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Updated: January 10, 2012 19:24 IST

Ode to a bean counter

NIKHIL VARMA
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Number crunchers The author dwells on corporate corruption
Number crunchers The author dwells on corporate corruption

Ahmed Faiyaz says his latest book deals with the rise and fall of an accountant

“In the fast paced times we live in, every person wants to make it to the top in the quickest way possible. Many ambitious youngsters, drawn by the allure of a good, comfortable job and money, fall prey to corrupt practices. This book deals with such a character and his downward spiral,” says Ahmed Faiyaz, the author of “Scammed: Confessions of a Confused Accountant (Westland, Rs. 175).”

The city-based author adds, “This is the story of an accountant in a small firm, who is ignored by colleagues and family. He takes over a failing company and turns its fortunes around. In the process, he is involved in many cases of financial mismanagement and ends up being on the run from the law. My background as a C.A. helped in the writing of the book.”

Faiyaz believes his book will appeal to the youth. “Corruption in public places has been the topic of discussion in India over the last few months. Public outrage at these cases is very high. Corporate corruption, however, has escaped the public eye so far. This book throws light on corporate scams that affect the lives of millions of people.”

The Chetan Bhagat phenomenon

Disagreeing with the view that people have started to read less literary fiction in India, Faiyaz contends, “The post-liberalization phase has ensured that people who never used to read have started to pick up books. However, this must not be confused with the Chetan Bhagat phenomenon. I feel that Chetan Bhagat is a creation of his publicists. Bhagat believes that selling books at very low rates and becoming a best seller is enough to be considered great. It is not fair that many good writers are compared to him.

“Many people are capable of becoming writers; everyone has a story to tell. Writing takes a lot of dedication, patience and sacrifice. It absorbs you in ways that regular job cannot. I believe that reading is important, and a lot can be learnt from other people's writing.”

Faiyaz was always in love with books, a habit inculcated by his parents and grandparents. As far as literary inspirations are concerned, Faiyaz feels Charles Dickens' “Great Expectations” is one of the best books he has ever read. He also enjoys reading Murakami, Richard Bach's “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and the works of Mitch Albom.

His next book, due for release this April is a satire on the Indian publishing industry.

“It is a story of a writer who is forced to produce five bestsellers in rapid succession to keep his job. The book also deals with people who end up as the ghost writers and the manner in which books are produced.”

To me, as a little boy growing up in the ’70s, S.D. Burman was just R.D. Burman’s father. Yes, R.D. who sang “Mehbooba mehbooba” in the epochal Sholay and preceded it with Yaadon ki Bara... »

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