The Mid-Life Crisis of Entitled Powerful Men

This tribe of Enti­tled Pow­er­ful Men (EPM) is quite vis­i­ble. Peo­ple who have “made it”…CEOs, pro­mot­ers, scions of old busi­ness houses and those who are part of the upper ech­e­lons of var­i­ous organizations…always in front, never look­ing back! The best way to iden­tify them is by the way they travel…always busi­ness and first class, to the extent that they will sac­ri­fice the con­ve­nience of an ear­lier or later flight on Indigo, just so that they can travel busi­ness class on Jet Air­ways or rarely Air India (and they hate the fact that King­fisher failed), try­ing hard to avoid rub­bing shoul­ders with the cat­tle class they have long left behind.

Their world-view is com­pletely skewed. Even if they have come from hum­ble begin­nings, the trap­pings of an enti­tled liv­ing, even for a year, changes val­ues com­pletely. And with this comes the fawning…from interns, juniors, cus­tomers and col­leagues, both men and women…who feel elated to just bask in the glow that comes off these super-beings.

Pow­er­ful men become mag­nets of attrac­tion. And soon they get used to hav­ing their way with every­one, includ­ing women…it is a small per­cent­age of this group that is able to remain monogamous.

This sat­is­fies a grow­ing libido. But as the EPMs enter their 50s, a layer of inse­cu­rity sets in fuelled by a mid-life exis­ten­tial cri­sis that spares no one. Not every advance to every woman is suc­cess­ful! When you are young, you shrug it off and move on. In the late 40s and 50s, the slight becomes dif­fi­cult to bear, mak­ing the EPM won­der if he is finally los­ing his magic touch…his power, his charisma…and rejec­tion becomes very dif­fi­cult to digest!

And this leads to des­per­a­tion. At the slight­est hint that a woman might be inter­ested, an EPM, espe­cially with the help of a lit­tle alco­hol, will go all out to prove to him­self again and again that he still has it when it comes to women.

And so we have the age­ing super­star with a recent six-pack who actu­ally goes and mar­ries one of his co-stars and then when his wife goes on a ram­page, begs all the jour­nal­ists he knows to sup­press the story. Then there is the mid-50s CEO who keeps mis­tresses in at least 5 cities of the world, each with her own flat and “hand­some” salary.

And so can you really blame the grey­ing jour­nal­ist who, a few drinks down, thinks that his pro­tege / junior who looks up to him, also seems to be giv­ing him sig­nals that she is sex­u­ally inter­ested and then acts on that? It is hard-wired into the DNA of being an EPM. What must have com­pletely caught him off-guard would have been the rebuff, because that is some­thing he would have least expected and would have rein­forced the fact that he was per­haps now los­ing it, which in turn would have made him want to try even harder a sec­ond time.

And you can’t blame his starry-eyed man­ag­ing edi­tor, who while oth­er­wise com­pe­tent and in con­trol, would not be able to use the same high stan­dards she sets for her­self and oth­ers when it came to her boss, thus skew­ing all future responses.

It hap­pens all the time and will con­tinue to hap­pen for eter­nity. Whether it is the Pres­i­dent of a pow­er­ful coun­try or an incum­bent Prime Min­is­ter of a coun­try on the cusp of inde­pen­dence, it is vir­tu­ally impos­si­ble to resist the lure of women attracted to the pull of power.

Enti­tled Pow­er­ful Men are dan­ger­ous. Those with a mid-life crisis…even more so!


  • GS Dastur wrote:

    As my grand­mother used to say: “I don’t care about all that guff. They ought to have had more sense.”

  • This power-crisis also affects mid-level man­agers who are in decen­tral­ized power cen­tres. One tech­nique to ward off this mid-life cri­sis is to remind one­self that the ones that fawn over you are really fawn­ing over your chair and the power it car­ries. Imag­ine your­self out of that cen­tre of power and you will find the inner strength to resist.

  • so true.
    the mail from the vic­tim to tarun tej­pal says all.
    not capa­ble to take a no.
    its not just lust its so much about power posi­tion and tainted per­cep­tion abt them­selves that every woman is attracted to their so called charm.though in real­ity it may be such a major put off.

    how deluded these epm cd be?

  • In Tarun Tejpal’s case it is also a lit­tle bit of a mini cul­tural con­fu­sion. I find when it comes to Delhi men if you dont stick to safe sub­jects but go along when they ven­ture beyond then they take it be an act of con­sent to any­thing else they may sug­gest. In con­trast Mum­bai men never assume any such thing, they are mature enough not to imag­ine that just because a woman laughs at an off colour joke or tells one her­self or dis­cusses sub­jects like desire, feel­ings, bigamy etc does NOT mean she is inter­ested in indulging in a phys­i­cal rela­tion­ship or any any rela­tion­ship for that mat­ter. The vic­tim who is from Mum­bai did not real­ize that Tarun would read a great deal into the casual things that they spoke. Some­where I feel (and in my expe­ri­ence at least)that the major­ity (not All of course there are excep­tions) of the Delhi men can­not take no for an answer, they are con­di­tioned to believe that a woman’s no means yes.

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