In a recent disclosure, Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, went back in time and recalled the occasion when he boarded an 11-hour train ride without a ticket to accompany his wife, Sudha Murty. The billionaire laughed as he described this incident to CNBC-TV18, blaming it on his hormones “kicking in” at that impressionable age. “Those days, I was, whatever, in love. Well, I should say what somebody has said… you know what I am talking about. The hormones would be kicking in… you know how it is,” he explained, prompting a blush and a facepalm from his 73-year-old wife.
In addition to making headlines, the tale of the seemingly “simple” couple breaking social expectations out of love has also sparked internet jokes. Considering that Murthy is well-known for supporting a 70-hour workweek—a notion that appears to have been disregarded during his impromptu train incident—netizens couldn’t help but make fun of him.
The trolls wasted no time commenting in after this revelation. One user humorously said, “That’s a loss of revenue for railways and billing hours… Tab 70 hours ka rule nahi tha kya???” Another added with a smirk, “Did he work 70 hours that week? Just wondering,” while a third playfully teased, “That’s only 59 of the 70 hours designated for that week. How unproductive that week must have been, would’ve cause significant financial stress to the company I suppose.”
How Murthy’s advice sparked debates and trolling
Mr. Murthy has unintentionally become the target of many jokes since he urged young professionals to adopt a 70-hour workweek. He has been ridiculed for endorsing an ostensibly capitalistic and unrealistic strategy that breaks down when the necessity for work-life balance emerges. N.R. Narayana Murthy, the chairman of Infosys, ignited a controversy recently when he urged young Indians to work 70 hours a week, or around 12 hours a day if they work six days a week, to improve the nation. He mentioned Germany and Japan as examples of nations that prospered after the Second World War as a result of their people working longer and harder to rebuild their countries. He also mentioned that India has some of the lowest worker productivity in the world.
However, many have questioned Murthy’s opinion and have given differing viewpoints. An article in The Hindu read,” It is a myth that Japan and Germany grew rich after World War II because their citizens worked long hours; India can become rich only after its workforce is equipped with enough capital.”
Narayan Murthy’s doubtful work-life balance
In a very moving moment, Rohan Murty asked his father, “Infosys or me and Akshata—who do you love more?” Surprised, Narayana Murthy declared, “Of course, I love you both the most.” But the narrative implies that neither Rohan nor Akshata Murty was persuaded, raising more doubts about the significance of his “work-life” imbalance. Thus, it should come as no surprise that he is still the focus of internet jokes and mocking at a time when he struggled with this kind of “imbalance” despite supporting the 70-hour workday.
By: Gursharan Kaur