The Prince Returns

After attending a high intensity training, the Prince was back to take charge of his “Failsafe Company Inc”.  The training sessions were conducted by erstwhile directors of Lehman Sisters.  The subject – ‘Failure a stepping stone to success.”  Lehman and Failsafe had striking similarities.  Both were born roughly at the same time, and both fell into bad times a few years of each other.  Erstwhile Lehman Director made a powerful presentation – “Failure is a perception, a state of mind, there is no such thing as failure,” he went on to explain.  Prince was impressed.  He knew it all along, but nobody had believed him. Now Prince had to put all that he had learned into practice.

He marshalled his men and asked, “what should I speak on”, “jobs” was the unanimous answer.  Prince sat through the night and wrote out his thoughts, which looked like an overdone resume.  Next morning, as he started telling the crowd how to land the lucrative job, people started to leave, “What is the problem” he asked his men, “Sir, We thought mostly men would come, but it is mostly women, and they are not interested in jobs”. Prince complained to his mentor at Lehman Sisters.  “It is not working”, “keep trying, you will succeed, remember hard work is the key to success” was the answer, and “Don’t forget to take a break”.

Prince went to meditate up in the hills.  No phones, no internet, nothing.  Fifteen days later, he was back fresh as a flower.  “Now what shall we do next”, he asked.  Sir, “Global Warming is a hot topic.  Everyone from Barack Obama down is talking about it, and you should say something on this”.  “Fantastic” replied Prince.  “This subject is close to my heart, and I know a lot, and where shall I speak”.  “Sir, down South is a good bet, because it is always hot there”.  Off goes Prince to South and starts talking on global warming, and soon crowds begin to disperse.  “What is the problem now” fumed Prince.  “Sir, we think the venue is wrong, because the people here were agitating on the power situation”, “Then which is the right venue”.  “Sir, actually, both the venue and the subject are right, but the people’s mentality is wrong. They don’t care about global warming, and as long as their mentality doesn’t change, things cannot improve”.

Prince was exasperated.  He called up his mentor at Lehman Sisters and explained the problem.  “You got to create a need for your product, before you market it, you got the logic wrong side up”  his mentor explained.  Where is the product here thought Prince. Prince called his men and asked them to make a plan for the next month, and give it to him the next day.  The plan given to him was brilliant.  Prince will ask the crowd what should be the topic, and he will speak on that.  Next meeting was at a railway station.  “What should I speak on thundered Prince, looking down at the people in front” “We don’t want words, we want action” the crowd replied.  Prince turned to his men, “What does that mean”.  “Sir, they want you to do something for them”.  “Do what”. “Sir, anything that you can do for them”.  Prince looked at the crowd and asked “Do you want roads? gardens? homes?”  People again started to leave.  “Why are they leaving?  Didn’t I say the right thing?” “Sir, actually, there is no space around for making roads, gardens and houses, this is a railway station, and the area around is congested with shops. Prince was at his wits end.  There has to be way out.

He decided to get a refresher course from the best professors in Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, on how to impress people. The refresher course was a great breath of fresh air for Prince, away from the mass of humanity which he had to confront all the time back home.  Here no one bothered him, and no one asked any questions.  It was  all peace and quiet.  At the refresher course Prince understood one thing.  The name of his company and its motto needs to change.  His  professors had one message for him “What is the best thing your company had done”,  they asked.  Prince had a long thought.  “Be honest with your answer his professors had urged” Prince replied “making money”, “there you are” they said, “the name Failsafe does not match with its activities, and change its logo”.  “You should have a board meeting and decide on a new name for your company.”  “This is a tall order” thought prince, “No one is going to agree”.  Prince flew to USA and had a long talk with Lehman Sisters and their message was similar.

Prince flew back home all charged up and ready to go, but his men urged caution.  “Sir, our enemy is talking of scams”.  “What is a scam, I have never heard of such a word before”.  “Sir scam means corruption, and according to them, we are corrupt”.  “Let’s tell the people that we are not corrupt and not to believe lies told about us”. In the next meeting Prince started talking “Friends, don’t believe the lies being spread about us.”  Before he could begin the next sentence, he saw people begin to move away.  Now what is the  problem, he asked his men.  “Sir, the problem is no one believes us”.  “Why is that” asked Prince.  “Sir honestly, we don’t know.  We don’t understand what is happening”.  “You are absolutely right, thundered  Prince at his men, my professors were right all along, I need to change the name of the company, then everything will be alright”.  “Sir, what will be the new name”.  “Failwin”.  “Who wins, we or them?”.  “It does not matter who wins, as long as somebody does” Prince replied.

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Crowded political space

There was a time when there were not many options; a car meant either Ambassador or Fiat and so on with other things.  It all changed with reforms, now we are spoilt for  choice.  Political space is beginning to resemble a market place;  men and women of various ideological hues  bordering on idealism and utopia and the din, noise  and shrill voices trying to get their points across, similar to our roads where cattle, bicycle, honking cars and motorbikes vie for space.

Audience appears captivated by the demagogues, religious fanatics, preachers of free market economy,  self-appointed anti-corruption crusaders etc.  It is getting louder as the days pass.  TV serials seem to be out and TV journalists are in with a reach unimaginable two decades ago.  Roads, electricity and water is passe.  Now it is all about four C’s – corruption, crores and crony capitalism.

Corruption appears to have life breathed into it and has taken on a three-dimensional form, it is under the ground, on the ground and in the air.  Media pitches in with its expose’ and adding the word ‘gate’ to every sour looking deal.  At the Watergate,  wires got crossed and the right end went to the wrong ears and the game was up.  Back home  when papers get to the wrong hands the game begins.  Television journalists have created a new form of entertainment,  better than the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law kind;  rudely interrupted by commercials, which is called ‘a break’.   A great change from the song, dance and tear jerkers of Bollywood.  It is beginning to look like Tom and Jerry re-play without the usual ending.

From Adam, humanity has got it more times wrong than right – it was fruit then,  it is papers now.