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A taut novel on the audit profession
Wearing his new hat of a novelist, the multi-faceted chartered accountant, V Pattabhi Ram, is set to rock the publishing world.

Ticking Times – An Accountant and a Gentleman is a novel set in the backdrop of the audit profession and is a first of its kind with the accountant at the centre of action.

Ram is known as a popular speaker and great teacher for CA students. His first novel, released a month ago, is now ready for reprint.

Ticking Times provides deep insights into the working of the audit profession. The story revolves around two passionate CAs – Mike Mahi, a first generation CA who rises to superstardom, and Tejas Arya, a prized journalist of sterling qualities. The novel engages you with your heart ticking with pop-up suspense chapter endings and flashbacks. The concepts of networking firms, council elections, derivative transactions, insider trading... no longer seem like accounting jargons.

 

Sculpting the future

 

Mahi’s dramatic entrance to St. Anne’s, his exciting internship at Hunt & Smith, the growth of his firm Mike,

Mahi & Associates and finally, his election as NICPA President – each is a challenge that Mahi faces with fortitude. His policy of fighting odds is the key mantra in his rise from being a slum dog accountant to a national icon.

In contrast Arya, born with a silver spoon, and educated at top institutes, aspires to become a famous journalist. Right from his article on marbles to the story on Satyam’s (a gardener’s) ordeal, Arya succeeds in garnering your attention even as he rises to be a powerful media magnet.

Life at St. Anne’s makes one reminiscence one’s own college days. The author’s running scorecard of the tussle between Mahi and Arya maintains the interest of readers. Professor

Muscles’ horrid move and Mahi’s reaction, garners votes for Mahi, even from the readers who admire Arya. The author has vested his emotions on the existing system that expects money for everything. The first incidence of corruption in Mahi’s life was stated appropriately as ‘Mahi lost his virginity.’

 

Trouble at Titanic

 

In Ticking Times, Ram portrays the role of media in creating sensations for their TRP. Mahi’s entire empire gets shaken up one night when a bank that his firm audits hits the headlines for a financial scandal. Betrayal is not new to businessmen, but when it comes to Mahi’s trustworthy lieutenants it is unbelievable to the readers.

The climax, the court trial, keeps the reader at the edge of the seat. The complicated accounting issues and the law that finally pronounces its verdict are penned in a way that could be understood even by a layman.

The questions: “will Mahi come out unscathed? Or will a high profile career built up so painstakingly, collapse?” keeps echoing in the minds of readers till the last page. The author has sketched out a final list of surprises in the last chapter.

Any CA who reads Ticking Times would say, “yes, I have experienced this.” There is a risk in every business and the person who takes the risk with the smile will succeed in life. That’s the key point that the author tries to get into the minds of budding entrepreneurs.

And just like Mahi says, “you don’t get a second opportunity to make a first impression,” Pattabhi Ram has made his first impression strong. We can expect more such novelty from him in coming years.  

Published by Notion Press, Ticking Times is a good read. For 304 pages, it is priced modestly at Rs 200. It is also available on Kindle.

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