Debit and Credit- Tales of Gong and Ward

Archive for June 2010

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and

A poem by Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman


Prologue:  29 C is a not a section in the Income Tax Act about which Messrs Gong and Ward would have a detailed argument. It is a MTC bus route service connecting Perambur and Beasant Nagar in Chennai.  En route the bus covers Mylapore where most of the CA Coaching Centres either conduct classes or have their offices. It also covers the intellectual Garden of Theosophical Society, various famous temples in Mylapore, drops you almost at the doors of Jayalalitha in Poes Garden and Karunanidhi in Gopalapuram. It also covers 2 popular Bird Sanctuaries [read women colleges] which are closed to the general public and did I forget to mention that it also drops a large number of CA students near the ICAI’s premises in Nungambakkam.

Today we find Mr. Ward traveling to the ICAI office to collect the compilation of past exam question papers [wish him luck], Mr. Ward as we know is a budding  twitcher and ornithologist i.e. a person who watches and studies Birds.

Ward [on the phone]: Gong, yeah I might reach there in about 10 mins. It all depends on the traffic. Hey 29 C is coming, got to go.  I would collect a copy for you.

Ward: [to himself] Hey!! A sparsely crowded 29 C. Boy, this is my lucky day. [Boards the bus, tenders the exact change and gets his ticket. Sits in one of the front seats just next to the driver.]

Tweet, Tweet.. in the background.

Ward:  Hey, I hear birds chirping. [Looks Behind]. Goodness Gracious, a Robin in 29 C. I hope she perches herself closer somewhere. [And as Ward mumbles the above words, Lo the robin comes and sits right in a seat in front of him] Boy this is surely one of those days…

[A shrill voice catches him unaware, as another bird sits next to the Robin] Hey I got the tickets. Now back to my story.

Ward [to himself]: A Magpie and a Robin together, they must be alighting in 1 of the bird sanctuaries. Most probably SMC.

Magpie: Yes, I was telling you about last evening. He invited me to the campus; we had a small snack in The Gurunath Patisserie. It was amazing. Nandoo really knows how to please the ladies. He would be leaving for summer training in Germany tomorrow. Thus he wanted the evening to be special. These guys from IITs are simply amazing. So young, intelligent and earn huge salaries as soon as they graduate from College.

Robin: Oh, that is nice to hear. Where did he take you for dinner?

[Meanwhile Mr. Ward is busy eavesdropping]

Magpie: We took an auto to ‘The Benjarong’ in Alwarpet. Amazing Thai food. We had a nice conversation. These boys from IIT are so oooh… They talk about physics in IPL T20 and then he was talking about Newton’s 3rd law of motion and cricket. I was so carried away by the conversation; I did not even notice the food I was eating. A memorable night, I must say. [Looks at Robin] Hey I would tell Nandoo if any of his friends would be interested in the pretty girl sitting besides me at the moment. [Bursts out laughing]

Robin: Heck. No thanks. [Giggles] I am not interested in guys at the moment. I have to concentrate on my academics. I would like to pursue a Masters in Liter…

Magpie: Hey… Why would you like to waste another 2 years in College? The placement cell in our College is attractive. Google, Microsoft, O & M regularly come for campus placements.  I would advise you to get hold of an IITian like me, no hardships in future would be ensured.

Robin [appears a little disenchanted]: You seem to know a lot about Boys and Career. What do you think about guys from Medicine, Law Colleges?

Magpie: They would be always interested in the opposite gender in their profession.

Robin: How about the guys from Finance?

Magpie: Tell me. Do you know nothing about boys? The best guys in Finance from Goldman Sachs to Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley etc. are the best of minds from IITs. [Ward chuckles]. These IITians generally fill most of the seats in the IIMs. I tell you, invest your time in an IITian…

Robin: What about the Chartered Accountant students? I believe they have the most knowledge with respect to finance.

Magpie [A screeching laughter]: A CA student, been there done that. A small tip; never date anyone who totters around the ICAI campus in Nungambakkam and mutters Debit and Credit. Once in my 1st year of college, I accompanied a guy to Barista. The moment you order a coffee and a sandwich, a major portion of the stipend he receives evaporates in thin air. And I was told by a friend thanks to the tough filter check by ICAI, most of them spend eternity in clearing their exams. The first thing I understood after that cup of coffee was why cling to uncertainty when successful guys [read IITtians] are already there. CA students are a bunch of hopeless guy… They go mute while talking with the ladies as if we are aliens from another planet.

[Ward clears his throat, pretty loud which catches the Magpie and Robin unawares]

Ward: Sorry to disturb you lady Magpie!! But well yeah I wish I had not overheard your conversation but I did and I think that you are being unnecessarily abrasive and uncouth towards 1 of the most aspired profession in this country.

Magpie [bewildered]: Excuse me. I did not get you.

Ward: Magpie, you are talking nonsense. You are absolutely unaware of the challenges and the rewards a Chartered Accountant aspirant derives while pursuing the path of professionalism. Money is not the sole goal of any education, nor it is knowledge but the sense of duty towards others and this is what a CA aspirant learns during his 3 year training period for the miserly stipend he earns in small firms. The fruit is not important as much as the means. [Robin and Magpie are all ears]

A CA obviously understands the nitty-gritty’s of finance much better as accounting is an integral part of anything related to money and numbers. Even Aamir Khan was appalled by the engineer turned banker fiancée of Kareena Kapoor in the movie 3 Idiots. And in IPL, it makes no sense to discuss about Newton’s laws when 1 learns to know how cool Transfer Pricing actually is. And minus you everyone is aware of the current status of Lehman and USA’s ire on Goldman. Unlike what MBA’s are taught in the innumerable B-schools, a deep sense of accountability is imbibed in us during our training period. And there is an equal number of ladies and gentlemen becoming CAs every 6 months unlike the huge difference in the gender ratio of IITs. At times it appears very sexist.

Magpie: Huh!! [Appears dumbfounded]

Robin: Excuse me. I would like to apologize on behalf of our conversation if it has hurt your sentiments. I am extremely sorry.

Ward: Need not be. [Looks coldly at Magpie]

Robin [to her friend]: Hey we must get down. We have almost reached Stella.

Magpie and Robin alight. Ward looks pleased, appears like a champion.

Magpie: What a rude chap? Eavesdropping.

Robin: I think we were pretty loud. [laughs]

Magpie: However I wonder why he was referring me as a Magpie.

Robin [to herself]: Probably because you screech like that bird. I wonder what he christened me as. [smiles]

Stella Maris and MOP Vaishnav are the 2 colleges referred here as Bird Sanctuaries.

This is partially based on an actual conversation  overheard in the bus. Girls drooling over IITians is no secret. However Puntonpiper has taken liberty to add a pinch of salt in the above tale to make it a little more delectable.

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