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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Tis the spy network dude!

A long time ago, when I was still a little boy, mom would take guppy and me to this dinky store called 'Book Selection Centre'. Once a month. Like clockwork. The two of us had a budget of a C note. And we could pick any book we wanted to.

While guppy usually went for something I found inane even then, I always picked a compilation series called 'World Famous'. Let's just say that mom wasn't really happy when my latent criminality surfaced in the choice of titles like 'World Famous Forgeries', 'World Famous Murderers' and even 'World Famous Conspiracies'!

But it was 'World Famous Spies' and 'Spy Organizations' that I was mesmerised by. Back in those days, when 007 still ruled over the box office, reading about spies and their modus operandi was the closest I could get to feeling like one. (If you can ignore the one, immensely forgettable incident involving me, shaved eyebrows, my hair and talcum powder!)

I was mesmerised by tales of the CIA, the MI5, Komitet Gosudarstebenoi Bezopasnosti, Smersh, MOSSAD and even by unforgettable spies like Ian Fleming, Mata Hari, Kim Philby, Anthony Burgess, Nathan Hale and Alger Hisch. At that point, I was yet to be introduced to the likes of Machiaveli, Kautilya or even Schramm, so intrigues, defence and information flow channels were novel, unique and faraway things.

But once I entered the corporate world, things began to make a lot more sense. For once in my life, the long ago, imagined world of spies, seemed to be alive and thriving. Navigating the corporate structure was like being let loose in a minefiled with a blindfold over your eyes.

Yes, I stumbled. I even cried my heart out, bled a little, clawed, fought and worked my way up. Only to have the ground beneath my feet collapse. And most importantly, I developed a thick hide — my armour against the yucky intrigues of the corporate denizens.

But this place that I landed in, is forcing me to take a relook at all I thought I knew. For one thing, it is a new country. So some obvious cultural differences are bound to exist. Two, it is a multi-cultural society. So the differences are likely to be confounding.

Three, my role in the organisation (henceforth to be referred to as Mossad) is indistinct. Which only serves to deepen the confusion. And last but not the least, I am at the mercy of my employer. So any hope of resolving things is dead even before I start thinking about it.

But it is Mossad itself that is psyching. To all external appearances, it is a noble institution that cares for the downtrodden and the helpless. To those within (obviously except those who hold the reins of power) it is a domineering bully, of the control-freak types.

And control they do. Mossad has a beautiful HQ. All 13 floors of it. A lavish lobby and the opulent CEO sanctum. And a posse of security guards. And 26 cameras. With a few more concealed/hidden for good measure. With biometric entry and exit systems. Digitally locked areas with pre-defined access criteria. The works.

But what takes the cake is the brilliant spy network. Which has its tentacles entrenched all through the organisation. At all levels. Across races. Nationalities. And colour. And the best part is that you could be an unwilling part of it and not even know!

Like I figured today. That my rambling mouth has spawned an innocent question, that has become a malicious rumour, and is spreading across the organisation like wildfire. I distinctly remember mentioning it just yesterday, and by noon today, I've already heard three different versions of it. Two of which are twisted interpretations and none of which — true.

So there you have it. The living, breathing, ever-growing spy network. One that is omniscient and all pervasive. But like Amro once said, 'Information is truly power'. Guess I should start learning to use this network for my own benefit.

Thus begins my descent into the management levels.


At 5:41 PM, Blogger Boomsa said...

you take care and get right back at them, nick. your blog is loking very swanky. :)

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Prakup said...

Thanks Boomsa. Decided to get on with blogging. Guess there's another person who needs to thank you for the motivation.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Boomsa said...

thank you, nick. am glad. it's lovely that you're writing again. :)


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