Wednesday, December 31, 2008


On annus horribilis, again: While I am happy to see 2008 go away, I try to put myself into the shoes of these gentlemen, and realize that I should be much happier than I am.

Consider Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, former chairman of Landbanki and prominent Icelander. He was worth $1.1bn 9 months ago. Today? Zilch. Or Oleg Deripaska. Net loss in 9 months? More than $18 billion. To put this number in perspective requires a lotttttt of zeros.

And who takes the cake? None other than Mr. Ambani Jr. He has lost $30 billion in 2008 (perhaps more precisely, the losers are the poor twits that invested in the Reliance Power IPO or his other grandiose schemes!)
But as always, Indians are top of the list. Together, Messrs. Ambani (Jr. and Sr.), Lakshmi Mittal and KP Singh of DLF have lost $100 billion this year. That is equivalent to more than 10% of India's GDP. So how petty my troubles!

Check out the entire list here for some vicarious thrills


Finally today, 2008 comes to an end. A spectacular annus horribilis for many, just the ending of which brings a spring of hope in the heart.
I for one, am quite pleased to see the year end, and I fervently hope 2009 is much better. Perhaps it is futile to think that the completion of one revolution of the Earth around the Sun (from an arbitrary starting point, to boot!) will change anything. But a new year is always a good time for cleaning up the slate, making new beginnings, and letting go old misfortunes.
I dislike 2008 for many reasons, but primarily because I wasted it. I just went through routine the entire year, and truth be told, was happy to be swept by inertia. No new beginnings, no exciting plans made, just plain humdrum existence. At the end of it, I have nothing to remember - except bad memories, perhaps. Work, family, fitness, finances, self awareness, social activity - 2008 saw all these aspects of my life deteriorate.
I hope to change all this in 2009. Setting myself 3 specific tasks, I will endeavour to make the year count, so that this time next year, I can look back and not feel lost.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prescription for an epiphany

1) Go for a picture perfect holiday to Gulmarg (with lots of snow everywhere) with great friends
2) Return to a precious few days of holidays still left
3) Sit in glorious sunshine
4) Down a (large) can of beer
5) Read a delightful book

Realization soon dawns that god is in his heaven, and all's right with the world!!

6) Spread the word (through your mobile device) without leaving the sunshine

Friday, December 12, 2008


Ratings agencies these days are not credible at all. Still, it feels good to be vindicated!
Check out this and this
And now I quote:
NEW DELHI: Blaming RBI's earlier tight monetary policy for contraction in India's industrial growth, Moody's on Friday said deceleration in
manufacturing output is a concern for overall economic growth. "Despite global market turmoil, India's central bank continued to tighten monetary policy until July...the moderation in demand is a result of the tight monetary policy settings in the first nine months," said Moody's, a subsidiary of Moody's group. Pointing out that loosening cycle of monetary policy by RBI began only in October, Moody's said, it might not have led to an immediate rebound in domestic consumption. "As such, manufacturing orders from the domestic sector likely remained modest in November and December," it said. However, the RBI had yesterday stated that monetary measures taken by it were "appropriate". Industrial growth turned negative in October for the first time in 15 years, as manufacturing, which comprises around 80 per cent of the industry, shrank to 1.2 per cent growth in October from a whopping 13.8 per cent a year ago.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Enough has been written and said about the events of last week in Mumbai. I have only one bit to add - something that puzzles me quite often.

If India thinks most of the recent terrorist activities on its soil have been directed by Dawood Ibrahim from his location in Karachi, why does it not assassinate the guy? What will it take - a focussed, small contingent, similar to a rapid strike force. A lot of other countries armies have such targetted armies (heck, even the inhuman terrorists did). Kill him. Whose permission are we waiting for?

Frankly, I feel embarrassed every time our PM gets on national TV and bleats about 'Pakistan's complicity' or Dawood Ibrahim's hand in 'dastardly acts'. Perhaps he can learn a thing or two from George 'Dubya' Bush - never mind all the fun everyone likes to make of him, he was able to ensure that there was no terrorist strike on the US since September 11, 2001.

We can choose to continue living (actually dying) like we are, or we can do something about it.