Thursday, January 8, 2009

Somethings off tangent !!

Just putting aside the 'Dombivli Slow' posts for the time being and expressing something off tangent. I will of course be continuing with the Dombivli Slow posts from the next posting.

Today morning as I was driving to my workplace in Bangalore, I was taking a left turn at the T-junction. At the same time another car from the opposite side of the road at the same place was taking a right turn, which meant that we would have arrived at the turn at the same time. Meanwhile at Zebra crossing on the junction across the breadth of the road where we were turning a man was crossing the road rather running to the opposite side. All it took for both me and the car driver was a split second to analyze what the situation was and react accordingly. I braked and slowed down my turn, so did the car driver and the man crossed safely.

My question is if our normal brains can process information so fast and can act accordingly to take take us to safety how come all the brains in a big corporation like Satyam muck up the finances over a 4-5 year period without anybody realising what was happening?

I find it absolutely incredible that the whole host of jokers from the directors (independent or otherwise), COO, Finance guys and PWC were unaware of a massive scam being perpetrated.

What I feel sorry for in this whole episode is the lakhs of rupees lost by the small investors and the jobs of the 53,000 employees at stake. These investors and employees have families and extended families dependent on their salaries. This one scam has put a lot of livelihoods at stake.


Also as I was driving to the office I was thinking about the IT employees and their lifestyle in general. Today the younger generation with skills have started earning big salaries and leading a lifestyle befitting the salary. You can see them having 1-2 cars same goes for the houses. Of course all this is on loan and when the recession hits or something like the above-mentioned scam happens these guys are left in lurch with nowhere to turn. All these things happen because they have not initiated any saving measures when the going was good.

Now coming to my situation, I’m close to 40 years. All my life I have been an average middle class person. I have worked in some of the top-notch companies of India and also spent around 5 years in Dubai. I have never been too ambitious, always contented with the current situation. I have of course changed jobs when opportunities presented themselves for a hike in salary. I have been steady, concentrating more on investments like buying a house, saving for the future (read old age) all the while leading a very average life. Leading a average life means shunning too much expenditure on luxuries, not going on costly vacations, postponing the purchase of a car, etc..

My question is whether I’m wrong? The rest of world around me seems to zip past like a Ferrari overtaking a moped and attaining goals which seem like unachievable dreams. Am I wrong somewhere for being contented and peace with my situation or is the rest of the world wrong? Of course I do realize the cost borne by these young guns for leading such a life.

Also please note this is not a case of sour grapes, jealousy or envy. This is just a honest question for which I can’t find any correct answer, from the depth of my heart, which I hope you will shed some light on.


  1. People have always been powered by the two factors of fear and greed ! And it is indeed interesting to know and feel comforted that indivdiuals akin to my tribe continue to inhabit the Earth !

    I guess we have to come to terms with the fact that people are different and are driven differently. and i am acutely aware of the same questions 'a friend who dreamt of a Ferrari' by the time he was to be 35, asked. Am i wrong !?!

    I guess the answer depends on each individual and his outlook towards life.

    if the law of the land is respected, and the spirit of the soul is intact, and there is no harm wrought on will go on !

    About Satyam, it is another matter altogether. Its an unfortunate situtation for the employees..though !

  2. Nice post, Ganesh.

    The Satyam incident is a disgrace. And like you listed out, there are a whole lot of people responsible apart from the Raju clan. What is more important now is to see how India Inc and the government at large do all they can to revive this mammoth company. The corporate sectors abroad have seen bigger scams; how they turnaround and get back to 'business as usual' is worth emulating.

    About the IT inflicted generation (that includes me too :P) - what is fortunate for us is that we have sooo much at our disposal; but unfortunately, all of that comes at the cost of getting things the easier way!

    I agree with the earlier comment... to go all out and relish the fast lane or to take it easy and go slow depends more on the kind of person you are.

    I personally believe that it's best to live life the way you like it... so what if you see a dozen Ferrari's zipping by... the moped you are on will still take you places :)

  3. I think your attitude to life mirrors many of ours as well. One may call it the middle-class-tortoise type, which is perhaps better than the risk-taking-dashing-hare type of attitude.

  4. I think you're perfectly right. These madcap 23 year olds with one year experience who go running to a bank and get 35Lac loans to buy a house - I hate these kind. Not only has it resulted in property rates shooting up by 400% in the past three years but it also has led to mass 'kanjoosi' by these people in their daily lives. Everyone has a super expensive 3-BHK when there are only going to be 2 people living in that house (until the kids pop in). The burden of the loan though weighs high on them and they're forever moping about not getting to go 'onsite' or not having enough money to watch movies or go on trips etc. They are essentially leading a 'retired' life until they pay off their loans which is when they would have ACTUALLY retired.

  5. To most, money implies quantity. Its the answer to the question, "how much?". That is the Satyam stuff.

    But, as parents often told us, money has another parameter that defines it; quality. A son with his first salary, no matter how small, donating 10% to, say, an orphanage/school/hospital in need, is richer than most Ferari types.

    Most of us fall somewhere in between. Its easy to tend towards being a Ferarri type, which doesnt require much thought other than economic, which is why you see a predominance of such folks. today. They swish through life, at high speeds, and as a result only see things high up there, rarified.

    Those , that get a sense of stability and satisfaction from being the other type, go through life, enjoying a sedate drive through the various dry and verdant parts, enjoying and sharing the scenery , understanding the purpose of why somethings are the way they are.

    The benefits are obvious. The choice is yours. But each to his own.

  6. Ganesh, I request you to look into the distinction between 'looking good' and 'feeling good'.

    I can go on and on talking about this distinction. I consider this distinction as the essence of life.

  7. Ganesh, personally i feel people were only surfing on the surface of the sea for some time now & didn't quite know the importance of swimming. Now when the fall is so sudden they are realizing how important it is to know the basics first! The realization of the importance of going deeper is suddenly being felt!


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