HEX: The Hero who cannot be demonetized

 

Dhyayato visayan pumsah

sangas tesupajayate

sangat sanjayate kamah

kamat krodho ‘bhijayate

Lord Shiva woke up from his deep meditations and looked down upon the Earth for the centenary survey of the planet. With all three eyes open, he glanced at the green planet and what he saw there shocked him.

There was strife and poverty everywhere. Millions of people were getting killed by poverty and the many millions who had the resources to survive, had absolutely no idea on what to do with it and wanted more. Hardly anybody on Earth seemed to be concerned.

Lord Shiva was livid. Did he and his fellow Gods go down to save the planet so many times for this outcome? He was about to curse and destroy the planet when Sage Narada entered and explained that the people were not in control of their actions. The parasitic and venomous cohort of demons called Bankers dictated the terms in their world and people were helpless but to follow. The Bankers had taken a boon from Kubera to control the financial instruments of Earth and had enticed the naïve populace by offering enormous materialistic gains on use and reuse of their instruments and slowly but surely started taking control of their lives. Lord Shiva cursed Kubera to find a solution or risk expulsion from Devloka. The Treasurer of the Gods knew that he couldn’t stop the Bankers directly but he knew what could. Kubera took his Yagnavittapustaka, a sacred book with all secrets of financial instruments and derivatives and decided to pass it on to a person who would be able to not just understand and decipher it but also have the moral character to rise up against the demons and defeat them. The book, which he dropped at Earth passed through several hands unsuccessfully and several decades later, finally ended up on a dusty old shelf in a far corner of a library in a Well-known Institute of Management in Western India. An athletic young student, lanky and sporting a mean moustache, finally opened the book for a boring project. With an intelligence to match his physical allure, he was sagacious enough to be spell-bound by the erudition it contained. He pored over the book day and night, absorbed by the knowledge within. Suddenly all the Finance classes he attained seemed to attain a sinister dimension.

Our hero, let’s call him ‘HOMO ECONOMICUS ECCENTRIC(HEX)’ , was no ordinary student. He possessed skills that most others could just dream of. He had an eidetic memory with an eye for detail that could put any detective to shame. He was a brilliant orator capable of swaying people with his silver-tongued oration. After reading the Yagnavittapustaka, his skills were further enhanced and he gained a few extra powers. He became a Grandmaster –‘Ability to mentally visualize all possible scenarios with infinite variables; capacity to foresee macroeconomic events based on their probability of occurrence’. He became Ultra Rational– ‘All decisions were now based on complete information and conclusions are always data driven’. To add to his eidetic powers, he now became a Jargon Breaker – ‘Ability to read through infinite complicated academic and legal papers and summarize in seconds’.

After graduating from B-School with the Director’s Gold Medal, he decided to go to the Capital of Capitalism to tackle the menace of the Bankers who were deceiving the world with their malicious financial instruments. Living a successful life as an academic, he started writing articles and research papers stressing on the need for sustainable financial models and criticizing the current banking system. Using his immense talent, he was able to rise up quickly to the Head the Economics department of the International Organization encompassing 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.

He went about exposing faults in the current capitalist system and argued for developing robust institutional structures to ensure sustainable business development. He was able to save several people from financial ruin through his advice. Those who did not heed his call, suffered severely in the 2008 sub-prime crisis. He was not a superhero who saved everyone, just the believers who placed their trust in him and his prudent policies. He had his faults, like every superhero. He was unable to work efficiently with human behavioral flaws like bias, prejudice, emotional decisions, irrational behavior etc. He knew that he needed to work on it and the only way he could was by understanding human beings better.

He later moved back to his origins to help the citizens of his beloved country. Now he decided to try and change the system from within. He was appointed the head of the Federal and Treasury Bank in India and he waged a war against big businesses contributing NPAs, corrupt politicians and another very important enemy. He had realized that the biggest problem facing India was inflation. This economic issue made food and security unaffordable to those with lower fixed-income (the bulk of Indian population).

HEX went against the economic policies of the powerful rulers of the country. He knew he was in a minority but he knew what would happen to the country if he let prices rise. He was the only one who could stop it and for 3 years, he did. He created a lot of enemies in the process but he sailed through every obstacle enhancing his own reputation by obtaining the love and affection of the public. Having done enough to avoid a catastrophe by keeping in check bad loans, price rise and meddlesome politicians, he was settling down when he got the nagging feeling that an impending big world problem was at hand. His superpowers told him that the root cause was political but the outcome was economic destruction. He had a job at hand, he packed his bags to go back to the origin of the issue, the Capital of Capitalism. He faced a tough task but he knew that with his financial and economic prowess, he will come out trumps.


This article was jointly written by Parnika Singhania and K.Ramdas, the only two members of LSD Lit cell 2015-17 who skipped the exchange bus

Settlement

Click. Click. Pause. Click.

With a barely audible whomp, the flame came on. Anish brought the lighter closer to the cigarette dangling precariously from his lips. He took a puff, followed immediately by another, and released the button on the nearly-depleted lighter as his cigarette lit up fully. As he set the lighter down on his table, he reached for the glass of single malt scotch next to his open laptop. A blank screen stared back at him as he took a deep drag and felt the nicotine rush. He leaned back in his plush chair, slowly blew out the smoke from his mouth and raised the glass to his lips. Slowly burning cigarette in one hand and glass of liquor in another, he closed his eyes and tried to get his mind off things.

“Is everything okay, love?” a voice called from the doorway across the room. His wife. Tina.

Continue reading →

The Thief

On the hot and dreary summer nights, as Amma slept after a hard day’s work, I would sneak out to the backyard and look at the stars. It was the only time I felt alive; as if the chains that bound me throughout the days dissolved away to let me live, truly and freely, for a few hours of solitude. Nighttime meant peace and a well-deserved break from the heat and the hardship of daily chores. Continue reading →

Love in the Time of Dengue

Priya ambled lazily across the wall towards the window. She’d always peep outside, but I thought she’d never leave. I had made my peace with this intruder to some extent. The vicious attacks with bug spray and a broom that just made her circumnavigate the room had been replaced with a weary tolerance.

The first time I saw Priya was during my first week at IIM-A. Plagued by homesickness and exhaustion, the presence of this lizard in my room drove me crazy. (I wanted to say ‘drove me up the wall’ but that’s where she was). I’d frequently shoo her out, but she’d always find her way back in.

I eventually had to choose between the little breeze Ahmedabad had to offer in July and this houseguest. Professor Pingali’s indifference curves with one desired and one undesired product made sense. The need for ventilation won out, and Priya set up residence in my room.

I developed my coping mechanisms- a quick scan of the room every time I walked in to locate her, avoiding the windows at night since that’s where she liked to take naps, and sleeping with one eye open and a broom next to me every time she wandered around my bed. Priya, on the other hand, treated my room like a childhood home, traversing every nook and cranny with a feeling of nostalgia and a sense of belonging.

This dysfunctional relationship continued till the monsoons arrived. The patch of trees behind my dorm turned into a little lake, mosquito nets in S-Mart went on sale, and the emails on malaria and dengue started pouring in. Priya. This meandering of a bored imagination, however, was true, and one day Rahul and Priya were nowhere to be found. They slithered off into the sunset I assume after Rahul wooed Priya with the tales of the feasts to be found in the waterlogged IIM campus.

Though I was happy to see Priya go, I could imagine her smiling sadistically at me when symptoms of malaria presented themselves. I’d like to think she is happy with Rahul, eating bugs and possibly starting a family. Just not in my room, though, I can’t stand the little lizards.


Sneha is a member of LSD. 

 

The Storyteller

Once upon a time, stories used to begin with the words “Once Upon A Time”. There lived a storyteller then who lived under the banyan tree that grew on the village square. His stories could hold the audience together for hours and move them from tears to laughter in the blink of an eye.

Times have changed and so have the storytellers. Continue reading →

The Greatest Show on Earth

“The Greatest Show, on Earth”, it was dubbed. Would be more appropriate to call it the “Greatest Show in the Galaxy”, but thankfully, no one really seemed to mind. It had become a welcome distraction for all the inhabitants of the Rigel system, and we’d really become attached. Why, we even had a flourishing business around the whole shebang. Continue reading →

Premise Vs Conclusion

If symbolism is where you find the ends of unresolved skirmishes in your mind hanging loose, baiting you to step into an amorphous patch, where the practical and yielding human species will shirk their shoulders and leave you alone.. then go ahead and read this story.. Here, the word ‘meal’ might mean a past relationship or a new work assignment and the word ‘cooked’ might  just push  sarcasm down your throat. Be my guest. Continue reading →