Sofia


“who was she?” prof uttered while sipping his cold Nescafe coffee and sitting besides my driving wheel.

In the background the record played; “i just called……, to say I love you” by Steve Wonders; undoubtedly, I was lost and thinking of ONCE UPON A TIME…….

We were returning from a conference, the topic was ” Financial legitimacy of Banking -A Myth & Belief” I had taken a lot of notes and had to comprehend a lot of things which in my opinion were feasible and futuristic. I expected my friend, Prof, to discuss certain mathematical formulations which were used for the projections of banking industry in the conference. But here was this old man flooring me with a three words question,”who was she?”

“Come on, grow up old man” I replied with a smile and more blushing than smiling. I had made the mistake unknowingly; had committed myself to a conversation. A talk which was close to my heart and one of those beautiful acts of life in front of me (past) that I knew I would always cherish. At the same time I was too lost to feel like talking.

“She is beautiful. I really mean it. ”

“I know it, prof.”

“Its such a long time and it’s still alive and beautiful, the feeling is the same though I thought it was an interaction and therefore attraction; I thought its out of me. No, today I feel that it is still the same, I have not been able to get away from it.”

“Crap; you are evading my simple question and romanticizing something that is just a part of your being and a fact or more so a constant(c) in life’s equation which will no more move.”

Yes, prof, it will not move but it still moves me.

Anyways prof, you would have exchanged visiting cards with her. I mean the corporate courtesies.

Sure, I did.

To my surprise my friend pulled out a visiting card from his shirt’s pocket. He usually keeps them in a card folder and he has many card folders stacked in small rows in his office’s teak wood cabinet, to the right of his too comfortable chair.

He read it aloud;” Sofia Verghese”; “Strategy- Vice president and ……..

You know her, Prof. Why then did you ask me?

Not only this, she was my student for a semester, when I served as visiting faculty to the business school she graduated from, my son. No doubt, I know her. I asked, how did you know her?

She was my senior in the college? When I joined college she was in final year.

That is it!

No, Prof; Your “emphasis” is on target; yes there are ” silent unspeakable memories”.

It was one of the early rainy days in the month of August; And the surroundings draped greenery below and the sky above coated the grayish shade like life with patches of old (white) and youth(blue) spread intermittently. It had rained last night. The morning mist was too compelling and was enough for me to decide against attending the lecture.

Lost in the loftiness of being a part of the greenery and the change that the rains have ushered I walked toward the cafeteria to grab a cup of tea. I was splashing water like a kid on the road and was amused with frogs croaking and jumping all around me. As the classes had begun the area near the cafeteria was un-inhabited and the frogs and me could play at will with each other, as long lost pals meeting after long and jostling to catch up with one another.

With my cup of tea I walked out of Cafeteria to sit down below the Pipal tree just to the left of cafeteria some fifteen feet away. There were two benches lying face to face under the tree. The huge tree today looked soft, greener and encompassing. With my legs spread upon the bench in front I was able to view the full campus that fall behind the old Victorian main building. Oh lord, i never knew that the campus i was inhabiting from last so many days was so scenic, really it had marks of ages and the growing composure all around. The rain had turn the shades more clearer and made me think what I was missing while running between classes, labs, libraries and canteen; I was missing Myself. The green well trimmed grasses, today looked greener, the line of trees were making there presence felt and the grey walls were cleaner and reflecting the age of the institution.

I knew only myself at the moment when a voice brought me back to ourselves. “Hello..No classes…..” I smiled back. She came and sat in front of me, blocking the “myself” views. I slowly pulled down my legs from the bench as she made herself more comfortable wiping and shrugging  rain drops from her face and hair.

Her looks struck me !!! It was a setting to fall for her and i did. I realised, i was skipping heart beats and my reactions were slowing down, she was captivating and a seventeen year old man was managing thousand thoughts a second before she asked,” Fresher”, I uttered,”would you like (showing the cup in my hand) coffee” (it had tea). “Sure”. I almost ran to assure a cup of coffee and more to reassure myself that “I am me”. Few second or minutes later the warmth and aroma of the cup of coffee helped me ; A BIT.

Handing the cup to her and while sitting across her i replied, “yes, first year”. Hell, I was conscious, I started thinking about my unshaven face and clothes, never ever  i cared for them in my seventeen years of thinking on “EARTH”.

 

 

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A STORY……. INTRODUCTION


I do not do things because “I am not one of them”. This is what I spoke to a friend. (I call him a friend now, or he has forced this upon me, in reality he was and will always remain my teacher or as I call “Prof” and by age too he is even older than my father.) I do not know why? But, this is it, now and more so after we were no more in a teacher student relationship legally (though I feel it would remain the same forever, “assumptions= constants”, but no more debates, it’s no more a behavioral finance class) we have been talking or better say discussing our “thoughtful moments”. He is a teacher by profession so I assume he would have many souls to share his heart and mind with. (I admit I do not have anyone or to put it in another way I do not share much with anyone but him) Secondly, he is not just another teacher but a teacher of repute and fame. (Repute & fame = teacher in a reputed institution of the world, himself an alumni of reputed institution of the world,  lots of publications, articles, papers and books. Add to this, number of prizes and awards.) The final word of his CV, if I made it; can get any work done in any part of inhabited world.( I remember, counting the number of pages in his CV, 12; once in his office, so by that standard this is the smallest intro he would have received in last so many years.) Therefore I assume I could be pardoned for my assumptions. Contrarily, this is the longest I have taken to introduce anyone ever in my life. My introductions end in: my friend, my relative, my supervisor, and my……; that is it. Anyways, I have not much experience in CV making. Forget and forgive, Prof + if you happen to read this. You know it Prof; I made a one pager, yes only one side of a page if by page you assume both sides. In fact to be more precise I was asked to make it, since the number of years I have spent in Educational institutions( thanks to my stars that I am born to such wonderful parents that I was able to carry for so many years) had made me eligible to APPLY or ask for my right, JOB. What an experience it was!! That one pager, it fetched me my first and last interview of life (till now and I wish I never face anymore) and it had lasted only 2 minutes or even less.

Interviewer: – A very short and Vague piece, friend? (While reading my CV)

Me:- Have not done much in life yet, to write about, Sir.

Interviewer: – CV drafting is an art….

Me:- I do not want to learn it, Sir. I am in pursuit of the art when I would not need CV            for myself.

Interviewer: – Let’s work together, welcome to …….. (Organization’s name) We shook hands and I left. The others in the room too did not ask a single word.

That was it!(What happened, I do not know, all that I realized at that moment was I had an offer in hand, and it gave me permission to celebrate with all human instincts in display.)

This incident has been quoted Prof, to make the reader understand; I am a novice and therefore all the blame and grudges he/she has after reading this piece about our “thoughtful moments” should be directed towards the GURU. Do not worry Prof, no one would read it in first place and secondly if any unfortunate soul trespasses this piece, he would not be bothered to yell at such a humble soul like me. Remember, you have made me to publish. I am keeping the promise, the only thing, I am publishing it at a place where you would never imagine, because for you publication means another world and I am putting it in EVERY MAN’S ARENA and at the same time NO ONE’S. I am lovin it!!!! Yes, before I arrive at the BODY of the article I would try to put all evidences which prove that I have been forced for this act and emotionally blackmailed to give in. That is why I said, I am lovin it, because after a long, long time I am under the syndrome called; BLAME IT ON RIO…..

One more aspect of this GURU& Shiysha relationship I would love to narrate. I can bet, against any odd, that apart from him NO teacher of mine would even remember me being a student of her/his. As I explained earlier, I have spent decent number of years in Educational Institutions and therefore correlation theory establishes that I would have been taught by many. They all were great teachers, matter of fact is; that I mention with my head held high to my better half that she/he was my teacher whenever they are on any TV Channel or there is an article by anyone of them in any publication. They were and are Significant, the non entity remains constant, ME. To establish this theory, I supply additional evidence to the reader (if any). This is not true only about the great minds who taught me, but also of smarter people around me in my classroom. Yes, I often get this remark from my classmates; “you too were there? Sorry, just cannot recollect” and many different version of the same expression. Thirdly, this is evident on the Facebook too. People, whom I have met and even talked, turn down my friend request. Naturally they do not remember the interaction and subsequently me. I hope its enough to establish the personality traits of “ME”. Now the question arises; how the M was inverted to make W (from ME to WE, the guru and shiysha, E is the constant in both ME and WE, the inverted pyramid).

One of the many, “exam time”; it was. Though it was one of the many, it stood apart. My grandfather passed away during it. It was much more nerving than the paper; exams I think one becomes used to while graduating from one class to another. The paper I needed to drop to visit my place, anybody’s guess, was taught by my friend Prof. (remember he was not a friend at that time, he was just another Prof, I had never had a word with). The grief or the love inspired me to enter his room. I explained him the situation. After an hour; I was writing the paper.

I received the question paper, and it had a surprise. (Great teachers are great because they always can surprise you) It had only one question. For next two hours one has to explain that very question. The Question was; “Explain the concept of FRUGAL thinking in Strategy?”

 

MY ANSWER– Any Innovation, as it is said necessity is the mother of invention is FRUGAL strategy in itself. I do not agree that making a NANO (the low cost car by tata’s) is frugal and 1000s of such examples all around the world. In fact the first car ever made was more frugal. And to know what really this strategy can do and how it works we just need to read HIND SWARAJ by M.K. GANDHI. To conclude, frugal strategy is applicable to all aspects of life rather than business only and anyways the COST word will force the world to go frugal. Remember, we have limited resources. Internet would play a major role in frugal thinking and strategies. It will be the game changer. Frugality compels me to end my paper here, and rush to my home, where frugally I am required more at this point of crisis in the family.

After about two weeks I was called to his office. He would have called me earlier too, but I returned to join classes only after 10 days. The answer papers were already marked, and everyone knew the grade. My grade for this particular paper was on hold. While walking towards his chamber, I was trying to recollect, what I had written in his paper about two weeks back. I had completely forgotten, the only saving grace was I had seen the question that was asked once again and I remembered that. Secondly, I knew I had HARLDY written much and therefore it was more strenuous to recall the answer. What will I speak? I was not sorry for anything, as the swarajist in me knew I had done no wrong, I knew the paper and even the concept asked quite well and always thought, planned to be frugal ( unfortunately still trying). I had done no wrong; he could have given an “F” grade if he did not like the answer; why he wants to talk to me; I could re-write the paper; and many more random ideas and imaginations circled in my mind. The only thing I wanted was, not to reach his office ever………

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IF- An inspiration


Inspiration

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Retail Investing- Four golden rules


The dilemma of investing in stock market looms large in the mind of the individuals, especially when it comes to investing directly in equity. It becomes more so in the light of all the news around and the advises that pour in. Secondly a misconception that it is meant for people entirely dedicated to this field or so-called specialists. The real thing is that we need to just keep it simple. A bit of research before we buy anything should be followed here, but that is it.

The golden rule is that as an individual when one invest, one really needs to be an INDIVIDUAL only. You are all alone in this market, never ever come under any influence. Sometimes even not under yours too, once you have made a decision than even do not listen to yourself. The only thing is that you have to take the decision on four parameters.

The first golden rule is you invest surplus money that you have, never ever invest by borrowing. The surplus too is your hard-earned money, remember. And you are investing for yourself and you are not doing any business.

Once you have decided the amount or the surplus you are ready with, do a simple short investigation as you would have done for any thing you buy for yourself.

Now you have the money and the stock you want to go for. Here you need to decide that on this buy how much you are ready to risk or make a loss. For example you have Rs.100000. than you can part with Rs.10000. It would certainly cause pain when you lose money but you need to decide to bear it. And at this very moment you also need to be determined that you would not lose a single penny more, come what may. Whenever your value comes down to Rs.90000, you would exit at any cost. Do not listen to yourself even, if you have other ideas at this point. You have determined your risk. This is technically your stop-loss.

You are entering this trade because you have surplus fund, a stock and the pre determined risk (stop-loss). The final arsenal is, what the profit you want to make is. Yes, the expected return on your investment for which you are ready to take a risk. Pre determine it. In the above example if you want to make 20,000, then again come what may you need to exit the trade at 120000. You would exit with 20% profit. Again do not listen to anyone once you are at this point, not even to yourself.

With your surplus just keep being self disciplined in following the above four golden rules and evaluate your surplus after every 10 trades you have made. The odds would be in your favor.

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A generalist or an specialist!


In India the education system has a bias towards producing generalists even in specialist courses. It is more obvious when you talk to students from engineering and MBA background.  A mechanical engineer could be found working as software professional or a finance major can be found in sales role.The question is that do we really know how to balance the churning out of generalist as well as specialist simultaneously? Is our education system ready to take on this role? With technology rendering anything and everything obsolete within years, are we ready for the challenges?

Education is our right. This is simple. The challenge is imparting education to millions of Indians. Do we have the capacity to absorb so many educated people in our economy? And here we require a strategical education policy. We really need to apply ourselves in creating a pool of women and men who would not serve only the present but would also ensure that the future generations are even served better. A task which is hard to vision and even harder to apply.

Primary,secondary and higher education. Now we need to draft “vision and mission ” for each stage separately. These three are the broadest segmentation one could imagine for our education system. The dissection needs to be much detailed. If India can mange its human population , really as a resource then the world will possibly be a better place to live for a larger number of humans.

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Hello world!


I am an Equity Analyst, trader and trainer. I love numbers, charts and uncertainty of markets and life at the same time. The areas of my interests are Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Portfolio Management, Valuations and Risk Management. I deal with all sort of financial instruments like bonds, equity, derivatives, commodities and Forex.

This space is just to express myself in words. To share with hundreds of YOU whom I would not know otherwise. The views expressed here are totally personal and I would like to apologies on the onset if these views hurt anyone. The objective is sharing. All the views and comments are most welcome.

Thank you WordPress for an opportunity to live and share!!!

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