The 99 Club

Bharath Kumar Balasubramanian
2 min readJul 31, 2021

Life’s biggest “trap” people fall into

The ’99 Club’

Let me type out a story that i read in my childhood (thanks Amar Chitra Katha!):

There was a king who was very wealthy. Despite the riches and the facilities, he wasn’t too happy. In fact, he was getting more grumpier and morose by the day. He, however, had a barber who was the epitome of happiness! While servicing the king, the barber would merrily hum a tune, always have a smile on his face and do his job cheerfully.

The king was perplexed!

“I am a king with so much of power and wealth, yet i am not happy. And here is a simple barber with minimal possessions — how can he be so happy?!”

He discussed this with his minister.

The minister remarked — Simple, that is because, your barber does not belong to the 99 club.

99 Club? What’s that? Asked the king.

Your Majesty, let me explain using a demonstration!

The minister had a bag containing 99 Gold Coins kept at the doorstep of the Barber, secretly at night.

Next day morning, the barber saw the bag and was overjoyed! But wait, who leaves 99 coins?! He counted the same coins again and again and to his dismay, found that there were only 99. He set out to earn that additional elusive coin.

The barber worked harder than usual, spent lesser time at home and with friends, started cutting short on his work quality in an attempt to do more, started blaming his family for not helping him in his effort and so on. He wasn’t the same person anymore. And yes, he stopped smiling.

“See, now he belongs to the 99 Club”, remarked the minister.

A club whose membership is held by individuals not happy with what they have and always in pursuit of that one more thing — one more car, one more house, one more million in the bank……and then i will be happy. Which, unfortunately never happens owing to the never ending stream of desire. Beware of the 99 Club!



Bharath Kumar Balasubramanian

I transform organisations. I collect life experiences. I share practical wisdom. Happy to Help — Just reach out!