Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fishes, Turtles n Whales

Fishes, Turtles n Whales
Originally uploaded by dingydas.

Pics from my trip to Shedd Aquarium (Chicago). You can always question


Well.. Just like that.. Or, its my "not just birds need be beautiful"

counter to my Bharatpur trip!

On the road, who do I blame?

Came across this interesting read sent by a friend! I am not really subscribing to the doomsday prophecy here, but the first couple of paras do strike a chord with me!

While questioning someone's eligibility to give advice, I can also advocate the sheer objectivity with which an outsider adds perspective. While it may not be possible to avoid the nails when you are driving at a breakneck speed, the old age maxim tells you that speed thrills, but kills. The question is - do you want to blame the road? or do you want to blame the nails? OR, are you better off questioning your style of driving?

Forwarded by Dhaval Dalal -

Avoiding Nails On The Road

Many years ago, when I was barely out of college, I knew a teenager named Bhola who worked as an assistant at a roadside tyre puncture repair shop. I didn't have much in common with him so it was interesting to have a chat with him whenever I would go to that shop to get my scooter's tyres patched up. And since the worn-out rubber of my second-hand scooter seemed to developed holes almost spontaneously, I used to meet him quite often.
One day, as he fished around inside my scooter's rear tyre for the nail that had just slashed the tube to ribbons, Bhola told me that the reason people got punctures was that they didn't know how to drive. He said that all one had to do was to look at the road carefully while driving and then swerve whenever one spotted a nail. Now, I was such an inexperienced driver at the time that for a moment I actually took this statement at face value and started wondering that why, in fact, did everyone not do this.
And then realisation dawned. Actually, Bhola didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Not only had he never driven a scooter or a car, he had probably never even ridden any vehicle except a bus. He really had no idea at all that it was humanly impossible to do what he was describing. Bhola had observed activities that he had never performed. He had then formed a theory and was now dispensing supposedly practical advice based on that theory. It was almost as if he was preparing for a career in consulting.
But if you think about it, all of us who have anything to do with equity investing, either professionally or as investors, are Bholas today. We've never been in the situation that we are now, and we all think that we know what to do based on some theory that we have. Consider the situation objectively. India's economy is growing like it has never done. There is an optimism in the air the like of which none of us have ever experienced. The stock market is at an all time high and this all time high is not a trivial one. The BSE Sensex is now is almost three hundred per cent higher than the levels at which it has spent a majority of the last decade. Moreover, not only is it at such a high, it has gotten there through a journey of ups and downs that has a most solid, believable and sustainable ring to it. A huge mass of people have made an enormous amount of money through equity investing over the last four years. On the other hand, some of the dark clouds that are gathering are also the kind that we have never seen.
In balance, this seems like a good time to make one's investments grow but I think we should all sit down and admit that we are in a profoundly Bhola-like situation. We are driving down a strange and wonderful road where we've never been before and it seems to make more sense to stay focused on the horizon than to try and look for nails on the road. You see, since we are anyway going too fast to be able to swerve in time to avoid the nail, it's probably better to cover as much distance as we can before the inevitable puncture happens.

Monday, January 22, 2007

of Gurus.. Ganguly.. and Gunners… isn’t this GGGGGGGGGood

Over the last week, I witnessed a 3G performance.

Abhishek Bachan, after getting completely washed out by Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2 (the movie itself being a washout is a different story altogether), marks his finest performance till date as Guru – A Villager! A Visionary!! A Winner!!! The Dhirubhai Ambani modeled story of Gurukant Desai is a fine portrayal of human characters. Guru does get to see a good performance by the good ol’ Mithunda of Gunda and Mrigya fame as well.

Ganguly, in a different setting, was marking another fine comeback. After being written off by all TDHs, Ganguly decide to take the sword to the WI attack. It was a fine display interspersed with a six that only he can hit (dancing down the wicket, sailing over the long on/off boundary with an effortless precision), some arrogant strokemaking and a sad ending (2 runs short of a century). He should stop focusing on Dada ads, and concentrate on Gadha, I mean, Ganguly ads.

Gunners, on the other hand, took ManU down. Three strokes off three fine crosses helping ace scorers find the net (Henry, v.Persie and Rooney). The game was not quite up there considering the 22 dancing daisies adorning the field. But then, ever since Henry has come back from injury, Arsenal too have started showing a steady improvement and a lot of faith in their abilities.

What does it all tell you? That this week, I will worship Lord Ganesha, eat Good/Gult food, listen to GnR, or, The Grateful Dead, talk like Gulshan Grover, wear Green shirts. And yeah, I will rename myself GAmit Das. On second thoughts, Amit Gas sounds better.

GAS – An MBA! A Consultant!! A GasBag!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bye Bye Birdie

Goodbye Current Job!. My home close to home for 2 years. :) It takes a lot to drag yourself out of office here to go home.

A lot of silence at home to continue with the unfinished work
A lot of angry family members at home.
A lot of anger/frustration/diffidence.
A lot of energy to have some still left for driving back home.

Before I go - some "quick n dirty comments" about the "nature of the beast" which is "still evolving" in a "high growth environment"

The upside - the long hours mean that you end up making a lot of good friends. Your partners in crime, your darlings in distress!

The clincher- Inductees are a Smart bunch of buggers. You can take a smart bugger out of Inductis, but you cannot take smartness out of Inductis buggers. That probably is the single biggest reason why it took me 2 years to say No!

The frills - The IT security policy is still not fool-proof. :) So, at any point in time, LAN has a lot of movies, cartoons and music!

The Ayes - its interesting work!

The Nayes - its too much of work!!

The irritants - Too much confusion!

The downside - Its a small company wanting to become a big company. So it adopted the big company culture while they were still too small to act big.

Future.. remains futuristic.. 'ere I come!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

For Whom The (CAT) Bell Tolls

Every year, a couple of lakhs of students participate in the annual festival known as CAT (Common Admission Test). How the deities look upon your performance decides which temple you get to go to, that is, for 2 years of penance!
Why? Because you think its taking you closer to the heavens- IIMs.

Today, the list of god's own children came out! Some expected successes, some disappointments, some who are great but not godly enough.

The funny thing is - nobody realizes that to be a God, you can either be a God or you can create your own religion!

All the best folks!
Perchance he for whom this bell tolls,
may be so ill,
as that he knows not it tolls for him;
and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am,
as that they who are about me and see my state
may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.
God employs several translators;
some pieces are translated by age,
some by sickness,
some by war,
some by justice;
but God's hand is in every translation,
and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves
again for that library
where every book shall lie open to one another
Any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.