lets play ambani-ambani…

LETS PLAY AMBANI-AMBANI !  I have just read about the Ambani Brothers’ turf war on gas and related issues in BUSINESS TODAY of 23rd Aug 09.This is what I wrote to the editor of BT :




Dear Sir, 

On reading “Ambani Feud-The Real Story” in the latest issue of BT (23rd Aug 2009) I was reminded of  “Games People Play”  (subtitle: The Psychology of Human Relationships) a famous 1964 book,by psychiatrist Eric Berne,which describes both functional and dysfunctional social interactions.


In the first half of the book, Dr. Berne introduces transactional analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions. He describes three roles or ego-states, the Child, the Parent, and the Adult, and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these ego-states.


The second half of the book catalogues a series of mind games, in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of “transactions” which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive. The book uses “Boy, has he got your number” and other casual phrases as a way of briefly describing each game. Often, the “winner” of a mind game is the person that returns to the Adult ego-state first.It is important to note that not all interactions or transactions are part of a game. Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult ego-state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.


Just think of Anil and Mukesh playing mind games and see for yourself how very true Eric Berne was !!


Incidentally,”Games People Play” is also a song written, composed and performed by singer/song-writer Joe South inspired by this book.The lyrics of the song go thus :
“Oh the games people play now
  Every night and every day now
  Never meaning what they say now
  Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers
Till they’re covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limousine

La-da da da da da de
Talking ’bout you and me
And the games people play

Oh we make one another cry
Break a heart then we say goodbye
Cross our hearts and we hope to die
That the other was to blame

Neither one will give in
So we gaze at our eight by ten
Thinking ’bout the things that might have been
It’s a dirty rotten shame

Repeat Chorus

People walking up to you
Singing glory hallelulia
And they’re tryin to sock it to you
In the name of the Lord

They’re gonna teach you how to meditate
Read your horoscope, cheat your faith
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

Repeat Chorus

Look around tell me what you see
What’s happening to you and me
God grant me the serenity
To remember who I am

Cause you’ve given up your sanity
For your pride and your vanity
Turns you sad on humanity
And you don’t give a da da da da da” 

Lets replace you and me with Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani and perhaps the song will be more interesting and relevant in todays times of such corporate wars !
That reminds me about how we as children loved to play ” house-house” or “doctor-doctor”. Perhaps,some new age game-manufacturer will soon come out with a new computer game titled “Lets Play Ambani Ambani” !!



New Delhi.






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