Debit and Credit- Tales of Gong and Ward

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


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.

Gong: Been a long time since I caught a movie at Sathyam Cinemas. Did you see any flick recently?

Ward: Hmm. But 2010 has not been a great year for moviegoers. No outstanding movie or even a decent flick in the past 6 months. Khan not a terrorist was just ok.

Gong: Last year we had pretty good movies from 3 idiots to Avatar, Kaminey and Hangover.

Ward: The most idiotic thing in 3 idiots was to watch Madhavan in his boxers for umpteen types. They should have at the least issued a PG rating. Shaeed Kapoor was amazing in Kaminey.  

Gong: There was also this Ranb… [Interrupts and Eyes Brighten]. Can you tell me about a movie where the lead actor is an engineer or pursuing to be one.

Ward: Just now we mentioned it. 3 idiots, Aamir was an engineer.

Gong: A movie where the actor is a doctor??

Ward: Amitabh Bachhan in Anand and Sanjay Dutt in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Gong: Good. Salesman??

Ward: Wait!! Hmm… Ranbir Kapoor as Rocket Singh, Amazing flick.

Gong: Police?

Ward: Surya in Kaakha-Kaakha.

Gong: Lawyer.

Ward: Tom Cruise in A few good men. Amazing movie, that one. There was this Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks movie. Heart-rendering performances by both of them. Philadelphia.

Gong: Amazing movies. Nice Answers. Now tell me a movie where the lead actor is a Chartered Accountant.

Ward: Huh!! Hey you got me there. [Scratches his goatee]. Tough man; Pass. CAs are mostly seen as villains, however neither Bollywood, Kollywood or Hollywood would find a CA interesting for the Lead Actor’s role.

Gong: There is this 1 movie which comes in my mind. Cult Classic, An evergreen Comedy.

Ward: Is there a movie on CAs?

Gong: Incidentally the name of the movie is [Bursts out laughing] GOLMAAL.

Ward: Ah! I remember. The 70s movie. It had Amol Palekar in the lead role as a CA who tries to get the better of his boss UTPAL DUTT and after a number of twists eventually marries his daughter.


Gong: Yeah! I wonder why the director Hrishikesh Mukherjee of all professions selected a CA. Were CAs always viewed as master deceivers? Master manipulators.

Ward: However Amol Palekar did not manipulate any accounting books in the movie but manipulated  his moustache to please the rigid boss. Amazing songs in that movie. [hums Aane wala Pal.]

Gong: Man, However that movie did a lot to boost the CA’s image. They are often viewed as serious people sans any humour. And the only movie on a CA is 1 of the best known comedy flicks.

Ward: Agree. I wish the ICAI should give a tribute to this movie. They should play the song, ‘Golmaal hai bhai; sab golmaal hai’ in each and every convention.

Gong: Whenever a CA or an article goes for an audit he should be ready to meet as many GOLMAALs while conducting the audit. GOLMAAL will be there from Satyam to Goldman Sachs. KPMG, PWC or the firms in Sowcarpet.. Golmaal hai bhai sab GOLMAAL hai

Ward: Hey if we do not resume our audit, we will also be responsible for some GOLMAAL.

Gong and Ward: [Break into the song]








* Sowcarpet is 1 of the major trading centers in the city of Chennai and has a substantial number of small CA firms. They are unpopular for the low stipend they pay to article assistants and popular amongst GOLMAAL clients.

If internet is available at client’s office it is criminal not to read and forward this BLOG to friends.

Laxman Prasad

Ram Prasad

Listen, baby
Ain’t no mountain high
Ain’t no vally low
Ain’t no river wide enough, baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far
Just call my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry
‘Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you
Remember the day
I set you free
I told you
You could always count on me
From that day on I made a vow
I’ll be there when you want me
Some way,some how
‘Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you
No wind, no rain
My love is alive
Way down in my heart
Although we are miles apart
If you ever need a helping hand
I’ll be there on the double
As fast as I can
Don’t you know that
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you
Don’t you know that
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough!!

There aint no mountain high enough. Not even the mountain of Chartered Accountancy. Each and everyone of us can reach the summit. There are hurdles and hindrances in the form of not so sincere efforts on our part, rigidity by authorities and insatiable ways of various so called CA Teachers. Enjoy the song and sing it for the members, Teachers and examiners of ICAI.

There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you!!

If you like the blog posts; please tell it to your friends by forwarding them the web-link.If you do not like the blogposts, tell it to or you could write a comment beneath .

Ward: Excuse me Weirdo!! Why for the heaven’s sake you are sniffing your books?

Gong: It’s the fragrance of the pages of the newly bought books. Love to smell them, exalts my spirits.

Ward: Hmm… It also  enhances your canine abilities. Does the fragrance of fresh paper the only thing which you look forward to in these New Books?

Gong: What are the other things you like to do with your books other than using them as a pillow and realizing its actual purpose only a month prior to the exams?

Ward: Well it depends. Before I buy the book, I check out the MRP and during the purchase of the book, the discount offered. After buying the book there are a loads of things 1 can check out.

Gong: Like?

Ward: Contents, Index, about the author, his qualifications, the Oscar moment and…

Gong: Oscar Moment??

Ward: Yeah, while at the end of writing every preface the author believes he should have his Oscar moment. He would thank his parents, spouse, children, publisher, teachers and others who were instrumental in his efforts to get the book published.

Gong: Interesting. [Rummages through his book] The author is thankful to his wife for her constant inspiration and to his son for his suggestions and untiring effort without which the current edition of the book would not come out within this short period.

Ward: The Publisher must have stressed him out with deadlines.

Gong: I have a friend who was thanked by an author for helping him in the publication of 1 of his books.

Ward: Your friend must have been proud about this privilege and at a later date might even consider an achievement.

Gong: Yeah, Even I felt proud of him.

Ward: I feel sorry for him.

Gong: Sorry. Why?

Ward: What good would an acknowledgement do? Its time students of professional courses actually start asserting themselves as professionals. They should demand a portion of the royalty instead of the name being published.

Gong: Dude that would be blasphemous. It would malign the sanctity of Student- teacher relationship.

Ward: On the other hand it would in fact aid practical learning. The student will then come to know the actual benefits of Sec 80 QQB.

Gong: Deduction with respect to Royalty as income. Do you think the student can actually earn a royalty income of Rs. 3 Lakhs or upwards to get the benefit of sec 80 QQB by just assisting the author? And moreover a book on Tax and Accounts does not fall under the category of being a work of literary, artistic or scientific nature. Then Sec 80 QQB is not applicable for textbooks.

Ward: What have you learnt in these many years of your article-ship? A loophole in the section is all you need. It specifically tells Textbooks for school. And did you forget the first lesson of your accounts class? Accounting is the art of recording classifying… And believe me Tax returns are stranger than any book on Truth or Fiction.

Gong: [Chuckles] I would certainly suggest this to my friend, the next time if the author asks him to assist.

Ward: When it comes to modesty in acknowledgement, B. Saravana Prasath takes the cake and the cherry. He expresses his gratitude to the ICAI for allowing him to use questions of its text books, compilation and revision test papers.

Gong: Honestly man. B.S.P. appears to be more gifted in MS- Word than in any other subject, a skill which eludes the authors of ICAI books. There is hardly any effort from his side other than using various format keys and tools in MS- Word like bulleting, embolden answers etc.

Ward: Well at times I wonder whether he is related to Kavya Vishwanathan a then Harvard undergraduate, the lady who wrote How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life.

Gong: I remember her; they caught her for plagiarizing from a number of books. Someone suggested she could have used a bibliography.

Ward: It would not help if Saravana Prasath uses a bibliography, just 3 sources. RTPs, ICAI Material and compilation of past exam question papers.

And in each book of his published by PADHUKA he seeks for the blessings of Adi Shankaracharya. For Heaven’s sake each composition of Shankaracharya was an original and continues to mesmerize generation after generation. B.S.P cannot speak or write anything original.

Gong: However he is the largest purchased author when it comes to CA exams. Everyone reads him. You cannot deny it.

Ward: Yeah, I know those books are like astrology forecasts in your newspaper supplements. You cannot help it, criticize it but eventually read it.

Gong: [Rummaging through his book again] Hey these authors also welcome suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism from students.

Ward: Here is one feedback, Do not make your books 50 rupees dearer each time it goes for a new issue. If you actually want to express gratitude, do it in such a fashion that the receiver actually benefits from it like Royalty, Dinner in Mainland China or other such constructive ways.


Kavya Vishwanathan was a Harvard school undergraduate who wrote the book, How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life. Later she was accused of plagiarizing from a number of books.

Saravana Prasath [B.S.P] is a CA and also a popular teacher in Chennai. He had created a record of sorts with a 76% score topping  his CA Final exams. However his approach of copying questions and solutions from ICAI text book and reproducing it in Expensive books does not bode well with puritans and draws constant criticism. Popular among students the books do brisk business.

Acknowledgement: I would like to thank CA Anand George Thomas for his constant support all these years. A graduate from Loyola College, Chennai, Anand cleared all his CA exams in the first attempt. Handsome, not  dark, relatively tall with a good physique; quite fond of animals. Highly recommended for ladies interested in Professional Accountants.  The acknowledgement is as per Ward’s advice.

Anand and the Kangaroos

Anand in Madame Tussaud

His Master's Rejoice!!

Gong: Good Morning, Dude. You appear a little pensive. Wassup?

Ward: Yeah Guten tag, dude. I am a little piqued.

Gong: Nothing new. What are you hankering about?

Ward: I was wondering about getting Handkerchiefs banned in Prime Academy classes.

Gong: Get ‘The what’ banned??

Ward: Yeah, you got me right–The Handkerchief. They ought to be banned in Prime Academy.

Gong: You miserable slimy creature. Know you not what you speak.

Ward: Know you not Shakespearean parlance is out of vogue for centuries.

Gong: Why are you piqued by a handkerchief, the most essential requirement in personal hygiene? You slimy pig!! [Looks with disgust]

The Handkerchief is believed to be a progeny of French fashion. Have you not seen Nobel Prize winners to Hollywood actors George Clooney to Brad Pitt sporting a Handkerchief on the pocket squares of their Giorgio Armani suits? The possession of a handkerchief of a pretty lady was considered an achievement from Rajnikants to Aamir Khans. And you consider it to be banned. Have you not seen zealous parents attaching a handkerchief with a safety pin on the uniforms of their kids going to Nursery?

Ward: As far as I know I consider it to be a major hindrance for my professional pursuits.

Gong: And how is that a piece of fabric is hindering your professional pursuit?

Ward: You know how these teachers like Patty come up with cheesy thoughts like if one sits in the back of the row..

Gong: Ones’ mind would be divided between the teacher and students sitting in front of him.

Ward: Exactly!! With 200-400 students attending Prime Academy Classes, one finds it very difficult to have a mind connect with those celebrated teachers of Prime Acad.

Gong: Well I do not disagree. Imagine getting up so early in the morning one finds it very difficult to focus on the action and accounting standards.

Ward: And I tried once to get those Prime first row seats and you know what followed?? Hell bent loose. Who says becoming CA is tough? Getting a first row seat in Prime Academy is more challenging.

Gong: I agree.

Ward: A week back I had decided to get one of those seats. So the next day ‘Early to bed, early to shave, bathe take the 1st bus from MTC’s stable’ and reach the classes at 5:50 am. And lo here it is Horror of all horrors— Handkerchiefs of various sizes and color. The most intimidating sight you can expect at 6 in the morning. Some useless fellows reserve all the first row seats with this squared fabric for their friends. Such Friendship would make Jai and Veeru embarrassed.

Gong: Yes, Yes!! I know. Once I told them that I am coming from the other end of the city and the gentlemen and ladies occupying seats for their friend’s, remark that they are coming from other cities like Warangal, Vizag, Behrampore etc.

Ward: I do not care whether you and your friends come from Behrampore or Singapore or from the next street. Here I am, have sacrificed my sleep and deserve the prime seat in Prime academy. But no these feudal snobs seem to have bought the seats. To keep my cool, I relented and gave up as M.P. Vijaykumar came in. And there you could see these privileged friends coming after MPV’s standard dialogue, “I’m the only person who can come late to the class” and alighting in the first 3 rows.

Gong: Chill dude. Its not as if a first row seat guarantees a All India Rank or even clearing your exams in the first attempt.

Ward: Then stop writing about it in Road-map for CA students. Next time I would get a binocular for the classes.

Gong: Would you lend me when you bring those??

Ward: And watch birds. Now I get what Patty means by a student’s mind getting divided between the teacher and students sitting in front of him. [Grins]

[Prime Academy is one of the largest and popular coaching institutes for CA students in Chennai. It draws students not only from Tamil Nadu but also other states like Kerala, A.P., Orissa etc.] M.P. Vijaykumar and Patty (Pattabiram) are faculties of Prime Academy.

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