Slaughtered at the stock market

Karthik Rajaram is now household name in stock market circles the world over. His stunning end tells Wall Street story more poignantly than NASDAQ figures can do. Rajaram lends a human face to the trauma and tragedy of US financial turmoil.

The financial market, poised to get worse before it gets better, would eventually be back to normal. But the toll the turmoil took in terms of lives and human enterprise can’t be fixed by the $700b bailout or the G7 five-point plan.

An NRI who lost his millions in the stock market, Karthik Rajaram,45,shot his 39-year-old wife Subashri, their three sons, and his mother-in-law, before taking his own life at their gated community residence in Los Angeles.The man who had worked for PriceWaterhouse Cooper and Sony Pictures, and,more recently,had set up his own company,was alumni of IIT-Chennai and an MBA in finance.

Trained to manage coporate finances Rajaram found himself hopelessly inadequate to manage life. He opted death when it came to the crunch. In a suicide note Rajaram is reported have written he had considered two options – 1) Should he take his own life and leave his family to face penury,without a father figurehead and finacial provider ? Or 2) should he release his entire family from the shame of poverty by killing them?

The option he took impacted yet another life, that of his father-in-law Mr Ramaseshan in Channai. A retired bank official, the 76-year-old who lost his all – wife Indra, his only daughter Subashri, and three grandsons – has been orphaned and devastated, says my journalist friend M R Venkatesh (MRV) who tried to contact him. ‘Ramaseshan, in trauma, doesn’t want to speak to anyone’, says MRV, quoting a close friend. He has yet to recover from this condition – stony silence and a blank stare.

I gather from MRV that Mr Ramaseshan who retired from a senior position in a bank has acquired a ‘green card’. He recently sold his Alwarpet house in Chennai, and was getting ready to move to L A, to live with his only daughter. Mr Ramaseshan is now being taken care of by his sister in Triplicane.

A Los Angeles police official handling the case is reported to have told the media, “a perfect American family destroyed by a man stuck in a rabbit hole of absolute despair.” This was the first such stock-market triggered tragedy since the start of the financial meltdown in the US. A week earlier a 90-year-old woman in Ohio shot herself as she was about to be served an eviction notice on the home she had lived in for several years.

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5 Responses

  1. it is a tragedy really.
    i was following this story with a shocked heart..
    why did he assume that his family would have suffered a life in penury? his sons and family surely would have easily managed..
    but well, that’s life..

  2. Truly tragic. We can’t imagine life on a scaled down level.

  3. It was a shocking story and I echo Maddy’s question.. why did he assume thus?

    He had everything to start over while his children had their own lives to lead.

    I pray that this crisis passes over soon and also people learn to look at this world more realistically.

  4. Why, why, why? Why take such a drastic step? Is poverty something to be ashamed of? My heart aches for the whole family – those youngsters who had yet to see a future…and the old gentleman who has seen everything and now has nothing..

  5. It is a shocking story.. This is what happens when people have money.. if they have just enough money to meet the food and household expenses, they don’t get greedy or have high aspirations to make more and more money.

    And One more thing i find is people particularly with our indian culture, fail to seek help when they are in trouble, they have so much pride, to admit their failures and to ask for help. They seem to be so hard headed to admit their mistakes or ask for help.

    And nothing humane explains how one can kill your own kids..

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