Debit and Credit- Tales of Gong and Ward

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

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.

[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: 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.

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.

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock ‘n’ roll feelin’ in your bones
Put taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

A Little shoeshine boy never gets low down
But he’s got the dirtiest job in town
Bendin’ low at the peoples’ feet
On the windy corner of the dirty street
Well, I asked him while he shined my shoes
How’d he keep from gettin’ the blues
He grinned as he raised his little head
Popped a shoeshine rag and then he sai

Get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues
A jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine
It’ll shake all the trouble from your worried mind
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on , get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock ‘n’ roll feelin’ in your bones
Put taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Well, I sat down to listen to the shoeshine boy
And I thought I was gonna jump for joy
Slapped on the shoe polish left and right
He took a shoeshine rag and he held it tight
He stopped once to wipe the sweat away
I said you’re a mighty little boy to be-a workin’ that way
He said I like it with a big wide grin
Kept on a poppin’ and he said again

Get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues
It only costs a dime, just a nickel a shoe
Does a million dollars worth of good for you
Get rhythm when you get the blues

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