Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Only God Knows

Adwait looked at the golden embossed nameplate on his table. Adwait Sinha on the first line and Chairman on the second line. Looking at those lines always brought a thrill in him. He reflected back on his life and the hard work he did to reach to this position. He built his business empire from nowhere. The chairman of Ajorra group of companies, which runs tens of  different kinds of business, from a IT company to a real estate company. Ajorra is the name of his village deity. 

His life was no fairy tale. He did his primary education in the dilapidated school building. At that time he was not even sure of what purpose does school serves in life. He had seen his father and uncle toiling on farms. There were only passing references about farming in his school books. He was sharp so kept on scoring high in the studies, so someone suggested him to go to city to do further studies. By that time he became focussed towards the idea of gaining more knowledge and for the same, he left the village and came to city to live with his Uncle. In city also he kept on scoring high in academics and in a matter of time he did his doctorate from a reputed US university. After completing his education he joined one of the big company in USA.

After working for couple of years, he with one of his colleague left the job and started an IT company. The other partner, unable to sustain the pain of start up quit, but Adwait continued. After initial years of hardship, the business started picking up. There was no looking back in couple of years. His company ventured into other businesses like Real estate and all and got success in all the area. With each success, Adwait however realised that his hunger for more kept on increasing. He wanted to be world number one in the list of business tycoons. Around two years back he missed being included in the list of rich people by a whisker and that made his hunger for success more blatant.
Gandhiji has said, "There is enough for a man's need but nothing is enough for his greed." The greed of Adwait kept on increasing. His sole pursuit to achieve more wealth affected his health also. He got a minor heart attack. In spite of all this, Adwait single handedly pursued the path too earn more and more and more.
In his pursuit for more wealth, he started deploying huge money on equities and other assets. Also he pledged the shares of his company with risky assets. Whatever money he could get his hand on got deployed around the world with a promised of heavy returns.. He took as much loan as possible for him using all his resources, so that he can plough more money into his investments. In his blind pursuit, he threw the financial prudence out of the window. Most of the people in his financial team who tried to stop him soon left the company. He was left with those people who blindly followed him. They kept on painting the rosy picture of the economy and how he is on the verge of getting "The Philosopher's Stone".
It was already 12 in the night. Adwait still was sitting alone in his cabin. No one disturbed him as everyone knew that the chairman is used to work late. He looked on a spreadsheet in front of him. It was the most horrible thing in the world he had ever seen in his life. Most of his investment has lost its value and there was huge liability on him to pay interest in next couple of days. He was hardly left with any shares of his own company as they were pledged with other companies.
He remembered the night when he got the call. His phone suddenly started ringing in the night at 2 am. It was his financial adviser from Newyork. The financial adviser told him that a large bank has filed bankruptcy and the stock market has crashed. From next day, Adwait just saw the free fall of his investments. Initially he thought it will recover but the free fall continued and soon most of his investments was worthless. They were not enough to pay even interest. All of his good men left him already, so there was no one to give sound advice to him. The one remained with him were always interested in keeping him in good humour.
Adwait started rolling the paper weight over the spreadsheet. He was not able to think of any way to get out of this mess. There was a bigger stigma of fall in his social standing after the facts will start coming out. He knew it is a matter of time, before the lenders will start asking for their money.
For another two hours he kept on thinking about the possible ways. He remembered his whole life. The simple life that he lived in his earlier days, when the only need for the day used to be a good three course meal. And then how the needs kept on increasing. Though at every moment he realized that his satisfaction never increased with the wealth, on the contrary more wealth made him insecure and restless.
When the thinking became unbearable, he took a decision. Adwait reached to a notepad and started writing on it.
All my near and dear

I know it is going to be hard on all of you who have stood with me through the thick and thin of life. But you will also be horrified to know that I have left with nothing, but a huge mountain of debt. I tried everything, but could not figure a way out. So I have decided to end my life. I apologise to all especially my wife and children. I am unable to stand before them.
Adwait looked at the letter for a long time and than he wrote further. 

PS: I will end my life with a revolver exactly at 4 am in the morning, at my residence. I will be first person, who will be able to predict with certainty about his time and place of death.

Partly it was his sense of humour and partly it was his disillusionment with the astrology lately, as many of his investments were done on those astrological predictions. After the loss, when he asked for the reason of failure to his astrologers, they gave one after another lame excuses and the existence of new planetary formations. And they were always ready with new set of remedies.
Adwait looked once again to the letter. He felt a sense of sadistic pleasure on his statement that he is able to predict his death. He folded the letter and kept in his shirt pocket and left for home. He wanted to see his wife and children for one last time.
Next day morning, there was a huge crowd in Adwait's residence. His body wrapped in a white cloth was lying on the main hall with garland laid over it. His son was standing on the door, receiving the visitors.
"How did it happened." One of the family friend asked Adwait's son.
"Yesterday, he was coming quite late in the night. At around 3 am, one of the speeding truck hit his car. Police is telling that he died on the spot." The son's voice was still choking.
"The accident was very bad. The car got fire after that. It was difficult to even differentiate between body and metal." Someone else in the gathering gave the full story
"No one can predict when God will strike." The visitor sighed and proceeded to put a garland on the body of Adwait.

The insurance claim because of accidental death and the remaining assets helped Adwait's family to settle his liabilities and spared them with enough to live a dignified life.

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