Month: February 2013

La mia famiglia

“When you’re down is when you find out who your true friends are.”  – The Queen of Versailles (2012)

Its 3 am.. 24th December.. I’ve finally decided to finish this write-up.

She has this knack of saying the right things at the right time. Talking to her brings me at ease. It’s barely 6 months since I’ve known her and in these few months she has become someone who I cannot imagine my life without. Words cannot define her unmatched will and boundless spirits. Both of us are so alike in our perception towards life. I would not be a slight bit embarrassed in admitting that each day I look forward in having another wonderful conversation with her. There is but one word that comes to my mind when I think about her : Rockstar.

She is my spine. I couldn’t have said it more blatantly and crudely. Keeper of some of the most darkest secrets, I wonder what would I have done without her, and I can say the confidently say what would she had done without me. The platonic friendship we share is unmatched. No other relation is as pure as the one which exists between us. I’m glad to have a person like her in my life.

I ask myself what I have achieved in life. This guy, one of my closest friend, is a masterpiece (pardon me for using such crude words once again). The list of his achievements are long. But then that isn’t the reason I bestow him with such titles. It’s his humility, his down to earth attitude is what makes him a person he is now. Never in his entire life I suppose has he boasted in front of anyone. I guess I can just go on and on about his qualities (such a charmer he is). One thing is for sure, I got a problem he’d be the first one to stand by me.

She is the harbinger of joy. She is the guide to the righteous path. She is the Alice to my Mad Hatter brain. She is one of the most pure and genuine person I’ve ever met in my lifetime. One of the most morally steadfast person I know, for it does take courage to stand alone and to pursue paths not many have taken. Her smile, most charming indeed, is all I need to get things straight. Blessed I consider myself, to have her as a friend. She is one person whom I cannot imagine my life without. All I have but one word for her : Beautiful.

Mr. Perfect. Although I’ve never called him that, it is the term which comes to my mind when thinking about him. My brother in true senses, he in one great person. His EQ is off the tops. You got a problem, and he’s got a solution. One things for sure, God’s got a place reserved for him in heaven.

A worth of a person is realized after they are gone. I think I went through that after this this dear friend of mine left India for further studies. Oh how I miss those evening walks, those late night chats and those times when we studied together I cannot express. I most eagerly await her return.

Last but not the least, my mates. I can talk nonsense, dress horribly, crack the lamest jokes, do whatever I want and they wouldn’t judge me. I’ve been with them since my childhood days and spent some of the most memorable times with them. They are some of the most treasured people in my life.

I’m obliged to have these people in my life. I wish I could meet some of them more often, but then love and friendship isn’t measured by distance. The bond we share is unparalleled and I hope they stay in my life forever.

Signing off.

24th December 2012
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A quintessential era

“The day when you pick up a guitar there’s nothing coming through whatsoever. There’s no new pieces or new ideas. And that’s the sort of gift any creative person has. There’s always that point when it might happen to you, when you’re too old to pick the guitar up. And we’re just trying to keep that day far, far away, and out of sight.”

– Jimmy Page

Upon much insistence of a friend I finally saw ‘It might get loud’. A documentary dedicated to music or more specifically to guitars. More than 24 hours have passed ever since and yet I can’t stop myself thinking about it. The documentary is a collaboration of 3 guitarists namely Jimmy Page, Jack White and Edge. All of them describe their enigmatic journey taking us to the very roots of their life.

Let me start with Jimmy Page. That guy is a genius. No one, except probably Jimi Hendrix in my eyes ( although the comparison is absolutely nonsensical) plays better music than this Jimmy Page. He practically redefined rock n roll in the 70’s with songs like Stairway to Heaven, Kashmir etc.

Jack White. Damn that guy has some attitude in him! The way he talks, the way he plays, the way he sings, everything with such a demeanor, one can’t help but love it. He is probably the sole reason I listen to ‘The Raconteurs’.

Well I’m not really a fan of U2 but Edge is more than that. His techniques are mind-boggling – from testing music on the beach to get the right effect to spending hours on guitar just to get that one note correct – you’ve got to see it to believe it. This guy has just gained one more fan.

All in all these three guys have left an ever lasting impression on my mind. It sure makes the documentary a must watch.

P.S The ecstatic approach, the exuberant techniques just makes me wonder there is so much to music that we all are unaware of.

P.P.S that was just an afterthought. More on that later.

Signing off.

23rd February 2013

Memoirs and those darn blocks!

“A farmer has got to sow, a warrior has got to fight, a writer has got to write. Those are the only things that keep them sane”.

Tainted memories do not allow me to reproduce the above line with exact precision nor does it allow me to recall the prominent personality who wrote it.

It has almost been a year since the idea of writing an article on the aforementioned title crossed my mind. Blame it on my laziness or maybe my crazy schedule, but finally I’ve started writing on it.

Before I express my views on the topic I would like to narrate a short incident that took place on the eve of Christmas 2011.
I was hosting my birthday party. Just a few family members and friends.
My uncle whom I consider my godfather called upon me to greet me. Inevitably the topic of stock markets came up. He, a stock market veteran since a good 30 years, asked me a simple question: where will you invest if you have 10 million dollars? I must inform you how much I detest those MBA guys, but right then I gave my uncle the answer any MBA guy would give. Distribution of wealth in various stocks, gov bonds, commodities et cetera. His response if not the most extraordinary was certainly not customary. He laughed the topic off and avoided it at large.
Before the end of the day I went up to him again and pursued the answer to that inquisitive question. His answer, most surprising and after some hindsight most brilliant, was that he would hire a young artist to paint Marilyn Monroe and use the rest of the money for the sole purpose of enjoyment.
The first thought that came to my mind was how my uncle, who by the way is above 60, knows Marilyn Monroe!
His answer got me thinking about the mentality of Indian investors (the ones who invest in stocks). The reason why my Uncle gave that particular answer was that the Indian investors are losing faith in stock markets. Even though the market has risen considerably during the past few month the reason of such has rally has been Foreign Institutional Investors. This can be easily backed by data provided by NSE which shows DII’s have been sellers in the market since quite some time and by the fact that some of my own clients have scrambled away with what was left of their capital. Thus it is quite safe to say that retail Investors have at large missed quite a spectacular comeback.
It was much expected that they start putting their money as soon as markets recover but that was not to be. To date DII’s have been sellers.

The blame for this, well it goes to many:

1. Euro zone crisis: the crises have very much affected the entire world. One could have never wondered that a Bond rate or GDP data could affect stock markets around the world but sure it does!

2. Unprecedented oil rally: Oil rallying from $50 to $115. What’s more is left to be said (the sanctions imposed on Iran only worsens the scenario).

3. Policy Paralysis: The Government of India doing what it does the best i.e. absolutely nothing.

The government has remained stagnant for most part of its first term providing the markets with nothing it hoped for. Although the Government has initiated rolling out policies (the unlikely heroes being the rating agencies) no clear path has been set out to get the growth and deficit in place.

Policy paralysis has not only affected India but other countries as well as pointed out by Mitch McConnell in his recent article ‘Time for a serious deficit plan

The above mentioned are few of the headwinds affecting India and unless these are solved the retail participation shall and will remain negligent.

February 7, 2013