Influence and Influencers

Suketu Mehta, in his book entitled Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, speaks profoundly on the idea of “influence”. He explains that in Mumbai, everything happens because of the connections you have, the influences they have, and only a handful of people really look at your credentials and experience after that point: the point where they believe that as long as you know so and so, you are fit for the job. I scoffed at the thought that nobody would really look at my experience and credentials, and that i would have to indulge in the “name dropping” game, which I have only been a spectator of in all these years; I have never been directly involved in it.

However, I have dicovered, much to my dimay, that the “influential game” – as I like to call it – is a normal part of existence in Mumbai. On one hand, I am used to standindig on my own two feet, like I used to in the USA. On the other hand, I am begining to reconcile to the fact that one has a have some kind of impact on an individual if one is able to participate in the name dropping or show that he/she has a connection that is influential in any which way.

I guess I will have to swallow my pride and push my ego aside concerning all my years of study and all my clinical and teaching experience and will have to be open to the fact, that in India, the great motherland, not much goes by merit, and a lot goes by the who’s who of society.

Folks, please correct me if I am wrong.


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