A little tolerance goes a long way –

Or how a tycoon dissuaded a banker from leaving India…

This happened a very long time ago, when I was but a minion in a very large Indian enterprise.

At one of the many drinking binges, which were hosted so very often for all sorts of celebratory reasons, I happened to listen to this conversation between a high-profile cowboy banker (long since dead) and a tycoon (very much alive but not so kicking anymore):

The banker, just back from a trip to Switzerland and Amsterdam, told the tycoon they should all move base to Switzerland and do business from Europe. The life was easy he said. “Kya ladkiyan! Kya ayyashi, everything so clean, spic and span!” The next five minutes, thoroughly sozzled, he went on to describe his exploits over the past week.

The tycoon gave him a patient ear. Then, equally sozzled but with all his wits seemingly about him, he said it was a great idea to buy a private plane, a chalet, even a bank in Europe – but always live in India, no matter the grime and the poverty.

Why? Asked the banker. “Because, in India you can buy everything you can’t dream of buying anywhere else. You can buy netas, babus, police, chief ministers and even prime ministers – all have a price and you can even haggle!” the tycoon replied. “You need to have a little tolerance for the gandgi and garibi.”