It’s been sometime that i have wrote in blog; actually i wrote quite a few things but didn’t finish it. But one big phase in went through in life since then and i guess it has changed many things forever.
It was only incidental in the last post, where i was soul searching and asking what fuels life; since then i saw a couple of deaths and then a death that wasn’t. It was about 1:30 AM on the eve of our marriage anniversary, in the night a call came up from my sister-in-law about my shadubhai (husband of my wife’s eldest sister) being hospitalized. It was probably a co-incident that phone came in just on the night of our marriage aniversary. It was also a great co-incident that the very night I was getting prepared and headed for one of the biggest evaluation for my product in the current job. I had the flight to Delhi while all rushing the A’bad. Life was full of moments.
The medical emergency was getting under control quite well, quite fast. However, what unearthed consequently was the severe financial situation and a whole set of issues in the family that marked a phase of unsettling and devastation to the family; something so strong and unforeseeable that would disastrous that would leave movie scripts and TV serial stories make run for its money.
It was 3 years since my shadubhai had started a business, the only business we have in my in-law’s family. Like most businesses, it of course started with bank financing. For so many years, we were told the business was running fantastic and it has grown leaps and bounce. Product after product and market after market – they were expanding. From pharma, to cosmetics to boutiques – there was nothing that would stop them. There was a great function for all to witness the grand success of everything. There was a luxurious lifestyle for them, and he was a great example for anyone to get inspired; albeit only till we got on to discover on the 31st Jan’ 12.
When we all came up to know about financial problems, first it was sighted that the partners have committed some frauds which has brought down such growing business. We looked at the deals, the pending bills, mounting outstandings with banks and talked so many people associated business. It was almost impossible to trace anything really, but what was even shocking was that there was hardly any revenues and much of that show was out of borrowed money. Somehow the borrowing was always easy – but when it stopped, everything collapsed. Everything was lost, and there was a threat all around from people who were yet to collect outstandings. Bank had been actually quite troubled with this accound for more than half a year or so. But the biggest shocker and life sucker was something else – my father-in-laws’ house along with his own house was actually mortgaged for this debt! Yes, it was mortgaged about a year ago. No one knew this! My in-laws’ family who all have been one of the best users of telecom networks, who has habit to share everyday proceeding across all sisters and mother. Everyday they discuss who cooked what and who went where, somehow never discussed that there was a mortgage of house. My father-in-law was actually called upon to kind of sign some papers as “witness” – but what he and our eldest sister signed was actually a mortgage of the father’s own house and consequently they also became the bank guarantor for this loan which would never get paid. Everything was done so cleanly for this signature, that the father, mother or no one in the family had any doubt or objection and had no clue what is he getting into. The hospital environment after the collapse when finally everyone came to know about this mortgage and the realities of this business, was perhaps the most sympathetic and as some says, well planned stage for such great revelations.
There was nothing in left in the bank account, nothing in terms of property. An aging stock hardly had any value, and whatever was left was long back illegally eaten up by the ex-employees in liue of the salary. Bank managers who had earlier eaten up money to grant much higher debt without much less security, and was also part of the consperancy where someone part of the company earlier who’s house was mortgaged was freed to book my father-in-law’s house, are now all behind the borrower because their jobs are under pressure; but no one could help.
There was no way we could cover up the losses – and then came a great lessons of our learnings from so many lawayers in much great depth about how big mistake we have all made – only after the post effect where we had left with no much route left. Father-in-law not only would loose the house which was mortgaed but he was also a gurarenteer so he was equally libable and payable for the huge mess – an amount of size that he has never seen together.
The principle borrower, my shadubhai, had no answers as to how such big mishap happened. He blamed a few key employees, but in much shorter time we could all make out it was not their fault really. And worst of all he had no clue how he is going to work out from this. He has quite a few promises but it didn’t took anytime for anyeone to realize that all these promises, hopes and strategies had no value. The market had understood this long back and there wasn’t anyone who could pull him out.
Didi, the eldest sister, (wife of this shadubhai) who was also a partner in the business, who was a director in the second firm, who holds a post graduate degree in commerce – says she was unaware of the mounting debts, and the coming collapse and she had no idea a prior that such hidden mortgage has happened. She was angry and deeply upset about the fiasco, or she acted that way. But it was a huge toll on the family in the argumentation as to whether she did this consciously or indeed she was innocent. All sisters had great fights and quarrel which was quite understandable but yet dramatic. There was a great agony about how come she let this happen to the father, and a deep anxiety as to how will father now live with his only property lost.
But the minds of mother and father were in a different direction. While they did curse the couple for their wrongdoing, more than thier own well being, they were worried about the culprit daughter and the marriages of their only grand daughter. This was quite shocking to everyone and there was a deep conflicts and contradictions in almost every act and gesture of parents and the sisters. Not only the past, but the present tense was filled with hyper real emotions due to this double views – and all the difference of opinions between everyone. There would be dozens of phone calls, conference calls and lots of discussions every day, poured in continuous anguish and cry. And not only that, it took a great bit of digging up of past. Apparently, this was a third stint of my shadubhai’s financial disasters causing the family being put under trouble; and everything that has gone wrong in past, the issues that everyone had, people who had unfinished fights in the history everything came out in the center stage with these debates. It was stressful for everyone to remind everyone else about their faults in the past. It broke relationships and then stitched back when another external event would happen. Nothing would stop the emotional blood sheds. The word turmoil is a very insufficient word to describe all these.
Somehow, we focused to move the parents some better place to settle; but it was far from being straight forward. In situation like this, people can’t think straight and can’t take simple decisions. With final notice of bank, not much is left for thinking and doing, i guess. But I hope we, the other three daughters, keeps the composure to sustain the emotionally and financially broke parents for the rest of the life. As I am writing this in the truck, with the packers-n-movers, Rudraksh Appratments, the home where all the grandsons and grand daughter of the family once grownup is now empty – and the eldest sister who is otherwise so keen to leave her husband, is still living with him with hopes of recovery, while he hasn’t earned single rupee in last six months!
This episode teaches me how trust walks over a very thin line in life – and also that trouble is the greatest examiner in life. In a good normal day no one really has a reason not to be nice. But people get tested by the stance they take on a troubled day. While the financial circus was at the center, it wasn’t the only matter really. Always, when families runs in trouble, it not only exposes the reason for the current menace, but it also unearths the hidden, wounded and disturbed bonds. It breaks these weaker links in the relationships and may be at times brings up some new ones. People can erase some and form fresh new opinions and bonds, but in all it changes dynamics of most families.
Emotions and desires fuels life. Good or evil, it is one of the greatest force that pushes us to do things from within – now and throughout the life.