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''Wise and otherwise'' authored by Sudha Murthy has to be classified as the lamest tribute to the nouvea-riche mentality of the great Indian middle class. She's better known as the wife of Narayana Murthy, the CEO of that code sweat-shop called Infosys. It actually surprised me that she would have the gall to be so self-depreciating and is a typical representative of how we Indians speak with a forked tongue.
My first encounter with this piece of trash in the guise of literature was when my friend was moving in to his apartment, in the US on a short-term software (could it be anything else) project with his wife who's an employee of Infosys. My first remark on seeing this book on their desk was to ask her if this was required reading for all the Infosys code-monkeys (derived from the word that a million monkeys typing for an infinite amount of time will eventually produce a work of art). Her remark was that it was given as a gift by the HR department when she joined and apparently all of her fellow ''Infoscyians'' have read it.
That intrigued me because if the HR department recommended it (not that I think highly of the intellectual capabilities of people in HR) it should contain some words of wisdom from that woman who set a paradigm of how to appear humble when you are loaded. So with my coffee in hand and a nice futon to relax on, I embarked on reading the book which was supposed to change my cynical outlook on the morality of rich people.
She begins with a surreal student who is a great student but due to financial problems is forced to drop out of school. Then suddenly a benefactor gives him some money and he starts returning the money left from his expenses to the angelic donor. Now what was I suppose to derive from it: fiscal conservatism or that the student is stupid and moral to boot (that guy sure ain't going to survive if he's moral and offered a job in Infosys, but since he's stupid he'll do well)
She offers a string of stories like a village where books are better than food, which makes me think that all of the residents of that village must be donkeys.She writes about various moral stories and then boy does the fun start. She slowly introduces the reader to her real(supposedly) life stories. Man, I've seen some memoirs where people are bombastic, but they have the courage to admit that they are bombastic. Never under the pretense of teaching good and bad.
Which comes to her vision of what is good and bad. She tells the reader what is good and bad in this world, alarming me and leading me to think that her charity (??) organisation is a front for preaching a new religion. Is that why they have the high walls in the Infosys offices almost like a Waco, Texas compound, so that they can brainwash their converts (employees) with Sudha Morality and religion? I haven't seen anybody view the world as good and evil since Joseph McCarthy.
A piece of advice for her, first fix your company and its business and hiring practices and its sexual harassment inclined management and then you can preach to the rest of the world about morality. Oh I am sorry, she says that she doesn't get involved in the affairs of the company, instead choosing to teach at ABC college in Bangalore.
This book takes the cake after the ''pat-me-on-the-back'' story of how that neo-nike sweatshop was born. (read vijayv.org/wwwvijayvorg/Articles/HowInfoSysWasBorn.php) probably written and edited by some yes-man HR ass. I've never been so outraged by a book before, especially when it so blatantly and shamelessly disguises preaching in the guise of short-stories. To remember my words to my friend's wife after returning this book, I said man, you must be lucky to work in a turd company with this lard-butt leading its charity foundation. Think she has a copy of her other book too (courtesy of the ''Human Refuse''), will make some good reading and ripping apart.
Watch for my next review on ''dollar bahu''
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