Delhi boy death in US exposes truth behind American Dream


By Kamlesh Tripathi


Delhi boy death in US exposes truth behind American Dream

Once, while I was changing a flight in Frankfurt for Mumbai an elderly gentleman came and sat next to me. He was a retired scientist from Bhabha Atomic, Mumbai and was returning after visiting his son in the US. We got around chatting stuff about the US. I thought he would have some great things to say about young Indians working in the US. But contrary to that he appeared to be more on the complaining mode. And, explained in great detail why life was so very stressful there, and at times you felt it was not worth it. Many youngsters want to return home but are unable to do so because of family and peer pressure, as returning to India after a stint in the US is generally perceived as failure of sorts. But surely, all that glitters is not gold if you were to read the column below.

Delhi boy death in US exposes truth behind American Dream


Washington/New Delhi: He was born in New Delhi, graduated from University of Pennsylvania, interned at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank and began working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco in September 2014.

Often he complained to his father on phone about “working 20 hours at a stretch.”  He briefly quit his job, but went back to the crushing pressure.

Sarvshreshth Gupta was just 22 when he was found dead in the parking lot next to his San Francisco apartment on April 16, under circumstances yet to be explained by authorities. And now an on-line essay by his father Sunil has stirred a debate on the stressful working conditions in the US financial sector. In recent months, there has been a string of deaths allegedly related to work pressure on Wall Street.

In the moving essay titled ‘A Son Never Dies’, posted after a month after his death on website Medium (and later withdrawn), Sunil offers an insight into the kind of pressure his son faced at his job. In his last conversation with his father, Sarvshreshth said he had not slept for two days and was working alone while everybody else had left the office. Sarvshreshth Gupta’s tragic story serves as a cautionary tale at a time of the year when scores of Indian parents are visiting the US to see their children graduate from American universities and begin chasing the much-ballyhooed “American Dream.”


“Papa I do not get enough sleep. I work 20 hours at a stretch.” During certain weeks, he was working on weekends too.

I protested, “Son, you will ruin your health,” He would say, “Come on Papa, I am young and strong. Investment banking is hard work.”

From mid-Jan, he started complaining. “This job is not for me. too much work and too little time. I want to come back home.”



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