s name to be mentioned)

Education: BCom

Family: Wife Malathi B.L., homemaker, two daughters aged 18 and 12

Place: Shimoga, 280km from Bangalore


Do you earn more or less, compared with 2004?

Definitely higher in terms of salary

Do you save more or less, compared with 2004?

Much less. Although my salary is more, I spend much more. Mainly to meet the rise in educational costs.

What things does your house now have that it did not have in 2004?

It’s more or less the same. I’ve not been able to add to white goods or kitchen appliances

How did you travel then, how do you travel now?

By rail and bus

Do you usually use train or plane for long-distance travel? How did you travel in 2004?

For the past few years, I’ve been mostly travelling by 3 Tier AC. It was 2nd Class before 2004

Have you travelled abroad?

No

Do you own a car?

A few years ago, I bought a 2005 model Maruti 800. Before 2004, I was commuting on my scooter

Where do you buy your grocery, malls or corner store?

Corner stores

Do you shop round the year or only before festivals such as Diwali and Ugadi?

We hardly do any festival shopping

Do you own an AC?

Never owned one

Do your children go to school?

Children in our family have always been to school. While I went to a government school, my children now study in English medium schools

Is there any difference in the food you can afford now and what you could 10 years ago?

Food has become expensive and the quality has suffered

Do you encounter more corruption or less in your daily life?

I haven’t had to pay any bribes so far. But I do hear a lot of other people have to face corruption

What was the last movie you have seen and when?

It was a Kannada movie some two years ago. Since then, we have been watching movies on TV

When was the last time you ate outside the home with your family?

We stick to home food. I enjoy my wife’s cooking.

Do you have a cellphone?

I am with my second cellphone now. It’s an ordinary phone (not a smartphone). I use it for business calls

Do you go on holidays/ pilgrimages? How often do you go?

I am a believer. So, I go on some pilgrimages at least once a year. I haven’t been on any holiday so far.

Do you run out of money to buy food towards the end of the month? What do you do then?

That’s a monthly occurrence. By the third week, we are out of cash. But we somehow pull through

Is the current stock market rally too good to sustain? Or will it last longer even if Narendra Modi doesn’t become Prime Minister?

I’d say this is a sustainable growth, especially because it’s more or less based on massive investments by FIIs (foreign institutional investors). If Modi becomes Prime Minister, one can expect at least 30 per cent growth in shares. But we can expect 10-15 per cent growth even if someone else is the next Prime Minister

Describe your biggest change since 2004?

My elevation as a branch manager.

Are you happier or sadder now?

I have a happy family. So I’m happy.

Decade Decoder is an occasional election feature that seeks to bring out through a question-and-answer session whether lives have changed for the better or the worse in the past 10 years