What’s good writing? Nobody in the Indian corporate world has any idea.
“We wanted a good the writer. Hm. He, or, in the world of women’s empowerment, she, should be brilliant, one another Shakespeare, or, Anne Hathaway,” said corporate head honcho Gaitonde who was particularly confused about the use of article.
“We will do the needful at our earliest convenience, sir. Rest assured, sir, most humbly as requested.” This is from Balasubramaniam the office busybody who has a habit of poking his nose into everything and messing things up.
So an expensive ad is put in the high-cost high-profile newspaper as follows:
“Needed Corporate Communication Specialist
“If you are the next Shakespeare in waiting, need a steady job, a ready environment to grow, we offer you the challenges you need. Salary no bar. Experience desirable but will not be a constraining factor. Apply Box No.:”
Since experience was only desirable, thousands apply. Balasubramaniam has applications by the sack full. He lists 20 candidates for interview. He selects 5 for the head honcho to interview. Out of this he selects a girl with curly hair; dreamy looks and who devours books by the way a hungry dog would swallow dog biscuits. The honcho likes her distracted looks and air of erudition.
But he finds that she is neither Shakespeare in the making, no, not even an Anne Hathaway. Though the girl reads a lot, she can’t write corporate copy the way honcho wants it, which goes something like this:
“Since economic conditions are conducive to market penetration of the company’s products, we should test market only the market-ready and ready-to-launch products suitably and concomitant with our pre-arranged launch strategy as per MD’s directions.”
Poor girl had a heart attack when she was asked to study the sentence and draft a launch strategy similar to this. According to her fine literary sensibility this is bad writing. She re-writes as follows:
“Economic conditions are amenable to selling of our products. We should sell only products according to our MD’s direction.”
The head honcho Gaitonde didn’t like simplicity. He is a “double-eye” (meaning both IIT and IIM) which means he indulges in weaving a web of words around the most commonplace things. For him incomprehension was a mark of his market penetrability and management acumen. So he sacks the corporate communication specialist, as he thinks she is not worthy of being even an understudy to Shakespeare.
Balasubramaniam is back to square one. The search continues for a corporate communication specialist. Balasubramaniam’s problem is he can’t distinguish between literary writing and corporate communications. He is confused. (To be continued.)