Debit and Credit- Tales of Gong and Ward

AIR # 3
A friend of mine sent me a link of the top 3 rank holders in the recently declared results of CA Final November 2012 examinations. The media had yet not unearthed the story of Prema Jayakumar being a daughter of a auto rickshaw driver in Mumbai. One was amazed by the name of the town and the score of the AIR-2 Anandhi. However I yelled with joy as my eyes fell on AIR-3, a recognizable round, bespectacled face with a mild smile. The smile was familiar and the same one was exchanged about 8 months back when I waved my fingers at a batch-mate waiting for the commencement of Pattabhi Ram’s SFM class. We shook our hands exchanged our names and started discussing about classes one had engaged and nativity. My Prime Academy batch-mate, Gnana Sampath hailed from Coimbatore and had come to Chennai for his classes prior to his examinations in November. He was attired in a light blue shaded Shirt and gray cotton trousers. He appeared simple and by his movement and mannerisms seemed to prefer solitude.
I gathered that like me, he was also residing in Triplicane which is home to several mansions (lodge) teeming with bachelors (working and student) and a good number of them pursuing Chartered Accountancy and hailing from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and rest of Tamil Nadu. As is common to residents in Triplicane, no conversation between new acquaintances ends without a mention of which Mess/eatery one frequents to. Soon Mr. Vaidyanathan came and opened the doors for us and started distributing study materials.
Subsequently, I started spotting Gnana at various places and he would always exchange a smile and return to his thoughts. In a classroom, I am like a horse in a chess board and gallop with a strategy to earn friends and collect notes (with a neat handwriting) from them and also stay in a comfortable distance to various pretty faces. I wish my readers do not inculcate the last deameanor while preparing for examinations. Unlike me, Gnana would only sit at one place, i.e. within approachable distance to Mr Pattabhi Ram.
Occasionally I sat with Gnana and was wonderstruck at the neatness and clarity of his notes. He was pretty fast and I loved to give him competition while computing and answering the final answer. Unlike my excitement, Gnana kept a peaceful demure around him and express solace in simple expressions while getting the right answer. Over a period of time, there was mutual admiration and conversations regarding studies, audit and various humdrums in life. I would often ask him about the temples in and around Tamil Nadu as he would give me a lift from the classes to Ratna Café in Triplicane near my mansion.
In classrooms students find a number of distractions ranging from pretty/handsome faces to the updates of Olympics Medals being garnered by Indian wrestlers to engaging in sms-es exchanging affection or invectives. Gnana was immune to such lapse of concentration in the classroom.
Soon, I would spot him at the Reading Room in ICAI- SIRC premises at Nungambakkam. The spacious room attracts a good number of CA students mostly serious and from various walks of life who cannot find peaceful surroundings in their residence. This boy- Gnana was all seriousness and had pretty much an organized mindset while approaching his studies. He kept only one or two books with him and was punctual to a timetable etched in his mind. I would keenly observe him but unfortunately did not inculcate the same. Time management was his forte and his bike (a dear friend of his) ably aided him as he would shuttle in no time from one place to another without spending much time waiting for MTC buses which have definitely lost a sense of care and punctuality much to the horros of students who cannot afford a two or four wheelers.
As months passed by, one could spot Gnana like most of us becoming pensive and wary of the huge course to be traversed. A CA final examination definitely adds a lot of wrinkles of worry on the most belligerent faces and Gnana was no oddity. He would no longer sport a clean shaven face like the days of our initial meetings. And the food sold (not served) in Triplicane with its uncontrolled northern price march was becoming tasteless and also affect our heart (if not health).
In the second week of September, Gnana announced on a way back to trip that he would be leaving for Coimbatore the next day as most of the subjects had been covered and he could not spend necessary time or give full attention to all the subjects as the above reasons were taking its toll on him. I was surprised at this piece of news as he had just recently said he would be leaving a week later. With a heavy heart, I asked him whether he would join me for Ice-cream in Sarvanna Bhavan. He readily obliged. The Tender Coconut and Butter Scotch Ice-cream did its part in cheering us up while we discussed about article-ship and various possibilities after examination. I asked him to remain in touch and consequently an hour later we became friends on Facebook . Later when we were about to leave, I asked him to visit Kolkata and I would be an obliging host while he invited me to Coimbatore and he would do the same. And that was the last I saw of Gnana Sampath in Chennai.

AIR#10: It is absolutely necessary that one must not be as serious at all times as my friend Gnana and you must have blokes like Jairam AIR-10 in November 2012 CA Final examinations also. Bespectacled and oval faced Jairam was a geek from start to finish. His smile and voice had a contagious childlike feeling. These are also the kind of intelligent blokes one loves to have in a classroom. Mr. R. Sivakumar is a reputed CA and faculty and engages in teaching Advanced Management Accountancy in Prime Academy. Mr. Sivakumar’s classes starts with an average batch of 50 and ends with hardly 7-12 students till the last class. His speed is much talked and frowned about by students. However with age and keeping a high standard, Mr. Sivakumar often gets disillusioned by the half hearted attempts of the students and also falling standards of various faculties.
He is an excellent teacher and has an innovative approach towards each problem in Management Accountancy. This is seldom realized by the students of our generation and you have to strike an empathic note with him. You have to share the same if not, try to share a similar affection for Management Accountancy which is hailed as the toughest subject in Examination as most students are not exposed to such areas during audit chiefly.
Jairam and his friend Sashank both were from Delloite, Bangalore and had come for their classes in Prime Academy. Jairam had stayed in Chennai as a kid and was currently residing with his mother near AVM Kalyanmandapam off Cathedral road. He had this childlike approach akin to a 11th std. boy triumphing at joy while devouring the lessons of Calculus. I was taken back to my schooldays as I sat behind him and watched at amazement at both Sivakumar sir and Jairam in sync. The latter would break into triumph as the lessons or the application of Sivakumar’s theory would seep in his head. I was familiar with Sivakumar Sir’s teaching and tipped about his style to our enthusiastic friend who would delightfully nod his head after the end of each class to me. He was keen to share his understanding to others and very forthright in approaching to anyone. He showed no reluctance in asking a doubt and also would occasionally joke about Andhra Mess food besides other pre-occupations to his batch-mates who were also wonder-struck like me by his approach. One would thank Jairam and Sivakumar Sir for building a degree of confidence in approaching a so called/labeled difficult subject.
I would wish Gnana and Jairam all the success in their professional occupation and hope to inculcate their qualities while preparing for examination and occupation.

Smiles all the way!!

Smiles all the way!!

MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Kaju: Have you seen the movie Inception?

Gong: [With his plateful of Fried Rice and Gobi Manchurian] Yeah, Just a few days after watching Shutter Island. It made me wonder why Leonardo di Caprio would chose scripts with the memories of his late wives haunting him…

Kaju: Chris Nolan is a creative genius, he gives the word IMAGINATION a new dimension. I loved the whole movie right from the word go. Everything was perfect in the movie. The action scenes were mind-blowing.

Gong: Technically no one got killed, as they were simply attacking imaginative people in a dream. And if you see it from a very simple angle the 7 people had a long 10 hours sleep which CA aspirants can only dream of with their eyes open.

Kaju: A long sleep, thats what you say….

IIT GUY 1: [to IIT GUY 2] I seriously had given the challenger a chance, I have to take back my words. He is just opening the gates for Kaju to trample him. Kaju can win in this very round.

Kaju: lets recount the 6 characters and the various levels…Dream  Level1..  All the 6 were there.. with Fischer junior… They were in a Plane in the reality.. Dream Level 2 the..

Gong:  Level 1: The Van Chase Sequence: All the 6 were there and they kidnapped Fischer, the heir of Saito’s rival. In Level 2 Yosouf the chemist was not there as he had initiated the dream sharing in LEVEL 1.  The dream sharing was supervised by Arthur in THE HOTEL , followed by Eames the forger in the Snowfield battle-zone which was Level3.

Kaju: Level4 we had  Ariadne , Fischer, Cobb (Leonardo) and Saito where they faced Cobb’s wife in their dream-place.

Gong: A small error.. Saito was not there in Level4, the 5th dream was the LIMBO where Cobb went to get Saito as he had been grievously hurt in Level 1 and gave up in LEVEL 3.

Kaju: No.. no.. He was there in the 4th level. Or was he..

IIT GUY 1: Round goes to Gong [Lifts his Left hand and 3 fingers]

SoupKaju, your mom has called…

[Kaju takes the phone… while Soup addresses Swap, Flap, Ward and the IIT guys…]

Boy did we expect that? The contenders are tied at 10 points each.. Time for Ward and Swap to predict the final points.

Ward: 15-10 in favour of Gong.

Swap: 15- 10 in favour of Kaju…

Soup: 14-11 Ice-cream stays..

Ward approaches Gong.

Ward: You are going real good. Just keep the drift…

Gong: Boy, it has been easy to tackle him, but why does the lifting of a hand excite you or Kaju’s cronies?

Ward: We place some neat bets and if you win.. you can take the entire booty.

Gong: I knew that you guys were upto something. We can share it.

Ward: [Winks] Ok if you insist,

Kaju [in the background]: No I wont have another, I promise.

SOUP: ROUND 5- The Personal Round

Kaju: Do you like your job?

Gong: Well, it depends primarily on the audits one is sent. The clients can be a terror at times and handling the Audit Manager is not necessarily easy.

Kaju: No, I meant for the pay you receive.

Gong: Again how does it matter to you?

Kaju: Just curiosity.

Gong: A trait which kills the cat… Can I be a little curious?

Kaju: Yes, Go on..

Gong: What did you just promise your mother?

Kaju: Well that is a personal question and I do not wish to answer it like you..

Gong: May I guess it then..?? DO you swim in your bed in the night?

Kaju [appears surprised]: No what do you mean?

Gong: To put it in simple words.. You promised your mother what seems to be not another glass of Mirinda to ensure that your bed does not become a ocean in the night.

Ward, Soup and the IIT guys burst out laughing…

Flap: [To Swap] What does he mean?

Swap: Leave it.. Just plain disgusting. We lost it. Kaju owes us some money now.

IIT GUY 2: Gong just stole the thunder and took the ground beneath  Kaju’s feat. How much do you think would be appropriate? That is a Knock-Out PUNCH.

DHISHOOOOM!!!

IIT GUY1: For the sheer entertainment… 5 points to Gong

Soup: And we have a new winner amongst us this year… Gong.The vouchers worth 600 bucks goes to Ward.But before you guys Swap and Flap leave.. Here is a little statistics for you.

GONG vs KAJU

X axis= Rounds, Y axis= Points.

Ward: You have rubbed enough salt on their wounds.. Soup.

Soup: Yes, I know.. Love the feeling. How would you treat your friend tomorrow?

Ward: Dude can you pack some more Gobi Manchurian for him. That is the sole reason he came here.

I would like to thank Manjima Roy [for the image of Kaju], MJ Singh, Saurav Mishra, Agneta Ghose, Putcha Vamsi, Tapabrata Banerjee for their valuable inputs. Would also thank my colleagues in Office for allowing me to write during Office hours.

The Various Characters and the various levels of Inception they were in has been shown below…

Character Role 1 2 3 4 5


Van Chase Hotel Snow Fort Dreamland Limbo
Yusouf Chemist y n n n n
Arthur Point Man y y n n n
Eames Forger y y y n n
Fischer jr. The Mark y y y y n
Saito Fischer’s Rival y y y n y
Ariadne Architect y y y y n
Cobb Extractor y y y y y

Soup: Welcome to the Duel 2010!! Messer Swap, Flap and Ward, we have a contest on hand between last year’s defending champion Kaju and a new unsuspecting challenger Mr. Gong.

[To Ward]: Swap and Flap are jointly playing against you this time. The rules of the last year’s duel between Ward and Kaju prevail. [To Swap and Flap] You have already submitted your stakes of a Nuts and Spices Gift Voucher worth Rs. 300 to me like Ward. The winner takes it all minus my 40%. The contenders Gong and Kaju would be judged by the IIT aspirants. If either of the IIT guys  raises his Left hand indicating numbers 3, 4 or 5, it means Gong won that round with 3, 4 or 5 points respectively in that round and if he lifts his Right hand in same fashion, it means Kaju won.

We will have 5 rounds and the last round being “THE PERSONAL ROUND”. You can determine the final points to be secured by the contenders. The winner of such prediction will take home the extra family packet of Kwality Walls’ Choco Delight. If neither of the teams can determine the exact points, it stays in my refrigerator. Without much ado, it seems Kaju is going to initiate the proceedings. Hope my instructions were clear to you.

Gong and Swap nod their heads in affirmation.

Kaju: [To Ward] what fascinated you about accounts or as a matter of fact to the CA course?

Gong: Frankly, I do not remember. This question pops out generally during the first week of a new batch of CA coaching class. I do not have a specific answer to your question.

Kaju: I would like to have an answer to my question, if not you then why do others generally join the course.

Gong: The logic part in accounts generally draws students to the CA course who might not be that well versed in Physics or Chemistry. Sometimes the students opt for this course on the insistence of their relatives which is as good as suicidal. Some are drawn by the sheer pull and attraction of numbers.  Then there are also other factors like a CA are reasonably well paid and 89% of Chartered Accountants have considerably attractive spouses.

Kaju: I am also very much fascinated by numbers. Even a random number interests me like 1729.

Swap: Round 1- Wiki Knowledge.


Gong: Well, it did not fascinate Prof. Hardy as much, however his greatest discovery from Erode found it very interesting. 13 + 123 = 93 + 103 . Right?? I believe the number is called a Cab number.

Kaju: Oh, so you do know about Hardy and Ramanujan. G.H. Hardy was a celebrated mathematician and professor in Cambridge. Well he always believed that Maths is beautiful and doubted the existence of ugly Mathematics. He used to head a secret society in Cambridge University…

G.H. Hardy

Gong: Known as the Cambridge Apostles. His good friend was Bertrand Russel who was anti-idealism and rather made a case for idle-ism in one of his essays. I believe Amartya Sen was also a member in Cambridge Apostles.

Kaju: Oh.. Hmm.. Lets go and collect the Cake and Mirinda.

[In the Judges Arena]

IIT guy 1: Hey that ended real quickly. The challenger just smothered Kaju in the latter’s specialty area.

IIT guy 2: Just the 1st round. Let us see how it proceeds. I believer challenger deserves a 4.

IIT guy 1: Agree. [Raises his left hand and 4 fingers]

Soup: Real sweet. Challenger takes a lead.

End of Round I

GONG-4/Kaju-1

Kaju: So are you into tech-savvy gizmos?

Flap: Round 2- Tech-Gizmos


Gong: No not much, though  my brother gifted me an ipod.

Kaju: Which tech gizmo would you like to own?

Gong: Well, as I said I am not much into gizmos… Which 1 would you like to own?

Kaju: A Samsung Galaxy Tab!!

Gong: Why so?

Kaju: I like how it is a perfect mix of functionality and portability, small enough to carry it along, but still functional enough to do all the tasks a desktop can. And it also scores above Steve Job’s i-pad. The i-Phone4 went for severe public bashing after his comments about how people were supposed to handle it.

Gong: Yeah, that dented Apple’s image slightly, however I perceive tech gadgets are largely owned because of the Temporary Cool Factor it adds to its owner.

Kaju: [raises his eyebrows] I certainly do not think so; you said you own an i-pod which you believe adds to your style quotient. For music devices like the i-Pod; the sound coding and decoding is so elaborate and perfect that the quality of sound you get out of the iPod speakers/headphones is unmatched… even the earphones are specially designed to cater to such electric signals.

Gong: Yumm!! [Bites into his cake] I would not mind another helping of the cake. Yeah the intricacies of technology might interest people like you, however people generally purchase devices for the sheer excitement of having something latest. Like everyone went gung-ho and raving about i-Phone 4 and then soon people realized the fault in it. Constant update on the technology front is actually resulting adding to the obscurity of tech gizmos launched a year back. I would like to have another piece of cake.

Kaju: Well I would like to have a refill of a Mirinda.

[In the Judges Arena]

IIT guy 1: Looks like Kaju has found his way back into the contest, after the first round disaster.

IIT guy 2: Yeah, totally would have taken a 5, but for the last few points raised by the challenger.

IIT guy 1: Three to Kaju. [Slightly raises the right hand and 3 fingers]

Soup: And Kaju bounces back, but Gong still maintains a slight lead.

End of Round II

GONG-6/KAJU-4

Gong: Did you check out the Roger Federer’s feat of tossing the can out of some ones’ head during the shooting of a certain commercial?

Kaju: Yeah, it is hilarious to see Roger Federer reduced to doing this sort of tomfoolery to garner publicity.

Gong: Dude, Take my word it is not tomfoolery.  It displays the high level of concentration he possesses.

Kaju: High Level concentration!! Where did it go during the  US Open semi-final match against Novak when he had a match point in his kitty? No doubt we are seeing a new master unleash. Nadal is the man. 2  years 8 Grand Slams and he would equal Federer and go onto become the best tennis player the world has ever seen.

Gong: Nah, Federer will rule the roost next year and we might see new champions emerging.

Kaju: No way!! Nadal is the greatest player, the world has ever seen. The youngest player ever to capture a Career Grand Slam surely will leave a mark in years to come.

Gong: Well, even Andre Agassi won the 5 titles which has been won by Federer also..

Kaju: When did he win the Olympic Gold?

Gong: While partnering Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing 2008. Coming back to Agassi, he won all the 4 titles plus the Olympics Gold, yet Sampras and Borg are considered superior despite the fact that they did not win in Roland Garros and Flushing meadows respectively cause they were a Class Act and not necessarily flashy like Agassi or Nadal.

TRUE GREATS

Soup: Guys!! Dinner is ready.

Kaju: I would get 1 more glass of Mirinda.

[In the Judges Arena]

IIT guy 1: The challenger Gong is  foolish as he is still being loyal to  Federer. I suggest 5 points for Kaju.

IIT guy 2: No, 4 would be appropriate for Kaju’s point of views and Gong’s counter attack, though it was not that strong. [Slightly raises the right hand and 4 fingers]

Swap: Boy O Boy, Kaju takes a lead!!!

Ward: 4 points for those foolish statements 2 years 4 grand slams, Gong had the better of him.

Flap: No way, he was just telling Old is Gold and the Judges know the best.

End of Round III

GONG-7——-KAJU-8

[Our dear friend Ward is facing an ordeal. He has been invited to his neighbour’s birthday party. Though Chocolate cake and Gobi Manchurian seem tempting, the thought of being pestered by a 13 year old has got him worried. ]

Ward: Shucks!! If it would not have been for the Chocolate cake from Nibbles, Gobi Manchurian and Paneer Butter Masala, I would have very well skipped the birthday party of Soups’ sister.

 

Birthday Cake

 

Gong: Dude, food is the sole factor which binds you to commitments. But this is the first time I am finding you skeptical to attend a party despite having made the first investigation report of today’s menu.

Ward: Gong, Soups’ sister turns 12 today. I am actually worried about the presence of her tween-friends in the party.

Gong: It seems to me to be just any other Birthday Party of an average 12 year old.

Ward: Just any other Birthday Party of an average 12 year old, you say. Wow!! [EVIL GRIN] Well I would like you to accompany me for the party tonight and do not worry about the present. I already purchased Miley Cyrus stationery for her. I would call Soup and inform him.

Gong: Dude, though it seems odd to attend a Birthday Party uninvited, Gobi Manchurian and Chocolate cake beckons.

SCENE 2: Soup’s Drawing room.

[A room decorated with Balloons and Paper ribbons with atrocious Fluorescent shades of Green and Pink. About 20 people are split into small groups conversing amongst themselves.]

Ward: Gong, I would confess that I did bring you here with an intention sinister in nature. However being aware of the severity of the pain and trouble you might come across sooner than later, it is always advisable that you keep your mouth filled with food most of the time. There I will get some snacks for you. [Goes and collects a bowlful of Lays].

[Soup walks towards Ward and Gong.]

Ward: Meet Gong, my colleague from office.

Soup: [To Gong] Hi, Ward was telling me about bringing a friend and the reason behind. Beware!! The reason you are going to meet is a Major Pest.  Talk of the Devil, there he passes.

A harmless looking boy with round spectacles from the 90s passes about. The boy appears more like a creepy Professor with his eyeballs rolling in remarkable fashion; capturing the slightest notice of any unusual activity.

Gong: Why he appears pretty harmless? What harm can a random 13 year old do?

A sly smile appears on Ward and Soup’s faces.

Soup: Just be careful of Kaju, do not entertain him much. If he bothers you, just ensure you have your Mouth and plate filled with food. Gtg!! Enjoy yourselves.

Gong: Dude, we tackle clients with attitude problems and you ask me to be careful of a 13 year old named Cashew.  By the way I could not help noticing but those guys in the corner are speaking in Chemical Equations.

Ward: Nothing weird, they would be appearing for their 12th std. board examinations. They must be discussing about their IIT classes.

Gong: And those 3 females, they seem to be more interested in messaging rather than speak with each other.

Ward: Well, actually they are texting each other. It is much safer than being caught by eaves drooping siblings about the love stories in college campuses. See them Lol. [The girls chortle]

 

Birthday Map

 

Gong: Creepy!! The birthday Girl and her friends appear to be aping Hannah Montana or is it Hillary Duff. And those 2 kids pestering Soup and his friend about Hacking. Who do they think they are?? Stephen Wozniak [Utters Loudly]!!

[Kaju turns around and moves towards Ward and Gong]

Ward: Oh dear, why did you have to blab out that name so loud? He is approaching us. Stuff your mouth with Lays!!

Gong: I am not going to shy away from a 13 year old guy with a funny name.

 

KAJU

 

Kaju: Hi, Ward!! It seems you and your companion are discussing about Apple’s Founder.

Gong: Not exactly, I just mentioned 1 of the founder’s name who is a popular hacker.

Ward indicates with his fingers that his mouth is full.

Kaju: Hi I am Kaustav J.

Gong: Oh so you are The Kaju. My friend here was praising you a little while ago.

Ward muffled cough. Heads for more Lays.

Kaju: Yeah. I am trying to get used to that. People keep praising me. For no reasons less they call me THE PRODIGY. [Ward coughs again]

Gong: I thought they address you as Kaju, Hindi for Cashew.

Kaju: Well, the School Correspondent of my school calls me THE PRODIGY after I topped the Chennai region for a National Talent Search examination.

Gong: My heartiest congratulations to you.

Kaju: So what do you do?

Gong: I work in the same Audit firm as your acquaintance Ward does.

Kaju [Looks with disdain]: So you pursued commerce in your +2. Is the pay any good?

Gong: Excuse me!!

Kaju: Yeah dude, what is your salary?

Ward: Dude Kaju, we are CA aspirants who are still in the process of learning. We get a Stipend for our services.

Kaju: Stipend is just a synonym of Salary. [Asks Gong] So what is your stipend?

Gong: [nonchalantly] neither Ward nor I are interested to marry either your sister or daughter [if any]; what we earn is none of your business?

Soup: Guys, they are going to cut the cake.

Ward: Finally. [To Gong] Boy that was sweet. But be prepared for some backlash. You just messed with a self appellate-d PRODIGY. I would like to warn you that it would get dirty. There he goes to Swap and Flap, the wannabe-hackers

Gong: How does he lash back? Kung-fu??

Ward: Worse, A 5 staged conversation regarding various topics of his liking. The fifth round generally becomes a bloody business. He uses his entire intellect to get the best of his oponents.

Gong: Did you ever get into this 5 staged debate?

Ward: Yes last year, same occasion and location. If you last till the 5th round, probe him on Mirinda Check. Just show no mercy, knock him out flat. But go low in the 3rd round, ie give him some space to get comfortable.

Gong: What is the Mirinda Chec….?? [Voice drowns  amidst the Birthday Song]

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Dear POLKA
Happy Birthday to You.

From good friends and true,
From old friends and new,
May good luck go with you,
And happiness too.


WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the
water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love–or sleep in the bed at night with
any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds–or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down–or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best–
mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans–or to the soiree–or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old
woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring–yet each distinct, and in its place.

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass–the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,
and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

For all those people who google Walt Whitman and are directed to this blog.  For more on Walt Whitman please refer to this link.. http://www.poemhunter.com/walt-whitman/biography/

Gong and Ward are standing in a queue outside an Information technology Park in Old Mahabalipuram Road.

Ward: This is the major reason which annoys me prior to going for the audit of an ITES company.

Gong: Which reason?

Chennai Ascendas

Ward: The Red Tape one has to witness and suffer to gain entry in the Tech parks and the number of visitor cards and Identity cards one has to sling over their necks.

Gong: Dude! Are you ShahRukh Khan? Even he keeps cribbing over wearing identity cards. For that matter he cribs over each and every issue prior to the release of a movie of his.

Ward: Well My name is Ward and I am not a terrorist. I have come here to do an audit not blow buildings in these IT Parks.

Gong: Well, Both are equally dangerous and fatal. Talking about identity, the Re. has a new makeover.

Ward: Yeah Roman meets Devnagri. R without a stem and Ra [in hindi] with branches. The roots of the new identity have been traced to a Gentleman Uday Kumar from Tamil Nadu who has been studying and teaching all across the country.

Minus Stem and with Branches

Gong: It makes me wonder about the roots of the Elite currency symbols.

Ward: Well, it is an interesting topic. The € was developed about a decade back by a group of designers whose identity has not been revealed. The € is the stylized version of the greek alphabet. It was chosen as an apt symbol for the common currency of Europe as Greece is widely accepted and acknowledged for influencing European Ideas and civilization.

Greek Civilisation

Gong: Interestingly the Euro crisis has also been blamed on the inefficiency of Greek governments. [Glances at the queue lying ahead] Long ways ahead, tell me about the origins of other currencies.

Ward: The ₤ interestingly has Italian roots. Strangely, The Bard Shakespeare mentioned in his play, “The Merchant of Venice” that merchants demand a Pound of Flesh for contractual obligations.

Gong: So how do Italian merchants or Italy for that matter of fact influence the Sterling ₤. The two vertical lines striking the L.

Ward:  The L in the pound stands for Lira, the former currency of Italy.

Gong: Hey that is unique. The currency of Italy being symbolized by Great Britain.

Ward: Actually, it is not an uncommon practice. The Yen has been influenced by the Yuan, the Chinese currency. Both the countries used to assert their right over ¥, however Japan’s earlier economic superiority and currency convertibility has ensured that the World recognizes ¥ as Yen and not Yuan.

Gong: What about Uncle Sam’s Dollars?

Ward: The story of USD and its symbol has a trace of colonial history. Well you might be aware that the Spanish Empire had funded Christopher Columbus’ trip to India before he supposedly landed on India and instead discovered a New Land which we all know as America. The Spanish currency Pesos had a high influence in America. The money circulated in America was known as Spanish dollars. The pesos were symbolized by P to the power S. To avoid confusion between Spanish and American currencies S was introduced to symbolize dollars. The two vertical lines symbolize the Spanish coat of arms. However we are thankfully about to approach the Security personnel, hence would like to stop now.

Gong: Well, How did you come to know so much about the origins of the various symbols?

Ward [while taking out his Identity card for verification]: Wikipedia is the one of the few sites which is not blocked by the client. [Both laugh out loud]

This article appeared on Prime Academy’s monthly Newsletter GRAFFITI. The issue focuses on Rupee’s new identity.

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