When a Story Bailed Me Out

Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) launched in end of 1997 was the first ever amnesty scheme for tax evaders. A chance to declare and pay up 30%. No questions asked and no cases. It was a big hit

Early ’98 we were also getting ready for our MBA placement season, preparing for various GD topics. I had a tough debate with my pal Promod on VDIS. He fought against it, with facts & stories. Nailed me totally

So I was sitting in my first company GD and the topic gets read out ‘VDIS: Bane or Boon’. Campus placement GD’s are worse than bar brawls. No one gives an inch. It was halftime and I had barely spoken

In that desperate moment, one story Promod told me came to mind. I sensed the moment and just blurted loud: ‘You know my father paid taxes honestly. Never cheated. Faced great hardships. And look what he and so many honest taxpayers like him get to see. All defaulters being let off easy’

Stunned silence hit the room. And when the discussion resumed, I didn’t have to talk much. Because the rest of it was on everyone supporting my point.

I got the job. My boss who’d moderated that GD told me later ‘Remember that one line story you told ? That moment changed it’

Always listen for stories. You never know which one will save you!

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