Pressures in audit
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pressures in audit
We've all heard of summer, autumn, winter and spring. But have you
heard of a para season that outlasts all other seasons and is always
only hot and humid? Even the Almighty did not ordain this, but yet it
happens defying all of nature's laws. If you haven't experienced it as
yet, welcome to the para season!
For the last two decades and more my colleagues at all levels complain
that it's para season - thus no time for lunch, dinner, tea and
'snakes'. The "pressure" is indeed telling when even the benefic
effects of a stiff Bourbon, are unable to drive an AG's mind away from
his obsession with his paras. When it's January there is "pressure"
to meet the budget submission deadline. That having gone, there is
"pressure" to get the audit report on to the table of the august
House. When this is over, the new targets arrive and the "pressure"
continues. In September-November the mid-term appraisal by HQs raises
By October all our officers are running either to the dentist, the
ophthalmologist or the ENT guy complaining of multiple organ failure
owing to "pressure". By November it is "pressure" that burns midnight
oil in officers' homes. Come December and the "pressure" on fax
machines, speed post and e-mail increases as there are demands for
maps, KDs, KDs, KDs and............more KDs. In January, Group
heighten "pressure" on the state presses and even do some proof
reading to earn their own My Space on the AG's "web". By February a
(un?)controlled chaos builds up and all economy instructions are
forgotten - "pressure" is indeed supreme! It's now time for the budget
to bear the "pressure".
Next comes March where each AG's "pressure" is built up with powerful
visions of a trip to Dilli with 3 days' 'dooty' thrown in, promise of
a good word to Chief Vitalstatistix, a chhota khana in the HQs
basement garage (I could never overcome this description) followed by
a pep talk to pile the "pressure" for the next year! And, of course,
the promise of a reciprocal tea party from the local Association when
the Corps Commander comes visiting to exert more "pressure".
It's no small wonder that our officers are yet such a wonderful lot
with a joie de vivre. Shorn of their physical stature, suffering
facial paralysis, disemboweled by loss of multiple organs, suffering
the pangs of a painful perch in an 'executive' chair, savouring
culinary delights conjured from non-conventional material, facing
creepie crawlies in state guest houses, reckoning with the demands of
a large harem, compromising with the Empire of Sodom, losing weight by
the natural undulation of terrain under the wheels of an auto,
possessing great knowledge of dhabas serving succulent delicacies, the
virtues of the lassi from Etawah - our officers have the resilience of
a roach (resistant to nuclear radiation too)! Despite failing eyesight
and repeated visits to hospitals (even on the eve of transfers
designed to pile the "pressure" higher) and lifelong loss of capacity
to combat celibacy, our officers yet survive. With so much "pressure"
upon them, they are hard-boiled, fully-baked, grilled medium, or
barbecued rare, even a crispie cookie. Yet the "pressure" does not
cease. At this rate our officers would be fit to be classified as
infant food very very soon the size of Mattel Terminators! Both the
department and the nation have therefore much to benefit from our
Even a roach takes a break once in a while - he suns himself, helps
himself to some good malpua in our kitchens, stretches out on our
sofas and beds, goes back and dips his whiskers in a little rasam,
followed by a healthy lick of a stray strawberry ice-cream brick. Kids
learn geography in schools but our officers have created geography!
Talk of climate change and it's there for the world to see!! Like all
human beings, indeed also animals, our officers are part of society.
Yet they manage to get by, by declaring themselves as social outcasts.
How? You can't keep repeatedly complimenting another officer's (non-
IAAS) wife or club for turning out the spiciest rasam, the gooeiest
daal, the yummy chicken charbi (sorry butter), pearls in rice, and
maybe cherries in Drambuie! So you come home and chew the cud lisping
"Dukhi Man Mere..".
The "pressure" carries on as you retire to your dingy study to do a
good proof-reading of the AO material for the morrow. Come morning and
the AG desperately scans the newspaper for some news item relating to
his love's labour - mostly in vain! And why not? The presswallah too
is looking for suitable recompense before he even looks at a stained
report! No sooner he lands in office, AG saab is greeted by a long
distance call mainly designed to see if he has touched base in time!
Another series of phone calls - and the AG is convinced that his
nemesis is not too far and that he is being talked of in terms of a
posting to other........land(s).
So the "pressure" is piled higher as the aberration of a single season
in the year carries on its stationary but unrelenting onslaught. The
AG thus has metamorphosed into a philosopher and talks of attaining
nirvana (for those few of us who have yet not attained it as yet).
Youngsters refer to this phenomenon as self-actualisation - they are
merely using a more Anglican term. Maybe they too will be on their way
there in due course!!
I entirely agree with Mr. Kulshreshta's advice of looking towards
ourselves and carrying out our reforms in our individual offices. The
change in climate and seasons needs to exist by God's own ordainment.
The natural cycle of life also demands that periodic self-renewal is
permitted if the intent is not to cause a premature end.
Environmentalists talk of global warming causing a probable end of
life on this planet. In the same vein, too much of sustained
"pressure" causes systemic malfunction and the absence of innovation,
particularly when such "pressure" is mainly on account of faulty work
planning and ad hocism. If we can repeatedly get our staff cars
repaired (they are simply not worth it, along with their drivers), our
office chairs and sofas re-upholstered and the carpets replaced in our
office rooms, should we not apply the same norms to the human element
upon which the entire edifice stands and plan our work in such a
manner that the "pressure" is directed in a institution-strengthening
manner rather than keeping the patient alive simply with large doses
of glucose and oxygen?