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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