“My dear Watson, big news from the Deccan – Mr. Sikka – a great technical man taught by our American colonists in Stanford and then he was head of technology of a renowened firm in neighboring Germany. He then went to a city in the Deccan, famed earlier for very moderate climate in the wild heat of our Indian colony.
His exit appears to be, what I may say to be little unusual but not very much unexpected. One of my friends in Calcutta had sent me a telegram to investigate the matter and with the assistance of Microft and with some documents perused at British Home office and over some 5 pipes, here is what I am going to send my friend at the East of India. For clarity, I am writing in brief and with a business like hurry.
- What is flow of blood for a person, flow of money is the same for a business enterprise. When the flow is strong and vigorous, all bickering and bad blood go underground. They remain but as flawed we are, we make the hay while the sun shines. The mice jumps when the ship sinks, not before.
- I read in a monograph written by Col. Moran who happened to stay for quite sometime in India and he talks of a complex relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law there. It is very fascinating and very interesting. This cultural memory is not something that can be “deleted” by some technical means, however jolly good one.
- If you read Chandler’s business history, you shall observe with your delight that our systems of joint-stock company and share markets were widely accepted in the erstwhile colonies and they put this into their cultural foundation and it is always unstable. Hence you shall find certain singular symptoms that baffle the mind. For example, a formally shareholder based company’s destiny is intimately related to the family that either founded it or holds significant moral, and most of the times legal controlling authority. I am not sure who is responsible for this absurdity – our systems or the willingness of the adopters.
- Another aspect that you should not fail to observe, I pray is the strange behaviour of the man who had to leave. I hear from the official transcripts that he was not having any peace and he was struggling a lot to make his decision to leave but not before he got 55% raise on his non-paltry compensation. He was very well-meaning though.
If you consult your diaries before the case of The Stock-broker’s Clerk, you shall observe my note on the various ways power operates and our inability to relinquish it.
We may laugh at the patriarch’s attachment to power in Deccan but we may equally make merry of our lawmakers who wanted to finger events from the grave.
I was once reported by my same Indian friend when he came to London on business that a very old patriarch in India was pushed out of office on the reason of being of ill-health. The old fox lived like a prisoner in a villa and taking the advantage of various festivities that natives in India engage, he somehow provided guidance to his party’s opposition and within a short while, he laughed to the grave, witnessing complete exit of the people who dared to push him out.
If you are going to the tobacco shop round Oxford Street, please post this in the Post Office there. Thank you.
Let me now recline in my chair, smoke a pipe and reflect on
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
and let no Indian patriarch distrub me with his senility and human frailty.”