Business Doctors - Management Consulting Gone Wild

 

 

 

 

 

Business Doctors

Management Consulting Gone Wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAMEER KAMAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AN IMPRINT OF CRYSTAL BALL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or events or localities is entirely coincidental.

 

BOOKSOARUS

www.booksoarus.com

 

 

Copyright ©
SAMEER KAMAT 2014

 

SAMEER KAMAT asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

 

All rights reserved in all media. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author and/or publisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball (www. mbacrystalball.com), an admissions consulting business.

He is also the author of the best-selling book
Beyond The MBA Hype
, published by HarperCollins India.

Before
starting his entrepreneurial journey, Kamat was a senior management professional with several years of international experience.

He has worked in a variety of roles
in finance, information technology and management consulting.

He completed his MBA from the University of Cambridge.

 

The author can be reached at [email protected]
and on Twitter @kamatsameer

 

 

Chapter 1

A vicious kick in the ribs woke Chang up. Another one aimed at his chest missed its mark as Chang doubled up in pain. Instead, it landed on his face, splitting open his lower lip. As blood spurted out, he heard a familiar menacing voice that had been his nemesis since the day he had come to this godforsaken place.

It was Taylor, the prison guard – over six feet o
f flesh and muscle built to send shivers down the spines of seasoned criminals.

“Wakey wakey, little boy. Some guardian angel you have out there has sent you this note…” he spat, throwing a scrap of paper at his disoriented victim.

“…whatever that means,” he said, punctuating every word with a body blow, targeting a selection of tender body parts with each kick.

Retaliation was not an option. Chang muttered obscenities as speaking out loud would have only accentuated his tryst with this sinewy be
ast of a man.

The ordeal did not last for long. The cage slammed shut and Chang was left alone, to lick his wounds and wonder. This definitely didn’t seem like one of the surprise midnight raids orchestrated by the warden and his band of thugs to check for concealed weapons, drugs and other contraband.

A few minutes after Taylor left, when Chang had fully gotten back to his senses, he scrambled for the note and fished it from under his bunk. It seemed to have been hurriedly scrawled on to the corner of a cheap ruled notebook page that had then been torn off. It was cryptic but clear - “Roof. 4 A.M. New Moon.”

Chang smiled through his split lip, the salty red bodily fluid still oozing out of it. That’s what that dickhead was mad about.

Good boy Spike, keeping the promise that was made when I was thrown into prison
, thought Chang.
But how the hell do I make it to the roof at four in the morning with all this security around? The new moon was just one night away, wasn’t it? Gosh, even with ample amounts of time at hand, in prison, it was so difficult to keep track of it
.

Chang had spent six months in the cell. Life within the Los Angeles county prison was hardly the lifestyle he had aspired for. As a convict impounded for murder in the first degree, he had no option but to wait and hope. An early release seemed improbable. His entire existence in the slammer would largely depend on polishing certain highly specialized skills, one of them being to keep a solid grip on the bar of soap in the shower. The only way he would survive in there was if he became some powerful inmate’s bitch.

He needed to get out of this place – at any price, just to keep himself from committing the very alleged crime that had landed him in this hell-hole in the first place. Six months in the prison had toughened him, but he could still clearly recall the smug expression of the double-breasted-suit-wearing prosecution lawyer when he lost the verdict.

Chang had vowed –
When I bust out of this place, I’m gonna get myself a crocodile and feed this bastard to it.

The last remaining shreds of Chang’s dignity had been stripped the minute the jury’s decision was announced. Now he was nothing more than just another brick in the wall, or as the sadistic warden would say, “Another prick in the hole.”

Chang was lodged, holed-up would be more like it, in the Level IV housing. This was where concrete, steel and flesh meshed together. Most of the high-powered
convicts were held up here, for serious and violent crimes such as murder, or people that were fighting long-drawn cases. That was one whole complex. Then there was one for those with psychological problems. Plus another ward for cokeheads and meth freaks undergoing rehab. The number of inmates hosted in the prison was twice its capacity. There were no female inmates - it was a male-only prison. Sprawled over 262 acres, its dubious distinction of having one of the worst records of prison fights and slayings gave Chang the shudders every night.

Not wanting to leave any trace of the note, Chang tried to swallow it and went red in the face. He was choking. His chest was in spasms, making garbled noises. A few troubled moments later, he coughed out the torn shreds of paper.

“Just floosh eet down da faakin’ toy-let, aas-ole” screamed the French convict, a fine specimen of European garbage lodged in the adjacent cell, who was in for kidnapping and murder, “and let me sleep een piss.”

Later on, at the evening meal, the tall bearded guy came over to Chang’s table. “Did you folks hear? Drake’s got a love letter from da guard and he’s goin’ nuts tryin’ to figure out what it means. Maybe it’s a secret ad that reads ‘Call 1-
800-PLEASURE for a rockin’ time’. He’s sure not tellin’ us fellas.”

On hearing this, Chang knew what he had to do in the next five minutes. No, not the 1-800 number. That would have to wait till he was released. He would first have to approach Drake and find out more about the message, and if there was any similarity with his own note. He sidled over to Drake and spuriously examined Drake’s note. It was identical.

“The bloody cops are playin’ cat and mouse again. Seems like another one of their fuckin’ practical jokes,” Drake cackled.

Many had been planning this from day one – each convict’s first and last thought, and every one in between - How to get out of this hell hole? Some were more desperate t
han the others. Drake and Chang both belonged to this category. It was time for them to put their feet where their mouths were—and act on it. Chang gave Drake the look that meant that they were going to risk it, practical jokes notwithstanding. What could be worse?

That night both men plotted and schemed restlessly in their bunks, running over and over again, the plan that had been simmering quietly for months. The note was the first signal that there was help waiting outside.

Chang’s ribs were burning and badly bruised from the previous night’s beating. He lay still in his bunk and listened to the snores of his cell-mate - a sleep-addict - the primary reason why Chang got along famously with him. They all called him Buzzy, strange name for someone who must’ve hardly grunted ten words to Chang in the last six months.

 

Lying perfectly still in his bunk, while his thoughts swirled and sloshed around noisily in his head, he tossed and turned, and mentally ticked the passing minutes. The evening meal was over by 7:30 P.M. and they were herded into their cells by eight. He did not have the luxury of having a watch on him, but he estimated it was at least an hour since they had bedded for the night. The cell block had fallen silent.

His body needed to sleep but his mind would not let him. The fact that this was arguably the biggest night of his life, was the primary reason. Minutes turned to hours, with only his pulse to keep time, Chang’s body sprang back to life at around 11:00 P.M.

The cell was dark, save for the dim light coming from the corridor. It took him a moment to realize that the cell door was unlocked and slightly open. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

Spike must’ve paid a hefty sum to manage that. Who else had he greased and how far? Where do I go from here? Who opened the cage? Was it the same son of a bitch who beat me up earlier?
Chang’s brain raced
.

The latches were well oiled, with hardly any friction.

He wondered
- Were the hinges well-maintained for such special occasions?

Chang’s mind was buzzing with activity. But this was no time to appreciate the interior design of the cell or the maintenance efficiency of the staff. He tried to keep calm as he had to plan and execute his next steps to freedom, all on the fly, with zero room for error.
With a lot hinging on luck, the next hour or two would decide radically one way or the other.

He walked through the prison’s layout in his mind. On his left the corridor led to the courtyard and then to the kitchens. Staying up for several hours without any rest or sleep made his stomach rumble. He could certainly do with another round of dinner, but that could mean spending the rest of his life eating the same crap. If he went towards the right, he’d
pass through the shower rooms, then on through several gates right up to the main entrance of the prison. That was a strict no-no. The only practical part was to get to the roof and try to scale the wall on the north-east perimeter. Scaling that thirty-foot wall was said to be the only ‘
easy
’ way to escape. He had no rope and no super-human powers. Well, if you discount the ultrasonic whistle he occasionally used to blow with his puckered lips to drive the dogs in his neighborhood crazy. Anyway, that last skill wouldn’t have been handy here, at this time.

Damn! He had spent an entire day making a mental route of his escape but the thirty-foot-wall issue remained open. Amidst all this mental activity, he had forgotten that
the roof was only a rendezvous point and had started plotting his escape path. He decided to mull over the wall issue when he got there. He’d go through the kitchens as planned, without stopping for a bite, and up the chimney.

There wasn’t anything in his cell that he could use as a tool or a weapon. He’d just have to take chances with his bare hands and his threadbare bed-sheets, which he’d bound tightly around his torso before sleeping to help his bruised ribs.

Chang slipped out of his cell, sliding against the corridor walls, hiding in the shadows, sweating coldly, praying that none of the other cell mates would notice him as he crept past. Extremely slowly, the seconds crawling past, Chang made his way carefully to the kitchens.

In the ten painfully slow minutes between his cell and the kitchens he saw no movement other than his shadow. Not a single guard. The guards seemed to be missing from their posts! Was this normal?

Petrified that any second he’d fall upon a gun-toting guard, he slunk into the dark kitchen and moved carefully towards the chimney, relying on his memory for guidance. Just as he was about to enter the kitchen, a foot appeared from across the kitchen gate. Before the man could present himself, Chang quickly hid behind one of the corridor walls and started bracing himself for a round of fisticuffs – he was not willing to give in so lightly. Straining his neck, he was relieved to note that this was the cook who had probably left something behind and had been driven back in the middle of the night for the fear of losing the artifact. He waited patiently for the cook to come out. The cook was soon on his way, and as the trot of his boots on the hard floor faded away, he waited some more, just to be sure. Finally mustering the courage to come out of his rabbit hole, he reached the kitchen and sighted the chimney. He slid up it and was soon engulfed in blackness. It was much narrower than he thought and looking up he could barely discern what he hoped was a faint light coming from the opening at the top. He prayed it was not barred at the top by some mesh.

Chang hoisted himself up, feeling around, trying to grapple for handholds. The surface was smooth and covered with soot - slippery.

Gotta get the technique right
, he thought as his legs and arms stretched taut against the walls to wedge him into position, while attempting to push himself upwards.

There’s no way Santa could be in this business if he suffered from claustrophobia
, Chang groaned, making a weak attempt at humor.

Slowly, laboriously he nudged himself upward. After twenty arduous minutes of straining himself, he paused for breath. All he could see was inky blackness above and below him. He surmised that he must’ve climbed at least twenty feet and still had no signs of reaching the top. A fall from such a height might not guarantee instant death, but it would definitely
leave him with a life as a cripple, without a limb or two, or worse.

Breathing deeply, he labored upwards, a searing pain spreading through his chest that felt as if it was going to explode. The gush of cold air signaled that he was nearing the top. Soon, he could feel the cool breeze, inciting him to pump out the last ounce of energy. Whispering a silent prayer, in the hope that there would be no guards on the roof, and half expecting to be peering into a waiting gun barrel, he scrambled over the mouth of the chimney. The iron netting over the chimney was, strangely enough, missing, or removed.

Voila!
he thought as he dissolved in the shadows on the roof.

I underestimated Spike’s capabilities. What do I do now?

The night lights cut through the darkness – the parts of the complex where the twin beams gleamed, revealing the minutest details – roving rhythmically over the stone fortress. Chang had studied the frequency of the lights from the window in his cell and knew that he had exactly seven seconds between the consecutive lightings. He dodged the floodlights and kept out of sight of the watch tower. Sliding slowly and carefully to the edge of the terrace, he peered over the wall, barely able to discern the ground. The northern side of the prison was surrounded by powerful electric fences, and running into it would mean he’d end up as one lump of barbequed meat, minus the seasoning. If he could manage to scale the wall, the main road was still roughly a mile and a half away. He hoped Spike had a getaway car gassed up and ready to roll at the perimeter.

A loud explosion on the south perimeter broke the stillness of the night. Startled, Chang saw the lookout room of the watch tower bursting into flames, engulfing wit
hin it the on-duty watchguards. The prison was under attack! Sirens started blaring and the night came alive. Orders boomed from the PA system, and the guards started to group together in the assembly area, away from where Chang was. Just then, a small group of guards caught sight of him. Taylor was one of them. He realized that the explosion was a ruse. Their eyes met. For an instant, Chang felt as if life was slipping away from his clutches. As a reflex action, he started running back towards the chimney in the dumb hope of earning a pardon for heading back to his prison cell. A whirring sound, of steel cutting through air, caused him to bolt out of his reflexive act. His far side view was blocked off by a chopper that had appeared out of nowhere. In the confusion, he could make out that it was some sort of a civilian chopper, outfitted with side-mounted chain guns, with the intent of putting them to good use. The precise stream of gunfire was aimed at Taylor and his band of thugs, who were charging towards Chang to deliver justice. The guns won. No one keeps charging after being served with 7.62mm NATO rounds.

Other books

Ritual in the Dark by Colin Wilson
Caught (Missing) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Amanda Scott by The Bawdy Bride
Hers by Hazel Gower
Reap by James Frey
Leave a Mark by Stephanie Fournet