Saturday, February 24, 2007

The E.T. Story

They were cruising at an abominable high speed. Even light felt dazed to be left behind.

From the cockpit, Xdf*rt?wy cast a glance at a bright yellow star on the right. His bright oval eyes immediately synchronised a telepathic conversation with Te3rqwg%n in the adjoining room. Translated simply, it meant "I see a young galaxy here. I believe we have something".

A few plasma meters away, Te3rqwg%n 30th arm chuckled in delight. He pinged back "Will join you as soon as I finish my helium asteroid soup". His 23rd and the 32nd arm set off to the task of clearing the slimy ashen soup.

In no time, their entire being were huddled over the right window as they approached the star. Xdf*rt?wy eyed the laser switch which lighted up immediately.

An electronic voice boomed "Yes...present your question"

Xdf*rt?wy winked and the question popped "What galaxy do we have here?"

A trillion byte processor hummed for a hundredth of a millisec and the same voice boomed "My results tell me that this is a newborn galaxy. Age - 4.54 billion years only. The star supports 8 planets, millions of asteroids, a few comets and satellites"

"Do you have a name for this system?"

"Radio waves suggest that it is called The Milky Way"

Te3rqwg%n beamed " waves...which means there is active motion life out here, isn't it?"

"Yes. You see the blue planet there at 24, 43, 45? Its called Earth. It sustains motion life and no-motion life in humungous proportions"

"Lets get closer", said Xdf*rt?wy as he nodded at his steering wheel. The bulbous craft veered onto the direction of the coordinates.

Te3rqwg%n zoomed at the blue planet and exclaimed "Its so ethereally beautiful. How is life out here. Can we pitch our descendency here?"

A minute heave of processing later, the voice spoke "I agree it is beautiful. 21% of Oxygen, lots of carbon and nitrogen. Very much habitable. But my radio waves suggest otherwise. There is so much evil among the dominant species here called Man. It is ruining the entire architecture of this hallowed system"

Te3rqwg%n pondered "Evil. I know this word. This thing existed eons back at home. Evil in what form? What is happening here that makes you think evil exists? I wish my children could inhabit this planet. Please tell me."

"This dominant species called Man is killing his own fellow kin. That is evil"

An alien gasp flew across the room. All of Te3rqwg%n 's 64 arms clung to his head in shock.

"That is so unbelievable. How can any life do that? Even our violent shows cannot think of such an idea to gain viewers. I find it unrealistic. Can you zoom onto a place and show me such unlively acts?"

"Not a problem. My radio waves suggest the word IRAQ. Zoom your iris to 34,87,12. Can you see the smoke there? 6 lives were just lost. Zoom to Kashmir at 43,66,48. See the mayhem there. Check out Africa at 88,11,38. Slavery. Poverty. Colour discrimination..."

"Stop it...stop it. I can't take it anymore", cried Te3rqwg%n.

Xdf*rt?wy bawled "What makes them do this? My intuition tells me that some wily green pieces are to blamed for this"

The voice continued. "Exactly. Its called money. Add a mish mash of power, to it and it gets real bad. They are destroying the other splendid organisms and the ecosystem around them. I believe we should stay away from this self-destructing world"

Both Xdf*rt?wy and Te3rqwg%n nodded in appreciation. "Yeah. We do not want to kids to get a sniff of this place. Please blacklist this planet. Lets move on."

"Done. Our next destination is Proxima Centauri", agreed the voice.

With that, the craft flew into eternity.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Second Tryst With Destiny

The four executives alighted from their respective executive cars and were immediately escorted to the posh private lounge room upstairs. The room at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai was the exclusive preserve of the rich and the mighty. And these aliases were frequently synonymous with their names. In a true optimistic sense.

Tonight would define the pecking order. Their might to take on the world. Their efforts to catapult India Inc to a new threshold level.

Sir Ratan Tata (I would prefer to call him "Sir" right now before it is bestowed), B. Muthuraman - managing director of Tata Steel, N.A. Soonawala - Tata Sons vice-chairman and Koushik Chatterjee - vice president of finance, Tata Steel began to set themselves up for the biggest challenge in their lives. The video link was tuned and they were immediately in sync with their warriors in Primrose Street, London comprising Arun Gandhi - head of Tata Group's Mergers and Acquistions, Richard Murley - N M Rothschild & Sons, Jitesh Gadhia - ABN Amro, the Deutsche Bank and the Credit Suisse team. The room was brimming with excitement coupled with pangs of nervousness. A long long night loomed large.

Project Colour began soon and it became the cynosure of the media's attention. Tata's bid for Corus had begun. The markets were agog with bets on whether it would be the favorite Cardiff (CSN) to clinch it or the underdog Truro (Tata Steel)

The slugfest continued till the wee hours of the morning in India. The bell rang at the UK Takeover Panel’s office at Paternoster Square for the final 9th round to begin.

The tension was palpable in the rooms on either side of the teleconferencing session. Amidst the final negotiations, a sealed bid was decided and with the click of a mouse, it was sent over to the Panel.

Half an hour later, India woke up to salute its son take on the world. The scoreline: 608 pence a share to CSN's 603. The cost: a mindboggling 12.1 billion dollars. A former colonial steel company had gobbled its earlier imperial master's prized possession.

A humble bow to Sir Ratan Tata and his team. India is with you.