Wat’ra.One!

Written by Srikar Venkatesan. Cheered up by Arun Ramachandrandran.

The Characters in this Story are all imaginary, hypothetical and any resemblances to real characters is purely coincidental…. apdi nu ellam solla virumbala. Indha kadhayil irukkum kadhaa paathirangal, mattrum samayal paathirangal anaithum unmayaanavai. Sirithu magizhungal!

And then, I was thrown into SVCO – a medium sized audit firm! What? Oh yeah, I’m not supposed to start a sentence with “AND” right? Ok, I’ll start from a shade earlier to that. I did not get into my dream of an Ernst & Young, and then, I was thrown into SVCO. Literally I must say. Completely unsatisfied at this, I opened a new page in my life on February 2008 and, never for once looked back. (Well, not literally turning pages, not even for Final) Never did I know or expect that life could have been so different and enjoyable.

What really made it enjoyable? I have thought for quite some time about how life has changed and how things would have been without SVCO. But never for a moment have I been able to grasp how i can bring it out in the written form. And then came the idea.. and so comes this article. A long one at that. Arun, the Tallest of the batch and I are two people who can never get tired of talking about the SVCO times and how we miss it even after we have left it. Something we never get tired of talking. A call starts, we talk about studies, and its just five minutes. A conversation about SVCO and its an hour. Whoa! Albert Einstein, hats off to you on the theory of Relativity. E = SVCO according to us. So, here goes. A gist of all those who made it a memorable three years…

Sajan – Star of the batch. This guy has the ability to compete with a Tata Ace “kutty yaanai”. Van kitta poi “ondikku ondi sanda podalaam variya.. variya..” apdi nu vijay maari palla kadichukitu kaetavan. He had a knack of crushing someone’s hands in the guise of giving a handshake – His best way of energizing early in the morning. He is widely remembered for giving heart attacks to clients during lunch times by ordering Juice and Ice Creams after Unlimited Meals. Always funny, never seen him serious in work or academics. Energizer of SVCO. He (is the) Rock!
Nicknames – Saudi Sheikh, Sajukutty, KaajuKathili, kuttyyaana, tata ace

Sharan – He is Sajan’s younger bro. They have a mutual agreement. Sharan will transfer his weight to Sajan and Sajan will transfer his clothes to him in return. If you want any work done from Sharan, give him ice-cream. The larger the ice-cream, the better the quality of work done. He also loved calling everyone “Anna”, regardless off them being his real brother, partner or a grandmother or anyone, even a kid was called ‘anna’ in Kodaikanal. When he joined office, everyone, including him, laughed at his fate, and the partners too! Ellarukkum padam paakaradhu na pudikum. ivanukku Mokkai padam na avlo pudikum (read, Vijay Padam!)
Fav. Dialogue – “Aana andha dealing enaku pudichirundhuchu.”
Likes – Vijay, Ice-cream, Ice-cream, Ice-cream…

Shyam – Seriously, if you can ever come across a person who can be jobless while looking damn serious, its him. No kidding. Ask his juniors and they will vouch for that. Loved by his seniors and feared (despised) by his juniors, he was the diplomatic guy who believed in pushing people to perfection. (Of course, he is not a perfectionist, you kidding?). Saam was of the widespread belief that he put ‘maalai’ to escape excess work, which he considered ‘distractions to be avoided’. Also, he could grow a beard as he talked, which gave him the blessed name of ‘Karadi’. The growth he prayed for is mayira pochu! Every morning he ll come to office clean shaved and goes back with a thick beard. You can use him for Nijam paaaku add (where the faces, keep on changing), without spending for computer graphics. If there were Bare Acts in CA, he was the Bear Act! What an Act!
Nicknames – Labakutty, Swami Saam, Cat-on-the-wall, karadi kutty, Junior TR (JTR, not Jatty Yaar!), Shyama?.
Facebook activities: ‘Jai juckamma’ status updates and forwards “Forward this to 20 people otherwise you will get bad luck couriered to you” messages.

Jawahar : Bhagyaraj is his true name. Since his face looked a little like Jawaharlal Nehru, he was nicknamed Jawahar. (He goes mad at the mention of the name Jawahar, so, just stick to the name he likes most – Bhagy). The uncle of the batch, er, Youth guy of the batch (as he prefers to call himself), this guy has the uncanny ability of staring at the computer screen all day, until he is brought back to Earth by his boss with a slap on the back! He has a unique style of answering to the questions while hand gesturing the number four (double victory maybe). He is the one who made partners faint with his shocking statements e.g 1: Sir! That is cheque cleared but not deposited! e.g 2: U should take left in that muttu sandhu (dead end) *Author faints*
Fav Dialogue: “Oh appadiya! Seri Seri…” He was observed saying this even to computerised voice messages, ‘Amsam! Mahaalakshmi!’
Looks – Innocent; Actions – Notorious!
Likes – White rice, Mahalakshmi.
Prasanna Ganapathy: He smiles, walks, climbs stairs like Po – the Panda. Of course, given the lift, he’d use it, and that was the inspiration of the Panda’s Old Enemy (Staiiiirrrrs). Morph his face a bit when he is smiling, and you will for sure see a Panda smiling back at you. Though a CA, he is a padikaadha maedhai when it comes to MBA. A true delegator of his tasks. A manager delegates works appropriately. Prasanna delegates all his tasks (Mostly to thakali Khan, who bunks n runs off to Stella Maris for reasons known only to him). Psst, Panda was even caught red-handed for delegating the task to his clients once.
Nickname – Panda Ganapathy; Prasanna Delegatera; Panda Kutty, Murattu Vijay Rasigan.
Facebook activities: He does’t know that there is a  status update feature in facebook. He browse around, comments, likes, shares and closes the wrong tab 😛

Thakhvim Khan – Man in tights (literally!), this guy joined office when i was about a year into articleship. He intrigued me at first. Curious as a child can be, he asked questions and I answered them patiently, trying to be a good senior. Until he asked the mokkaiyest of questions to Bhagy (refer above for details); “அண்ணா, நம்ம ஆபீஸ்-ல எத்தன லிட்டர் பால் வாங்கராங்க??” was enough to send Bhagy’s eyes rolling up and we had to sprinkle water on his face to get him back to his usual computer-staring self. Thakali Khan never quite worked till he completed two years of articleship. He was always found seated in the chair between two working chairs, talking, learning, waiting for a computer, or such similar reason. Strike 5 in the evening and he was gone, as in, patch gone! Regardless of whether the senior-most partner (read, Shifu) beckoned him, he was absolutely nowhere to be found. Well, I for my part, bless him with a workaholic boss for his future. I

Nicknames – Thakali Khan, Touch thakkali, Pikaali, Ondipuli.
Facebook activities: Opening a new facebook account everyday and giving friend requests to irritate people.

Arvind Chandramouli : And if you thought Thakali khan ruled in joblessness, you missed out on the most hardworking person of the office. He was always sweating it out in the mornings when he came to office (forget the fact that it was 11.30AM, he came running inside, like he was the only one fighting chennai traffic and heat). He, like other SVCO-ians, developed the art of looking like a serious workaholic while really, managing to complete two ledgers of General ledger Scrutiny.
Favorite Dialogue – “Nalla thaane poituirundhuchu…?”
Facebook activities: He is the one who tries to get the likes of girls through Amma sentiment, thangachi sentiment, Aaya sentiment status updates. e.g: “Amma thachu mum mum ooti vutting! Heaven”

Ashwin Sundar: The playboy of the batch. Ok, Playgirl. He talks, loves to talk, will cry if asked to stay quiet, and will fall on the floor and wail, if asked to work. That would result in a severe headache or migraine, which would help him bunk office. Complete playfulness all through his office life, he was known for his efficiency (the way something is efficiently handled) in bunking office. Of the total 1000 days of office, he bunked 360 days, excluding the holidays. Which means, he wasnt in office 50% of the time.
Nicknames : Dummy Article, Aatukutty, NRI.
Facebook activities: Oree the romantic!

Bharathwaj : This guy was the Wicket-keeper, Batsman, fastbowler and waterboy of our cricket team that never really took off! Usually found browsing the net in the office, he was never quite understandable. “Ivan velai seiyaraana, illa OB adikaraana?”, was the doubt even the partners had, before they concluded on the default answer “OB dhaan ma adikaraan avan!” Turns out, it was correct with this guy!
Mr. Sincere he was, he was usually the first and ONLY guy to come for early morning cricket matches. If you now want to make him Sajan-ish, call him to Gopalapuram ground at Six in the Morning, “SHARP”.
Nickname : Switch.
Facebook Activity : Logs on, adds new friends request, reads notifications, laughs, logs off.
(Updated Watra 1.1)

Adithya Iyyappan – பிஞ்சுலேயே பழுத்தவன். Haha, I know. Just kidding.. இவன் பொரந்தப்போவே பழுத்தவன். ..yes people, meet Adithya, the guy who made the ‘Fevi Kwik’ ad, after someone made it (which of course is not of consequence here). “Samma kalaai machi” were some of the most used words in his office life. Back in office days, if you mentioned the name Adi, i am reminded of a guy sitting in his system and seriously, no, not working – texting out messages from the basic nokia phone that was constantly abused by him. A silent killer, all jokes apart, known for his witty comments. “Cricket @ Gopalapuram Morning 6”. All guys dutifully assemble by 6.30, and Adi reaches after the first game is half over, at 7.30. “கோவில் ல  பொங்கல்  போட்டாங்க  மச்சி . சாரி  டா..” were his most sighted dialogues before his results came!
Nicknames – Aadhi, paadhi, meedhi and other rhyming words 😛
Facebook activities: Beeeeep words on every updates and comments…. O***!

Anand – Living truly to his name, this guy was a joybox, more like the Jack in the box thing, which will jump out when opened, when our Partner made a very pathetic joke, he was instantly laughing his lungs out! An art, i must say, because all that i could manage was a cough and a smile, while this guy was literally choking in laughter. His laughter can be heard from as far as a light year away, no kidding. Lean when he started out, after his stint with sastra Univ audit, he developed some unusual growth by the side of his tummy which resulted in Michelin like structures towards the end of Articleship, he was hence renamed “Tubeananda”. An expert in excel, and a smart guy who’ll live upto anyone’s expectations except one person, and we know who! OB ma nee.. 😛
Nicknames – SIren, Sildra, Audience

Navin M J : My first senior in office, this enthusiastic guy deserves a full page and probably some extra paper for a proper description, but having to stick to a few words, i shall do justice by covering all aspects about him. This guy was one of those “Saet” pasanga who was born brought up here in chennai but knew very less tamil. Ask ed him why? or even considered asking why? No dea, see, i was born in bangalore and my ancestory life goes back to Undivided India (Pakistan? Shoot him dead!!! Atleast for murdering Tamil!) And so, i got introduced to this  guy who said, “kunji rice kudunga” to a shocked looking waiter, who had to be convinced that only extra rice was asked. He respects his boss by heart, but not through words, “Vaithee sir, hearing poirukaan, sorry, porukaraaru!” were his words. After which he was adviced to talk only in English. He pleasantly agreed to follow that too. After completing his CA, he has made waves in CTS too i hear and hope!
Nicknames – Jackie Sir, Jackson, Senior!
Facebook activities: Wait, does he have an account?

DNV Satish : If there existed someone who all juniors feared, it was him, it was him, it was him! Truly, this guy was never approached for doubts. This was why:
Junior : “Satish anna, what is MAT?”
Satish : (Looking up and down at junior) “MAT-ah? Open the book, read Section 115JB in Page 432, and tell me in half hour, what mat is!”
Junior : ???
Dubbed as the Bare Act of the batch, this guy was usually found challenging partners or clients. If a challenge was thrown at office, he would be a ready taker!
Fav. Dialogue : “What da? Doubt a?” “Sir, I am not intelligent like you, I will clarify your doubt as little as I can..”
Nicknames: Policekaar, Bare Act.

Kamal Kishore : He was the hero of our batch, by name that is. Chocolate boy of some of the main partners of the firm, this guy was indeed a chocolate boy. Knowledge oozed out of him, like water out of an overflowing tank, giving justification to his “I have water till neck, my voice will be like this only” kinda voice. Renamed as Bubbloo Kishore by Bhagy Maama,  he had a surprisingly good Tamil knowledge in his Saet Dictionary. Strict Officer, especially with Bhagy Maama, he finally succumbed to Bhagy’s laziness . If one went by looks, he would have been a Saint. But by no means, my friends. This guy was one ulti kedi guy and I’m sure everyone would vouch for that now. One of the younger people to finish CA, and younger still to get married off, we all wish him luck in his future endeavours.
Nicknames – Bubbloo Kishore, Royapuram Rowdy, etc.
Facebook activities: William Wordsworth quotes and pictures taken in foreign location.
INTERVAL!!!! Go to washroom, drink some water, pick your nose and continue reading!!!!
Kiran: Starting articles from Thanga Vetai, this guy was found talking about that audit even after his articleship ended. Such was the cherished memories of this Vijay hairstyled guy from that audit. Hardworker, and a typical Chennaiite, this kid from Madipakkam could look like a minion on the Unicorn but his riding skills were well known all over the firm. A silent admirer of Vijay Fan, he was caught red-handed when he lauded ‘Kuruvi’ as a fabulous movie..he wasn’t spared, not to worry!
Nicknames : Kirini, Kuruvi koodu.

Srinath: Zombie of SVCO. He strongly believes in principle of equality. Hence he’ll respond from partner to peon with “Enna? aaaw”. Known for his two features 1. Vetti 2.Jetti
Yes while we are off for office outings, Srinath feels joy in showing himself in Jetti mode and terrorizing people. “OMG!!! Oodungal!!” will be the instant reaction. Once our mate Murali Krishna captured a photo of Srinath in Jetti mode in his expensive prosumer camera, which resulted in corruption of the memory card and malfunction in the lens thereafter! Jai Jetti Natham. Thereafter he affectionately called himself Jettinath!!! He calls himself a cricket player, DVD player etc, but will not score anything except in the dining hall of Midas.
Nick Names: Srinath 420, Accused, Zombie, Jettinath, aaaw, Pufferman, Sarakku Sundharam
Most used sentence: “Enna machi… kochkiniya?”, “Aaaw”.
Facebook activities: Blocked and banned thrice for giving random friend requests to all girls/boys with sexy display pictures. Report abused 6 times. Called and warned by Mark Zuckerburg twice! List goes on. Thala rockzzz!!!

Senapathy: The Boss! When he starts twisting (surutting) his hair, people nearby will start murmuring “ayoyo sena surutta aarambichuttare, inniku evlo file mudiyapodho theriyalaye! He roamed around giving guidance/advice/tip/solution to people in need. So people started calling him thala/boss/don. There are totally two castes in SVCO
1. Those who use “ma” after every word e.g: illa ma. adhu vandhu ma. enga mama ma.
2. Those who use “kanna” after every word e.g: Kanna! mudichutiya kanna, show me kanna.
Sena belongs to Caste 2.
Nicknames: Sena the boss/ Sena the don/ Sena enkitta vena/ sena kazhangu
Fav dialogues: “Koora mela sotha potta ayiram kakka kanna!”
“naan sootharatha solluvan, ivan kinduvan”
Facebook activities: Comments on Exam tips on friend’s update which is about his latest phone 😛

Arun Kousik – Question Bank is what he was when he joined the firm. “Anna, namma office la ethana partners? Namma office aaya peru enna? Namma partners enna enna cars vachirukaanga? Namma file indha week-e finalize ayiduma???” That last question usually made me laugh so much, my heart usually popped out! This guy was usually  high in Energy (Though I personally felt it should have been something to do with testosterone), he seldom said no to competition. A sport for anything adventurous, he even wanted to know how it felt to break his leg, twice! Usually seen on his Dio, with legs and hands in parallel angles riding at 70kmph near Pondy bazaar. He is very conscious about figure (body figure). He tried from Sona belt to Siddha Clinic and reduced some 2 kgs to put scene. Sir Diet coke mattum dhan kudipparu, Diet unlimeted meals dhan saapuduvaru 😛
Nicknames – Kappi kousik, watramal, Calorie Koushik
Favorite Dialogues – “Uyyyoo(o for 3 lines) adha paatheengala anna? Sammmmm(m for 3 lines)aya irukum!!”
Facebook activities: Irrelevant “A” updates esp while he is in Iyyappan Virudham.

Krishna Kumar : Osho follower and one wondered if he was osho himself (forget the beard!) This was one of the guys who wanted to put on 15 kg weight and for approximately the three years of my articleship, i heard him repeat the same words over and over again! Known for his OB Thesis made out in office, in coalition with Ashwin and Group, this guy looks very silent until you’d really talk to him. With the way of taking things easily, i found him cool. Of course, later on, i went to realize that taking it easy wasnt a way of being cool but just his way of life.
Nicknames – Swami Gaeranandar, Gujili, Kittu Maama
Facebook activities : Osho Quotes.

Bharath Kumar: This hardworking guy is fondly called “Bajji barath” for his capacity in taking hot printouts of final B/S with 10 lacs difference, just like molaga bajji in Marina beach. He is known for uttering the dialogue “Naan romba decent machi”  even after suttufying the only samosa in my plate with “eeeee” smile.
Nicknames – Bajji.
Fav Dialogues – ‘You are the Maan da!’
Fb activities: Some japanese worst looking caroon games and Fishvilla requests

Manikandan Santhanam – Nicknames : Auto Mani, Sabbha Mani, Duggle Mani, Bottle Mani, Dongri Mani, Prefix mani, Mokka Mani, Kappi mani, wait wait, extra sheets please. Thats how this guy got his nicknames, in clusters. In free times, our work was to fit in a name for this resource from Vedanta. He is probably the only one loving the auto-wallas in Chennai, he would have taken the auto to even the next house, if possible. He is the man who was caught saying chocolates, icecreams, curd rice and even sugar is SPICY !!!  We know your reaction mani!!! “sabbaaa”

Pravesh Jain – One of those guys who did part-articles elsewhere before he joined the spoils. Witty as the other Saets, this guy had a follower. Jettinath followed him like a pug to all audits, finding mistake over mistake and rofling before everyone, including the phone attendant. He was usually found discussing audit points with hs juniors. when say discussing, it stands for delegating. His ‘goals’  in audits are world famous and unbeatable. All his juniors are trying their best to beat him, but he remains at the top. When we try to proudly explain our goals to co-articles, they start with “what is this, sappa matter! In 2009 pravesh went to an audit and bla bla bla”. He is the Sachin of SVCO. All the best for future SVCOians to try their hand. Now continuing/ pursuing his ‘goals’ in PWC.  (Updated Watra 1.1)

Srinivasa Raghavan – SVCo during our set had someone to look up to for doubts, if not anyone else. This Tax Dictionary was one of the most jovial of seniors, with a curiosity to learn from our doubts and also to clarify them. Known to get his work done, he even found a way to make Shyam, and Chittoory work (Ok, I think you didn’t understand my joke. *Xx)
Nicknames – Cheenu (by loving Clients), Google
Favorite Dialogue – Act edu , Mandailaye kottuven!

Srikant Chittoory – A spicy guy. Chillies look patient on the outside, bite it and you’re gone! That s Chittoory for you. He could get Cranky sometimes (ask Shyam) during audits when he gets hungry, this guy was known for being funny and all of a sudden, blast off his head in anger, and later grow it back in a couple of minutes and come back and again joke with you. Often, I attributed it to Split Personality, but I could be wrong. He too, like other people from AP, presumed that Tamil People existed only to irritate the hell outta their lives, but slowly grew to understand that we were a harmless lot. Known for his working with Kajol in the Alpenliebe Ad as the famous Crocodile, he came to be known as “Labak”, which later became “Labakutty” over time.
Famous dialogue – “Wat ra? (Used for following emotions – Curiosity, anger, lust, greed, laughter, indifferent, fed-up)”, “You are like a Cat-on-the-wall, ra shaam! (accusingly)” “Ok. I think you didn’t get my joke.”
Nickname – Labak, Labakutty, Watrashaam, chithu.

Mohit Bohra – Best of Saets! “Sir, Venky-a na audit ku eduthutu poren, Sir” was the dialogue that sent even our sober partner to ROFL, quite literally. His Tamil is flawless, atleast better than the others, he claims. If you tell him his Tamil sucks, he’d reply, “Naa, neenga apdiye amukitu irunga (which probably  meant, ‘adaki vaasinga’).. kalaaichutaraam.”

Arun Ramachandran : This guy is awesomeness personified, an appatucker (or so he claims), a wizard at jokes (mostly about himself). Known for changing mobile handsets every month, he had five phone models during articleship before he finally settled with a now has a landline called Samsung S, which almost always is on charge. He still claims its a good duplicate of iPhone4. An A.R.Rahman fanatic to the core; if you make him listen to some music tat you hummed and tell it’s ARR’s music, he’ll listen thrice and say, ‘Thala machan! Summava? Tar mar!!’ Panamaram kooda ivana paatha thalai kuniyum, such is his height! We used him as the Lighthouse in all functions to assemble in locations.
Nicknames – Aakaati, appatucker (as he calls himself), Abu maama.
Facebook acticities – comedy comment on everything, even serious updates ‘greece is going down!’ to which he comments ‘ellame Greek and Latin a iruku machi’, visiting all cute looking girls profiles in friends list and ‘liking’ their pics.
Fav. Dialogue: tar mar, hmmm therla.

Venky engira Venkatesan – He is the one who can mimic SVCO’s  peons to Partners. And sadly he lost his identity in the transition. I still have confusions with his voice and one of our partners. “Avar ivana maara pesarara? Illa ivar avana maari pesarara? Both are same?  hmmmm therla…” Known for his “marana mokkais” as well as quick witty comments. His writings are like kamal hassan’s speech (onnum puriyadhu), except for this chronicle/epic/blog/whatever. I’ve witnessed some of his fights with fellow allakkais and speeding autokars where i realised “ivan nammala vida periya kova kaarana iruppan polarukke!”.
Nick names: Sangi mangi, mike mohan, Naresh iyer (for the white strands of hair, not for his voice damn it!)
Facebook activities: Song name with album updates, Book name with author updates, sharing of texts which he hardly reads, notorious ‘like’r.

Disclaimer 1 : This is not a disclaimer.
Disclaimer 2 : The full blog will not be understandable to some. If everything is comprehendible to everyone, this would fall on par with a Vijay Padam.
Disclaimer 3 : All sentiments have been attacked here. If you take things personally upon reading this, keep it personal.
Disclaimer 5 : No claim shall be taken for Disclaimer 4’s absence.
Disclaimer 6 : If you have read till here, you deserve to be nominated for Nobel price ‘Patience awards’. If you have scrolled down without reading, ‘Thillalangadi’ CD awaits you.

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