Oct 24, 2010

A Question of Trust - Part II

Read Part I first. Not that it is going to help you make any sense of this, but still...

“Hello, Mr. Krishnaswamy, I’m Suchitra Sengupta. I look forward to working with you and your team”, she smiled and held out her hand. Krishna Iyer mumbled a hello, limply grazed her fingers in what he thought was a handshake and turned away towards the CFO’s cabin. It had been bad enough being told that the company was engaging a consulting firm to help modernize their accounting process to be compatible with IFRS guidelines. But to take orders from a 25-yeard old, a woman at that!

“Simply not tolerable! Totally out of question saar! At least they should send some senior person saar. What does this kid know about business to advise us?” KV Krishna Iyer pleaded with his boss.

“Iyer saar. You know it is not my decision. MD payyan US la MBA pannitu vandhurkan. Ippo private equity kondu vara porangalaam. Nammakku atha pathi oru ezhavum puriyadhu. Periya edathu decision, no question saar”, the CFO sounded equally helpless. (““Iyer saar. You know it is not my decision. The MD’s son has returned with a US MBA. Now he wants to attract private equity. We hardly know what rotten shit that is. High level decision, no question saar.”)

“But at least some senior person saar...” KVK still held some hope.

“For the record Iyer saar, she is a graduate from IIM. With a CA and a CFA.”

“Enna saar periya IIM MBA kimbeeyay. Naan antha kalathu B.Com Honours! Gold Medallist! I was drawing up ledgers before she was even born!”

“Iyer saar, I have explained the management stand. You will co-operate with her. And I don’t want any complaints from their side. Or from you.”

KVK stormed back to his cabin, muttering under his breath. Only to see the pretty face of Ms. Sengupta waiting for him. He forced himself to smile. “Tea, coffeee?”

“No thank you. Mr. Krishnaswamy, could you please take me through your processes here. I want to create a process map, and an organizational chart. Would also need to understand your internal audit system. And which software do you use for your accounts? And Mr. Krishnaswamy, please don’t mind, is there any easier way to address you?”

“What do you mean by process map? Or organizational chart? There is no internal audit, I sign off on everything below 50 lakh, for everything else, the CFO does. And no software. Those boys there, they do the accounting entry in the journals. I check the totals daily. Don’t even need a calculator! And oh, you can call me Iyer Sir.”

Suchitra bit her lip. This assignment was going to be tougher than she had imagined. She had dreamt of making high powered corporate strategy presentations to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies when she signed up for this job. Not sitting in a dingy office in Coimbatore with manual accounting, dealing with a difficult client who clearly hated her. But there was a reason she had taken up this particular assignment and she intended to complete it.

She had gotten off to a bad start with ‘Iyer Sir’. And things progressively went downhill after that.

She hated the archaic procedures and the dusty filing system. He hated computers because he couldn’t understand them.

And the mutual dislike extended from the professional domain to the personal. She hated the fact that this man held such bigoted views. He hated her for her modernity.

“I hate the slurping sounds made by a grown man licking his fingers while he ate curd rice!” she said, in her daily calls to her boyfriend, Shankar. Carrying on a relationship with someone halfway across the world was not easy. But she loved him. Loved him enough to not give up.

“I hate the smell of that fish in her tiffin box. Ennavo macher jhol aam. Enna ezhavo!”, KVK muttered to his wife at dinner, about how he had had to first change his table at lunch, and then when he could not bear it any longer, change his time-table! She was surprised to hear him talk about something from work. Something he had never done in, you guessed it, the last 25 years.

“I hate the way he dresses, in cheap polyester trousers and those bush-shirts which are never tucked in. And in such atrocious colours! I hate his oiled hair too”, Suchitra whined on another call.

“Azhaga lakshanama oru salwar kameez potukalam. Idhu ennada na pasangal aatama suit potundu varadhu! Mudiya vera otta nariki vechundu. Bob cut aam. Kandraavi Kandraavi!” (“She could wear a salmar kameez like a decent girl. But this one chooses to wear a suit like a boy! And has cut her hair so short! Says it is a bob cut. Utter nonsense!”), KVK rambled on, surprising Lakshmi Ammal even more. She had never seen her husband this agitated.

In fact, it made her worried enough to mention it in her call to her son in the US. A call he dutifully made every night, even though his father rarely spoke to him, and he had to get all his news from his mom.

“I don’t know what has come over your father. He is obsessed with finding fault with that new girl in his office!”

“Obsessed with her faults or obsessed with her? Kezhatuku indha vaisula kadhal kidhal ayidutho?” (“Has the old man fallen in love, at this age?”), the son asked, half in jest.

That question set in motion a mini-storm in the life of KV Krishna Iyer and Lakshmi Ammal, a married life that had been peaceful forever...

PS: The usual disclaimer. I am picking names of characters at random, going with whatever sounds right to me. All characters are imaginary!


  1. Anonymous1:13 AM

    Is Shankar KVK's son?

    - Sampath

  2. @ Sampath:
    This is not a crime thriller or a detective whodunit for me to put in red herrings and for you to guess sir... this is a simple story of 3-4 people :)

  3. uncle...
    I have a vauge feeling that u meant some1 when u said "Carrying on a relationship with someone halfway across the world was not easy. But she loved him. Loved him enough to not give up."
    Many a flown away girl eh??

  4. @ SS and DS:

    heh, I am myopic and cannot even see long distance, forget carrying on a relationship!

    and read the posts of Feb 14 of the last three years for my success on the relationship front, over any distance :)

  5. Anonymous4:10 PM

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  6. Anonymous9:39 AM

    hey ennachu.. wherez the next part..