Monday, January 12, 2009

Satyam all the way

Conscience is a bothersome thing. The more I think about it the more annoyed I get.
Hitler did fine without one. Gandhi had loads and still got shot.

It is that persistent nagging voice that makes a mess of a great bank robbery.
Or lands you in jail for fudging your company's profits.

Ramalinga Raju, the tainted former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. wrote to the board of directors that his fantastic profit figures had started to become a “tremendous burden on my conscience”. In other words Rs 5040 crores of inflated bank balances and cash just did not exist.

It is hard not to feel sorry for the guy. Termed as the biggest corporate fraud India has ever seen, Raju pulled off a stunning feat that will put his name in history for ever a wrong reason as there ever was.

You might argue that with the failed Maytas (Satyam spelled backwards) acquisition deal, the truth was to come out sooner or later. But writing out that dramatic letter must have been hard.

How do you step away from a company that you built over two decades? How do you go from leading the industry as a roaring IT whiz to sharing a tiny cell in the jail with your brother, stretched out on a thin blanket?

Such is conscience.

When he gets out, after a long long time (if law takes it's course, which in our country merits another blog post) I hear the West Bengal government is looking to set up a public-private partnership with him.

They are simply delighted to finally find a man who represents what they stand for. Inflated development figures on paper, non-existent rubbish on ground.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

The many failings, a new start

Excuse the loose emotions in this post. 

Whatever I write under the influence of apple vodka cannot be used against me in any court of law. 

I have survived another year and escaped with minor injuries, so a vodka will kill me now?

In retrospect it has been a great year and a terrible 365 days of hope struggling against despair. 

Work place was fun, working long hours tiring, but it was also sheer drudgery some days and exhilaration on others.

Personally and spiritually I have known inner turmoil, found friendship and betrayal and struggled to adjust to new roles and responsibilities. 

On mornings I have woken up with a raging headache and gone on to work or shopped like a maniac and crashed at midnight when the chariot turned back into the pumpkin.
I have done
the trivial bitching and bad-mouthing and then on sudden impulse some random act of kindness. I have put on eight kilos this year and vowed to shed 20. Again. 

The goofy moments were there when I have walked into men's washroom drunk shitless or sent a Valentine's day card to a colleague (passionately asking him to be my Valentine) accidentally on Facebook and hid under the desk all day long after. 

I have wandered off beside the Kosi Kalan river and stayed awake listening to crickets in Jim Corbett park. I saw snow for the first time in my li
fe at Rohtang (and ate some of it too!!!)  

The year brought me new friends even as I lost loved ones to silly quarrels. 

I have matured some and held onto a childish streak stubbornly. But in the end as I sort out my tax filings and throw out stuff from last year which I would not even care to read ever again, I am wondering what made this year so different.

May be a scrap of paper I found at the bottom of my work drawer, dated Jan 2008, that said "Don't fret that it's over, may 2008 be all that u wanted and then some. 

I have moved back to my hometown and I need to see what roots are all about. Lose that 20 kgs you have been promising yourself :). 

And if we don't meet ever we would still move on curiously to find out what life holds for each one of us. yours in weakness and strength."  


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