Archive for March, 2006

For Money or Mankind – Part Quattro

March 19, 2006

Previously on For Money or Mankind – Suchitra Nair is an aspiring businesswoman from India, on the verge of a ground-breaking partnership with a Kenyan social entrepreneur and a German venture capitalist. Will the partnership buckle under the pressure of cultural differences, or will this be the start of a new era in global capitalism?

The following is Part 4 (final) of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

Why do I want to do this?’ Greg’s directness caught Francis off-guard, as he ponderously went about his presentation. Twenty minutes into the meeting, not much headway could be made as to the contributions expected from each of the parties involved. Clearing his throat, Francis replied “Primarily because I want to change the world, I want to contribute to the economy, empower the common man…?

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For Money or Mankind – Part Tres

March 17, 2006

Previously on For Money or Mankind – Francis Odoyo is an aspiring social entrepreneur in Kenya, battling corruption, apathy and drought, when he chances upon a mysterious partner in his new venture, weeks before his all-important meeting with Greg.

The following is the Part 3 of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

“Good morning my name is Christina, how may I help you today?? Suchitra Nair spoke cheerfully into the microphone, her carefully rehearsed accent and tone masking the boredom and disgust that she felt towards the job she was currently in. Working in a call-centre in Bangalore, India, pretending to be someone else, was not exactly where she had set out to be. Suchitra had always dreamt of the excitement of startups and the excessive amounts of fame and money that it can offer and often ridiculed friends who were in 9- 5 jobs with corporate credit cards, health insurance and other worldly perks. That the flip-side, consisting of stress, failure and burnout never occurred to her, could be put down to her exuberance and strong will.

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For Money or Mankind – Part Dos

March 16, 2006

Previously on For Money or Mankind – Greg Hoffler is a struggling venture capitalist in western Europe, on his way back from another meeting with a sinking startup when he receives a mysterious phone call on his cell-phone.

The following is Part 2 of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

As the hot winds of the summer-from-hell (as the press put it) blew across Francis’ face, he wondered how much longer the water shortage at his town in Nakuru (around 200 miles from Nairobi, Kenya) would continue. With heroic stories of Jomo Kenyatta fresh in memory and an economics degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Francis Odoyo had returned to his home country with dreams of making it big, along with bucketloads of money. What welcomed him however, was rampant corruption, extreme poverty, negative GDP growth rates and an all-round apathy among the youth of Kenya. Coupled with the worst drought to hit Kenya in decades, Francis’ dreams were slowly getting transformed into a series of nightmares. Seeing his close friends and family mired in agricultural work – so dependent on the weather – and suffering for no fault of their own, was the last straw.

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For Money or Mankind – Part Uno

March 15, 2006

The following is Part 1 of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

“Here we go again? Greg thought to himself, as he watched yet another CEO rant on about unexpected delays in product-shipment and bad luck playing its role in the company’s dealings with a prospective customer. Unwired Inc. was the latest of his investments which had seemed promising at first, but was beginning to show signs of slowing down towards a painful death. The founders had seemed to fit the entrepreneurial profile – “Bright kids from Cambridge, Electrical Engineering majors with the potential to bring to market the next big thing in wireless technology? Greg remembered his first impressions of the youngsters who pitched their idea to him at a social networking event at London.

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World of Strangers

March 14, 2006

A weather-beaten face, moist eyes, breath smelling alcohol and a salt-and-pepper beard – you would mistake him for Devdas himself. As he wobbled around, unsure of his bearings, you could almost see the albatross perched on his shoulders, refusing to fly away. With a bottle of water in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he sat himself on the ground. Mutterings interspersed with faint sobs. The need to waste away could have arisen from infinite possibilities.

A complete stranger and yet so familiar.

Close Encounters of the Fishy Kind

March 2, 2006

The words Astro-Palmistry should have been sufficiently forewarning. But no…I was sucked into a whirlpool of curiosity, intrigue and hype (zealously whipped up by a fellow victim of palmist-fraud) and after two failed attempts at meeting someone whom testimonials described as possessing ‘beautiful energy’ – I finally got my future laid out to me.

It’s hard to take a palmist seriously when he addresses himself as Master. More so, when he barely looks at your palm and instead makes all his predictions by staring directly at you. Nonetheless, life apparently will be very good to me – all the luck I can get, few or no failures and complete job security. The only negative (and creepy) prophecy made, was that my future wife is either someone who is not even born yet, or is eligible for pension.

After seeing the last of the 10-dollar bill as it slid into the Master’s pocket…I walked away…and my eyes were opened. But heck, it was still fun while it lasted 🙂