Saturday, January 31, 2009


I was at Mumbai airport on my way to Paris and my father knew this guy who would have helped us jump the line and pass most.
I spoke to him, he told me to come to so counter . . .
All well I thought, but then I faced a problem.
I did not allow myself to do that.
I did not deserve jumping the line; it was just wrong.
I waited for an hour in the line - something that I could have managed in 5 minutes.
It seems like a trifle but it was a big deal for me.
Because I had to decide between the easy path and the tough path.
It wasn't a big deal - but it was a matter of principle.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Anger is one of the truest displays of emotion and it is rarely witnessed in its absolute form.
The thing is, society has created people such that they can never be angry.
It is always better to NOT be angry.
Good to get over it.
Best not to disclose it.
Social stigma attached.
Other people will judge you based on your extreme behavior.

I have shown my anger to a friend nicely and in the most complete way possible.
Of course, I never hit her; I am sensible in that respect :-P
But it was just so fulfilling, now that I think of it.
But, it is also painful because that display will remain in my head forever and the thought of people who may have seen that display makes me uncomfortable.
Repercussions of belonging to society.


Saturday, January 10, 2009


Socialism appears simple apart from the fact that the head of state is not like the rest. So that itself makes the concept of socialism a farce. The head of a PSU is greater that a brick layer.

Capitalism seems beautiful but worldwide, there is no example of absolute capitalism. "To each according to his need" - Galt was angered :-D

Who will regulate the regulators?
Why do I get free health cover when a richer guy does not need health cover in a capitlaist society?
Why do I get horrible roads when I pay 34%+ taxes each year?
Tax collections have increased but public servants have gained weight . . .
Who wil audit the auditors?
Who will police the police?
Who will judge the judge?
Who will examine an examiner?
Why does a hardworking businessman pay so many taxes and why does an employee deserve sympathy?
Why are land prices so high when, as soon as I step out of the city all I see is unproductive land?
Why does the CM of Karnataka ride a Bentley?
How does Amar Singh have so many beautiful cars?
Why does a policeman get paid a meagre salary?
Why does the IT officer demand money from me based on the quantum of my income (apart from the official taxes I pay)?
Who will regulate the regulators?
Who will audit the auditors?
Why does a multimillionaire sleep on a wobbly bed of notes and why does a brick layer sleep on a firm and comfortable bed of brick?


The so-called 'investor' is a rare find. How many investors actually pore over a company's finanicals before making a decision to buy its equity? Most retail investors say: "I feel . . .", "O ! This is a rock solid company which has so many retail outlets", "Have you seen the size of that refinery? It is the biggest in the world!!! (Must be good).
Completely irrational investments where they themselves are to be blamed. Finally, when a scam is unearthed, or when the numbers are inferior to competitors' the stock price falls and the 'investor' blames the promoters. "Those SOBs! They should be paraded naked!! Why did they do this? I always thought something was wrong."

Human behaviour is fantastic, which has always intrigued me. We are quick to blame, anger, love, and depress.

Handing over your money to a fund manager or a mutual fund seems apt - and that may be called 'investing'. Here again, not much research goes into how the fund reaches its decisions but an investor's decisions are based on trust. A trust which says - capitalism rocks!
Competition forces a fund manager to do all at his disposal to outperform the rest. One blunder big enough and the fund house may fall low for quite a while. Therefore, an investor has to believe that, as long as the portfolios are transparent, his money will be invested after adequate deliberation.

Fear and Greed - the 2 will always belong together.

It is true that man loves to talk and talk especially of things he does not know of. Adding 20% to 180% to a story is part and parcel of social conversations. Emotions run amok and facts are accentuated. Ego drives decisions and the chitter chatter. I want to appear smart! I want people to remember me! I want to be the center of attention! I want accolades!

There is not a day that passes by when I have not not laughed or smiled at a fellow human being. One of the perks of beign an outsider (Or so I believe ;-) )

Who is to be blamed?

Animals are slautered 'cruelly' - who decides the meaning of 'cruel'?
Why is one life form - plants, trees, vegetation - different from another - animals?
Both life forms eat, drink, digest, multiply and die, but 'blood' and 'visible emotional' give preference to animal life over vegetable life. One is superior to the other and non veg. or meat is 'wrong' and vegetation is 'OK'. Logically, all life forms should be treated equally as long as they are 'produced' for human consumption. Therefore, eating a wild mushroom such as a truffle is just as evil as hunting deer.
Beauty, Monstrosity, Dirt, Gore lies in the eye of the beholder. Even now, if I were to see a dying dog I would feel horrible - but I would be indifferent towards a dying flower. Illogical, but true.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Ovarian Lottery

I am about to complete The Snowball and Buffett speaks of the estate tax / gift tax and how it is anti-capitalist and anti-meritocratic. I believe he is correct.
For a while now, I have harboured the opinion that income which was taxed when first generated and subsequently taxed when money generated money, need not be taxed again; especially due to the fact that money is flowing from one family member to another.
Warren opines that this is akin to winning the Ovarian Lottery because there is nothing that makes the recipient different from an individual working in a sweatshop elsewhere. This 'transfer' of money should be taxed at the effective rate to bring on a level playing field.
But even taxing it at the normal rate is immoral -may be the tax should be 100%.

What makes you deserve even the Rs. 60-67 of free, sweatless income? Nothing.
If there is something that Ayn Rand influenced me with, it was the level playing field.