My Travel Map

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Odd one out

The 40” Samsung LCD wall mounted television in our department was turned on a few days ago when news started to filter in about the quake in Sichuan province of China. The official toll started off with 1 killed, 4 injured and 900 students buried but gradually grew to about 10,000 by the time the next day’s newspapers went to press. Our technical analyst, a middle aged bachelor fond of deciphering charts and eating junk food, immediately sprung up and asked around if any company had exposure to the region (before you ask, I am part of an equity research house and we issue recommendations to investors on stocks we follow). Colleagues looked at their coverage and started calling up corporates to enquire about their assets in the region around Chengdu and Chongqing in Sichuan province. Nobody called up to express concern and ask whether their employees or their families were safe, though. Struck me as very odd. I couldn’t bring myself to call up any of my companies to enquire about possible delays in project completions and the like. Guess I am not cut out for this industry. As our technical analyst joked “Your pain, my gain” and issued calls to short any stocks with projects in the affected region, to the accompaniment of quite a few snorts and sneers from other colleagues, I wondered whether the scent of money has indeed, become stronger than the scent of pain, blood and suffering. Or, for that matter, the scent of power, as the military junta in Myanmar has strived to prove.

12 comments:

sandeep said...

amazing post!! One truly wonders, if moralities are indeed changing.

Akshay said...

Sad but true! No, most of us might not be cut out for something like that...and retaining that attribute is something much more relevant than making money. Great post!

Anonymous said...

If you havent ever felt like that before suvro da.. i think you've been exceptionally lucky!

Somehow even during placements, i always felt that career, job stood a step ahead of long forged friendships... maybe i was pessimistic and short-sighted, but if i was true, then i just want to say "Welcome to the real world!"

-Teju

Avik said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahah.........
u r compelling me to be sarcastic.

Shuvojit said...

Sadly this is life.
You have a work to do.
Any personal feelings, emotions etc must be locked in a strong box & dropped at the bottom of the Marina Trench.
& yes money has taken over every-thing. Look around & notice that you need to pay just to smile.
Soon it would cost to take a deep clean breadth. Water already does.

Indranath said...

well thats the life ... hard way babe !!

Suvro Sarkar said...

Do we all say, "That's life, sad but true" and continue living it the way we are? Will things get better or worse - what do you think? Will our children's moralities be different from ours?

Simran said...

Most people just ignore it as something happened and things happen but what do you do about things that you have no control on ..

Souro said...

well .. things can definitely get better. I donot completely agree that you have to be a "villain" to get up the ladder !!!!! Coz if that is true .. then I guess we don't have and won't have anyone to look up to !!! ... I still feel morality exists !!

Souro said...

TRY THIS .... :

http://www.outofservice.com/morality/

ScrewDriver said...

I have a friend , who used to work in the Statesman, who gave me an insight on how moralities have taken a plunge. If there is any accident/disaster( at that time Mumbai train blasts had occurred) the standard question asked was how many dead .... if its less than 10 , 3rd page if it is more than 20 1st page ....
And you were telling of your job

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Nice post, Suvro: good to see a reaffirmation that some young people are still bothered by troubled consciences!

But all this breastbeating is quite unnecessary. As a close perusal of just one great ancient book (such as, say, the Mahabharata) should tell you, people in the large have never been conspicuously and actively moral, so what's new? It is always a driven few with strong and clear convictions who have tried (and often partially succeeded) to make the world a slightly nicer place! ... and as always, some people are still trying. See, for instance, my latest blogpost at http://suvrobemused.blogspot.com

The worst thing we can do is to firmly shut our eyes to all the goodness that does exist in the world, keep lamenting that all morality has been thrown to the winds, and thus rationalising every little immoral thing we do in our own lives!