Perils of Instituional Inbreeding


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A tongue-in-cheek look at politics of the work place

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Perils of Instituional Inbreeding

  1. 1. The Perils of Inbreeding: Some Lessons from Paradasia and Purgatoria1 Shantanu Basu Presided over by Lord Charonstyx III, the fabled hamlet of Paradasia was a thrivingcosmopolitan hamlet two centuries ago. Its decline began with Charonstyx V and VI from1997-2022 AD. While the former rechristened his kingdom Purgatoria, the latter decreed thatinbreeding only among its people would henceforth be allowed to preserve the purity of therace. Ear and mouth plugs replaced rings and bracelets. Then the decline began – now theyare no more. Why did this happen? I decided to delve into the depths of time and the Net foran answer. Here are my findings. provides an interesting two-fold definition of the term„inbreeding‟:1. The breeding of related individuals within an isolated or a closed group of organisms orpeople.2. The continued breeding of closely related individuals so as to preserve desirable traits in astock. Wikipedia supplements by defining a condition of inbreeding depression being “thereduced fitness in a given population as a result of breeding of related individuals. It is oftenthe result of a population bottleneck. In general, the higher the genetic variation within abreeding population, the less likely it is to suffer from inbreeding depression.” I have read oftigers dying out owing to excessive inbreeding and bigger issues relating to the biosphere.But did Paradasians decline to Purgatarians (I shall call them the Purgs, as in mundane humanphysiological systemic purges) from this condition? Having assiduously trawled the Netmethinks the answer lies positively in the affirmative. Here‟s how. Purgs were products of a cattle-fertilization system that did not distinguish betweenbotanists, linguists, vocalists, historians, men of law, engineers, doctors, etc. so long as theydelivered milk and birthed more cows. The great marvel of a Purg‟s breaking-in was theprocess of unlearning. Multi-skilling was the name of the game – Jack of all trades, master ofnone, goes the saying. God save a Purg if your engineering or medical degree showed up inyour career………God‟s too small to pray for mercy from then! Unlearning ran in tandem with a process called re-learning. Such re-learning included,but was not limited to, new Android terms and variations thereof, the world revolving aroundnegative prefixes, basic grammar, body language including the archetypal stoop, and aboveall a set of robotically human crutches affectionately referred to as Adjustable Objectsupported by Against All Odds who became the Purgs‟ alter egos as Purgs swore and lived bythem, even controlled the Purgs‟ involuntary flexing of facial and other muscles and organslike the tongue, lungs, liver and intestines. Domestication of a baby Purg began in the remote hills, for penitence for past sins(and rebirth as a Purg) must be washed closest to their Makers. Greenhorn Purgs wereinitiated into their lifetime of serfdom under the stentorian glare of a Vetus Fogey ablyassisted by assistants, Adjustable Object and Against All Odds. The Adjustable Object andAgainst All Odds erupted from a mega virus-hit computer program that controlled Purgatoria1 This feature was authored in 2025 AD 1
  2. 2. and its Purgs, reminiscent of contemporary Hollywood‟s Terminator. Unfortunately, Purgswere not built like ole‟ Arnie to take these men/women on! Vetus Fogey and his able assistants preached pious homilies by rote even as the worldaround the Purgs rapidly changed. The baby Purgs had their spinae funibus reshaped, with thecrowning glory reserved for cerebrum immutatio manu and Purgidex courses in Purgese, thenational language. For instance a typical homily ran thus, “Thou shalt, repeat SHALT, smearothers with the products of your own physiological purges.” In other words, Purgataria mustprevail over Paradasia, even if others believed otherwise. Some classic breaking-in examplesincluded, but were not limited to, non-taxable spirits and smokes, Purgedes cars even outsidePurgataria, calorie-rich alimentation and beverages, a token of appreciation or two,complimentary stay in Purgotels, etc, all by courtesy of non-Purgatarians. The PurgalianMonks in the Hills thus ensured that the process of unlearning struck deep roots, even in therootless Purgian system whose joie de vivre was counting golden balls on the right side of thedecimal point ad infinitum…….the more the merrier! The instruments for student compliance range from ducking stools to thumbscrews,oral flagellation, et al followed by branding and pillory, recalcitrance being awarded theguillotine from the community. Come graduation day, or a fortuitous escape, the Vetus Fogeyawarded the Purg Graduatio Gratus to the bewildered young Purg, over clothed in agraduation cap and gown, with the feel-good bonus of a red ribbon and medal in recognitionof his having imbibed the „finest traditions‟ of Purgs. He was told to lead the phalanx into thefield of battle with his instruments of professional coquetry and able deputies, AdjustableObject and Against All Odds. Any attempt to go against their will would invite the wrath ofthe Tyrannosaurus upon a junior Purg, already overwhelmed by the Tyrannosaurus‟s suddendeafness and paralyzed hands. Even computer programs like BoxOffice were rewritten toaccommodate their Purgese. Thus was a botanist or historian broken in to be a Purg, the reinsremaining firmly in the hands of the crutches till passing into eternity or severance did thethree apart. However, these did not necessarily imply that induction surgery was a one-time effortfor Purgs. Indeed, it was a lifelong one, complete with steel plates under the cheeks and onthe rump, mini-ear plugs to reduce incoming ambient noise and its attendant undesirableeffects on the cerebrum. Hide thickener administered in innumerable gratis cups ofPurgatorial hot beverages and succulent culinary delights straight from the Purganalia gruaucuisines made for radiant and glowing armor, never mind the squalor and filth around. ThePurgs even had PurgMobiles, PurgAutos, PurgBooks and Purg V-Nets assigned to them thatserve a triple purpose. For one, it helped Tyrannosaurus Purgs to keep an eye on errant youngPurgs. For the other, it made sure that the young Purgs helped the Adjustable Object andAgainst All Odds at work and not bother the Tyrannosaurus Purgs about such mundaneevents. Moreover, these served the limited purpose of preserving the Purg‟s leg muscles todeliver the kick when shove comes to landing a strategically aimed kick on the right quartersin Purgatorian politics. For a bonus, V-Net even allowed unfettered exchange of gossip andpeccadilloes of fellow Purgs! Gender imbalance against the feline of the species in the Purgcommunity was governed by the socialistic Purgian theorem of induced mutation and naturalbalance. After the first decade or so in the community the average Purg naturally mutated intothe opposite gender, mostly metaphorically, and hey presto! The balance was restored! Afterall, balance is what Purgs variously define it as. So far I have limitedly dwelt above about the Purgs‟ source of reservoirs of energy.Now I shall address their negative energy. However, I may caution that Body Mass Index(BMI) was in direct proportion to the „weight‟ of the professional portfolio of a Purg. The 2
  3. 3. average Purg‟s BMI was generally below 18, with years of gorging on treats ranging fromrolled breads on bus/rail station platforms with generous dollops of Martian gooey, toppedwith a drink of tamarind water. However, decreed super Purgs made do with BMI of 30 ormore, what with one man-one standard applied to them by decree. In haste to make hay while Puragtorio were still there, super Purgs „managed‟„weightier‟ job portfolios, in Purgatorio and foreign shores by decree, while the ratty oneseternally remained in hope of redemption at a futuristically future date. Failing kidneys andhearts of spouses, other „medical conditions‟ for Toms including, but not limited to, kidneysand hearts, feline family feelings (the Toms are not supposed to have them) – indeed somewere more equal than most others when it came to choosing between home town or a hillstation in Purgatoria for professional relaxation or enrichment! Super Purgs indulged themselves at hosts‟ expense with exotica ranging from fishmeuniere, chipotle roast meat, stuffed breast of turkey and a succulent Drambuie puddingwashed down with a Chardonnay or a Merlot and a couple of shots of Cointreau, maybe aCohiba too for a digestive. A potentially disruptive pessimistic digestion was addressed by ahealthy shot of Purgatidine, provided by the Purgatorio Health Plan addressed such minorirritations – well in time for ham, bacon, frankfurters, pancakes, etc. for breakfast and anequally nourishing mid-morning and afternoon tea and „snakes‟, all at the host‟s expense.After all, the host yet vainly believed that these were a good investment in their futurewithout realizing that incremental gastronomic input was in direct proportion to the risinglevel of gastronomica exotica, all for a sea of Purgian mediocrus emeritus. Air-conditioned hotel rooms, self-preservation by alimentation allowance, liftingspirits, calorific accompanying „snakes‟, desert safaris, dune bashing, a night out in thedesert, invigorating ethnic massages, mid-year breaks in cottages in the hills, golf and tennistourneys, an overseas assignment, et al, made a Purg healthily and monetarily bountiful.Physical activity confined to four steps a day to and from the PurgAuto, burden of a notebookand bag to and from the car, gratis high-calorie meals/ „snakes‟ duly supervised by adietician, a sofa on wheels in office and the air conditioning duct aimed strategically at thePurg‟s head – to induce deep slumber – compensated for the elegance of a spa at work. Tocompensate for any feeling of guilt there was a gym too. Whoever said the Purgs were not thetriumvirs of modern Purgatoria? Notwithstanding their generally traditional stoop occasioned by large frontalprotrusions extending from below the chest and up to the groin, Purgs traditionally avoideddirect look-backs at a fellow Purg or non-Purg business associate/client, preferringconspiratorial, even furtive, tangential glances. Their surgically-induced dour and humorlessvisages were extended by furrowed eyebrows, inability to greet a fellow Purg in equallyvertical posture, and frozen funny muscles – a tribute to the stillness of time for them. Theirbulbous noses were their universe with their visual add-ons ensuring visibility up to theirnoses alone as they selectively ferreted „data‟ from mouse-holes in their clients‟ armor.Needless to add, Purgs were always ostrichically right, with hindsight adding punch to theirStyxar-winning performances that Charon invariably awarded at the Satania Theatre in LasHellas. Never mind what the Hadic Times or the Infernal Express said in their criticaleditorials and features for these were but minor itches on the back. PurgBook and Purgitter lists of friends too were almost entirely from within theirfraternity for it was blasphemous to share secrets beyond the Great Purg Pyramid. Tweets toowere extraordinarily analytical, for instance, blaming the Wild West wind for a missed catchat a cricket match at the Gabba or assiduously pouring over online disclosures of personalreal estate by fellow Purgs. Inbreeding by royal decree ensured that Purgs‟ families were not 3
  4. 4. left out of such debates and they were duly complemented for their absence of a body organ,tinny voice, high-paying jobs, less than average academic performance, et al. Purgs debatedthese and many other professional issues extensively, even for decades, so that the purr-fectdecision emerged - never mind an occasional organizational physiological aberration orunanticipated historical irrelevance. In fact, Purg beneficence also had the unintended effectof work responsibilities and allied facilities being liberally outsourced to spouses and kids fora first-hand feel of why and how charity should naturally begin at home, at Purgatarianexpense while the honcho Purg made an occasional appearance at work! Verbal flatulence and diarrhea therefore were second nature to Purgs – indeed theirsole twin instruments of professional coquetry. Therefore they remained rock-solid in theirloyalty to their profession and violently resisted suggestions of Purgs being „nitpickers‟. TheQueen of Hearts‟ “Off with his head!” Decree too found macabre reflection in her stellarachievement in a garland of human skulls around a feline Purg‟s neck, reminiscent of arevered deity in a similar position. And why not? After all, it was decreed that the feline ofthe species always had unlimited libertatem eligere, even if the Toms and their familiesdidn‟t. This was reminiscent of TS Eliot‟s Prufrock, a balding, weak, neurotic, effeteintellectual, who is both baffled and intimidated by women - a deformed product of sterilePurgian times. After all, what good were standards if there weren‟t one for each Purg topreserve the Purgian balance? The average Purg also delighted in Ma-Mu games, entirely as mainline oversightactivity over their peers. Not only was Tyrannosaurus always right, but the Tyrannosaurus‟sspouse was the rightest, the Tyrannosaurus had Confucian wisdom, a Marilynian pout, Kodakmemory, Bocelli vocal chords, a Brandoesque grey patch or two on his bell scalp, maybe asexy mole on the right cheekbone coupled with a Cary Grant lower jaw dimple, a MohammadAli physique matched by the height of a Buckingham Palace guard, Gibbonian English,vision and oratorical skills, et al. Of course, these attributes were enshrined in widely-publicized local laws and applied, well in advance, by slick junior Purgs to Tyrannosaurus orto be Tyrannosaurus that were heartily reciprocated too, to the consternation of the lessslicker Purgs. Shall we call this mutually-enriching anticipatory generational constituency-building? Needless to add, these attributes miraculously vanished the day Tyrannosaurus wasno more the Boss. Instead professional betting started with clockwork precision on the identity of thesuccessor Tyrannosaurus while the choicest invective doubled for the inscription on theoutgoing Tyrannosaurus‟s tombstone. Similarly, decades-old Purg friendships vanished intothin air as soon as a Purg moved up the career ladder, save those junior Purgs who hadalready made their advance inroads to the Tyrannosaurus‟s mind, even if such move wereoccasioned entirely by the efflux of time in an unquestioning system and not by honors in thebattlefield. Loyalty was frowned upon and friends were punished with impunity, never mindthe inflicting Purg‟s past track record itself was not irreproachable. Needless to add, for thePurg, self always remained above institution. Thus the Purg was born and bred to be aweathercock. Some inborn genes were evidently not affected in genetic mutation by efflux oftime and fiends in need remained fiends in deed too! And of course, the little unmentionable about a fellow Purg to Tyrannosaurus so theguy or gal was caught at covers while attempting a cross-cut! The Purg was also possessed ofRed Indian auditory senses. Plugging an ear to the ground, the Purg was able to divine hoofbeats, as an honest fellow Purg was reduced to cream of asparagus soup by Tyrannosauruswho Purg-d the hapless Purg, leaving tell-tale footprints in the sand at the site of action. Andyes, „mistake(s)‟ allegedly committed by a hapless Purg in 1904 were publicly proclaimed, 4
  5. 5. duly registered in the online Purg Crime Records Bureau and produced in full public glare for„action‟ to the Boss in 1922, 1960, 1990 and in 2022, depending on the length of thedelinquent Purg‟s nose and his professional longevity. Cow owners call this practice branding(for life). Methinks it should be called a life sentenced to eternal serfdom in Valhalla. Sparksof brilliance did not count for parole and reinstatement in the royalty of the community.Rather they were signs of impending insanity, to be dealt with mercilessly. Multiple jeopardy,yes….cognizable offence…no!....what‟s defamation or libel, unless Purg Courts willedotherwise? Blessed with a long memory, arising from Purgian good health, a Tyrannosaurus Purgin his twilight years remembered his fictional achievements on the battlefield as he essayedthe role of a neurosurgeon on his junior Purgs by performing cerebrum manu on his to-be-successors. Otherwise, how would the species survive, if they were not replicated in time?Tyrannosaurus mentored his/her baby Purgs with an occasional hit to the fence, accompaniedby a forgiving chuckle, if he/she were not overly colic-stricken, given the increasingimbalance of the humors in Tyrannosaurus‟s system with the ravages of time. Not exactly constructed to front a Roman phalanx, but possessed of geneticallymodified whispering vocal chords, the genetically-challenged back-bencher Purg foundcomfort at lunch or as he/she headed home in a bus/train while giving a public sneak veneerof achievement to his baser instincts of reducing the reputation of a fellow Purg to finel-ground mince, usually reserved for tender kabobs. This too added spice to modest self-financed lentils, vegetable and rolled bread at the family‟s dinner ritual. For, without spice,this ritual would be reduced to a mendicant‟s penance, best had from a banana leaf off thedining floor. After all, the in-house man of laws was there to take care of defamation suitsthat would invariably come the King‟s way. Evidence shows that the Purgs were great conversationists too. In the pink of health,they discussed, in hushed tones (for all to hear) changes in means of livelihood of theircompatriots, how a fellow Purg audaciously hosted the Ma-of-all-parties on his/her 25thwedding anniversary of first-born‟s birthday, diseases like PurgCer and Purgenal failure thatneeded Purgalysis to the accompaniment of satisfied tch-tch-tch sounds with 3-D effect,sympathy for those destined to St. Helena or the Hebrides to eke out their living, pooh-poohing mundane achievements such as poetry or prose as being too long and complex andbesides the point for genetically modified minds possessed of PurgIQs below a score of 40,the Puragtarian national average. Purgs also derived orgasmic delight from seeing their seniority number in tactwhenever the new edition of the Purg Almanac was published. Fellow feeling was convertedinto numbers of those going home (finally!) in a year and the cumulative result on the nextmove up the career ladder. Similarly, PurgCall, the in-house telephone directory provided thebrass tacks of each office – fodder for animated discussion for a full week! Fellow feelingalso found reflection in friendly blind games of pin the tail on the donkey and stick the darton the rump; paste a deathly frame on the face, an angelic light on the Devil and vice versa, etal. However, thoughtfully, the rules of these games permitted participation by involuntaryproxy for the receiver of the tail or the dart, frame or light. Good health however, did not alas make for immortality! Not to be outdone, the Purgserected mausoleums on every site where their beloved leaders had worked and lived. In fact,these were working mausoleums complete with spas and Jacuzzis, PurgBooks, video games,some even heritage structures where the fiction of antiquity was preserved at least on thefaçade. Like all societies however, the Purgs too had their own class system – with adifference. Purgs made their own life trajectories and did not allow their not-too-distant past 5
  6. 6. and achievements and personal history to stand in the way of an imperial projection of theirimagined qualities to the Tyrannosaurus Purgs who, in turn, delighted in such voluntary andvoluble 70mm Panavision hijacking to bolster their own sagging fortunes and physicaldebility. Thus was the stage set for the emergence of yet another triumvir and another FirstFamily! In time, they became crusaders of the faith battling evil forces (and each other too!),Star Wars style, in unknown galaxies and metamorphosed into Purgish Incredible Hulks.Their presentations won Purgscars, their command over Purgese, Booker prizes, complexionsstraight out of an L‟Oreal fashion studio and accolades for paradigm shifts were all theirs,even if such shifts limitlessly reduced Puragtaria‟s life-span. What was a better way for theTyrannosauruses than cover up for their failings than by surrogate governance by voluntaryproxy? Needless to add, the lesser Purgs remained professional thumb-suckers and look-uppers while the First Families turned professional lifetime hijackers of Purgataria and wereworshipped in equal measure by rulers and the ruled. In conclusion of my web research, the tale of Purgataria indeed inspires confidence inhumankind to start life afresh as dinosaurs. For, if humans started as dinosaurs, they wouldlast another ten millennia before they mutated into Purgs and vanished into oblivion. For themother of all paradigm shifts and the end of human civilization was the human-inducedmutation from Paradasia to Purgataria! A mutation that even Shelley‟s “wild spirit” of theWest Wind was unable to shake off. And how would it? For, these were evidently TS Eliot‟shollow men – scarecrows stuffed with hay – in a barren land, and bereft of anything ofsubstance, even unfit for the descent to Hades. 6